Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide To Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes 4th Edition
This is a good book that covers most basic and intermediate repairs. As the title states, you will find information for both road and mountain bikes. You can look forward to black & white photos, diagrams, general information, tool lists, home bike shop procedures, and a maintenance calendar.
Pros: This is great for beginners who want a little bit of everything. It covers almost everything you need to know about basic maintenance and repair. Older parts such as cottered cranks and rollercam brakes are also covered.
There is even some general information and other things to take into consideration when purchasing a bike.
The photographs and diagrams are clear and can be very helpful. Another plus is that there is a troubleshooting section for each category that covers common problems that you may encounter.
The introductory section contains valuable information that every mechanic needs to know. There is a maintenance schedule so you know when to do what, tool lists for the home mechanic, a glossary of common terms, and a whole section on gearing that includes charts.
Cons: For the book's intended audience, there are very few cons. The book is not detailed enough for extensive repairs, but that should not stop you from buying it.
The photographs are usually helpful, but sometimes there are too few of them. This is usually the case when the book covers multiple items in one step or when different types of parts are crammed into one section.
Due to the 1999 publication date, the hot new parts aren't covered. The company should provide product specific information, though.
This last complaint doesn't really matter, but I thought I would point it out anyway. The resources section is almost useless; you can find much better ones on this website.
The Final Word
If you are new to bike repair, this is a great start. It should keep you busy for a while. What's nice is that it gives you the background information before the repair information, and the troubleshooting section is great for when you have problems.
This book should definitely be in your collection. With only four pages on wheel building, you will need to add some more books to your collection, but this one is a great start.
*Note* A new 5th edition was released in 2005.