The Ultimate Mountain Bike Book: The definitive illustrated guide to bikes, components, technique, thrills and trails

The Ultimate Mountain Bike Book: The definitive illustrated guide to bikes, components, technique, thrills and trails

by Nicky Crowther

Paperback(Third Edition)

$22.46 $24.95 Save 10% Current price is $22.46, Original price is $24.95. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781552976531
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 08/03/2002
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Nicky Crowther is an active mountain biker, experienced writer and former editor of Mountain Biker International magazine. She competed in the 1991 World Championships.

Read an Excerpt

The Introduction to Chapter One: Bikes and Equipment

Mountain bikes have introduced a new language to cycling — one that takes a little practice to understand. This chapter translates the technical jargon and teaches the principles of the equipment. It will help you to find the right bike, and the ultimate gear to go with it. Once fluent in mountain bike-speak, you should be able to read and assess reviews and pieces of equipment on your own. You should have the confidence to keep the bike and yourself going, and the ability to realize the right time to upgrade. You'll be able to avoid the clothing mistakes that can ruin a winter ride, and, with luck, you'll even learn enough about mechanics to save yourself huge maintenance bills.

The idea mountain bikes are slow in design is long dead. With frames built from high-tech metals such as titanium, aluminum, steel and carbon fiber,
and with specialized shock absorbers, the top off-road models can match the speed of the fastest road-racing bikes. But, you don't need to be rich to ride off-road. At the other end of the price scale, even the simplest MTB, with a solid frame, over two dozen gears, powerful brakes and of course the fat tires, is ready for a day's trail action.

A lot of mountain bikers get hooked on the sport after having had a ride on a friend's MTB. They then go on to develop their own taste in equipment. Restricted by cost, most cyclists equip themselves with the basics — a decent bike, helmet, shorts and perhaps SPD pedals, upgrading or customizing when significant advances in materials, safety or mechanics roll off the production lines. After all, riding just once a week will get the bike dirty enough and cause enough breakdowns to keep you busy maintaining it, never mind keeping up with all the upgrades that appear on the market.

It's not necessary to use the latest equipment, but the rate of production is so high that you could, if you really wanted to, upgrade your gear and the bike's components annually for style, and to take advantage of any small improvements in performance. Bikes and equipment are improving, although not as the speed that advertisers would like us to believe.

Eventually, though, the advances trickle down to even the most basic models and equipment. Watch out for advances in materials and technology that will form the mountain bike of the future. New applications are being obsessively explored as you read this, like the continued use of computer-aided metallurgy, the development of bigger, stronger, lighter suspension and the weaves and dyeing processes in sports textiles.

But without human energy to transform it into an adventure tool, the mountain bike is a lifeless hunk of metal leaning against a wall. It's a cliché, but however flashy the equipment,
it's the thighs that count.

Table of Contents


Welcome to the world of the fat tire bike!
in the beginning — America
British beginnings
early components

Chapter One: Bikes and Equipment

what makes a mountain bike
mountain bike components
frame materials
fitting a mountain bike
the starter bike
full suspension bikes
downhill bikes
what to wear
essential accessories
the maintenance of a mountain bike
the pre-ride check
preparing for a breakdown
tools for trails
fixing trail breakdowns
cleaning a muddy bike
lubricants and lubrication
fixing a flat
brake replacement and adjustment
gear maintenance
maintaining bearings
wheel maintenance
long life for chains, sprockets and chainrings
the principle of upgrading
upgrading tires
which brake?
upgrading gear shifters
upgrading bearings
upgrading pedals
upgrading saddles, cranks and stems
about suspension
inside suspension
front suspension
rear suspension
mud glorious mud

Doing It

getting in shape for mountain biking
strength and fitness
eating and drinking for mountain biking
stretching for cyclists
young and old
staying healthy and injury free
handling the bike
mastering pedaling and gearing
good climbing technique
descending techniques
airborne techniques
riding single-track
surviving the street
unmissable — night-time visibility
planning your ride
equipment for the trail
trail protocol
equipment for long-distance trips
winter biking
coping with rock, sand and grass
the water factor: mud, puddles, rivers and streams
so you want to race
downhilling, dual and cross country
World Cup racing and Olympics

Classic Rides

the Trans-Siberian tour
riding Sawtooth in the Idaho Rockies
Red Rock pilgrimage
the Chamonix experience
mountain biking in Morocco


mountain bike trials
the reebok dual eliminator
24-hour racing
big-time air
making a splash


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews