This article was published in 2010, in Newsletter 91.
Anyone who read my last review of a bike maintenance book will, I’m sure, realise how picky I am about them. There are many people who are perfectly content with any one of the offerings by Richard Ballentine or Rob Van de Plas. If you are one of those, this book will gladden your heart and put a spring in your step. Not me though and perhaps you can tell what’s coming.
This book is written in a way that assumes you are familiar with the various parts of your bike, using what seemed to me like jargon and not providing a glossary for what these terms mean. I felt this would be off-putting for women in particular, which strikes me as odd given that it claims to help you mend a bike whatever level you’re at mechanically. From that perspective I found it tricky going. I have no idea what bushings are, for example, and at that point it hasn’t explained what they are, though there is a quick guide to the main bits you need to know about. A photo at the front also shows the tools you might need but doesn’t label any of them, which I found frustrating. I can identify some but wouldn’t expect many people to be able to unless they already do their own maintenance.
The steps in a repair are shown in photo form and these aren’t limited to any one type of bike. However, while it doesn’t gloss over some of the challenges you face repairing a bike, it makes far too little of them in my opinion. Things do go wrong and it’s good to know how to face those.
The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance ISBN 1 907 232 36 2 price £9.99