Zinn and the Art of…

If you’re like me, you fondly remember reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Released in the 70s (after a series of rejections!), it quickly became a cult classic and I feel like everyone was reading it.

So color me amused when I was looking for a book on bikes and discovered Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance. It definitely made me chuckle!

Unlike the fictional autobiographical and philosophical style of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, these books are practical repair and maintenance guys written by Lennard Zinn. (Really, it was right there and if they hadn’t titled these books this way I would have been disappointed!) Dubbed the best-selling guide to the maintenance and repair of bicycles, mountain bikes, hybrids, and fat bikes, Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance or Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance are the guides you need if you love to get out and ride.

In over 500 pages and more than 750 illustrations, Zinn teaches you everything from basic repairs like how to fix a pesky flat to more advanced repairs like repairing and overhauling drive trains and brakes. The fantastic part is everything is clearly illustrated, many with exploded parts diagrams, to guide you through and make repairs easy.

With these books, you’ll learn how to repair:

  • Basics: How to fix a flat tire, lube a bicycle chain, adjust the brakes
  • Emergency repairs: How to fix a broken chain, tighten loose spokes, repair a bent derailleur
  • Easy shifting: How to adjust shifters, derailleurs, and cables for clean and smooth shifting
  • Wheels: How to true a wheel, install a new tire, change a cassette, replace broken spokes, build your own wheels
  • Overhauls: How to service and replace pedals, chains and chainrings, saddles, handlebars, stems, headsets, forks, bottom brackets
  • New tech: How to maintain 1x-speed systems, electronic and wireless shifters
  • Troubleshooting: How to figure out what’s wrong with any bike and fix it

Which Book Do You Need?

You probably don’t need both of these books. Really, the Road Bike version is great for generic bikes, but if you have a mountain bike, electric, or fat bike, the Mountain Bike version is newer and has more information to cover those. Quite frankly, we think most of you would benefit from Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance most.