Essential Bicycle Repair Books to Have

As a bicycle mechanic, having a repair book on hand is a necessity. Even the most experienced mechanic will need to refer to a written resource from time to time. While there are nearly an endless variety of bicycles and associated components, general repair principles for all of them are generally in key repair books. Below are five essential bicycle repair books that I recommend.

Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair — 4th Edition

The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair is essentially the “go to” bicycle repair manual for the industry. This is written by Calvin Jones from the Park Tool Company who is the most recognized thought leader on bicycle repair. This paperback book is comprehensive with 251 glossy pages with full color photos of various bicycle components and how to repair them. An appendix of reference materials, include a tool list, glossary, torque recommendations, bottom bracket tool selection, headset standards, and a bike map. I highly recommend this book for your collection.

Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance: The World’s Best-Selling Guide to Mountain Bike Repair

While the Park Tool “Blue Book” has full color photos of repairs, the Zinn books offer more illustrations and thorough explanations for understanding how the components operate. There is also more troubleshooting information included. The book is paperback with 483 pages. Appendixes include a troubleshooting index, gear development, mountain bike fitting, and a torque table.

Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance: The World’s Best-Selling Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Guide

Similar to the format of the proceeding book, this one strictly covers road bikes. The book is paperback with 465 pages. Appendixes include a troubleshooting index, gear chart, road bike fitting, glossary, and a torque table.

The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair: For Road & Mountain Bikes

Published by Bicycling Magazine (Rodale Press), this book shows step-by-step, black and white photos of each repair. Whereas the Park Tool “Blue Book” shows a few photos for each process, the Bicycle Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair will literally illustrate each step in the repair process with a specific photo. The book is paperback with 416 pages.

Bicycle Repair Manual, Seventh Edition

This is a smaller paperback book with 176 pages and is appropriate for a more basic overview of bicycle repair. Additionally, it is the most inexpensive out of the five recommended here.

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Published by Scott M. Helfrich, Ed.D.

My name is Scott M. Helfrich, and I a full-time university administrator and part-time bicycle mechanic. I am the owner operator of Helfrich Bicycles, LLC that is located in Lancaster County, PA.

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