10 books for a cyclist at Christmas

Oxford circus lights at Christmas

In case you haven’t noticed by the early Christmas light decorations going up around Oxford Circus (did you know they sneak them in 5 hours earlier each year? – made up fact), Christmas is around the corner. Luckily, cyclists are an easy bunch to buy a gift for, so here are 10 great books most wouldn’t mind receiving.

Quick note: Amazon tweaks the prices of their books pretty often so I’m sure these prices will be out of date before I even press the publish button!

1. The Urban Biking Handbook

The Urban Biking Handbook is an all round guide to cycling. It discusses everything from cycling safely to how to maintain your bike. Although readers in England may be a little put off by the American tone. None the less I was impressed with the depth of the maintenance section.

Available for £14.44

2. Bicycle by Helen Pidd

This expertly written guide by Guardian journalist Helen Pidd is a perfect introduction to cycling. In touches on subjects such as cycling gear, maintenance and customising your bike. It’s a great book to just pickup and refer to as a new cyclist or as a cyclist still learning. Truly a great gift.

Available for £10.49

3. The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance

Bicycle maintenance book cover

For £8.99 this is an excellently illustrated and easy to follow guide to bicycle maintenance. For those planning a new years resolution to look after their bike more it’s a great stocking filler.

Available from Amazon for £8.99

4. It’s not about the bike

Let’s be honest, would any bike book list be complete without Lance Armstrong’s book? A great read on the challenges Lance Armstrong has overcome with plenty of cycling goodness thrown in.

Available for £5.39

5. The Rider

Tim Krabbes short book is a thrilling read about the world of professional road racing. You step into the shoes of a competing road cyclist and go through all the emotions and inner thoughts of a challenging race.

Available for £5.48

6. Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike

Al Humphreys excellent read is about his cycling adventure around the world. His tight budget, the extreme conditions and occasionally dangerous situations faced make for a fascinating tale of perseverance.

Available for £5.77

7. Cycling Britain

For those looking for longer rides throughout the UK the Lonely Planet Cycling Britain guidebook will appeal. Unfortunately, the book isn’t without its annoyances. The information is becoming out of date faster than it can be updated and the route directions need much improvement. However, it should point you in the right direction to discovering some beautiful parts of England.

Available for £11.19

8. Tomorrow, we ride

A book that will really appeal to those interested in the golden era of cycle racing.

Available for £10.82

9. Escape Routes

An excellent guide to short (2 – 7 mile) rides around England. Great for those cyclists who are less about the miles covered and more about the cake stops along the way!

Available for £11.04

10. 35 London Cycle Routes

The list wouldn’t be complete without recommending my own eBook! Containing 35 of the best bike rides in London, this downloadable book is a great last minute gift for any London Cyclist! If I say so myself..

Instantly available for £7.95 here.

Photo courtesy of Chris Beckett Flickr

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15 Responses to 10 books for a cyclist at Christmas

  1. Adam Bowie 24/11/2011 at 11:07 am #

    A great selection! And here are two further books that I’ve really enjoyed this year:

    Bella Bathurst’s The Bicycle Book is enough to make you want to go away and build your own frame. The book covers cycling across a wide range of aspects, from its history to the different “tribes” of riders out there. A broad look at cycling, each chapter exploring a different part of it. I really liked it.

    And It’s All About The Bike by Robert Penn, after reading which, you’ll want to set aside several thousand pounds and get your own custom made bike. Penn travels the world looking for the best bits to put together his bike, telling you the history of the various suppliers and manufacturers he uses. A terrific read.

    • Andreas 24/11/2011 at 11:44 am #

      Hey Adam – thanks for adding to the list. I might put Bella Bathrusts book on my Christmas list.

    • Gareth 25/11/2011 at 8:16 pm #

      These were the two I expected to see on the list and have enjoyed most too.

      But Guardian Books’ Cyclebabble is great too – a compendium of their excellent bike blog posts.

  2. Adam Edwards 24/11/2011 at 11:50 am #

    Xmas is perfect for escapist reading. Aside from Josie Dew and Anne Mustoe, I’d nominate Why don’t you fly? Bewdley to Bejing by bicycle. Written by Chris Smith, published by Penn Press, ISBN:190520325X. An amazing trip I’d never be brave enough to even try!

    You can see the photos at: http://www.cycleuktochina.com/



  3. Beth A 24/11/2011 at 1:09 pm #

    I really like The Cyclist’s Manifesto too: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyclists-Manifesto-Riding-Instead-ebook/dp/B001W6RFT0

  4. Adam 24/11/2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Nice pics of a variety of bikes and culture

    Velo http://www.amazon.co.uk/Velo-Bicycle-Culture-Robert-Klanten/dp/3899552849

    Cyclepedia http://www.thamesandhudson.com/9780500515587.html

  5. mogamikyoko3 25/11/2011 at 12:05 am #

    Hello ! I’m Japanese.
    thank you for interested imformation.
    I want to buy the book 8,9.
    Looove London(^-^)/

  6. russell 25/11/2011 at 10:30 am #

    great list. I have also just finished the David Millar book Racing Through The Dark which I really enjoyed.

  7. Matthias 25/11/2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Nice list of titles, Andreas! For anyone who is interested, there is a Bookclub dedicated to Cycling books in London. http://londoncyclingbookclub.wordpress.com/ We are meeting roughly every 6-8 weeks somewhere in central London.

    Next meeting is on the 14th of December. We are currently reading “The Lost Cyclist” by David Herlihy. An exclusive interview with Herlihy can be found on the clubs website:


    Everyone is welcome to join!


  8. Michael 25/11/2011 at 2:57 pm #

    I would add two on my wish list (but comments welcome as to whether they are worth the read or not) are “Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar” and “How I Won the Yellow Jumper: Dispatches from the Tour de France” by Ned Boulting.

  9. Michael 25/11/2011 at 2:58 pm #

    thanks russell… your comment coincidently posted at the same moment I hit submit!

  10. Sophie 28/11/2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I would add Millar’s ‘Racing Through the Dark’ and Boulting’s ‘How I won the Yellow Jumper’ to the list – both are great reads. In addition ‘Cycling Revolutions’ by Tim Moore.

    Millar’s is gripping and gives a great insight into the world of the pro-cyclist. It answers a lot of Kimmage’s questions posed in his ‘Rough Ride’.

    Boulting’s book is an easy read with lots of humour and anecdotes about the TDF.

    Moore’s solo journey along a TDF route is good fun as he completes the biggest Challenge of his life.

    Michael – hope that confirms it for you and adds a few more to the cycling trail.

  11. Shades 06/12/2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Reading ‘Riding Through the Dark – The Fall and Rise of David Millar’. Highly recommended.

  12. Stuart 09/12/2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Nice list. What about for family cyclists with ambition, even if just from the armchair: Momentum is Your Friend or Mud Sweat and Gears by Joe Kurmaskie? Or if you can wait till next year Twenty Miles Per Cookie by Nancy Vogel.

  13. Alastair Humphreys 10/12/2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Honoured to have been included! Thank you.
    London cyclists would enjoy Matt Seaton’s book, The Escape Artist.

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