Book Review: Bike Mechanic

bike mechanic

Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop by Guy Andrews and Rohan Dubash

Forget about #bikeporn, Bike Mechanic is #mechanicporn.

Full of beautiful pictures, Bike Mechanic takes you behind the scenes into the work spaces of cycling’s top mechanics.  The words of Guy Andrews and Rohan Dubash, combined with the photography of Taz Darling, give readers access to a world rarely seen by cycling enthusiasts.  While the riders get all the attention on TV and in the news, there is a hard working group of people behind the scenes that keep them rolling smoothly day after day.

Bike Mechanic is a tribute to the hard working, under appreciated bike mechanic.

Along with being a behind the scenes look into the work spaces and lives of pro mechanics, Bike Mechanic is also a “how to” book.  But its not your typical “how to fix a bike” book.  No, Bike Mechanic will take you from a regular local bike shop mechanic to an artist and a legend thanks to Rohan Dubash’s years of experience in the cycling industry.

In Bike Mechanic, Dubash shares many of the tips and tricks he has picked up over 35 years in the business that will take your work to the next level.  Andrews and Dubash turn fixing bikes into an art form.  As I said, this is not your typical “how to fix a bike” book, they don’t start with the basics and they expect a certain level of knowledge of bike mechanics from the reader.  But I guess they can do that because their target audience is bike mechanics.  Well if it wasn’t, those are the people mostly likely to pick Bike Mechanic up and give it a read.

The photography in Bike Mechanic is fantastic and the behind the scenes look is great, but there was one bike problem that I had with the book: too much how to, not enough tales.

The book is titled “Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop.”  The reader is lead to expect that this book is going to be a behind the scenes look at the lives and work of pro mechanics.  I know that was what I was expecting when I purchased the book.

As a mechanic, I was excited about the possibility of getting a look into the world of top level mechanics.  Those guys I look up to and hang posters of on my walls.  That would have made for a much more interesting book.  I love books that give an insight into the lives of pro cyclists, so why not give a little love to the under appreciated men and women who keep their machines running smoothly?  We all know pro cyclists can’t do it themselves.

The old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true with Bike Mechanic.  What the reader is lead to expect based on the cover is not delivered on on the pages that follow.  Too much how to and not enough tales.  And no matter how beautiful the photography is of Taz Darling, it just can’t make up for that.