An excellent guide to maintaining racing bicycles of recent vintage
A&C Black 9780713681994 Octo 199pp £16.99
According to research by Sport England, the number of men who are cycling at least once a week has been rising steadily in the past five years. Last year alone, 8.2% more men told researchers that they are weekly cyclists than did in the previous year. And the age range in which the steepest increase has occurred is among the 45 – 64s.
This will be no surprise to anyone who rides regularly. As erstwhile Asda chief executive Andy Bond noted, when he joined the board of Wiggle last month, “The Mamil – the middle aged man in lycra – is an increasingly common site”.
That means that there are lot of chaps, riding seriously expensive bikes who have not spent the past 20 years figuring out how setting up indexed gears compared to the old days of friction shifting, nor how on earth a Sram’s ‘Double Tap’ system differs from Campag’s ‘Ergopower’.
Guy Andrews steps into the breach brilliantly. A highly reputed cycling author and journalist, his pictures-and-fat-captions manual is an excellent primer to maintaining bikes bought in the past couple of years.
His explanations are clear and the pictures excellent. The real strength of this book, though, is that it deals with the specifics of the main systems on the market, as well as proffering safe advice on their various qualities. If you are trying to marry a TA chainset with Huret Duoper from the back of your mate’s shed, or you are wondering what dropout micro-adjusters are for, this is not the book for you.
For the tens of thousands who are wondering how to tweak their 105 gears or to rescue their Campag duel-pivot brakes that should have been better looked after six months ago, this is just the ticket.
AS Sep 10