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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

50 Good Bicycle Books

Let me start off with a few disclaimers.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are lots of good books about bicycles out there. This list started with me scanning my shelves and saying "Oh that was a good book... and that one... and that one... and then I started quizzing friends in real life and on Twitter and Google+. And then Amazon has this "people who liked X also liked Y" feature that can lead to all kinds of cool things. I finally drew an arbitrary line at 50. If your book or your favorite book isn't on the list, it sure doesn't mean it's not great.

I gave up at categorizing the list. Some books are how-to and some are history. There are books about touring and racing. There are kids books on the list and some biographies. There's at least one novel. A lot of books could fit in more than one category. So I just present the books in alphabetical order by title.

I don't describe the books, but each title links to an Amazon page with description, reviews, etc. If you hate Amazon and want to support your local bookshop, go find these books at your local store. I am an Amazon Affiliate so if you do wind up buying one of these books on Amazon after clicking a link from here it will not cost you anything extra but about 6% of the purchase price goes to me. That's the main way I keep the bits flowing through this blog, so if you choose to do that, thank you very much.

Finally, if you have some great bike books that I've missed, post them in a comment here or email those titles to me at kentsbike(at) If I get enough good stuff, I'll compile a second list.

Here's my list of 50 Good Bike Books:


100 Years of Bicycle Component and Accessory Design: Authentic Reprint Edition of The Data Book by Noguchi-san

A Dog in a Hat: An American Bike Racer's Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium by Joe Parkin

Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route & Planning Guide by Stephen Lord

Anybody's Bike Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Bike Repairs by Tom Cuthbertson

Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride by Peter Zheutlin

Ascent: The Mountains of the Tour De France by Richard Yates

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne

Bicycles & Tricycles: A Classic Treatise on Their Design and Construction by Archbald Sharp

Bicycle: The History by David Herlihy

Bicycling Science by David Gordon Wilson

Bicycling The Pacific Coast by Vicky Spring and Tom Kirkendall

Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles by David B. Perry

Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling by BikeSnobNYC

Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels by Raymond Bridge

Boy Racer: My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breaker by Mark Cavendish

Cycling's Golden Age: Heroes of the Postwar Era, 1946-1967, The Horton Collection text by Owen Mulholland, foreword by Eddy Merkcx

Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi by William Fotheringham

Franklin Rides a Bike by Paulette Bourgeois

Gracie Goat's Big Bike Race by Erin Mirabella

His Finest Hour by David Neuhaus

Into Thick Air: Biking to the Bellybutton of Six Continents by Jim Malusa

It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels by Robert Penn

Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet by Mia Birk

Lance Armstrong's War: One Man's Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France by Daniel Coyle

Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racerby Andrew Ritchie

Miles from Nowhere: A Round the World Bicycle Adventure by Barbara Savage

Momentum Is Your Friend: The Metal Cowboy and His Pint-Sized Posse Take on America by Joe Kurmaski

Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell by the sportswriters of L'Equipe

Park Tool BBB-2 The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair - 2nd Editionby C. Calvin Jones

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities by Jeff Mapes

Racing Through the Dark by David Millar

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best

Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France by Richard Moore

Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities by Dominic Gill

Team 7-Eleven: How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World - and Won by Geoff Drake

The Art of Cycling: A Guide to Bicycling in 21st-Century America by Robert Hurst

The Art of Wheelbuilding: A Bench Reference for Neophytes, Pros & Wheelaholics by Gerd Schraner

The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills by William Saroyan

The Complete Do-It-Yourself Bike Book: Everything You Need to Know to Fix, Maintain and Get the Most Out of Your Bike by Mel Allwood

The Dancing Chain: History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle by Frank Berto

The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles: Craftsmanship, Elegance, and Function by Jan Heine

The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance by David Herlihy

The Man Who Loved Bicycles: The Memoirs of an Autophobe by Daniel Behrman

The Rider by Tim Krabbe

The Spring Classics: Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races by Philippe Bouvet and others

The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher

Tomorrow, We Ride by Jean Bobet

Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist by Willie Weir

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy


Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah, WA USA

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