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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 April 2013
I have to agree with the other reviewer stating this is a pretty superficial book.

I'm a fairly experienced - but 100% amateur - bike mechanic and bought this in the hope that I could fill in some gaps in my knowledge, especially for comparatively recent developments such as hydraulic brake systems.

The procedures are fairly well illustrated, but there are too many where they just dive in, talking about assemblies without actually describing or naming their component parts in any detail, or pointing them out in any illustration. There is a heavy reliance on photos with very little labelling/callouts and only the occasional exploded diagram. Simple procedures are sometimes given pages of detail whereas the quite advanced stuff later on is not really given an adequate amount of attention for a book which calls itself "complete".

For the most part the techniques described are fine. A few are not the way I learned to do things (they recommend the use of hammers far too often for my liking!) but you can see the logic in their thinking and there is nothing intrinsically bad about them. There is however scant attention paid to many of the common problems one may encounter along the way, meaning the book is actually less use for beginners than it is for those with any experience. Some of the job time estimates are way off, e.g. they reckon just one hour for your first attempt at servicing a pair of suspension forks. Likewise some of the difficulty ratings are a bit arbitrary, e.g. they seem to think that adjusting cantilever brakes is easier than dual pivots. Perhaps on a good day, or with a dream pair of cantis and a shoddy set of dual pivots, it is (then again it might just be me) but this is something I have never found to be true in twenty years of looking after bikes.

I had high hopes for this book and, having been disappointed with other bike maintenance books in the past, bought it on the strength of the Haynes name. I've never owned a "real" Haynes manual before, but I get the strong impression that this is a pale imitation of the books that went to building the brand's reputation.

EDIT: Two weeks later I got myself a copy of "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" - the difference compared to this nonsense is like night and day. (Zinn has also written MTB books AFAIK.)
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on 23 July 2012
good repair book. My only criticism is that they sometimes use different names for the same part. But it covers everything I need and more.
Another comment: if you want to know how things work, this is the wrong item; this is a _repair_ manual.
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on 20 August 2012
Simple to follow, useful worth buying for the novice. I needed to change the rear gears and remove the chain etc. following which I needed to set up the gears again. The book guided me through the process. it all seems to be working fine now. this helped me understand a couple of things that have changed since I last owned a bike.

worth getting IMHO.
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on 8 December 2012
I am new to cycling and the new components on modern bikes were a bit bewildering. I have always tinkered with cars and motorbikes and have had many Haynes manuals over the years which must saved me £thousands in repair bills through routine and preventative maintainance.

So far I have used the book to adjust the gear selectors and do some routine cleaning and servicing and have found the book clear and easy to understand - just like other Haynes manuals really

A must have for any bike tinkerer!
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on 25 November 2015
Brilliant book that shows you the basics. As a kid I'd dismantle my bike every weekend for some bizarre reason and it would all go back together again. Wind on forty years and things have changed with bikes. It covers hydraulic discs and current suspension so is up to date. Gives you tips of how to do certain things easily and in some cases the diffiulty level and time to allow.

I regularly look through it and have used it to change disc brakes, change a rear tyre and adjust the dérailleur system. Also gives you an insight into the terminology of the parts which means you can talk half competently to someone who knows what they are talking about.

Would make anyone an excellent present.
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on 14 September 2012
This is a first rate manual of value to a wide range of users. In my case, I am quite an experienced cycle mechanic, but my basic training was many years ago and I find the material on modern machines very useful, for example, when dealing with grandchildrens' bikes. The layout is clear, and the pictures compliment the text satisfactorily. Just occasionally some text related numbered pointers would help the clarity of some pictures. Having looked at the competition, this is the best combination of utility and price and very good value for money. Only 4 stars may seem a bit harsh, but it really would be worth printing this book on dirt/oil resistant paper in lie flat format: it would then be unbeatable! Strongly recommended.
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on 13 July 2016
Like all Haynes manuals I own or have read through, this manual gives me mixed feelings. As usual I feel that it does not elaborate enough on the "practical fix" and spends a rather large amount of writing and pictures on giving relatively subjective advice on "what bicycle fits you" and unnecessary stuff like that. I feel this sometimes makes it more of a bed time read than a workshop manual. A strategy manual so to say...

I will attempt to give you some examples:

- Dozens of pages are spend on "what bikes are out there", yet not covering them properly. In addition the advice given seems to be the empty talk you would hear from every bicycle salesperson instead of a little list of what are the advantages and disadvantages, enabling you to make up your own mind.
- Many different styles of gear changing mechanisms, bearings etc. are being described, yet often the description limits itself to "its called x, it kind of works like y and if it's broken replace it with tool z".
- Practical things, for example the most basic "how to fix a puncture" are described insufficiently and in an ideal world scenario style. I have fixed many punctures on the road side. You re-inflate the tire, search if you can feel the air coming out by noise or airflow, if not you spit onto the tire wherever it seems to be damaged and wait for bubbles to form. You find the bubbles, you take the tyre off in that area, pull some of the tube out, fix the tube, remove the foreign object that caused the puncture (if present) and 20 minutes later you are back on the road. Yet the book tell you to take the wheel off, remove the entire tyre, remove the tube, hold it in a bucket or (amazing roadside idea) A PUDDLE, an search for the hole. Fix and reinstall. If its the back wheel it will take you hours! Who does that on the roadside??? How can a book on "complete bicycle maintenance" suggest this as the most practicable fix???
- Every third sentence seems to mention that things are different on old bicycles. Yet sometimes I found that mentioning this was all it did. If you have a vintage bicycle this book isn't for you.
- Lack of objective evaluation: When the different brake systems are being discussed...well...they are not being discussed. 40 years of engineering better brakes are being summed up with "if in good condition all of these will give you good performance". Ehm....no? Having used a 40 year old bicycle for commuting for several years and newer ones before and after that, I have to say very clearly: Different braking systems behave fundamentally different in their responsiveness, maximum braking power and tolerance to wear and misalignment. Shouldn't this be discussed in some way?
- Same story with things like rims and tyres. I have had three accounts on which brakes had worked their way through aluminium rims, causing catastrophic failure and potentially severe injuries. Yet not a single line is spent on mentioning that the significant weight saving of an aluminium rim means you need to check it for wear more carefully than you would have to check a steel one. Maintenance, no? Tyres, have they heard of the advent of the puncture proof tyre, the likes of Schwalbe Marathon plus etcetera? A lot of talk about tyres and types of thread, no mention of what is most important to many cyclists.

So...I could go on now, but you see this book has it's definitive weaknesses. Don't get me wrong. It will still give you an adorable overview over modern bike mechanics and technology. Enable you to choose components (especially gears and bearings) for your bicycle and do the odd maintenance and fiddly things like gear adjustment. But every now and then you will be left alone when asking the wrong, perhaps too practical question.

I bought this book not for myself but a friend who recently got interested in bicycles. As such it is OK. If I had wanted a maintenance manual, I would have sent it back.
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on 27 November 2013
I guess it wasn't written by someone with dirty fingers. Studiously avoids practical detail at the expense of nice pictures.
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on 11 January 2013
This is the bible for anyone person who wants to know the ins and outs of bike mechanics. The money you will save by completing ,what at first my be rocket science but in reality very achievable, your first DIY fix. Everything is broken down into easy to follow steps. Priceless
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on 4 October 2012
This is a very useful book. However as it is aimed at those choosing a bike as well as those who will be carrying out major maintenance, it would benefit from identifying components discussed in the text by identifying them in the accompanying photographs. I have only used it so far for setting up the derailleur gear train and found it a very useful book. I would recommend to a friend but point out that that they may have to puzzle a bit identifying components.
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