Cycling: A Bibliography

This is a blog entry that many of you have been looking for. It's a listing of every book that I own about bicycling. I've put my favorites at the top of the list, and the ones that just fill space on my bookshelf toward the bottom. I've tried to be as complete as possible, supplying an Amazon.com link whenever possible. Here goes...

Friel, Joe. The Cyclist's Training Bible, Third Edition. Boulder>: VeloPress, 2003. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the best work on the topic right now. What a wonderful book. It's chock full of useful advice and sage wisdom. Friel is a hard-up, no nonsense guy who cares about performance even more than I do, if that's possible.

Pruitt, Andrew L. Andy Pruitt's Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists. Boulder, CO: VeloPress, 2006. This is my standard reference for sizing, saddle positioning, and orthopedic issues on the bicycle. It's a highly recommended read for all riders, and is more recommended for more competitive and/or older riders.

Jones, Calvin. Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair. Saint Paul, MN: Park Tool Company, 2005. Park Tool Part # BBB-1. This is an excellent introduction to bicycle repair for beginners, and is now the default book that I recommend. It's full of wonderful, full-color, clear, crisp photos and equally vivid descriptions. This is everything that I could want from a repair book, just watch out for constant recommendations for other Park Tool goods.

USA Cycling Manual: Level 3 Coaching Certification. Colorado Springs: USA Cycling Coaching Association, 2007. This is the book that you read to get the same coaching certification. It's a well assembled book on riding that distills the knowledge of many of the other books in this list.

Daniels, Jack. Daniels' Running Formula. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2005. What is a book on running doing here? I include this excellent, highly technical training book for several reasons. First, it was recommended by none other than Glenn Swan of Swan Cycles. Secondly, I agree with Swan that this book is an excellent piece of general theory of physiology and training, and implements the periodization principle on which all competent modern programs are based. Thirdly, if you are a triathlete, this is a useful book. A good, dense read.

Bompa, Tudor. Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999. Remember what I said above, and in previous blog postings, about periodication of training? Well, Dr. Bompa thought of the idea in the 1960 as a Romanian coach, and used it to help eastern Europe dominate international athletic events for decades. If you want the full story, go straight to the source. I haven't completed or mastered this one yet, but I think that any competen cycling coach should know this book inside and out.

Prehn, Thomas. Racing Tactics for Cyclists. Boulder: VeloPress, 2004. The embodiment of semper conspirus. These time-tested techniques from an old pro will make sure you get to the finish line faster and more efficiently than the competition, which is what it's all about. The book is a study of how weaker cyclists often win on wits.

Wilson, David Gordon. Bicycling Science, Third Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004. The latest edition of another classic. Dave Wilson is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and an avid bicyclist. He decided to combine his passions and his resources some decades ago to put together what has come to be the canonical technical work on cycling, with a lot of good theory and references. This should be a part of any technical cyclist's library, no questions asked.

Schraner, Gerd. The Art of Wheelbuilding. Denver: Buonpane Publications, 1999. Ever built a wheel? This little 100-page book is written by a true master in top form. A brilliant, insightful, and straightforward book that is a must for anyone who uses spoked wheels.

Paterek, Tim.
The Paterek Manual for Bicycle Framebuilders. Redondo Beach, CA: Henry James Bicycles, 1985. Now in 3rd edition. At some point, my friend Dan decided to build his own lugged steel frame, and did, by buying this book and ordering the parts. It's a good guide for do-it-yourself frame making, which I still would like to do one of these days. Until then, it sits on my shelf, full of useful information.

Forester, John. Effective Cycling, Sixth Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Oh boy, is John Forester pissed off! This is another standard read about cyclinng in traffic. This book tries, I think a little too hard, to be the be-all and end-all of bicycling books, and to bring people onto its program. It's well, though agressively written. Still, if I had to recommend one and only one book on bicycling My main complaint is that Forester tends to confuse fact with opinion. As long as you realize that the entire book is written like this, it's fine.

Ballantine, Richard. Richard's 21st-Century Bicycle Book. New York: Overlook Press, 2001. This is a good "history of bicycling" type book for someone who wants to learn more. Lots of neat stories, lots of photos, and lots of useful information.

Phinney, Davis and Carpeneter, Connie. Training for Cycling: The Ultimate Guide to Improved Performance. New York: Perigee, 1992. This is a general training book written by two elite cyclists. The tips are all good, but fairly boilerplate, but the book is more than worth it just to see how much these two love cycling and each other.

Borysewicz, Edward.
Bicycle Road Racing: Complete Program for Training and Competition. Brattleboro, VT: Velo-News, 1985. Say what you will about Eddie B and the doping controversy, he still helped solidify American cycling in the international arena. This is another training classic, up there with Friel's book, and an inspiration for much training. Some of his techniques are dated, but most are timeless.

Allen, Hunter and Coggan, Andrew. Training and Racing with a Power Meter. Boulder: VeloPress, 2006. The manual that should have come with your expensive toy. Did you take signal processing in college, and like it? If so, this book is right for you. They talk about the various kinds of power meters, and how to use them. They strongly advocate using the Training Peaks software, too. I haven't found these techniques too useful, but probably will when I take my training to the next level.

Hurst, Robert.
The Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons From The Street. Guilford, CT: Falcon, 2004. I found this one at the MIT bookstore. It's a good, but not great, guide for riding in dense urban traffic. For someone who has never commuted to work in the city, this one is a must. I think it falls short in that it doesn't cover some of the advanced tricks that I use to weave through traffic, but never fear, you'll learn those if you follow this blog!

Fehlau, Gunnar. The Recumbent Bicycle. Williamson, MI: Out Your Backdoor Press, 2003. This is, as it says, a book all about recumbents that I haven't had a chance to read in its entirety. It's a semi-technical read with lots of useful info. I wish I had read it back when we were working on the HPV project. I'd love to experiment with a recumbent at some point, it's a shame they're not mainstream since they're really, really efficient!

Langley, Jim. Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair, 4th Ed (now in 5th Ed.). Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1999. I think this is a good introductory guide to real bike repair, and a good shop reference, but I like the Park Tool guide better.

Perry, David. Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1995. A book on bicycles, like the Ballantine book, with a somewhat different tone. It's a very cool book with lots of esoteric facts.The best thing is, Dave Perry himself runs and works at Bike Works in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Good read.

Carmichael, Chris. The Ultimate Ride. New York: G.P. Putnam, 2003. People make a big deal about Chris because he was Lance Armstrong's head coach. I haven't read the book, only skimmed it, but I can tell you that there's a lot in there that is common to the Phinney and Eddie B books since, after all, they all come from the 1980s school of cycling.

Armstrong, Lance and Carmichael, Chris. The Lance Armstrong Performance Program. Rodale Press, 2000. I got this book at a Barnes & Noble because it was there, and haven't really read through it. It's in the same category as the previous Carmichael book: good, solid advice, but nothing revolutionary.

Barnett, John. Barnett's Manual: Analysis and Procedures for Bicycle Mechanics. Boulder: VeloPress, 2003. I had high hopes for this books when I bought it. After all, it's a four-volume book on bike repair with laminated pages! Though the procedures are thorough, it's a little too procedural for me to really like it. I use it as what it is: a reference.

Graham, Brad and McGowan, Kathy.
Atomic Zombie's Bicycle Builder's Bonanza. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004. I purchased this one hoping for a good book on frame building. What I got was a book about bicycle craft construction, for making do-it-yourself tandems, tall bikes, and choppers. Not a bad book per se, just not my thing. This is my standard reference for sizing, saddle positioning, and orthopedic issues on the bicycle. It's a highly recommended read for all riders, and is more recommended for more competitive and/or older riders.

These books are worth mentioning in passing. I haven't found them to be particularly useful, but you might. I bought them when I wanted to bike across the USA, but then I discoverd Adventure Cycling, and eventually, Bike & Build. Routing cross country bike trips is hard, and in the end, it depends on what kind of ride you want to do.

Christian, Lue and Shannon. Cycling Across North America: A Leisurely Route from Coast to Coast. San Francisco: Van der Plas Publications, 2000.

Siegert, Barbara. Bicycle Across America. Nicolin Fields Publishing, 2000.

It took me many hours to put this list together, and many hundreds of dollars and hours to buy and read all of these books!