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Bike Tribes

3.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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  • Bike Tribes A Field Guide
  • Mike Magnuson
  • Outdoor Ethics And Wisdom
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  • Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists
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Are you a stylish urban hipster? How about a leg-waxed road racer? Grouchy shop owner? Find out which cycling "tribe" you belong to with Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists

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  • ASIN: B016DS9HGU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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First and foremost, I really enjoyed this book. Bike Tribes was a quick read, only took me roughly two sittings to finsh, and was predictable within the sterotypes of the wide spectrum of cyclists. I did not purchase the book, but found the book at my local library. The way the entire group of cyclists represented were all from the same fictional town setting added to flow of the book greatly. I would recommend Bike Tribes to other cyclists who enjoy a good laugh at each others expense.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book keeps it light and doesn't take itself too seriously, all the while being an entertaining read. As another reviewer stated this is a short read, probably about 3-4 hours tops.

If you are already a member of one of these "tribes" chances are you aren't going to be learning anything new about the other "tribes" discussed. Alot of this is regurgitated stereotypes but put into an entertaining format by loosely interweaving the interactions of the members of each group. The illustrations and descriptions of each group were especially entertaining to me and rang pretty true about most of these groups.

I'd say the book was an entertaining enough read but did seem a bit short and not fully fleshed out. Overall, this is a great light-hearted quick read and proved entertaining to me as a recent bicycle commuter convert.
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By Doctor Moss on November 22, 2012
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A fast, pleasant read. There's nothing especially deep about Mike Magnuson's portrayals of the different types of cyclists -- everything from hardcore roadies, to commuters, to beach cruisers, to BMX riders, and mechanics and store managers thrown in for the heck of it. But it's fun to reflect on all the different types of riders and how you may or may not fit the stereotypes.

Magnuson has an easy writing style. He's written novels (notably The Right Man for the Job) and, more relevantly, many contributions to Bicycling magazine and other cycling and outdoor sports related magazines. Here he won't challenge you as a reader. He may make you cringe a bit if you find yourself closely resembling one or another of his sketches of cycling types, but, even there, he sticks to the positive -- he's no Bike Snob NYC.

I read the book in a couple of pretty short sessions, on rainy no-riding days. A nice diversion, nothing more, nothing less. If you want something more biting, try Bike Snob.
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Mike Magnuson is, among other things, a regular contributor to Bicycling Magazine. This is where I became familiar with his writing. I've now read a few of his books and was eager to pick this one up. He has an simple, but artful, way with words that he uses to great effect here to gently lampoon the various groups of cyclists that he calls "Tribes". If you are a cyclist yourself, I'll bet you will see yourself in one (or more)of these Tribes. If not, you will certainly recognize some of the other two-wheeled types around you. If cycling has any interest for you at all, then "Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists" is well worth your time. It is an entertaining, breezy read.
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Let me first say that I generally like Magnuson's writing style, and enjoyed Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180 quite a bit. That said, while this book has an interesting premise, he completely phoned-in the execution. He took a bunch of worn-out stereotypes (snobby roadies, triathletes who hate to ride, laid-back mountain bikers...) and tied them together loosely. Did this book need to be written? Was it worth the price? Did I learn anything? The answer is a resounding no.

Take your money and spend it on something infinitely more useful, like bicycle chain oil or bar tape.
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Ok, ok, we get it. Mountain bikers are relaxed fun loving dudes
and the road racers are uptight competitors (I do a little of
everything, so I'm not just taking it personally).

But seriously, I never run into people that are anywhere
near what are portrayed... The competitive guys on a
weekly ride still wait for the beginners on the new $400
bikes. The guy that tells me "nice bike" while riding
next to me for a bit, I find out later that he owns a $10m jet.
Half the people on mountain bikes are hitting the road later
in the week. The committed new road biker that I lend a tube
to turns out to be a longshoreman pushed into biking
by a DUI. The guy I met touring around the state is really a
homeless guy looking to expand his horizons.

Basically, the writer pigeon-holes everyone into shallow categories,
writes something pithy about their relationship to biking,
and thinks it's a book. Why not write a book about some
real characters?

bikesnobs books were a lot better, and actually attempted
a little insight.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read a pre-review of this in some magazine a number of months ago, so I pre-ordered, and had high hopes for this. Literature I wasn't expecting, but I did expect to be entertained, and I did expect to read some insight, and a few surprises.

I'm sorry to say that I received little of what I was hoping for.

The idea was good, the execution wasn't, in my opinion Mr. Magnuson had a great idea for a magazine article, and then made that idea into a book, the idea is better served in a much shorter format.

There were a few clever thoughts, and good ideas in here, but they were few and far between

I don't want to demean anyone's efforts, writing a book, and getting it published is a major accomplishment, kudo's for that.

Mr. Magnuson obviously loves cycling, as I do, again, great idea, but really repetitious.
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