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Customer Review

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor descriptions, and some bad advice, 27 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Heels on Wheels (Paperback)
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The author seriously suggests that you should choose cycle through potholes. Avoiding potholes is not usually difficult on a bike, you don't need to "suddenly swerve to go around them as Katie puts it, as with every manoeuvre you should anticipate it well in advance so that you signal to the traffic that you are changing you position in the road. If you can't safely pull out for some reason then dismount so that you can pass the obstacle without risk.

Obstructing you hearing should be a complete no-no. Katie is not tough enough on this. She also seems to think it is O.K. to take grown up passengers.

Generally the advice given is waffly and lacking in any genuine expertise. It shows that Katie's experience comes from only a small area of London.

I found it a little contradictory to say that you should invest in a "D" lock, then say you should use another type of lock as well. I did not feel that she provided any justification for buying the most expensive "D" locks either. It was a bit poor to show an illustration of locking the back wheel and frame to a post, when front wheels are more vulnerable to theft.

Katie early on recommends never wearing a rucksack then later changes her mind. She also suggests a "courier bag (known to most people as a messenger bag)", which I think is a much better idea.

Suggesting a bike with no gears, is a very odd thing to do. A choice of gears is nothing but a plus, even if you change gears only occasionally. Even more insane it to waste time discussing track bikes, which have no business ever being in traffic. There is no mention of tricycles and folding bikes as an option, which is a pitty.

A lot of the advice is just stating the obvious, such as avoid busy roads if you don't like them and don't drive through red lights.

The maintenance section in too poor and too limited to be of use.

Katie seems unaware that lights at night are a legal requirement not just a safety precaution. I would have like to have seen very strong advice that bike lights alone are inadequate for night safety. You should be considering a reflective vest/jacket for night riding, and high visibility clothing for evening, rain and foggy conditions. Moving reflectors will get you noticed much better then static lights. Attach them to you spokes and pedals. I like to decorate my bikes with reflective tape.

I was pleased that eye protection was mention, but not so pleased that it did not go further than sunglasses. Recommending a bell was perhaps the best advice in the whole book, but she fails to explain why it is so useful.

The negative attitude towards imported bikes and parts was just pathetic, as is her attitude that anyone selling their second hand bike cheap, must be a thief.

This is by some way the worst book on cycling that I have ever read. There are many better alternatives available.
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Location: Birmingham UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 38,450