I enjoy biking around Boston. It’s not a bad biking town, although it comes with its share of hazards. Having a bike here requires it to be in tip-top shape. While I take my bike to Bikes Not Bombs for upkeep, others, like my roommate, prefer to do most work on their own. A book like Bicycle! is meant for people such as her, as well as bike messengers and mechanics—anyone who works on bikes regularly.
Bicycle! is broken down into chapters that go in depth about the various parts that make up the bike: frames, headsets, wheels, handlebars, brakes, and more. There are also chapters on winter riding, on-the-road repairs, different geared bikes, and even building your own bike. The material in here is detailed and thorough, with photographs and drawings that show parts and materials that comprise a bike.
While the material may be more detailed than a basic bicyclist may need, author Sam Tracy has plenty experience with repairing bikes (including in the African country of Mauritania) to know what he’s talking about. Written in paragraph form, he writes of ways to improve one’s bike as well as simple fixes for what ails it. Overall, Bicycle! seems thorough and comes from an author who is quite knowledgeable in the field. Unfortunately, for someone like myself who is a more casual bicyclist, it was a bit over my head. But for anyone interested in taking on the maintenance aspect of their bicycle, this is recommended. –Kurt Morris (PM Press, PO 23912, Oakland, CA 94623)