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  1. #1
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    Best Bike Maintenance Book?

    i'm a newbie, like everybody we start with the first step, right? well i've always ridden to get around or for fun, now it's more of a transportation system (slowly going to winter too)! but i'm sick and tired of paying bills for shop's maintenance and repairs... i know some basics of maintenance. BUT COULD ANYBODY TELL ME THAT IF "The Big Blue Book Of Bicycle Repair" BY PARK TOOLS IS A GOOD BOOK (to start with)? i just bought "mountain bike maintenance" by mel allwood. but i was wondering if any of you have any advice?

  2. #2
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iancillo
    i'm a newbie, like everybody we start with the first step, right? well i've always ridden to get around or for fun, now it's more of a transportation system (slowly going to winter too)! but i'm sick and tired of paying bills for shop's maintenance and repairs... i know some basics of maintenance. BUT COULD ANYBODY TELL ME THAT IF "The Big Blue Book Of Bicycle Repair" BY PARK TOOLS IS A GOOD BOOK (to start with)? i just bought "mountain bike maintenance" by mel allwood. but i was wondering if any of you have any advice?
    Don't get "The Big Blue Book" as one of your first maintenance and repair books. It's just not that good. Yes, there are very detailed step-by-step processes described for most jobs, but the book doesn't really go into the "why's" and "what for's" that'll help you understand your bike and how its various parts work. The book also only tells you how to do most jobs with very specific Park tools, and doesn't usually mention if there are alternative tools (or non-tools, in a pinch) that you can use (after all, Park's primary interest is selling more of their own tools). Plus, everything in the Park Blue Book is available for free on their web site.

    If you're looking for a good maintenance and repair book, the best is "Zinn and the Art of Road/Mountain Bike Repair" (two books, actually---one specifically for mtn bikes, one for road). This should be the first book you buy.

    A close second to the Zinn books is "Bicycling Magazines Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair." This one is very similar to the Zinn books but covers both road and mtn bikes in one book, and is therefore not quite as comprehensive (but for all practical purposes, still more than most of us will need). Its advantage over the Zinn books might be that the Bicycling Magazine book uses actual photos rather than just drawings.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member curt in denver's Avatar
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    +1 for Zinn
    "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch"
    -Jack Nicholson

  4. #4
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    make sure if you get the zinn book you get the latest edition. much more up to date.
    i have that and the blue book and find they compliment each other well.

  5. #5
    Walkafire
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    +1 for Zinn

    It is also great for "Wheel Building"

  6. #6
    Sceptical European
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    So, where's "Zinn and the Art of Hybrid Bike Maintenance"? Or more specifically, which one should I get for my bike: Trek 7.3 FX, disc brakes, no shocks.

  7. #7
    Walkafire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vatn
    So, where's "Zinn and the Art of Hybrid Bike Maintenance"? Or more specifically, which one should I get for my bike: Trek 7.3 FX, disc brakes, no shocks.

    I don't have the (ZINN) book here at work with me, but I do know the "ZINN MTB Book" does go over building wheels with disc brakes. I am not sure if I saw anything on Disc Brake Maint. But I am sure there has to be something on the subject in his book. As mentioned above, make sure you get the "Latest" version of the book...

    Good Luck

  8. #8
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vatn
    So, where's "Zinn and the Art of Hybrid Bike Maintenance"? Or more specifically, which one should I get for my bike: Trek 7.3 FX, disc brakes, no shocks.
    You could go either way. 95% of the info in each book applies to darn near any type of bike. I guess I'd recommend the mountain bike book because it does cover disc brakes. But any component-specific information that's not in the book can usually be obtained by downloading the user's manual from the manufactuer's web site. For general maintenance, though, this book's got you covered.
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  9. #9
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    The Bicycling published one is what I used as a kid to learn because it could be found in most public libraries at the time (you know those buildings with large stacks of paper in them).

    Even as a kid it always seemed a little out of date. I recently purchased a recent edition of it and found that many of the pages were the same. I also got Zinn's and have to say that I've read more of Zinn's. Bicycling's has more pictures which can be helpful if you've never done it before. Kudos to Park's site. I have cited it numerous times on this forum. Also Sheldon Brown's pages are unbeatable for clear simple explanations of why things are the way they are. In the end nothing will beat pure wrench time and the web.

  10. #10
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    Pardon my ignorance, but what's so different about working on a mt bike and a road bike that they'd require separate manuals?

    What would you recommend for folks like me with a road touring bike with a mix of road and mountain components (mt drivetrain, hubs, and canti brakes, road bar ends shifters and aero brakes)?

    Thanks.

  11. #11
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    mycoatl,

    I would recommend Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance as the more appropriate of the two for your bike.

  12. #12
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycoatl
    Pardon my ignorance, but what's so different about working on a mt bike and a road bike that they'd require separate manuals?

    What would you recommend for folks like me with a road touring bike with a mix of road and mountain components (mt drivetrain, hubs, and canti brakes, road bar ends shifters and aero brakes)?

    Thanks.
    They're not really two completely different manuals. Most of each of the Zinn books is the same, while strays from the other by covering different types of brakes, exploring suspension, etc. Drivetrains, hubs, and canti brakes are similar enough that there isn't much difference between the two books in those sections.

    In a way, breaking it into two books is nice for someone who only rides road or mountain and doesn't want to dig through a bunch of extra, irrelevant information. And for those who ride both, well they're putting twice as much money into the pockets of Zinn and his publishers. It's a win-win situation.
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  13. #13
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    Also take a look at Haynes Guide to Bicycle Maintainence and Repair (or something like that). They make good auto repair manuals as well. There are color photos and step by step instructions...a very good "how" book, but not so good on the "why." I've also heard good things about the Zinn books as well.

  14. #14
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    I actually prefer the drawings in ZINN to photos, i think they provide the information 'cleaner'. Besides, Zinn has some dry humor in it, like the difference between a 'spline' and a 'spleen'.

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  15. #15
    Member GCG199's Avatar
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    The latest version of the Bicycling magazine Bicycle Maintenance & Repair book is the 5th edition authored by Todd Downs. I picked up my copy from Amazon.com for $13.00.

    I have the Park Big Blue Book of Bike Repair too. This one is hard to find for less than the retail price though ($25.00).

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Too right, Mentor. Good drawings show a lot more than good photos.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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