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Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling [Kindle Edition]

BikeSnobNYC , Christopher Koelle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Cycling is explodingin a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC—cycling's most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous blogger—brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob treats readers to a laugh-out-loud rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, and offers a unique look at the ins and outs of cycling, from its history and hallmarks to its wide range of bizarre practitioners. Throughout, the author lampoons the missteps, pretensions, and absurdities of bike culture while maintaining a contagious enthusiasm for cycling itself. Bike Snob is an essential volume for anyone who knows, is, or wants to become a cyclist.

Editorial Reviews


Bike Snob should be lovingly gifted to all new cyclers - and forcefully smacked against the heads of all the jaded know-it-alls who take the sport way too seriously.

As any avid biker will attest, cycling isn't just a form of transportation. It's a complicated culture with its own slang, taxonomy, and preferred tat styles. If you haven't read Bike Snob, you should consider reattaching those training wheels to your overpriced fixie.

I like to think I know a thing or two (or three) about being ruthless and relentless - either trying to win the Tour or fighting cancer. The Snob knows it too. Keeping us dorks in line is tough work. I take pleasure in getting picked on by the Snob, slightly more pleasure in reading his writing, but take the most pleasure punishing his ass (my payback) on the bike either in Central Park or on 9W/River Road. Long live the Snob.

First you'll think the Snob is funny. Then you'll think he's smart. Eventually you'll probably think that he's seen far too many movies for his own good. At some point during this book, however, you re going to say to yourself: Holy crap. He is right. Believe me, that is one disconcerting moment.

After reading Bike Snob I put a brake on my fixie, started wearing a helmet, then punched myself in the stomach for spending so much time as a stupid hipster. This is a social manual that should be bundled with every bike shipped in America.

About the Author

BikeSnobNYC is a frequent racer, daily commuter, and former bike messenger himself. He has been published and profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Outside, and Bicycling Magazine.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10378 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC (April 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004089TB4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to see "The Snob" in book form May 1, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Bike Snob writes a wickedly funny blog poking holes in practically every pretension in the cycling world. His blog careens unexpectedly between the worlds of pro cycling, hipsters, fixed gear bikes, Craigslist ads and the indignity of bike commuting (especially in New York). He never runs out of targets -- the studied poses of various cycling subcultures has given him an unending stream of targets.

In print -- both in his columns in Bicycling Magazine, and now in this book -- he's a bit toned done. In order to reach a broader audience, his writing is a little more accessible, with fewer self-referential, super-inside jokes that propel the humor in his blog. In print, the satire is still there, but the very sharpest edges have been softened a bit.

What's left is a still-funny survey of the world of bicycling in America -- from a brief history of cycling, to a tour of the various cycling subcultures, to some guidance on how to perform basic bike maintenance tasks. The Snob also addresses the "real world" of urban cycling today: what it's like to try to control your temper when a car nearly kills you in traffic, or how to stay warm and dry in a winter rain. And although The Snob avoids organized "bicycle advocacy" efforts (and explains why in his book), he manages to deliver some solid pro-bicycle messages of his own: "Telling cyclists to get out of the road is like telling women to get of the voting booth and go back into the kitchen, or telling Japanese-American people to 'Go back to China.' The ignorance inherent in the statement is almost more offensive than the sentiment behind it.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun on two wheelz! May 10, 2010
By John
I don't read BikeSnobNYC's blog, and the few times I've checked it out it was a little too all over the place for me to really get into.

The Bike Snob book, on the other hand, is nearly as much fun as riding itself. It's relatively brief but will leave you satisfied with a solid little knowledge of the history of bicycles and bicycle-related subcultures, why to do certain things and not other things on/with your bike, and how to maximize the fun (and utility) of cycling.

BikeSnobNYC is enormously clever, makes plenty of fun similes ranging from spot-on ("In a lot of ways, being a cyclist is like being a vampire. ... Both cyclists and vampires are cultural outcasts with cult followings who clumsily walk the line between cool and dorky.") to a hilarious stretch ("The Urban Cyclist is one of the very few groups of cyclists among whom cigarette smoking is not only acceptable but considered "cool," which is sort of like being really into performance cars but driving around with rags shoved up your tailpipe."), and overall just seems like a good guy. He has clearly thought about every in and out of cycling more than pretty much anyone, and really does make some strong arguments for being conscientious about your life with a bicycle, as well as life in general.

The author isn't out to make you feel stupid, or to give you a step-by-step on how to become a bike snob. He doesn't have any brands or particular types of bikes to push (although you've got some explaining to do if you ride with handlebars chopped more narrow than your own hips). He seems genuinely interested in getting more people on bikes, and the people who are already on bikes to be on their bikes more often. Overall it's just a very enjoyable read, and will encourage you to bike more and to think more.

My only complaint is that the included stickers are not very waterproof. Where would I stick one but on my down tube?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ode to bicycling, not bicycles. June 20, 2010
By hj
This book is not a reprisal of BikeSnobNYC's blog. It is a book that is made possible by the blog, and it is a book that many people have tried to write, but few have succeeded in riding the thin line between advocacy and obnoxiousness.

In his blog BikeSnobNYC, has poked fun at all aspects of bicycling subculture for many years. This has earned him a broad and somewhat eclectic following. His writing on the blog is rapier-sharp, but it far toned-down in the book, which is apparently aimed at a wider audience.

This book basically tells why BikeSnob thinks cycling is great; what cycling is all about; and a little bit about how to enjoy life and not get killed on the street.

As a cyclist myself, and a semi-regular reader of BikeSnob's blog, I enjoyed the book immensely. But beyond, that, this is the type of book I would give to my non-cycling friends who just need a little nudge to get them on a two-wheeler of their own.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It!! May 25, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of his blog, but this was a real surprise to me. Very funny of course, but much , much more. A real love letter to cycling, with an historical perspective and just a fun read from beginning to end. You'll end up loving the Snob and being more motivated than ever before to just ride. The Bikesnob uses cycling as a metaphor for life, and his view of life is witty, funny and profound.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore all sub-5 star reviews June 7, 2010
By Carl G.
A wonderful book, it fills a huge gap that nobody else could or would have filled...and if they'd tried, it wouldn't have succeeded nearly as well. It's not a book of facts, though there are facts in it, and although it's billed as a book-o-rants, it's way more than that, I'd say.

If you take it sentence by sentence or section by section, you won't fully appreciate its contribution, which is that here, now, in the midst of sharply dilineated cycling factions, against each other as much as we are against the non-cycling world, BikeSnob shakes us all by the shoulders, gently slaps our faces to get us to snap out of it, and says "Look at what you're doing and laugh at yourself and reexamine everything you think about the totem pole of bike riders."

It is funny, but not trying-too-hard funny, and that's a tough little tiny dot to hit. Eben comes off as casual, one of us, but has a way with words that belies his mid-30s age and his authorookieship. He has a style, it's polished, and I like it a lot. It's a cheap book--$16.95. You'll get many times that out of it in a new personal and global bike perspective, information, and entertainment. A whopping success, I'd say.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun read.
Published 5 days ago by J. Doyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me why I love cycling
The author admits he's a curmudgeon and I have to agree with the caveat that I too am probably a curmudgeon. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Corrinala
5.0 out of 5 stars This a fun read and so many cyclists can relate
This a fun read and so many cyclists can relate. The bike snob has some good humor intertwined in his description of riders which are right on point. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chastity Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great author! Absolutely love the tongue-in-cheek commentary of the...
Great author! Absolutely love the tongue-in-cheek commentary of the bike world. A must read for any and all cyclists who don't take themselves too seriously
Published 1 month ago by Ronnie Twist
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Only problem was it ended too soon.
Published 2 months ago by Frederick trawick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is priceless and really funny....I have met the them all.
Published 2 months ago by TrikeMike
5.0 out of 5 stars I think it's the best of all 3 Bike Snob collection
I think it's the best of all 3 Bike Snob collection. If you like bikes and ride in a big city, go for it.
Published 2 months ago by Alexandre Duayer Chaves
5.0 out of 5 stars Given to a fiend who was vowing to get back ...
Given to a fiend who was vowing to get back on the bike for health reasons. Part of a three book deal.
Published 2 months ago by Boudreaux
3.0 out of 5 stars He says it is ok to ride without a helmet.
As the survivor of a nasty collision with a Ford F150 I lost interest when he said it was OK to ride without a helmet. Read more
Published 3 months ago by shaver
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read. BikeSnobNYC is a pretty funny writer. Full of snark and wit, it's easy to read and enjoyable.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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Topic From this Discussion
Why is this book so overpriced?
According to the BikeSnobNYC website, it is because the initial prinitng has sold out. Since Amazon has no copies to sell until the next prinitng, they can only sell used copies and new copies from other booksellers. Check back in a few weeks and Amazon will have it, or check other booksellers... Read More
Jul 27, 2010 by James T McMillan |  See all 6 posts
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