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3.9 out of 5 stars
Cycling For Dummies
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
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I cycled very regularly, and very far, in my teens but took a good twenty year break from this very satisfying activity. I've taken it up again over the last couple of years mainly for commuting, so I'd call myself an experienced cyclist and maybe that results in my dissatisfaction with this book. I think I was spoiled in my previous cycling existence by the availability of the completely excellent "Richards Bicycle Book" (circa 1970s). I still own this yellowing, oil-stained and much thumbed book, and although it is quite a bit out of date for current technologies - cycling equipment has advanced a surprising amount in the intervening 40 years - it is still far, far superior to this book in almost every category: types of bike, cycling styles, gear, touring, racing, even mountain-biking. Most especially that book contained a detailed, diagram-laden, maintenance guide, a vital component of any book of this type as far as I'm concerned; there is a maintenance section in this book (chapters 17 and 18) but it is so vague as to be almost useless and there is hardly a diagram in sight. Frustratingly there isn't even a picture of a Schrader valve compared to a Presta valve.
There is a section on fitness which is interesting, even to me who never gets overly excited about such things, dealing with things like HRMax and VO2s and such stuff, informative and not something that is dwelled on in Richards Bicycle book - I'm not sure they knew about that sort of thing in the seventies to be honest.
Very much for beginners - could do better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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It's aimed primarily at beginners and covers almost everything from choosing a bike, carrying gear through to diet with sections on essential maintenance while also sharing tips and good, reliable trustworthy advice throughout..

In a few places, I felt it had missed its market somewhat. I feel the 'Dummies' range of books are aimed largely at the beginners market by starting with the basics then moving to more advanced stuff but I felt the section relating to diet, calorie deficit and 'VO2 max' was taking things a little too far for a book of this type. Instead I would have expected more information re, for example, the pros and cons of different bike styles, different wheel sizes (eg the 20" folders vs the larger 29'ers 29" wheels) and a lot more on essential and everyday basic maintenance such as repairing a puncture. This section was relatively scant and rather surprisingly for a beginners book, didn't even include any diagrams to supplement the instructions for puncture repair, fitting a wheel, replacing brake blocks or an inner tube. Incredibly, there wasn't even a simple illustration of a derailleur which can be one of the fiddliest components any cycling newcomer will need some guidance with. If ever a section was crying out for some simple sketches, then this is it!

The section on touring and exploring was especially informative and this, combined with the list of routes at the back may well inspire readers to go a little further. It's certainly tempted me to tackle a few longer routes and reminded me of some shorter routes, eg the Devon Tarka Trail, which I had actually forgotten about.

It's a good book for someone taking up cycling as a hobby but I'd like to have seen a little less on the lycra and a lot more diagrams.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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I am not too sure who the book is directed at as it deals with the period before buying a bike right up to after purchase to maintaining it. Reason I say that is I can't see many people buying this before they have the bike. I might be wrong but I tend to think that this book should be divided into two volumes, Dummy's guide to buying a bike and Cycling for Dummies. In fact the name suggests you have a bike, don't you think?

The book is enjoyable to read. I am a fan of the Dummies books. First thing O do is look for the jokes. I was unhappy here as there aren't any at the beginning of the chapters! What has happened!

Notwithstanding the book is easy to read, easy to follow and you can dip in as and when.

Covers a lot of areas I have never previously seen in books on bikes, like Fuelling your cycle - ie what diet you should have. Brilliant, though it's the same diets for all "athletes, but if you are new to exercise it's a good guide.

The other thing, which is great about this book, is that it isn't for an American audience. It's for a British audience.

If you are new to cycling, or just get reacquainted with your bike, this is a good value read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Firstly I have to say that I have been commute cycling to work for many years now so I am not sure that I am strictly speaking one of the titular dummies the books title refers to-though many who have come across me over those years may disagree. Consequently much of this book I have just flicked past without reading because ....well frankly I do not feel the need to.
However I wanted to gain a bit more confidence in dealing with mechanical issues on my bike which crop up with rather depressing regularity . I recently had a real issue with punctures on my front tyre which only after my rather vocal intervention was solved by replacing the front tyre completely .To be honest i doubt having this book then would have really helped either but I might have been rather more forthcoming with my assertions earlier.
Anyway I feel this book might do and provide help , when and if I need it , but overall I would say that this book is not the all encompassing literary answer I am looking for. I think it is safe to day either Bike Repair and Maintenance For Dummies or The Bike Book: Complete Cycle Maintenance would have been better for my needs.
Not that this will not prove useful for novices , which to be fair is who I think it is aimed at .Though having said that ,advice on coping with potholes should just be -do not drive over potholes .
So in summary then......well ....I have got the wrong book. It was free on the Vine programme so no monetary loss but would say only choose this if you are starting out as a cyclist-then it could be genuinely useful. The road awareness section, for instance, is really good for this . For experienced or even part-time cyclists I feel a lot of what it offers will be stuff you are already well aware of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2013
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Given the experience I've had with the 'for dummies' line in the past, I was hoping that this book would apply the trademark simplistic style to some hands-on topics. Regrettably, the section on maintenance is something of a let-down with some rather vague descriptions and little in the way of diagrams. I feel that this section in particular could use major expansion at the expense of others - there's rather more discussion of lycra than might be considered necessary.

That said, there is some useful guidance to be had in this book, particularly around selection of a bike to suit your intentions and touring and cycling with others. However, if you have a friend who is into the particular type of cycling you're interested in (road, mountain, downhill, touring...) then you'll probably get more useful advice by sitting down with them for a chat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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This book became available to me just in time for my partner who was getting a bike through the bike scheme at his work. As a frequent runner he was keen to try out cycling.

The book is broken down into various informative sections. This made to easier to skip past sections which weren't relevant (he only has a road bike). It provided him with good hints and tips and it did find it very useful. Even though the book is 'for dummies' he does think he'll refer back to it in future.
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To try and encompass the WHOLE of cycling in one book is much like cooking a cake with some of the ingredients missing- it becomes more known for what does not go in the final meal. Cycling is a large subject, indeed there are individual books available of most of the subjects which take but a paragraph in here; therefore, it only skims the subjects lightly.

This does make it ideal for beginners; I am surprised if there are people who are this much of a beginner they choose to go and buy a book. Anyway. I am sure that dummies have done their market research.

I feel bound to only give this book 3 stars, as it really does skim the surface of cycling, it does leave you wanting more if a topic grabs your attention.

From the 3 stars, I have had to take one star off. In the chapter re cycle rides int he UK, the Tara Trail (a local one to me) spells my home town wrong. I find it incredible that this book has not been proof read or checked. Harsh, yes, but the strongest emotion I got from this book is from the fact there is a spelling mistake in it, so I think I am being fair to knock a star off of this.

Recommended for people who have never ridden a bike before, never seen a bike before, and have no idea what cycling actually involves.
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Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having recently bought a new (old) bicycle, and feeling inexperienced and unconfident riding it, I was glad to see that the 'For Dummies' series had brought out a book on cycling. As is usual for this series, the book is not intended to be read from cover to cover, and doesn't go into great depth on any of the points covered.

The book is written by two cycling enthusiasts, which means that they deliver a great deal of useful advice but also they seem slightly messianic about it and repeatedly urge the reader to join cycling clubs/do cycling events (I love my bike but I don't want to do those things), which took up slightly more of the tome than I felt appropriate in a 'For Dummies' book.

That slight negative aside, there is a ton of useful stuff in here about getting the right bike, setting it up correctly, tips for safer riding and ideas of places to go for cycle treks. There is a section on bicycle maintenance which is useful, but I feel would have been more so with the addition of diagrams/photos. My bicycle has hub gears and there is no information in the volume about them at all (perhaps not unreasonably as they are somewhat uncommon).

Overall a good read which I feel has helped me in my cycling endeavours.
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VINE VOICEon 14 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I came late to cycling, only learning when I was 40. So I'm very much still learning and hoped this book might be helpful. It certainly covers a lot of ground, from learning to ride through advice on safe riding to cycle tours and races around the world, all presented in the usual 'Dummies' Style. It is however very textual with very little in the way of diagrams and pictures which can make it rather dense reading. Sometimes a picture really does replace a thousand words. For instance I doubt if many novices will be able to fix a puncture based on the instructions given here, pictures would have made it so much clearer. So while advice provided seems mostly sound it's not in an especially accessible way.

Not a bad book but I think Cyclecraft and The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance (Haynes)would be a better option.
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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a newbie cyclist and am generally commuting to work and having the occasional bike ride at night. This book, whilst mostly aimed at the new cyclist, has additional information relating to bigger rides for the seasoned cyclist as well (e.g. parts of the Tour de France with descriptions of the stages) and is laid out in a simple to read and understand format, with excellent footnotes and tips. The book includes general riding (and learning to ride) practices, servicing, choosing the right bike, getting the right fitting for your bike, dietary and calorie information etc.
I have found this book to be a great accompaniment as I have entered my journey into cycling, and is a book I have refereed to on many occasions over the last ten weeks. This is a recommended read for the beginner like myself.
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