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The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes(Expanded and Revised 5th Edition) Paperback – February 24, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 5 Rev Exp edition (February 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579548830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579548834
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Todd Downs is a self-taught, full-time wrench since 1989. He's built wheels that were raced in the 2003 UCI Cyclocross World Championships and prepared a bike for an Olympic hopeful's trip to the 2004 Summer Olympic Trials. Downs has been published in DirtRag magazine and serves as an editor of MTBJournal.com. He currently resides in the Boston area.

More About the Author

TODD DOWNS is a self-taught, full-time wrench since 1989. He's built wheels that were raced in the 2003 UCI Cyclocross World Championships and prepared a bike for an Olympic hopeful's trip to the 2004 Summer Olympic Trials. Downs has been published in DirtRag magazine and serves as an editor of MTBJournal.com. He currently resides in the Boston area.

Customer Reviews

I had good clean pictures and very easy to understand instructions throughout.
Forrest L. Ledbetter
Todd Downs' "Bicycle Maintenance & Repair, 5th Edition" is a 378 page bargain of a bike repair book.
John G. Curington
Just when I thought all these books were useless, I'm glad this one pretty much fell in my lap.
John P. Thiel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

179 of 187 people found the following review helpful By Ari on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I ordered this aswell as the big blue book of bicycle repair from park and this book won hands down in every area. The price is half, the information is better and more detailed and it covers areas the park book doesn't. If you want to learn how to overhaul your bike as I did, this is the book to get.
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205 of 218 people found the following review helpful By Karen Delaney on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this baby to take apart that Target bike I had hanging in the garage for 5 years. It was so great, it had everything, even the cheap cruddy gear on my bike was covered, and I managed to put the bike back together again too! I discovered there was more to chain lube than that old can that you pushed on the bottom and dripped oil on the chain with. Plus I found out that I had the wrong size bike, completely, that my shifting system was the one they put on 3 speeds back in the 60's, and that it never pays to pry off stuff with the sharp part of the tool pointed at yourself. HOWEVER, the point is, this book ROCKS! I, a complete neophyte (mechanically speaking) took this bike to pieces and it went back together with not one screw left over. I actually did the Hans and Franz PUMP YOU UP pose after finishing.
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By David J. Miller on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book in anticipation of receiving a bicycle purchased off the internet, as I knew the bike would need assembly and a good amount of adjusting. A careful reading of this book provided all the info I needed to get the bike up and running, and it included many vital tips I would not have known otherwise. Basic stuff like how to adjust seat and handlebar position and angle were well explained. The more involved instructions on lubrication and derailleur adjustment were much more helpful than the manufacturer's bare bones instructions. But what was truly a saving grace for me was the chapter on disc brake assembly, adjustment, and care. I would never have known how properly mount a disc to a hub (use a star pattern, gradually increase screw tightness, and never touch the disc with your hands) or that you should never pull a brake lever without something (the disc or a spacer) in the hydraulic brake caliper. My own curious excitement with my new high-end bike would surely have caused me to do that. That chapter alone was worth the book purchase. The book is also full of pictures (although it's impossible to have a photo of every possible manufacturer's component) which help greatly.

Since the book fully covers modern bike innovations as well (fancy suspension, disc brakes, external bearing bottom brackets and two piece cranksets), it may seem to owners of department store bikes to cater to people with high end bikes. This is NOT the case at all -- the book covers low-end components as well. In actuality the book is quite comprehensive, and covers of the full range of bike components available today.
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100 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Marquis on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm former bike shop manager and longtime mechanic. Somebody bought this for me as a gift. I thought even an old dog can always learn a few new tricks, but this book really has none for someone who already knows something about bike repair. I kept running into sections where the procedure called for bringing the bike to a shop. What good is that? If you need to learn the basics, this is a decent book. If you need to know advanced techniques, you'll be far better off finding the info on the web, either at the manufacturer's site or someplace like Sheldon Brown's site.

Last weekend I saw my neighbor with his bike backwards on his new repair stand. I gave him the book...
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By BillJitsu on September 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
After looking at several other bicycle repair manuals, it was a joy to come across this book that is just right on the money.

Todd Downs's book about bicycling repair is something that belongs on the bookshelf (or in the garage) of every bicyclist out there. The book easily pays for itself many times over by giving the novice bicycle mechanic the guidance and instruction in doing his own repairs.

The book is also interesting to read. Downs explains the pros and cons of the various types of components out there, and gives the reader advice for how to best use and care for his bicycle.

The photgraphs are clear and plentiful, never leaving you wondering what you're supposed to do, and give you the confidence to tackle just about any job.

Where other books seem to err by giving the reader too little information - or overwhelming the reader with too much - this book strikes a great balance. Every part of the bicycle is covered in its entirety, and this book should work for just about every cyclist out there, whether you're a road warrior, hard-core mountain biker, or just enjoy a casual ride to the coffee shop on Sunday mornings.

In addition to just straight repair and maintenance, the book is filled with good advice. I particularly liked when Downs would tell the reader if a troublesome part was better off being repaired or replaced entirely.

If you ride a bike, you really should own a repair manual, and this is the best one I've seen so far.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Bohlken on December 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I looked at Zinn's book on road bicycle maintenance, but opted for this book based on comments by other reviewers and on examining this book in a bookstore. Zinn uses line drawings, but Downs uses excellent black and white photographs I find more helpful than drawings. The photographs help me envision what is foreground and what is background better than a line drawing does.

When I bought my first road bike in 1970 I read Eugene Sloan's "Complete Book of Bicycling" and it was very helpful for special procedures. But, bicycles have changed a lot in the last twenty years. This is a good guidebook for anyone with a new bicycle, no matter their previous level of experience.

This book discusses each system on a bike in text. Then comes a near repitition with step-by-step photographs. Finally, there is a troubleshooting section listing problems and their solutions.

I was surprised by two things. Fine new bicycles use metric hex key cap screws and some plastic collars. It is important that these are not tightened too much. Yet, a torque wrench reading in inch pounds was not mentioned in the list of essential tools. (I made my own for five dollars from a steel bar ten inches long and a fisherman's scale.) And, 700C tires are the new norm for road bikes, but the inch gear chart for road bikes is based on 27 inch wheels.

I wondered if it would be a problem to treat both road and mountain bikes in the same book, but it works just fine. Both get adequate treatment.

There are a lot of little hints about things that are not directly necessary for fixing a problem, but which will add continued good performance to your bicycle.
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