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on 8 October 2007
This book could be a very lot better.
It goes on in detail about history, tips, general knowledge and tells to carry a spare bike around with you for spares, but is brief on the maintenance instructions.
There are many photos but all are minute, dark and impossible to see.
It is written specifically for mountain bikes but does not cover some popular systems.
The book progresses to advanced rebuilding of the bike, which I think has gone too far, and I would have preferred more detail on the standard and basic maintenance.

Really this book should have and could have been a very lot better. There has got to be better books out there for the general mountain biker.
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on 13 October 2008
At first glance I was convinced that this book was going to be great. However, when I started to read it properly I was left asking a million questions!
The layout of the book is quite good with each section starting with an introduction and explanation about the part or system being looked at. After the intro is a step by step guide of how to change / fix / maintain the part or system being looked at, and has photo's to accompany each step being discussed. Unfortunately this is where the problem lies. Each 'step' is not fully explained because a photo is squeezed in to sit next to it, and each photo is not shown in enough detail because there is text at the side of it! A Catch-22 situation that would probably be resolved by bigger pages, allowing a larger photo and more text.

If the book is aimed at beginners then they would be lost (as was I). If the book is aimed at more experienced bike maintainers then they would already know the basics that are being covered in this book.

How I wish the book was better - it has so much promise! I could not get any value from this book and I will probably ebay it to some unfortunate person :-(
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on 22 January 2011
I would echo the comments of the previous reviewers. This could / should have been great. The presentation and package really looks to fit the bill. However, it suffers from the Author / Editors not knowing their target audience. As jcmaikido says, a beginner would be confused and anyone who knew enough to not be confused wouldn't need the book in the first place. Only with a great deal of re reading and guesstimation, did I manage to carry out some of the repairs mentioned. It does have its uses but whole sections are rendered pretty much useless by this major issue.

If you've ever been frustrated (or like me given up) when reading software help files - you know, the ones that spend hours telling you how to open the program and do all the other really obvious stuff. Then also go into great contortions explaining things that are so complex that anyone who knows what it means doesnt need the info. Yet the middle ground seems to have been mysteriously overlooked and you find yourself wondering why something that zillions of people must all be trying to find out how to do - has been so blatantly omitted. Guy Andrews obviously knows his stuff when it comes to the subject, but he doesnt seem to have thought through who will be buying & reading this; hence he ends up falling short of his aims.

A missed opportunity.
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