Bloomsbury Pocket road bike maintenance  £9.99

8/10

Simply written, easy to use guide to achievable home road bike repairs; tone and content is spot-on for the typical home mechanic

Weight 240g   Contact  www.bloomsbury.com

by Steve Worland   April 9, 2014  

Pocket Road Bike Maintenance is a simply written, easy to use guide to achievable home road bike repairs.

When publishers commission cycling maintenance books they need to know their target readership well enough to get the tone, the content and the ease of use just right.

That's not as easy as it seems. Too simplistic and a book will seem patronising and condescending to those who think they know it all but often don't.

Too complex and it'll put off everyone else.

The good news is that this one seems to achieve exactly the right balance of tone and content. As a bonus, the tough cover and ring bound format means it's fairly robust and it's easy to lay flat on a workshop bench.

The content covers pretty much everything that an average DIY home bicycle mechanic is going to attempt, but stops short of the stuff that's often better left for a trained shop professional, like complete wheel building.

Easy to follow step by step guides cover simple fitting, adjustment and repairs to all the most common items, including drivetrains from Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

There's even a basic guide to electronic shifting, although this is brief to the point of assuming prior knowledge or assuming that retro-fitting and fine tuning will initially be carried out by someone else.

 

The many press fit bottom bracket variations are similarly, and probably wisely, left to the DIY imagination while simpler tasks like replacing chainrings, greasing bearings or fitting handlebar tape properly are well covered with useful photos.

That may be making this book sound more simplistic than it really is.

It's a comprehensive guide divided into 10 chapters and 128 pages covering road bike types, tools, cleaning, wheels, tyres, gears, drivetrains, brakes, contact points, headsets and tips for roadside repairs.

The level of detail hits just the right note, the photos are generally clear and the price is very reasonable compared to some of the bigger, and often more comprehensive, books on offer.

Best of all, it's nearly bang up to date in terms of road bike technology. I say 'nearly' because the bike technology market is changing at a rate that makes it impossible for a maintenance book to cover everything.

Presumably the next edition will cover disc brakes, wireless gear shifting and tubeless tyres.

Meanwhile, this is a great DIY guide for new road riders or for those who've been riding for a while but no longer want to rely on someone else to do their simpler home or roadside fixes.

Verdict

Simply written, easy to use guide to achievable home road bike repairs; tone and content is spot-on for the typical home mechanic.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bloomsbury Pocket road bike maintenance

Size tested: A5

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's aimed at home mechanics, it's easy to follow and easy to use and it achieves just what it set out to achieve.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

A comprehensive guide divided into 10 chapters and 128 pages covering road bike types, tools, cleaning, wheels, tyres, gears, drivetrains, brakes, contact points, headsets and tips for roadside repairs.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Easy to open and lay flat while in use.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

There are more detailed/comprehensive guides available but they tend to cost more and are harder to use in a workshop environment.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Spot on.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Compact size and it's ring bound so it stays on the page it's open at.

Easy to follow.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 58  Height: 181  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Merlin Ti  My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

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