Handy pocket guides for the home mechanic, that are well thought out and easy to understand.
These great little guides arrived unexpectedly at my door a few weeks ago and I’ve been checking them out ever since, I’m not a bad home mechanic but, it’s great to have a reference guide in front of you at times. These books come in two formats, Road or Mountain bike, generally speaking it’s a good idea to split the two main bike types apart as there are some fairly obvious differences between the two of them but, most of probably use both types of bikes. That aside these guides are great. Each one is well thought out and one feature I like is the ring-binding which might seem natty on inspection but allows the books to stay open on the necessary page, which really makes the repair or maintenance job that bit easier.
These books are written in a manner that assumes that you are neither an expert or not. That means nice and clear pictures and language, which is a must for this sort of book, you don’t really want wit or prosaic prose on the wonders of the rear mech’s parallelogram when the bloody thing is jumping around on the rear block. So, I like to think of my self as sufficient at home bicycle mechanics but, knowing my limit and so do the books and as I got to the edge of my understanding the helpful advice in the book was to take it to an expert. I actually really respect that, so if you’re looking for more advanced stuff these are not the books you need, saying that I think they’re a really handy reference guide, even for the more experienced home mechanic and those like me who just can’t remember everything all the time.
As of now these books are also bang up to date with whats out there bike-wise so if your current bike maintenance book is dated these are also a good choice to update your knowledge. They helpfully list all the basic tools you could need (and then some) and given their size they could easily be carried on a bike tour in case things get a bit more tricky. The books also have a chapter to deal with problems on the road or trail respectively. Well worth reading up on that, if your fairly new to the sport.
The books also cover cleaning and my favourite chapters; Tracking down noises in the Pocket Mountain Bike Book and Finding the right riding position in the Pocket Road Bike Book. Very handy knowledge that is a little more obscure but, very handy. Both books cover some of the same ground though and that is the basic stuff and either book would suit for that, stuff like tuning the gears and once you get to grips with that knowledge you can really feel confident in dealing with your bike.
The Pocket Road Bike Book is entirely written by Guy Andrews and the Pocket Mountain Bike Book is written by Guy and Mike Davis. Guy Andrews has written for many cycling magazines and websites over the past 20 years. He is currently editor of Rouleur. Mike Davis has over 16 years experience as a bike journalist and has on most mountain bike publications you can think of! Really safe hands when it comes to understanding bikes and repairing them.
At £9.99 these are not extravagant purchase and will save you money on simple repairs and maintenance over time. So I wouldn't hesitate to buy if you're looking for something to help you with understanding your bike maintenance or you want to learn more before getting you hands dirty. A very handy set of guides but, pocket wise these won't fit in your jeans but, I'm sure they don't mean that, you would look odd anyhow. Anyway, headset Press highly recommend these great pocket maintenance guides.
Review date: 1 March 2014