these are books I've found useful... they are geared towards a visual learning style, with clear photographs and diagrams. some of the popular books seem a bit text-heavy and may be right for those who think best that way, though if you have to 'see' or visualize what you're dealing with or trying to do, I've found these to be the best (via my local library).
Bicycle Repair Manual -- (basic overview)
by Chris Sidwells
Complete Bike Maintenance -- (more detail/data)
by Fred Milson
The Complete Do-It-Yourself Bike Book -- (introductory)
by Mel Allwood
(I have links to these on a prototype Amazon e-store site though including such links to the books appears unacceptable given forum rules. otherwise would've sent links to more info on each book.)
update: (an indirect way would be to go to bicyclework.wordpress.com, a site I am in the process of developing, and click the above mentioned link from there. the site is not yet figured out, yet it goes directly onto the books.)
Last edited by muon; 12-30-07 at 11:38 PM.