While biking vets are likely to know a gear set like the back of their hand, others are probably flummoxed when it comes to simple maintenance issues like a punctured tire or a stretched brake cable. “The Bike-Owner’s Handbook” is a cleverly designed, travel-sized folio that guides bikers through the most common operations they will encounter on the road. Simple illustrations and anatomical breakdowns serve to familiarize the uninitiated in processes like tire replacement, chain tension adjustment and bar tape wrapping.
Peter Drinkell wrote the book with empathy for the neophyte. While he is a fairly accomplished tinkerer, he notes the “finickiness” of bicycles as something that often perplexes riders. The goal of the pocket companion is not so much to make you a two-wheeled savant as it is to improve the riding experience: “Once you get in tune with your bike, it will change the way you cycle. You’ll be able to treat it with kindness—checking tire pressure, brakes and chain regularly, keeping it running smoothly, and rewarding you with a much more enjoyable ride. You might also find yourself noting your environment a little more closely—keeping an eye out for glass or grit on the roads, carefully avoiding potholes and rocky surfaces.”
Drinkell’s recommendations expose the essential tools of a bike owner, ensuring that readers will have a patch and sandpaper on hand the next time they run a flat. The book also saves valuable time, replacing trips to the repair shop with do-it-yourself chain lubrication and brake pad replacement. Drinkell’s simple advice and the book’s straightforward layout make this a real boon as dusty wheels come out of winter storage.