Sunday, June 25, 2017

Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair by Daimeon Shanks

Book Review by Tom Baker

Bike mechanic Daimeon Shanks is more than qualified to write a book on bicycle maintenance and repair.  He has been a bike mechanic for Mavic Neutral Support, the Garmin-Transitions pro team, the head track mechanic for the US National Team and now is co-owner of The Service Course bike repair shop in Boulder.  


Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair


Having been an integral part of the pro road racing scene, we would expect this book to be focused on road racing bikes, and that it is.  Information on all other bikes is not to be found in these pages, which sets this book apart from the many other bike repair books.  Most bike repair books don’t give instructions on gluing on tubular tires.

This book is intentionally written in an easy to understand, simple language that most anyone could read and follow to maintain and repair their road bike.  It is fully illustrated with pictures for the major repair steps.  Each major component of the bike is highlighted with its own chapter.

The usefulness of the book is in part because it is up to date with instructions on Campy 11 speed drivetrains and Shimano Di2 electronic shifters.  This might even put the book out in front of some mechanics who haven’t started maintaining the newest, highest priced equipment.

Throughout the book are stories from the author’s race mechanic days.  Interesting stories from the Tour de France, Tour de Suisse, US Grand Prix cyclocross race and the USPRO national championship place the importance of good bike maintenance and repair in perspective.

As up to date as this book is, surprisingly there is no information on ceramic bearings.  That would be very useful information, as they have some different rules for lubrication than traditional steel bearings.

The author provides some information on the history of component design and evolution.  In some cases this information is not exactly right, but that doesn’t detract much from the overall value of the book.

In addition to the part by part repair instructions, there is information on choosing the right wheels, the purpose of compact cranks, choosing the right bike shop, building wheels, wrapping bars and fitting a bike.  Most of the 100 repairs shown are ones that most riders can do and this is the intent of the author.

Some of the repairs shown require tools that most home mechanics aren’t going to buy, but still seeing what’s involved is helpful when you take your bike to the shop to have them do the work.  Perhaps this would be a good book for bike shops to sell with new road bikes to people who indicate that they might want to do some of their own repairs.  If nothing else, by reading this book one will be more familiar with the terminology associated with road bikes.  All of the repairs are well illustrated with black and white photos.  Other bike repair books have color photos, but black and white photos serve the purpose nearly as well.

If you have the desire to repair and maintain you road bike, but don’t have the inclination to be a bike mechanic at your bike shop in order to learn, then this is the one book that you can use to keep your road bike in good operating condition.


Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair was published in 2012 by Human Kinetics.  Available for $19.95.

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