A comprehensive guide to choosing, buying and owning a bicycle. In addition it contains sections on riding in traffic, cross-country, competition riding, and the history and politics of cycling.
This book makes one proud to be a cyclist Mike Burrows, designer of Chris Boardmans Olympic Gold Medal monocoque bicycle
We pedallers treat Richards Bicycle Book more seriously than the Bible Jonathan Sale, The Guardian
Richards 21st Century Bicycle Book is the definitive guide to cycling from choosing the right bicycle for you, to using it for mountain biking, commuting and competing, fitness and pleasure, to maintenance for comfort, reliability, and top performance.
First published in 1972, Richards Bicycle Book became a classic which inspired millions of cyclists. Now completely revised and updated to lead cycling into the new millennium, Richards 21st Century Bicycle Book covers the latest innovations in cycle design, from suspension systems and disc brakes, to compact lightweight folders and cargo bikes, to aerodynamic superbikes and swift, all-weather human-powered vehicles.
Cycling is economical, ecological and most importantly great fun this book confirms that pedal power is, quite simply, the only way forward into the 21st Century.
However, as a recent convert to a Mountain Bike, I was looking for something similar, but somewhat more up to date. I ended up with a couple of books by Leonard Zinn, and something called Mountain Biking Skills - all of which are excellent books as far as I can tell. But they all assume you know the basics. For example, they all refer to "spinning", but assume you know what that means.
Richard's new book provides that information. It has the basics, and goes much further than that in that it explains why and how as well as what. And it is not just about mountain bikes. It gives equal time to all bicycles - road, commuter, track, mountain, recumbent & HPV.
But do not get me wrong, it is not just a book for beginners. For example, it is the only book I have found so far that not only talks about how to shift, but also how to select ratios, determine what you have and determine what you need, and then build and maintain it.
The guy is obviously a cycling fanatic, but he presents his ideas pragmatically and intelligently. I wish I had found this book two years ago (obviously not possible without a time machine), but am glad I have found it now. Can anyone tell me how to give it 6 stars out of 5?
Along with all this, he suggests that cycling is not just a pastime or a way of getting from A to B, but a way of seeing the world. To ride is to experience a degree of freedom no other form of transport will allow - you set your own pace, and you don't need to worry about traffic jams or petrol stops. Cyclists know their surroundings more intimately than motorists or riders on public transport; but they can travel much further than people who walk.
The seemingly irrelevant bits are part of an argument: cycling can be the starting-point for a freer, happier and more rational way of living and thinking. To a lot of readers, this may seem cranky, "religious". Spend some time reading Richard's and riding your bike; you may begin to wonder if it isn't just common sense.