Can anyone recommend a good, fairly current book on maintenance and repair that a novice can understand? The books I have picked up seem way out of date. I have no problem with paying my LBS to do things, but I feel silly asking them to do basic things like clean and grease front wheel bearings. I am actually probably more mechanically handy than a lot of people. I am perfectly willing to take things apart to try to clean/adjust/fix them. But my past experience with bikes has been spotty. I take something simple apart, clean it, grease it, put it back together, adjust it according to instructions, but it never seems to work quite as well as it did before I "improved" it. So I have been hesitant to do much more than clean the chain regularly and adjust cable tension when needed on my new bike. I have the recent maintenace issue of "Bicycling". Is that about as good as anything?
I will reccomend one. Barnett's manual. Technoogy in the cycling industry changes almost every 3 years it seems. This makes it difficult for those who write manuals to do so. Go to the Barnett web site and you can order one from there.
I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and 2011 Felt Z4. :-)
If you don't want to spend $100 for the Barnett manual, try "The Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" by Jim Langley. It is published by Bicycling magazine and sells for $18.95 at bicycle shops and bookstores.
Another general maintenance manual in the $20-ish price range is "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" by Leonard Zinn (ISBN: 1884737706). Plenty of good information for common maintenance and adjustments.
I finally ordered the Barnett book. For anyone who might have been thinking about it they have a deal right now. They are out of "first quality" sets but have some that were damaged in shipment. No damage to pages, just bent corners on slip covers. They are selling these for $79.00 plus 5.50 shipping. Sounded like a deal to me!
After you've used to book to do a repair or two, please post a brief critique. Is the book easy to use? Are the instructions clear enough for novices, and detailed enough for experts? Are there illustrations clear, and are there plenty? Is anything missing that'd be nice to know?