Bike Maintenance Books

I suppose anyone who has been into biking even for a little while attempts to do some maintenance on their bikes.  I know I have.  That’s problematical, because I’m no great shakes when it comes to anything with tools.

So, being the academic I am, I turned to a book.  In my case, it’s the Bicycling Magazine Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes by Todd Downs.  It’s been helpful to a certain extent.  I used it to guide me through some derailleur adjustments earlier this summer, and they turned out pretty well.

Some of the other adjustment and repair jobs detailed in the book are beyond the scope of my abilities — at least for now.  And while the derailleur adjustment chapter was easy to follow, others don’t seem as clear to me.  Maybe it’s just me.

A friend once told me his favorite bicycle repair manual is the Yellow Pages — for the number of his LBS.

Have you latched onto a particularly good bike maintenance book? — one you would recommend to a friend?  Tell us about it.




  1. johnt says

    I barely graduated high school so the bike maintenance books are a little beyond me. I watch the how to videos before I try anything. I’ve watched the how to change a flat video many times and I still struggle. Check out “”

  2. Jeff says

    Funny, but I just got that same book in a deal when I renewed my Bicycling subscription. It helped me strip my daughter’s bike and put it back together after we painted it, but I agree that some explanations seem better than others. I think Jim Langley has a good book out, but haven’t looked at it. Price was right on the one you mentioned, so going to see how it works out, although I do like to check out the videos online as well before I tackle anything.

  3. says

    I’ve got the Zinn book as well and think it’s pretty dang awesome. I think it would walk me through anything I wanted to try. The limiting factor in a lot of repairs for me is having the right tool for the job. I’ve purchased a few that seemed make sense, but there are some things (hub rebuilds, for example) that I figured would just require a visit to the LBS.

  4. Matt says

    I’ve found the Park Tool book (Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair) handy – I keep it on my workbench for quick reference. Beyond that, I tend to go to Google, and then to bike-focused forums online. Often I can find answers in old forum threads – if not, I’ll ask in a new thread.

    For anyone who has used several books – were others better than the Park book? I’ve found it doesn’t have everything I want but is solid on what’s in there (what I want would probably be a 500-page volume!).

  5. says

    Hey Bike Noob – I recently created an iPhone and Android app called Bike Doctor that shows you how to do 24 common bike repairs. Would you be keen to take a look?

  6. says

    Over the winter, ask you LBS to teach you how to fix things. Pick one, pay him his hourly rate, then do it a few times. Repeat with another part of the bike.

    Bike mechanics is very very easy once someone shows you how to do it.

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