Bike Mechanic: Tales From the Road and the Workshop covers the history and the work for bicycle mechanics who work the professional pro peloton.
Written and photographed by the road cycling loving nerds behind Roleur Magazine, this 272 page book includes about 150 pages of workshop and tool porn. Author Guy Andrews devotes two pages to the humble quick release lever, and a full ten pages to tubular tires.
While this book is not strictly a how-to guide, Guy covers the essential tools of bike maintenance. Everything from tire repair to the most beautifully illustrated guide to cutting steerer tubes that I’ve seen are covered in the repair basics.
We learn the history of neutral support (accidentally invented by Manufacture d’Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel — Mavic — when a team director’s car broke down before a race); we see the workshops used by pro teams; we learn how to drive support cars amongst a bunched crowd at racing speeds; and exhortations to “Don’t try this at home, kids; we’re professionals with years of experience and training.”
But we’re enthusiasts, too, so you know we’re gonna try.
For those of you thinking of gift ideas for Christmas, this one makes a reasonably priced present for the bike addict in your life.
Disclosure: VELO Press routinely sends me new books in exchange for consideration. The ones I really like get a full page workup. I have a backlog of other books to review if somebody would like to give it a shot – find me at SF Bike Expo on November 22 if you’d like to talk shop.