The Total Bicycling Manual: 301 Tips for Two-Wheeled Fun

The Total Bicycling Manual: 301 Tips for Two-Wheeled Fun


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Everything you need for enjoying the sport of cycling, from finding your perfect bike to customizing your ride without spending a fortune, learning to do your own repairs and maintenance, ride with confidence in traffic or on any road or trail, to participating in races, cyclocross, and other biking activities.

You never forget how to ride a bike . . . but do you know how to get a great deal on a used bike (and avoid getting ripped off!), set up your commuter bike for optimal safety (without sacrificing fun), plan the perfect family ride for kids of all ages, and train for your first endurance ride? Bicycle Times magazine reaches hundreds of thousands of “everyday cyclists”—riders who care more about having a great ride than spending a year’s salary on a tricked-out racing bike. Their mission is to make cycling fun and accessible for everyone . . . families, commuters, travelers, and weekend warriors included.

This book is the one practical manual every cyclist should have—right next to the toolbox or stashed in a pannier. A quick but comprehensive intro chapter on finding the right bike for every need (and why so many cyclists are sure they need one of each!), which includes detailed information on what to look for in a new or used bike, when to pay a little more for components, and where you can economize creatively.

Filled with practical, wheels-on-the-ground tips, this book will make you a better rider, take you places you never thought you’d go, and make sure you never get stranded by the roadside without the tools or know-how to fix your ride.

Cycling Basics
Choose the right Bike for You
Customize Your Ride
Your Helmet Can Save Your Life
Dress for Any Weather
Clipless Pedals and Cycling Shoes—Yes or No?
Understand the Drive Train
Give Me a Brake
Find a Fixie
Try an E-Bike
Ride the Road
Take to the Trails
Cruisers and Fat Bikes
Bikes for Kids

Riding Skills and Adventures
Fit Your Bike to Your Body
Make Simple Adjustments
Brake Confidently
Use Your Gears for Maximum Efficiency
Know the Rules of the Road
Use GPS and Fitness Apps
Bike for Fitness
Commute in Comfort
Ride a Bike in a Dress
Pedal in Any Shoes (Including Stilettos!)
Dominate Trail Rides
Get Off Road
Try Cyclocross
Get Around Town
Lock It Up
Seek Out a Velodrome
Try a Road Race
Train for Endurance Rides
Ride with the Family
Take a Bike Vacation
Ride in the Rain
Ride in Snow

Repair and Maintenance
Buy the Tools You Need
Do a Basic Tune-Up
Fix a Flat
Fix a Blowout
True a Wheel
Change a Bottom Bracket
Replace Brake Cables
Switch Out Your Brakes
Shim a Seat
Pimp Your Ride
Cut Down a Basket
Troubleshoot a Headset
Install Racks
Keep Everything Greased Up
Do Emergency Repairs
Pack a Touring Toolkit
Winterize Your Bike

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681881591
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,176,647
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Robert F. James is a hardcore endurance cyclist, retired U.S. Navy, bicycle shop staffer, professor of literature, and professional writer. In his spare time, he operates a small farm in Northern California. He recently completed his first AIDS ride (a 7-day, 545-mile fund-raising ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles), and has completed the Furnace Creek 508 several times—a 508-mile ride in the heat of October through Death Valley and the Mojave Desert. He claims that this is fun.

Bicycle Times magazine has been publishing in print for over a decade; they recently moved to a web-based format. Their site receives over 75,000 unique visitors per month, with some 285,000 riders reach total between newsletter, social, and how-to content.

Read an Excerpt

236 Change Your Fork

Swapping out forks is a pretty easy item on newer-model bikes which use a threadless fork and stem.

STEP 1 Start by removing the wheel, then disconnect the rim brake by removing the cable from one end. There is no need to cut the cable.

STEP 2 To remove the brake assembly, just loosen the hex bolt(s) and slip the bolt and brake mechanism off the mount. There is no need to detach the cable, which makes this process a whole lot easier. With disc brakes, the assembly is attached near the axle of your wheel. The hex bolts mounting the mechanism to the fork are just as easy to remove.

STEP 3 If you aren’t swapping out stems, you can leave your bars attached to the front of the stem while you remove the fork. Go ahead and loosen the hex bolt that secures the top cap to your headset. Remember that this bolt isn’t under a ton of pressure.

STEP 4 Finally, loosen the bolts holding the stem to the steerer tube and slide the stem and any spacers up and off. At this point, you should be able to slide the entire fork from the headset by just pulling it down. To install the new fork, just perform the steps above in reverse order.

Table of Contents


1 Find Your Shop

2 Get Acquainted

3 Avoid The Big Box

4 Build A Good Bond

5 Find The Best Used Bike

6 Buy Used

7 Know The Risks

8 Get Offline

9 Go For Quality

10 Don't Skip The Test Ride

11 Get Ready For The Test

12 Think Outside The Lot

13 Test Ride A Used Bike

14 Get The Most From A Test Ride

15 Know Your Parts

16 Know The Options

17 Rule The Road

18 Climb Every Mountain

19 Take A Cruise

20 Get Recreational

21 Get On Track

22 Get Fixed

23 Ride To Work

24 Try Out Cyclocross

25 Join The Cargo Cult

26 Pedal With Power

27 Ride Like Frankenstein

28 Step On Through

29 Sit Back And Enjoy The Ride

30 Know Your Materials

31 Study Geometry

32 Gear(s) Up!

33 Hit The Trail

34 Know Your Options

35 Ride Like A Girl

36 Size It Up

37 Suspend Yourself

38 Travel Safely

39 Lock Yourself Out

40 Wheel It Out

41 Understand Alloy

42 Wheel And Deal

43 Evaluate A Tire

44 Get Oriented

45 Tread Lightly

46 Try Going Tubeless

47 Go Bar Hopping

48 Meet Your Seat

49 Saddle Up

50 Think With Your Butt

51 Give Yourself Two Weeks

52 Know Your Drivetrain

53 Shift With Confidence

54 Make The Shift To Electric

55 Turn The Crank

56 Choose Your Chainring

57 Choose Your Drive

58 Dont Get Derailed

59 Fit It Right

60 Play Your Cassette

61 Pedal Away

62 Skip The Clip

63 Cage Your Feet

64 Clip Into Clipless

65 Have A Nice Fall

66 Listen To Your Cables

67 Stop It

68 Brake It Your Way

69 Accessorize Your Ride

70 Fend For Yourself

71 Lock It Up

72 Always Lock Up

73 Keep Everything Secure

74 Go For The Long Haul

75 Computerize Your Ride

76 Stay In Touch

77 Don't Lose Your Bike

78 Invest In Your Head

79 Fit Your Lid

80 Shield Your Eyes Right

81 Choose Your Shoes

82 Fit Your Feet

83 Hot Foot It

84 Tread On Me 84

85 Make Sure It Fits 85

86 Get An In-Store Fit

87 Fit Good, Feel Good

88 Go With A Pro

89 Seat It Properly

90 Measure Your Rear

91 Diagnose Misfit

92 Dial In Your Bars


93 Take A Toolkit

94 Get Pumped

95 Bring A Bottle

96 Cool It

97 Find Your Cadence

98 Check Your Stem

99 Position Your Hands

100 Slow Your Roll

101 Ride Fast, Ride Safe

102 Take The Corners

103 Don't Get Caught Up

104 Don't Drop Your Phone

105 Bag It

106 Carry A Bike

107 Don't Go Dark

108 Reflect On This

109 Get Wired

110 Shine On You Crazy Diamond

111 Do A Track Stand

112 Ride Assertively

113 Tackle Traffic

114 Speak With Your Hands

115 Talk To Your Team

116 Call Out Cars

117 Don't Get Doored

118 Get It On Film

119 Stick To The Sharrow

120 Look Before You Leave

121 Prep For A Crash

122 Ride In The Rain

123 Guard Against Splashes

124 Dress For Downpour

125 Fake It

126 Stay Safe Out There

127 Cross Tracks Safely

128 Get Fat

129 Don't Slip And Slide

130 Rub It In

131 Dress In Layers

132 Keep Your Feet Dry

133 Wear A Jacket

134 Ride In A Skirt

135 Ride A Bike In Heels

136 Commute Cleanly

137 Dress For Success

138 Put Your Money Where Your Back Is

139 Get Paid To Ride

140 Carry That Weight

141 See How Far You Can Go

142 Go Pro

143 Deliver The Goods

144 Get Creative

145 Get Involved

146 Race Like A Gravy Dog

147 Join The Movement

148 Share A Bike

149 Do Bike Share Right

150 Amp It Up

151 Pick A Lock

152 Carry Your Weight

153 Keep It Locked

154 Confound Thieves

155 Find Your Ride Buddies

156 Bring The Kids

157 Trail Safely

158 Try A Tandem

159 Carry A Crowd

160 Strike A Balance

161 Teach A Kid To Ride

162 Get To Know BMX

163 Have Some Family Fun

164 Gear Up For BMX

165 Try A Group Ride

166 Stay Hydrated

167 Fuel Yourself

168 Add A Little Something

169 Plan Your Ride

170 Join A Casual Group

171 Pay To Play

172 Take A Riding Holiday

173 Use Public Transportation

174 Get Up And Go

175 Rack It Up

176 Dress Up

177 Choose Your Material Wisely

178 Don't Be Like Fred

179 Sit Pretty

180 Lube Up

181 Go Commando

182 Keep It Clean

183 Protect Your Modesty

184 Watch The Tour De France

185 Take The Stage

186 Try A Criterium

187 Go The Distance

188 Ride A Rando

189 Set Up For A Long Ride

190 Don't Get Lost

191 Use GPS Right

192 Orient Yourself

193 Dress For The Trails

194 Protect Yourself

195 Crush The Descent

196 Climb Any Mountain

197 Ace Handling

198 Cross It Up

199 Kit Up For Cross

200 Try The Track

201 Ride The Inside

202 Hop On A Trainer


203 Get The Necessites

204 Add These Basics

205 Build Your Dream Workshop

206 Get Ready To Ride

207 Do A Post-Ride Check

208 Put Your Bike To Rest

209 Find A Good Mechanic

210 Keep Up With Maintenance

211 Take Care Of Tune-UPS

212 Schedule Your Maintenance

213 Seriously, Use Lube

214 Maintain Stopping Power

215 Clean Your Machine

216 Carry Spares

217 Gas Up

218 Get Some Air

219 Wrap 'Em Up

220 Get A Grip (Again)

221 Go Inside (Or Out)

222 Swap Out Your Bars

223 Swap A Stem

224 Adjust Brake Cable Tension

225 Clean And Adjust Brake Pads

226 Get Your Pads Centered

227 Fix A Scratch

228 Customize Carbon Fiber

229 Paint A Metal Frame

230 Mount Your Accessories

231 Rack It Up

232 Get In Position

233 Setup A Stem Mount

234 Cut Your Tubes

235 Keep Bolts Tight

236 Change Your Fork

237 Diagnose Frame Issues

238 Clean And Lube Your Chain

239 Measure Chain Wear

240 Install A New Chain

241 Know Your Chainrings

242 Remove Chainrings

243 Check Your Bolts

244 Remove The Cassette

245 Understand Cassettes

246 Dial In Your Cleats

247 Install New Cleats

248 Put On Your Pedals

249 Adjust Pedals

250 Fix Drivetrain Difficulties

251 Banish Brake Problems

252 Take Care Of Tire And Wheel Issues

253 Bring It Back

254 Stop Hitting Yourself

255 Patch A Tube

256 Check Your Tire

257 Fix A Flat

258 Change Tires

259 Check For True

260 Find A Loose Spoke

261 Tighten Your Spokes

262 Be True To Your Stand

263 Hear Your Spokes

264 True A Wheel

265 Build Your First Wheel

266 Enter The Void

267 Put It Together

268 Respect The Call

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