Given we are in a youtube world what is the point of having a book that has details that can be easily seen online? Well hand it to Zinn, his easy writing style of explaining how bikes come together works far better in print than online. I own the Mountain Bike version of this book, Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance
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Who is Zinn?
With 50 years experience on the US Cycle Team, Lennard Zinn has risen to be one of the top bike technicians in the world. He now runs a custom frame building and fitting company, zinncycles.com. With a speciality in creating top end racing machines for road, track and off road competition.
How will Zinn’s Book Help me repair my bike?
This book contains over 500 pages of detail on bike repair. From basic concepts such as simple saddle adjustments and puncture repair. The difficulty starts to ramp up (and each process is rated on a one out of five difficulty scale), to subjects such as derailleur replacement, wheel building and fine tuning the set up.
Road Bikes on the surface appear simple, however as Zinn starts to strip away at the bike you can see exactly how complex a modern road bike is. At each stage you have a series of simple to follow images that allow steps to be easily retraced.
Over time you will find that the cost of this book will be recovered by enabling you to tackle seemingly complex repairs at home. With some bike shops charging $50 p/h on repairs it will not take long to recoup the cost of this book.
Buying The Art of Bike Maintenance as a gift?
If you have a cyclist in your life then this book would make an excellent gift. You could build a theme of presents around the book and a bike repair stand such as the Park PCS-10! Great for keeping him or her busy with their bike during the cold winter time.
What does this Book Cover?
Not only does this comprehensive book cover the anatomy of the bike, there is also a comprehensive summary of the tools used in the process. Never used a Wheel Truing Stand? Its covered in chapter 12! All the tools used are grouped into two areas common, such as pliars and hex wrenches. Some of the techiniques require highly specialist tools and these are made clear. This means that you will never start a job without knowing in advance whether you have the right tools to hand.
To start, Zin will show how to carry out a basic set up of your bike, saddle, handlebar length etc.
Then it moves on to simple repairs, and finally the real meat: Preventative repairs.
I really enjoy this book, and sometimes I will browse it just to see what thoughts Zinn has on all the components of my bike. This is a fantastic book, and is the entire encyclopedia of bike repair.
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This review refers to the 4th edition, 2005. ISBN 1-931382-59-X