Friday, April 28, 2006

Self Help

Last weekend when I was tweaking the shifting on the Jamis, I needed to get some expert advice. So I went to my trusty bike repair book. As I was browsing through the section on gearing I noticed that my book is just a tad out of date. If memory serves, this manual was purchased by my brother when he was in high school and then abandoned at Mom and Dad's house where I liberated it. Most of the shifting adjustments were for friction shifters, and there was a special new section at the back of the chapter for this new-fangled thing called indexed shifting. Whoa.

The sad part is that the actual nuts and bolts of front and rear derailleurs hasn't changed. Everything in those adjustments was still right on. So I got done what I needed to get done, the book served it's purpose and all is right with the world and my bike.

But, I've got nearly $100 worth of Barnes and Noble gift cards from christmas that I need to use, so I'm thinking about picking up a new manual. I stopped at the Eagan B&N one night and saw Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes. It seemed like a good choice, but I didn't have my gift cards with me. So last Friday I stopped at the downtown B&N, gift card in hand, to buy it. But of course you know what comes next. They didn't have that one. They had the DK Bicycle Repair Manual. Which also seemed OK.

But now I'm at a loss. Which one? Does anybody have a favorite repair manual they would recommend?


todd said...

teh intarwab!

Gilby said...

I have Bicycling Magazine's [...]. I think overall it is a good reference, but personally I prefer labelled illustrations vs. pictures. I think you have to find a guide that makes the most sense to you. I'd suggest browsing through a few different ones and even compare sections between a couple books. Does the layout make sense? Does it cover all the parts specific to your bike (e.g. integrated headsets, cantilever brakes, internal gearing hubs)? Is there a decent glossary? Which book uses language that reads clearest to you? Maybe one seems too technical, or another seems too "dumbed down". Are the illustrations or pictures clear?

I've found that a general bike reference book might only have a small repair section, but might be more thorough in its explanations. For instance, I found the instructions in Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book were simpler & easier to follow than Bicycling Magazine's. But because Richard's isn't strictly a repair manual, it doesn't go into as much depth or have as much specialized information. For this reason, it doesn't hurt to have more than one repair manual on hand.

filtersweep said...

What Todd said... the Park Tool website is my maintenance bible. Sheldon Brown for wheel building issues...

BTW- what sort of adjustment do DT friction shifters ever need?