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The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair: For Road & Mountain Bikes Paperback – September 28, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

TODD DOWNS has been a self-taught, full-time wrench since 1989. Downs has been published in Dirt Rag magazine. He lives in Austin, TX.

BICYCLING connects with millions of active, affluent professionals for whom cycling is the centerpiece of a vibrant, experiential lifestyle. Its unique combination of travel, gear, fitness, style, and award-winning stories brings the sport to life for passionate readers.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road & Mountain Bikes
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 6 edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160529487X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605294872
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book provides adequate descriptions of most basic maintenance and repair issues but the images and diagrams are of such poor resolution that they are virtually USELESS, even on an iPad with retina display and iPhone 5. I purchased this digital edition, instead of a book format like the Park Big Blue Book, so that I could have a smaller format to take with me when I bike. All of the images are fuzzy and difficult or impossible to view adequately to be of any use. It would have been so easy to have high quality images, but obviously the author and publisher don't care. There must be better alternatives out there, so keep looking, because you will regret this purchase if you like visual representations to help guide you in your repairs and maintenance.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book to assist me in learning how to work on my bike. The book does cover a lot of areas, however, it does so in a very cursory manner. For example, I was replacing my chain. The book is very good about how to break your chain, or take it apart, but completely neglects to instruct a user how to install a new chain and is missing information like chain sizing and how to properly place your chain through your rear derailleur. Another example is front derailleur information, the coverage is cursory at best and a now obvious issue I was having wasn't even covered in the book, I had to go to Youtube. While this book does feature 'links' to online content, the online videos are just as bad and as cursory. Thus far I have replaced my entire drive train and found this book to be maddeningly insufficient in detail. I doubt I will go back to it when I need to work on other areas of my bike.

This book is a waste of money. All the information contained in this book can be had on the internet, specifically parktool.com and youtube videos. I thought this would add something about and beyond what the internet provides, sadly I was mistaken.

Bottom line, if you want some basic knowledge grab this book, but even doing simple tasks on your bike this book won't be of help and you will find yourself looking to the internet for more help or your LBS.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I decided to buy this book after reading the good reviews, I was looking for a fairly basic book to help me with bicycle maintenance and some easy repairs or adjustments, like how to adjust a rear derailleur, etc. I am very disappointed, the book is filled with technical language, there are a series of photos with little or no legend, which makes it very difficult or impossible to understand and follow the instructions, annotated graphics would have helped a lot instead.
if you are a professional and familiar with bike repair, then this book probably makes sense, but then, do you really need this book?
otherwise if you are like me, with very limited technical knowledge, you are better off with something more basic and/or better explained with helpful graphics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My comments relate only to the electronic download version, not the printed copy. While the written info might be good, the VERY small photos are nearly useless. I am not sure the file I downloaded was properly converted from the written version and perhaps something happened to minimize the instructional photos. I would return it if I could and buy the printed version.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The website Bicycle Commuters Guide recommended this book. I haven't worked much on bicycles in over 25 years and have they changed. It was time to do some maintenance on my 6 year old Comfort bike and did this book help out. For instance I never heard of a cone wrench. The book has good explanations along with pictures. I'm glad I bought it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book for two months now. It is completely covered in grease and has taught me a lot about my bike.

I still use Park Tool's website, Sheldon Brown's website, and youtube videos, but having this right there at my bike is a great help. Between those resources I eventually get everything figured out. I'm saving way more money than this book costs in repair and service charges already.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is much more up-to-date than my Clymer "Fix Your Bicycle" manual, but that was written in the '70s, and the technology has advanced some since then... though not a lot.

Be that as it may, the proofreading for this Kindle edition (maybe even the printed ed.) is far inferior. I started to make "notes" to try to explain (to myself & others) that 181/4" actually means 18x1/4" or eighteen 1/4 inch ball bearings, rather than 181/4", which would be about 45.25". Sloppiness like that may be forgivable in a romance paperback, but it makes life difficult when trying to understand a repair manual.

Yes, I can make allowances for missing "spaces", and I have... but, I don't like it, especially when they happen as often as they do in this manual. I gave up "making notes". As I suggested, this is just sloppy editing. I'm pretty sure that there is "NO EDITING" in this day and age, as we all fall into the morass of "blogging", "texting", and "Instant Messaging" with their attendant shortened (mis)spellings and general lack of grammar and punctuation. That's all cool, especially the entertaining abbreviations like IMHO, ROTFLMAO, etc., but it does not belong in a repair manual. But, I digress.

Standard Disclaimers Apply; I haven't read the whole manual, but I am, so far, disappointed in its lack of professionalism. The author may know how to wrench on a bike (He seems to "know his stuff"), but he ain't no Shakespeare (bad analogy... I can't understand Shakespeare, either). You need to know that this is a poorly edited manual with many "typos" and other problems. Is it worth $10? We-e-l-l-l... I kinda' agree with the reviewer that said you can get better info online... for free... but be careful... you can get much worse info online, too. I like Sheldon Brown's website [...], too, though it's a bit difficult to find what you want there. Wha-a-a-t? Vietnamese women? WTF?

Lor'nce (aka Buellist, aka Konservativ Anarkist)
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