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  1. #1
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    So confused - can anybody recommend some good books?

    Hello again,

    Are there any books out there that explains exactly what the differences are between different threadings etc? I know Sheldon Brown's website is a good source...but are there books out there that takes the bike parts apart bit by bit and explains why there are differences between them? Also, explains what the differences are between the different kinds of steel used and how to spot if a bike frame is any good or not - what to look for? Actually, what would be really nice is a history of the different kinds of bikes, where they come from, who produced them, why they are respected etc.

    And if this book doesn't exist - will one of you please write one

  2. #2
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkewyn1974 View Post
    Hello again,

    Are there any books out there that explains exactly what the differences are between different threadings etc? I know Sheldon Brown's website is a good source...but are there books out there that takes the bike parts apart bit by bit and explains why there are differences between them? Also, explains what the differences are between the different kinds of steel used and how to spot if a bike frame is any good or not - what to look for? Actually, what would be really nice is a history of the different kinds of bikes, where they come from, who produced them, why they are respected etc.

    And if this book doesn't exist - will one of you please write one
    Several used books did a great job of introducing the world of higher-end bikes and expressing some of the criteria.

    The New Complete Book of Bicycling by Eugene Sloan.

    Anybody's Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson (an earlier edition)

    Popular Mechanics Book of Bikes and Bicycling by Dick Teresi.

    There were a lot more, too, in some cases becoming specialised, but these are good starters, might be all you need, and are often seen on Ebay or used book stores. Sloan is particularly common.

    Cuthbertson is actually a common-man's repair book.

    Lennard Zinn's repair manual for road bikes covers older and newer components and highlights threading issues when they are significant. He doesn't dwell overly on the engineering definition of thread types and sizing, so if that's the kind of engineering detail you want, you'll have to find an engineer. Actually I am one, but not the right kind.

    Road Fan

  3. #3
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    Here's a site that has several standard references available in scanned PDF format (possibly in contravention of copyright):
    http://icelord.net/bike/

    I use Sutherland's all the time.

    My favorite bicycle book is John Forester's Effective Cycling. Here's his site:
    http://www.johnforester.com/

    He's a tenacious dog with a bone on many issues, but I think that he's spot on -- it's hard to ignore a guy who's got it right, even if you think he's cranky-eccentric.

    As far as steel goes, unfortunately we live in an age where metallurgy has been supplanted by polymer/composite technology, at least as far as bicycling is concerned. The lore of different alloys is fading into the past, and needs to be gleaned in little bits here and there. If you're interested in this, then stick around and let osmosis work. Some of the bike frame information on icelord may be helpful.
    Last edited by Charles Wahl; 07-04-08 at 10:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
    Here's a site that has several standard references available in scanned PDF format (possibly in contravention of copyright):
    http://icelord.net/bike/

    I use Sutherland's all the time.

    My favorite bicycle book is John Forester's Effective Cycling. Here's his site:
    http://www.johnforester.com/

    He's a tenacious dog with a bone on many issues, but I think that he's spot on -- it's hard to ignore a guy who's got it right, even if you think he's cranky-eccentric.

    As far as steel goes, unfortunately we live in an age where metallurgy has been supplanted by polymer/composite technology, at least as far as bicycling is concerned. The lore of different alloys is fading into the past, and needs to be gleaned in little bits here and there. If you're interested in this, then stick around and let osmosis work. Some of the bike frame information on icelord may be helpful.
    The book "Touring Bikes" by Tony Oliver, a retired UK framebuilder, has an excellent chapter on frame tubing and an extensive appendix on the dimensions and metallurgical properties. This book is a little hard to find.

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    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    What I would really like is a good tourque spec table for different components and such.

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    Ta-da! poutine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    What I would really like is a good tourque spec table for different components and such.
    There's a decent table like this in the back of Lennard Zinn's book, if memory serves correctly.

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    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Pikkewyn1974: All the above are very good recommendations for reading material and reference books (and you WILL need to reference things as you go), but some of what you are seeking to learn can only come from traditional learning: exposure to the knowledge from many sources (books included but not just) and...time...
    It takes time to learn the "art" of frame building, and some time to learn all the fine points of appreciating that art, too. Don't rush it: keep reading and also keep talking bikes with people who know them and it will develop.

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for your great comments - I gots some readin to do!!! And thank you for your advice unworthy1 - I know you are right ... time is definitely needed - I've been taking apart the bikes I have bought for $50 or less and now the challenge is trying to put them back together again - not so easy, especially since I live in a small apartment. I did buy a large toolset - Spindoctor, but now realize I probably should have bought the Parktools instead. The Spindoctor tools just feel as if they might brake or something, definitely flimsy. Also, I just bought another bike on ebay ... not $50 but $99 ... but I always wanted a FUJI ... was this an okay deal? I got a Fuji Espree - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=140244912993

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    I guess, I need to fix the ones I got first ... but I so love looking - I also got this Puch Luzern, that I turned into a bit more of a weird bike. What do you guys think?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkewyn1974 View Post
    I just bought another bike on ebay ... not $50 but $99 ... but I always wanted a FUJI ... was this an okay deal? I got a Fuji Espree - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=140244912993
    That's a good price for that bike. It's a Valite frame, but I'm not sure if it's double, triple, or quad butted. The tubing sticker will tell you. Anyway, it looks like it's in great condition. Shipping makes it more expensive, but it's still coming out at a fair price for the bike. Congratulations!

    Another two books worth reading if you want to know some of the differences between components, and some of the development history, both by Frank Berto:

    Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Upgrading Your Bike

    The Dancing Chain
    Last edited by Blue Order; 07-04-08 at 07:13 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkewyn1974 View Post
    I guess, I need to fix the ones I got first ... but I so love looking - I also got this Puch Luzern, that I turned into a bit more of a weird bike. What do you guys think?
    I think you'd better make sure that the stem is not higher than the insertion mark indicates is safe....

    Other than that, I'd call it "Frankenbike."

    Then I'd put a proper stem and bars on it.

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    Thanks Blue Order - actually I'm picking the bike up tomorrow so I did in fact only pay $99 for it ... and the seller is so nice And thank you for the reading recommendations! And for the Frankenbike ... I found the stem at a used bike store it looks like it custom made to be longer than regular stems with the handlebars welded on, so hopefully that will be okay. But, I have to say it is actually really comfortable to ride ... because the bike is so light and quick to handle it feels as if I am riding a souped up cruiser or something.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkewyn1974 View Post
    Thanks Blue Order - actually I'm picking the bike up tomorrow so I did in fact only pay $99 for it ... and the seller is so nice
    Well, you got it for a very good price then. It's a good-quality, mid-level bike, and looks like it's in excellent condition. It's well worth $99. Please post some pics when you get it. I'm curious about he level of tubing on it. There will be a decal on the seat tube with a wreath, and it will tell you what kind of tubing. Also look for a decal on the fork blades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkewyn1974 View Post
    And thank you for the reading recommendations! And for the Frankenbike ... I found the stem at a used bike store it looks like it custom made to be longer than regular stems with the handlebars welded on, so hopefully that will be okay. But, I have to say it is actually really comfortable to ride ... because the bike is so light and quick to handle it feels as if I am riding a souped up cruiser or something.
    There should be a minimum insertion mark on the stem. As long as that mark is not showing above the headset, the stem is set at a safe height. If you can see the insertion mark above the headset, it's set at an unsafe height, and needs to be lowered.

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