ELEANOR STREHL | DATE 6/1/2012
The Bike Owner's Handbook, published by the innovative UK design publisher Cicada, is a slim little guidebook to the basics of bicycle maintenance. It’s divided into chapters that cover the simple tasks that anyone who rides a bike can and should learn to do themselves, from changing a flat tire to adjusting the gears. Unlike most bike maintenance guides, which go into way more detail than the average person really requires, this one is actually small enough to bring with you on a ride, and it describes all the material you’ll find in a typical entry level bike maintenance class.
The other element that makes the Handbook
so special is its attractive design. It looks more like a Moleskine
than a how-to manual—it’s like the Wallpaper City Guide
of cycling books. And it’s not just classy on the outside; the steps in the chapters are illustrated with simple line drawings and black-and-white photos by the author, Peter Drinkell. Drinkell is a British commercial photographer and cycling enthusiast. His name isn’t well known in the US, but there’s a good chance your serious road biking friends have seen his photos in Rouleur
, the luxurious cycling lifestyle journal put out by British cycling clothier and trendsetter Rapha
And for those among us who need a little extra help figuring out how exactly to apply the tire levers, there are QR codes at the end of the chapter sections which will direct your smartphone to video demonstrations online conducted by an impressively tattooed yet genteel-sounding bike mechanic.
At $14.95, it’s a guilt-free gift you can give with confidence to anyone even casually interested in cycling, or to the cyclist who has everything—they’re guaranteed not to have anything like this.