Best bicycle maintenance books

On London Cyclist we offer our online bike maintenance course and the Bike Doctor app, but if you are looking for bike maintenance books, then I can certainly recommend a few of them!

Note that I’ve not found a good book with repair instructions for hub gears and hub brakes. If anyone has – please leave a comment below!

Total Bike Repair and Maintenance

I’ve yet to find a more complete bike maintenance book than Total Bike Repair and Maintenance. Each repair is thorough, easy to follow and understand. The clear pictures make it easy to see what you should be doing next. This “magbook” should be used as a reference manual for how to do a good bike maintenance book. Buy it!

Available for £8.99

Park Tool Big Blue Book of Repairs

Most bike shops have got a copy of the Park Tool book lying around somewhere. That’s because it goes in to thorough coverage of many different components. Therefore, if an odd bit of kit enters the shop, it can be used as a great reference manual. It perhaps isn’t the best book for beginners but better for those who have previous experience. The book is well illustrated and repairs are well explained.


Available for £20

Bike maintenance books I’d avoid like the plague

Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and Bicycle Maintenance and Repair by Todd Downs.

I know the two above will be slightly “controversial” decisions, as they’ve got plenty of loyal fans. When I first started maintaining my bike myself, I picked up a copy of Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance. Reading it nearly put me off bike maintenance for life!

It was hard to find the right section, instructions were hard to follow and the illustrations didn’t help makes things clear.

I put it in the recycling bin. I have similar feelings about Todd Down’s book.

The Total Bike Maintenance Book: DIY Repairs Made Easy

I love Mel Allwood. Back when I first started maintaining my bike, and was nearly put off for life by Zinn and Todd, I bought a copy of Mel Allwood’s book. I found it much easier to follow. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of taking a look at more recent additions, but I’m sure it has only been improved upon.

To add to the charm of this bicycle maintenance book, the author is a Londoner, working at Brixton Cycles.


Available for £12.15

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5 Responses to Best bicycle maintenance books

  1. Andrew Priest 21/12/2012 at 8:38 am #

    I haven’t used Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance but do use Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and it is my goto book. I also have the Park Tool Big Blue Book but prefer Zinn. I find the Park Tool book to be quite narrow in its focus and not so handy for the broader range of bikes in my fleet.

  2. Paul 21/12/2012 at 10:30 am #

    Just a comment on the maintenance books, I have both the Big blue book of cycle repair and
    Zinn and the art of cycle maintenance.

    Both are excellent books, and very accurate in information, I bought Zinn a couple of years ago as a workshop aid, and it fullfilled that task admirably.
    then went off to complete a City & Guilds advanced cycle mechanics course and the Big blue book was the course manual.

    Again this is an excellent workshop aid and not too involved for the beginner, it uses real photographs rather than sketches (though very accurate as in Zinn).

    I have no hesitation in recommending both books to anyone whether advanced in their skills or just likes tinkering with their bike.

  3. Paul 21/12/2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I’m using the second edition of the Blue book and I think it covers a bit more ths the previous, but yes it uses road bikes as examples, but the mechanics of all the bikes are the same. Must admit though, mt Zinn has been used more!

  4. Phil Russell 21/12/2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Andreas—-re. influenza: Your point No 5 is correct. “Time is the only remedy” There is some evidence to suggest Vit C might PROTECT from colds and flu, but once you’ve got the bugs, taking extra Vit C is just a waste of Vit C. Your bod will only use what it needs, and the rest goes out with your urine.
    There will be many who’ll disagree, and the most famous has been Linus Pauling, who made millions selling ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder)…..unfortunately, it’s just another quack “medical solution”. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  5. Mikey 05/03/2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Park Tools books are very good, although typically using the internet is the way forward IMO. Laptop in the workshop has proved invaluable. Bikes are getting more and more technical so it’s good to find up to date servicing advice from the likes of SRAM, Shimano tech docs etc

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