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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 10-18-10, 09:17 PM   #1
likeafox
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Book Recommendations?

Does anyone have any suggestions for informative books on bike building/repair?

I'm looking for some comprehensive material (it could also be a collection of books or other type of resource), including and not limited to things like: repair, maintenence, tools of the trade, design principles, differences of parts and materials (how to decide which part is best for the job), part manufacturers, accessories, on-the-road repair (or even other cycling tips an average rider may not know could be useful), etc.. Also attributes and features of the various types of bikes, but focusing on road/racing bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and winterized bikes, since those are the ones I'd like to work with.

As for difficulty level, I don't have much experience, but I do have some basic knowledge. Just to give you an idea, I own three bikes and I've gotten so far as being able to straighten my wheels on a truing stand.

So far I've liked the reviews of the ZINN series books ( one of them: http://www.amazon.com/Zinn-Art-Road-...dp/1934030422/ )

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:38 PM   #2
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The best that I've read thus far are books by Lennard Zinn. I had no previous bike maintenance experience and these books (road and tri bike versions) have brought me to the point where I only need to go to the LBS to complete work for stuff that requires specialty tools. These books have great drawings and go over everything from the basic to advanced levels.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:46 PM   #3
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For a free resource, check out Park Tool's repair and maintenance section of their website: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
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Old 10-18-10, 11:04 PM   #4
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One of the best books for mechanics is Sutherland's Handbook for Bicycle Mechanics 7th edition, ( http://www.icelord.net/bike/sutherland.htm ) it gets into very specific things rather than generalizations as some manuals do. It's something you'd find behind a desk at a bike shop.

I have both the book and the book on CD for sale!
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Old 10-18-10, 11:40 PM   #5
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+1 on Sutherland but it has a steep learning curve. If you are new, I'd read Todd Down's Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair first.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Bic.../9781579548834
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Old 10-19-10, 02:56 AM   #6
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+1 on Sutherland but it has a steep learning curve. If you are new, I'd read Todd Down's Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair first.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Bic.../9781579548834
thanks for your links
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Old 10-19-10, 06:37 AM   #7
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I have both the book and the book on CD for sale!
I'd be interested in buying it. Can't PM yet, not enough posts.

Guess I lurk too much
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Old 10-19-10, 10:42 AM   #8
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I'd be interested in buying it. Can't PM yet, not enough posts.

Guess I lurk too much
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Old 10-19-10, 10:56 AM   #9
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One of the best introductory books is "Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair". The Zinn books, "Zinn and the Art of Road (or MTB) Bike Maintenance" are a bit more advanced but also very useful.

Sutherland's Handbook and the Barnett's handbook are very advanced and detailed (and expensive) and assume a relatively high level of pre-existing knowledge.

The Park Tool web site and Sheldon Brown's web site are free and excellent sources of information on most facets of bike repair too.

Finally, RTFM. All bicycle components come with detailed installation instructions and technical information. If you buy a new component, read the instructions that come with it or go to the manufacturer's web site's technical documents section. . It's amazing how many questions we get here that are clearly answered by the accompanying instruction sheet.
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Old 10-19-10, 11:26 AM   #10
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just get the park blue book & zinn's road or mountain book.
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Old 10-19-10, 12:00 PM   #11
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If newish, down load service manuals on all the components on your bike from their various manufacturers websites.
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Old 10-19-10, 01:49 PM   #12
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Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair. Although all the info is online at their site. Book is nice, layflat binding, so you can fold it open to where you need while following directions...

Once you get through an intro book, Sutherland's Handbooks are simply amazing with the wealth of info they contain. 7th edition is current stuff; older editions might be helpful if you're working on older bikes.
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Old 10-24-10, 02:55 PM   #13
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I have ordered the Zinn book, I expect it to be a good in the way of bike repair, and I will take a look at the Park Tool one too.

But all of the books mentioned seem to focus on only repair and maintenance. Which book gives the best information for selecting parts when building a bike?
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Old 10-24-10, 03:15 PM   #14
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I do not know any book that would have such detailed information. general information, sure, but specific information would probably be out of date before printing.

knowledge like this is kinda acquired from wrenching yourself, talking to other bike nerds, reading everything online and in print, and just riding and seeing what works / what you prefer.
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Old 10-24-10, 03:55 PM   #15
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I do not know any book that would have such detailed information. general information, sure, but specific information would probably be out of date before printing.

knowledge like this is kinda acquired from wrenching yourself, talking to other bike nerds, reading everything online and in print, and just riding and seeing what works / what you prefer.
+1

This is why giving some of your business to a local mechanic and be nice to him/her is a good idea. They do this every day and just know what fits and what doesn't if they are any good. I like the old, crusty guys - they know more
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Old 10-24-10, 04:02 PM   #16
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@ TimeTravel_0

Oh, yeah, I really don't expect to find something that talks about specific current models of parts. Toward that aspect, it would at most give an overview of all major bike part manufacturers and explain what area they specialize in and other general information.

Primarily, though, it would provide an overview of types of parts and attributes in general. A simple example would be frame material: steel vs. aluminium (I don't even know about other materials used), and the pros and cons of each type of material. Basically technical things that aren't directly related to repair and whether the bike is functioning properly, but more to the riding experience. I'm not sure whether I can expect to find this kind of information in a book on repair and maintenance.
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Old 10-24-10, 04:22 PM   #17
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Actually the intro to each chapter in Todd Down's book does that, but not in a very detailed way. IE, not any more than you could gather by reading Sheldon Brown's pages. The rest we all get from osmosis talking to other enthusiasts and paying tuition at the school of hard knocks. Can't count the times I've felt like this - but then you learn, and you move on and try to share it with the next fellow that comes along.
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