Friday, October 9, 2015


Above: From BIKE MECHANIC the Masi shop under the famous Vigorelli Velodrome

In the1980's Larry was an avid cyclist with a pro-quality bicycle. I took that bike to a shop boasting of an "Olympic Mechanic" as many of the Southern California techs had volunteered at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. The plan was a complete tear-down, repaint and reassembly. 

Despite having had plenty of success working on my own production-based roadracing motorcycles and with an automotive technology background, I did this because I thought the special tools and expertise required were not worth the investment of time and money.

Until I got my bike back. The entire job was so piss-poor that I decided then and there to make a change. All of the money I would no longer spend on having someone else work on my bicycle would instead be spent on the special tools and on learning the special techniques myself.

This included a copy of BICYCLE MECHANICS in workshop and competition by Steve Snowling and Ken Evans. Soon I was working in a bicycle shop and turning a wrench for challenging bike tour clients in the US and Europe. This book was an ever-present source of inspiration (with a place on the CycleItalia bookshelf even today) and motivated me to jump at an opportunity to attend the legendary, multi-day Campagnolo Technical Seminar in 1988. I was on my way to a life I'd never dreamed of, but one that turned out much better than any of my dreams!

Above: The CycleItalia shop in Iowa, USA

Velopress now brings us BIKE MECHANIC Tales from the Road and the Workshop by Guy Andrews and Rohan Dubash. The authors rightly pay respects to the original and acknowledge the role it played in their careers as well. Well organized in three sections, ON THE ROAD, HARDWARE and THE BIKE, the book offers information and inspiration valuable to both budding wrench-turners and jaded veterans alike. Before I'd even finished the book I'd reorganized and refreshed my "grab and go" tool kit.

BIKE MECHANIC is not really a "how-to" book, but  geared more to inspiring the reader in "the way" of a pro mechanic, just like the original. A bonus - the gorgeous Taz Darling photos (my favorite is at the top of this post) especially those of the workshops of the legendary figures, the guys called pinza d'oro (pliers of gold) in the world of cycling.

I hope this book inspires a new generation of bicycle mechanics in the same way the original did for me and the authors of this wonderful book. Great job guys! Highly recommended.

Disclaimer: a copy of this book was provided free of charge by VELOpress

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