Complete Bike Book by Chris Sidwells

Sidwells Complete Bike BookChris Sidwells delivers on his promise in the Complete Bike Book: almost nothing escapes this professional rider’s purview. From the most fundamental questions (“Why cycle?”) to the literal nuts and bolts of bike maintenance, this all-around guide has it covered. In an era when the printed book seems antiquated, or in search of ever-more specialized niches, Complete Bike reminds us of the value that well-illustrated handbooks still can offer!

The Complete Bike Book should find place on any beginning cyclist’s shelf. Yes, in the Internet era it is a throwback to the all-in-one handbooks of yesteryear (like Eugene Sloan’s Complete Book of Bicycle Maintenance), but there is no substitute for plentiful pictures and diagrams that handbook demystify the ins and outs of cycling. And it’s not only for the beginner; the experienced cyclist will find it a refresher course – particularly in the maintenance arena.

But the value here is for the newbie. Back in my day, bikes came in two general flavors: ‘road’ bikes and street bikes. The road bike came in many flavors but were mostly variations on the triangular, butted-tube steel frame which varied in spec between racing and touring configurations. The mass-market street bike (the kind in any garage) found an enormous market, peaking in the 1970s, and ever since on the decline in the face of a fragmented market of specialty biked.

Sidwells Complete Bike Book inside

Sidwells offers an overview of bike types that will be very helpful to the new purchaser bewildered by the avalanche of new bike types (to say nothing of brands and accessories). Familiar with the Audax or the Randonneur? Know the difference between a BMX and a trials bike? If not, then Sidwells has a book for you!

Mastering Cycling by John Howard

mastering cyclng book coverMastering Cycling by John Howard is a useful overview of cycling that offers a user-friendly tour though all the key areas from bike fit to post-ride stretch. In between are helpful chapters on nutrition and workout variation so that we aging cyclists can keep up that bone density. ‘Aging cyclists’? Yep – this is one of the few cycling books to look at the sport and recreation from the ‘experienced’ rider’s perspective. Continue reading

It’s All About the Bike

Robert Penn’s purchase of the ultimate midlife-crisis toy, a custom bicycle built around a bespoke frame, is the premise for his joy-filled ‘It’s All About the Bike,’ a journey though the history, characters, and innovations that have produced what we know as the modern bicycle. This story is above all an expression of his own joy of cycling, one that will be shared by readers inclined toward two-wheel transportation. Continue reading