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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2013
This is a remarkable book: I had the huge tome unpacked and by the end of the second espresso had learned 5 things about chains that so far had eluded me.
Every topic is covered from every angle and there are some very clever "get-you-homes" that I wouldn't have believed possible but are so smart they've got to be true.
Bought as I have just upped my cycling to a second bike and I wanted to learn a little bit more about the mechanics and maintenance of the 900 quid machine I have just purchased: I have already.
It's one of those books that you cannot stop yourself picking up as you go past and selecting at random a topic which invariably ends up illuminating.
It's first use on the workstand will no doubt repay the purchase price and you cannot ask for more than that.
Well pleased.
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on 2 May 2013
This book is extremely well written by someone who clearly knows his stuff. As others have commented, the most surprising thing is the physical format of the book. It is very big with large typeface and excellent illustrations. I really like the way he has divided the various maintenance tasks into three ability levels and explains what tools and equipment you need.

I struggle to see how you could improve on this book unless you had one written for the precise make and model of bike you own.
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on 25 March 2013
Great book that covers everything needed for maintaining a road bike and more. Easy to use sections cover the major areas of the bike and a good diagnostic section for each chapter is really useful. Most major component manufacturers are covered as well as generic types of components. Didn't find the lack of photos to be a hindrance as the expanded illustrations are more than adequate. The writing style makes the contents easily accessible for those without any prior knowledge of bike maintenance or without a knowledge of the technical jargon.
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on 21 June 2006
Liked this book. I know very little about bikes not having had one since age about 16, many moons ago. Just got into biking again and the book has been extremely useful after only having it for a few days
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on 22 February 2015
The thing about maintaining Bikes, especially road bikes, is that you don't get much in the way of instructions with them. If you are practically minded, then you want to do things yourself, but what is the best way to fix a problem, or to keep things healthy?

This book covers almost every base you can imagine with respect to road and cyclocross bikes. I maintain both, with different group sets, braking systems and frame materials. Despite that, this book covers everything I need to know. I have used this as a reference for a number of upgrades and fixes, and it it has never let me down.

It is also worth mentioning that because it is so well written, I have read sections of this book as a reference, simply to learn more about the practical mechanical operation of the subsystems on my bikes. The illustrations are nice, hand drawn in many cases, but really clear.

There is no such thing as a comprehensive guide to anything, but if you want a good technical reference for maintaining a bike, this is the one to start with.

I cant really find any fault with it. A formidable achievement for the author I think, a proper contribution to the understanding of anyone who owns a copy and doesn't already have a knowledge base in the field.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2010
This book is a great source of information. To date my mountain bike hasn't needed any maintenance since it's first service (it's only 9 months old) but I've often been concerned about what I'd do if it did break on me. If I could get it home it's a short walk to a bike shop where they can service or fix it, but if it broke down 15 miles from home that's a long way to push or carry it back.

The guy at my local bike shop I had come to trust didn't seem to be there much and his replacement seemed more interested in selling me stuff than making sure it was the right stuff for me, so I was reluctant to ask his advice. So I bought this book. I'm balanced between a geek who wants to dismantle everything to see how it works, to being reluctant to take parts off in case they don't go back properly. But reading this makes it clear that I can do what's needed, and the tools to fix the bike to a point I can get it back home come what may aren't daunting and aren't intimidating.

Despite having precisely no experience of doing anything with a bike beyond riding it and cleaning it - the biggest adjustment I've made to date is changing the height of the (quick release) saddle - this book really gives me the confidence to take to the bike with spanners and screwdrivers. Although I haven't had to actually put it to the test yet I can see the pictures and descriptions in the book, compare them to what I see on my bike, and have the confidence to do what's needed.

The book has different sections about different aspects of the bike - the brakes, the gears, and so on. It also has a section on repairs in the field (i.e. how to do enough to get home safely even if you then need to fix it properly) and comments on general trail safety (much of which sounds like common sense but casualty figures might suggest otherwise). It uses diagrams rather than photos, which is good because you can see what parts to expect to encounter and in what order.

It also gives four levels of tool sets required. Level 1 is the most basic, consisting largely of spanners and screwdrivers. Level 4 is the most advanced, which is the kind of thing you might want if you're doing bike maintenance for a living. The vast majority of the processes described are level 1, and it includes clear icons in the text to show if it's a higher level. That gives people like me an early warning to just take the bike to the shop for service rather than getting out of my depth and ending up taking a bag of bits to the bike shop for reassembly.

Just for good measure the guy I trust at my local bike shop is back. This is the guy who spent half an hour talking to me about bike tools and instead of selling me what he had, gave me lots of advice, gave me some pointers what to look for online and said he could order what I needed - he must know as well as I do that there's nothing to stop me looking online and then buying from someone who will undercut him. When I mentioned that I'd bought this book he left me in no doubt I'd done the right thing.
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on 4 May 2014
This is pretty much my review as for the mountain bike version but changed to be specific to this version, exactly what Zinn has done with this book!

I've purchased this book as there were some maintenance tasks I wanted to carry out on my road bike, the book itself is a good broad guide to road bike repair and maintenance and covers all maintenance tasks that most home mechanics would like to carry out.

Since buying this book I found I had a few tasks I wanted to do on my mountain bike so I bought the mountain bike book, unfortunately having got this book I'm finding that there is lots of duplication between the two books and not enough detail on some of the topics I would like to see in a mountain bike book which would be things like maintaining suspension shocks which is covered but very briefly for a few specific types.

If you already have the road bike edition then searching online is probably better than buying the mountain bike book, however what I would like to see would be a "Zinn and the complete book of bike maintenance" which covers both road and mountain.
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on 18 April 2013
Bought this after being thoroughly disappointed with Haynes' so-called "complete" bike maintenance book. Okay, so this is road bike specific (although Zinn does MTB books too AFAIK) but I can safely say that all the useful information contained in the Haynes book could easily fit in ten pages of this one. Everything's clearly set out and the hand-drawn illustrations are a joy. In comparison the gratuitous (and not very good) photo overload of the Haynes just looks like a half-job because, compared to this, that's exactly what it is.
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on 14 May 2013
This is a clearly articulated, well illustrated, and comprehensive bike maintenance book. It breaks down the different bike maintenance tasks into different sections (i.e. wheels, chain, headset, shifters, etc.) and within these sections, distinguishes between easier to more challenging tasks. These range from, for example, fixing a puncture or adjusting breaks, right up to wheel building or the full overhaul of Campagnolo Ergopower shifters! Maintenance or installation tasks are described in clear prose, often side-by-side with an exploded diagram of the part in question. I've found the book to be an invaluable reference resource (together with Sheldon Brown of course) as I've attempted to build up a bike from a frame and set of forks, with few existing bike mechanic skills. Highly recommended.
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on 22 September 2013
To say that this maintenance book is detailed would be an understatement, however sometimes less is more, and although it is infinitely superior to the Haynes manual and several other so-called bike maintenance 'bibles' I have used, I have found that the 'several different options for each problem' approach can be somewhat baffling, particularly for someone like me who is very much a beginner in the world of bike maintenance.
Having said that, if you have even a little knowledge, this is certainly the text that will enable you to build on that, and if you have (a lot of) time to spare, you'll find there's nothing you'll come across maintenance-wise that this bad boy won't have some information or advice on. Plus it's excellent as a door-stop in winter.
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