Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop (Book Review)

Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop (Rouleur)Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop by Rohan Dubash

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I saw a one-sentence description of this somewhere and thought it was a bike mechanic memoir, to complement the many "my days as a road cyclist" books available. "Bike Mechanic takes a look inside the daily life of the unsung heroes of the peloton, the bike techs who keep the stars riding." But in the book itself, one reads, "this book is a collection of stories with some tips and hits that we thought would be useful to amateur mechanics and road cycling enthusiasts alike. It certainly isn't comprehensive; there just wasn't space."

The book table of contents is as follows:

The Daily Grind
Bike Washing
Team Car
The Truck
Team Garage


Frame and Forks
Bottom Bracket
Contact Points
Cleaning and Lubrication

The "On the Road" section is the closest to describing what being a professional road race bike mechanic is like, but this is only about a quarter of the 272 pages; the remainder are a somewhat whimsically selected look at the tools, workshop, and use of these tools for caring for high end road bikes.

Although a paperback, this is a nicely produced book with good paper and well reproduced photographs.

The two authors convey stories or instructions on how to carry out a mechanical procedure with equal skill. They know their subject and their writing is interesting to read as well.

The photography is by Taz Darling - some of her racing photography is available online. The book includes both action oriented photography and the kind of photography appropriate to a "how to" book; both types are executed well.

If there is a drawback, it is that there is so much in it and I still am not sure of the best way to attack a book like this. I read the first third or so in a conventional start to finish way, but eventually started jumping around.

View my reviews of cycling books on Goodreads.

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