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Old 05-06-02, 12:54 PM   #1
OctoberBlue
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Best bike book?

I have a (leftover from Christmas) gift certificate for a local bookstore and I would like to buy a good cycling reference book with it.

What book would you consider to be the most comprehensive and useful for a new cyclist? There are many books available which makes it overwhelming.

In flipping through some books, one called Effective Cycling by John Forester looked pretty good.

If you could only choose one book, what is your "can't live without" Bike Bible?

Let me add that I would like to find a book that has solid coverage of...
- Safety/road rules (USA)
- Basic bike maintenance along with info about some of the more complex repairs... even if I don't perform these repairs myself, I like to understand how things work
- The basics of cadence, gearing, etc. and how various techniques contribute to better overall riding
- Fitness improvement (interested in touring rather than racing)

Ok, maybe I'm dreaming about finding all of that in ONE book, but humor me here, ok?

P.S. Yes, I'm aware of the Sheldonbrown site and have read some of those articles. Very useful. Sometimes it's nice to have a real book as a reference though.
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Last edited by OctoberBlue; 05-06-02 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 05-06-02, 01:02 PM   #2
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What is your particular interest, Julie? For bicycle safety and advocacy, "Effective Cycling" is hard to beat, although John Franklin's "Cyclecraft" (The Stationery Office, U.K.) covers the same road skills in a much more concise format (as long as you can mentally reverse his road diagrams for right-side traffic flow). Jon S. Allen's "Street Smarts" isn't bad, either.

For the mechanical and technical aspects of bicycles, Sutherland's probably deserves some shelf space. Sheldonbrown.com also contains a wealth of information, available for download-on-demand.

Despite its errors, I still like "The Dancing Chain," by Berto, Shepherd, and Henry, for the technical history of bicycle transmissions.
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Old 05-07-02, 12:20 AM   #3
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One more vote for The Dancing Chain, though I don't think it fits these requirements. Now where is the one like it on frames?

Cheers...Gary
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Old 05-07-02, 10:32 AM   #4
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I don't think you'll get the best of everything in one book.

For lots of easy-to-read general good advice I'd add Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling to the list (~$14). This is oriented toward road bikes, and a lot of the repair information is dated (circa 1990). A good one for cycling health/nutrition issues is Bicycling Medicine: Cycling Nutrition, Physiology, Injury, Prevention, and Treatment for Riders of All Levels, by Arnie Baker MD (~$14). For good, basic maintenance info, check out Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, by Lennard Zinn, (~$20), unless you have a Mtn bike, in which case look at Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance.

If these aren't on the shelves at your store, you can go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon and get something of a preview.
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Old 05-07-02, 11:15 AM   #5
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Julie,
Far and away, the best "everything" cycling book, in my opinion, is "A Woman's Guide to Cycling," by Susan Weaver. The revised & updated edition came out in '98. I've read and re-read this book-for tips, basic understanding, wrenching advice, gearing advice, and general support & motivation. It's easy to read & understand, good illustrations. It's put out by 10 Speed Press, $16.95.

I have 3 other bicycling books, but this is my absolute favorite.
Enjoy!

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Old 05-07-02, 12:48 PM   #6
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Originally posted by gmason
Now where is the one like it on frames?
Smashing suggestion, Gary! How soon do you plan to submit your manuscript to Ten Speed Press, Van der Plas, or, given your location, Kluwer?
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Old 05-07-02, 01:45 PM   #7
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The best book.....

Has to be Joe Friel's book. I think it's called "The Cyclists' Training Bible".

Very comprehensive and informative.


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Old 05-07-02, 02:33 PM   #8
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Check out

"Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintanence"

-by LENNARD ZINN

good book. It was left here by my bro when he left, and its got some good in-depth info. on bike maintanence.
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Old 05-08-02, 04:23 AM   #9
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Richard's Bicycle Book, by Richard Ballantine is worth obtaining.

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Old 05-23-02, 01:28 AM   #10
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So many to choose from! Where is the best place to get a book? We have lots and lots of Barnes & Nobles here in NY. Is that a good place?

Another thing, I never knew that road bikes and mt. bikes require different maintaince.

*sigh* so much to learn...
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Old 05-23-02, 03:47 AM   #11
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Tyr Serious Cycling by Ed Burke. Joe Friel's book is also very informative..although I do not have the time to have a structured training regimen as he illustrates.
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