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Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book [Paperback]

Richard Ballantine
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Oct 2000
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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; 4th Revised edition edition (6 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330377175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330377171
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 18.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 456,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

¿Packed with facts¿marvellous¿ ¿ Observer
‘The best guide to bikes and cycling ever published’ – Bike Events

‘This book makes one proud to be a cyclist’ – Mike Burrows, designer of Chris Boardman’s Olympic Gold Medal monocoque bicycle

‘We pedallers treat Richard’s Bicycle Book more seriously than the Bible’ – Jonathan Sale, The Guardian

Richard’s 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, Richard’s Bicycle Book became a classic which inspired millions of cyclists. Now completely revised and updated to lead cycling into the new millennium, Richard’s 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In the late 70's, I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of Richard's Bicycle Book, 1978 edition, which told me everything I needed to know to setup and maintain my 10 (well, actually 12) speed bike. [I still own this edition - probably a collectors piece now, except it is well thumbed...]
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?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything is relevant 3 July 2005
By A Customer
If, like the reader from Paris, you're just looking for a book that tells you how to twiddle the screws on your bike, Richard's may not be the book for you. If you're looking for a book that helps you to understand how to ride the bike and, more importantly, how to enjoy riding a bike, Richard's is the only book. Richard Ballantine gives essential advice on how to choose a bike to suit you, how to behave in traffic, and how, little by little, to extend your capacities - to become a fitter, safer, cleverer cyclist.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was described as "good condition" and it was even better than that. It's a wide-ranging yet detailed review of cycling past present and future and it really is both informative and interesting. I would highly recommend this as a great coffee-table book and of course it's by the one and only Richard Ballantine, so you know you can completely trust what he says.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book 10 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hardly a patch (no pun) on the 20th Century version I bought in 1985. Both were from the publishers Pan but the first was better in every respect for its time, when the inclusion of prices and source addresses was often found in books. These are now rapidly outdated,of course, but what doesn't change is the unique blend of writing quality allied with outstanding layout and line illustration of the 1985 edition. The later version still echoes Richard Ballantine's great writing skills but is a poor vehicle for them in every other respect.
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