Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Mister Paul, 2 Mar 2008.
I know everyone will have a preference, so I thought a poll was the best way to go about it.
The park tool and haynes books are not good and are not up to the job! but if you dont know anything they can be good to find out how to take off a chain.... but as to getting a bike in the stand and know all about the state of it with in 30 seconds they dont. as for the Zen and the art of bike Maintenance I dont know the book sorry.
Dunno really, never read any of them, but having flicked through them I think you have them in the right order. Haynes is full of glaring mistakes, Park are in the business of selling tools and some of their tools are far from being the best tools for the job. I guess it has to be Zinn. So.
I bought Zinn last year and have found it really good. At the same time I ordered "Road bike Maintenance" by Guy Andrews, it took nearly a year to come. I like the layout of the book and its full of pictures (ideal for me ) and the instructions seem quite clear, I haven't used it for anything major yet.
I've also got the Haynes book and a Rob Van der Plas book, and there's always the web too, I like to check out several sources.
Tried the Haynes and didn't get on with it really. Recently I've bought The Complete Bike Manual - the Illustrated Guide by Mel Allwood. For me at a basic level of understanding it seems to be better - lots of photo pics and suggestions of what to investigate if I have a problem. (It still doesn't fix the bike for me though now that would be the perfect book).
Does the Zin one have plenty of photos? And does it cover all types of bike?
Zenn do a road bike one and an MTB one. I have the MTB one. I wouldn't say it has "plenty" of photos (not like a Haynes manual) but it does have enough to get the idea.
I still use my rather venerable copy of Richard's Bicycle Repair Manual.
My vote goes to the Park Blue Book, used it last night to do something I've never done before and got it right first time (calculating chain length as I had stupidly thrown away the old one and couldn't use it for reference)
What I think people forget is that every bike is different and every reader/mechanic has slightly different needs and it would be a very hard task for a manual to be all things to all cyclists. The books are generic manuals and a little lateral thinking needs to be aplied along with comon sense and a certain amount of practical aptitude.
Park is good because it not only shows you how, it also recommends the correct tool (they are a tool co after all) and it's available on-line for free.
Sheldon is my back up for more esoteric things.
You REALLY need a maintence book for something as simple as a bike?
Never read one in my life, I can't build a wheel and can't press a headset in, that's about it.
Easy to make your won headset press - I've got a very (and I mean very !) big bolt with 2 big washers and a nut at the other end. Put the headset on top and bottom of headtube and gradually tighten it up and hey presto - head set pressed in ! (er not too tight otherwise mite squash the headtube - never done so tho in 20 odd years wrrenching ).
Yup - some of us who aren't practicaly minded Engineering types need pikshures and enstrukshions so we know which way round the wheels should turn
I'm a design Eng so I tend to screw things up just by looking at them
I use Todd Downs "Illustrated Bicycle Maintenance" which is full of good clear photographs and instructions - not having dismantled a bike before I find it useful just to read up on how to do something and what to look out for before I actually start - those of you that have been taking bikes to bits for years will probably be able to get by without a point of reference - but not me
The Haynes manual is usefull for straightening up that coffee table with a wonkey leg
Havent read the Park book but the web page is handy from time to time if you encounter something boutique and new that has only just had tools made for it
I've got a slightly older version of the Zinn road bike book (the only obvious omission is the newer cranksets with integrated BB's), it's a bit short on diagrams/pictures for the totally uninitiated but it did me well for learning some key tasks (removing cranks/BB, threaded h/set and aheadset adjustment, gear adjustment) but to be honest I could probably have found it all on line. You're welcome to it if you like as I think I've got a handle on it all now, just send me your address.
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