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The Mountain Bike Skills Manual: Fitness and Skills for Every Rider Paperback – 1 Apr 2011
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'you'll probably not find a more comprehensive guide out there to the basics of MTBing.'
--Bike Biz, 1st March 2011
'Clive Forth is a top mountain bike skills coach. His best tips are in this 200-page book for budding bikers. Loads of clear advice and how-to-style colour pics get you slicing singletrack in no time.'
--What Mountain Bike? May 2011
'This is a great book if you're new to MTB, or if you've been a few times but want to top up your knowledge before you get back in the saddle.' --Cooler Magazine, April, 2011
About the Author
Clive Forth is a leading mountain bike racer and trainer. He competed in the first UK mountain bike series, took part in the World Championships and is currently part of the Extreme Endurance team. He now writes regularly for the UK's best-known mountain bike magazines - MBUK and MBR - and also for Descent World, an online magazine.
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The title suggests a book entirely focussed on fitness & skills for the rider, be warned.
The first part of the book - a hefty chunk - provides an insight into the history and background of MTB in all its guises and flavours. It is interesting and makes for great reading, but it is not going to help with your fitness or skills!
The fitness section offers sound advice on strength and mobility. Suggested improvements would be video links and further details as to how an exercise relates to movement and skills on the bike.
The skills section provides invaluable advice on how to accomplish key skills to make the most of your time on the bike. All are presented in a clear structured manner with guidance for progressing the skill and valuable tips. I was disappointed by the photos in the skills section, they are too small.
Would I recommend you read it? Yes.
Would I suggest a new edition with larger photographs? Definitely.
"This is a great book if you're new to MTB, or if you've been a few times but want to top up your knowledge before you get back in the saddle"
Whoever wrote this must have read a different book! The author sounds like he is talking to other professional mountain bikers most of the time - it is full of jargon which makes no sense at all to a newbie like me. There is a section at the beginning on the bikes, which I expected to explain the ins and outs of the bike and how it works, however this is just a long history of how bikes evolved, which was nonsense to me because it is just full of mechs and bottom brackets and headsets and never actually explains what they are. The same theme continues through the entire book; it assumes deep prior knowledge of the sport.
I can only speak for myself when I review this book, but can safely say if you are brand new to mountain biking like me do not bother. However, I also have a suspicion that it wouldn't be that useful for more seasoned bikers either. It doesn't seem to explain things very well, even when I do understand the jargon.
The beautiful photography an this this book and consise descrptive explinations within really did improve both my understanding and my riding became much more fluid.
So much so i have now enquired about booking myself onto one of Clives MTB courses, which i am greatly looking forward to. I eagerly await the pocket guide book and hope it satisfies my thirst for cycling further.
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