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Bicycling Magazine's Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills : Your Guide to Riding Faster, Stronger, Longer, and Safer Paperback – Bargain Price, January 15, 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Maybe you're a novice who has yet to squeeze into that first pair of sexy Lycra shorts. Or perhaps you're a seasoned racer who is seeking ways to become stronger and faster. Whatever the case, you will be well served by Ed Pavelka's comprehensive guide, which takes the reader on a highly readable ride through road cycling--from the basics of handling and maintenance to the subtle intricacies of racing. Instead of asking the reader to take his word on every subject, Pavelka has gathered a cast of Olympians and renowned mechanics to tackle whichever topic reflects his or her strongest suit. Besides the basics, chapters also include in-depth advice on sprinting, hill climbing, using heart monitors effectively, training indoors during the wintry months, and even surviving your commute in the concrete jungle. If that's not enough, Pavelka has devoted an entire section to medical concerns, including overtraining, sore knees, and saddle sores. --Ben Tiffany

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"In this book are all the basic techniques and skills we use in pro road racing, translated for fast recreational riders."--Ron Kiefel, former pro cyclist

"Bicycling magazine has assembled the most comprehensive book about road cycling in recent years. Everything you need to know about this wonderful sport is clearly presented and easy to put to use."--Alex Stieda, first North American to lead the Tour de France

"Cycling is a sport to be enjoyed for a lifetime. Learn from the experts, test your limits, then go explore the world."--Karen Kurreck, former world time trial champion
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc. (January 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875964869
  • ASIN: B001RTSFNC
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,785,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long-time car driver who just made the 'switch' to cycle commuting, I had a lot of anxieties regarding safe and intelligent operation of a bicycle on roads shared with automobiles. This book served the purpose admirably and got me riding safe and sane on the streets of Manhattan, something I wouldn't have believed possible a couple months ago.
There are sections on how to equip your bike, how to follow the rules of the road, and tips and tricks bikers need to know to coexist safely in traffic. There are also sections on what to eat and drink, how to train effectively to increase your abilities, and how to get into serious long-distance touring - things which I hadn't originally been interested in but which were fun to read about. I think what I liked best about the book was that it was clearly written by enthusiasts who've spent a lot of time riding and a lot of time thinking about how to convey their skills and enthusiasms to the public.
If I had a criticism, it'd be that the book suffers by being a collection of separate magazine articles not originally intended for publication in this form, so some information is repeated and coherence is sort of loose. But it's not a major criticism and I'd recommend the book anyway.
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Format: Paperback
Being new to road biking I wanted a book that covered the basics as well as one that gave guidance as to how I could improve once over the initial stage of riding. This book is very comprehensive in this regard. It is particularly useful in some of the training areas in that it makes suggestions that are not too overly structured, as some books are inclined to do, but at the same time maintain the overall training effect.It reinforces this approach by relating training regimes with real life experiences of riders, rather than adopt a "textbook" approach.I found the book extremely useful and fully recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess for $11-12 you can take your chances with the book, but I don't believe you will learn much from it unless you are absolutely new to bicycling. But even then do not expect too much. As another reviewer said, many suggestions are rather simplistic and dubious. 'Breathing through your nose' is one of them. And there are such parts as how to avoid a rock on the road. It takes the authors about 120 words to tell you how to do that. If you thought that there is some magic to their advice--there is none, their point can be reduced to "first turn the handlebar to one side, then correct your balance by quickly turning the other way." And there are four pages devoted to listing food you can get in fast food restuarants or convenience stores. I am sure you need a book to tell you that Arby's sells Light Roast Turkey Deluxe and Taco Bell has soft chicken taco without cheese. In general, what they cover on about 200 pages could be explained in 1/4 of that (or less). Further, the book is very uneven, sometimes it treats you like an idiot and sometimes gives you advice that is more appropriate for serious riders (several hundred miles a week). Considering that it has been written by the editors of "Bicycling Magazine," it is rather embarrassing... Again, $11-12 is not much today so try if you want, you may learn a thing or two, but maybe you should explore other titles first.
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Format: Paperback
This book is broken down into short chapters which can each be read in about three to five minutes. Like Bicycling magazine itself, it manages to be accurate and somewhat helpful, albeit completely insubstantial. I found that reading this book inspired me to ride, which is always a good thing. The subject of road cycling, however, is treated in such a superficial and scattershot manner that the book will probably be of little long term benefit. Like a cliff bar, it's sugary, fast acting, short term fuel for the road.
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Format: Paperback
This book seems more concerned with anecdotes about professional cyclists than it is with providing information for the recreational cyclist. It has way too much crowing by the author about his cycling exploits and some dubious advice ("Breathe through your nose.") There is some mystifying blather ("The modern-day road ride is a big-ring hammerfest, where style and form disappear as riders start getting blown off the back when the action heats up.") and an interview with some guy who rides 1,000 miles a week-worthless for the average rider. Some good advice about hydration and safety but not much else.
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Format: Paperback
Some have criticized this book as if it has little useful to say. But, I found it quite helpful, and I have been cycling for most of the last forty years.

I bought the book because I wanted to dust off my bicycle again after a dozen sedentary years. The last book on cycling I read was Eugene Sloan's "Complete Book of Bicycling." I would say the subtitle is very descriptive of what this book offers: "Your Guide to Riding Faster, Stronger, Longer, and Safer."

The book is written by people who race bicycles. They explain that many training techniques for racing used wisely will make the touring cyclist a much better rider. I found some of the suggestions about when to drink how much water and caution against overreaching and overtraining to be very helpful, but those were not the only things. I can endorse the encouragement to work for smoothness in pedalling as well as a higher cadence in a lower gear instead of lugging it in a gear that is just a little too high.

Because of extra years and extra pounds it will be a while before I can reap all of the benefits I might from this book.
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