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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Barnett's Manual for Bicycle Mechanics

Looking for a comprehensive manual on how to repair bicycles?

The book, the absolute best, is known as Barnett's Manual, and it is used by bicycle mechanics and bicycle mechanic instructors all over the Earth. The writer John Barnett is the chief instructor at the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado and considered to be the foremost expert on bicycle mechanics because he has narrowed it down to a science (I swear he measures EVERYTHING).

Why is his book the best? Because its actually four huge volumes, covering everything from old bikes to new, every different kind of brakes, derailleurs, wheels, spokes, etc. in excruciating detail with lots of diagrams. Everything you could possibly want, over 1000 pages in 4 volumes. The set is now in its 6th edition and has so much mechanical knowledge it puts university physics textbooks to shame. You can also get the CD version for easy searching/indexing.

The books aren't cheap however. Depending where you go you can get one for approx. $160 USD. If you are on a budget I recommend trying to find an used copy on eBay, Amazon or asking around on Craigslist.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Charles,

    Thanks for posting this on Baenett's. I'm self-taught pretty well, although I once had a nifty little hand book I'm hoping you've heard of. It was designed for bike couriers in that it was small in dimension (2.5 X 3 inches). It showed how to break down and rebuild every element of a road or mountain bike.

    Have you heard of it? (Writing a piece for my Biking Toronto Blog on repair.)

    Michael Holloway



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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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If your bicycle is basically junk and you don't know what to do with it then SELL IT TO ME. I will use it for parts. I will give you a fair price ($20 to $30) for your old clunker just so I can rip it apart for parts.

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