With the interest in cycling as both a sport and hobby/pastime/obsession continually growing, so publishers have discovered that there is an eager audience for books on the subject. Whether you want to find out more about your favourite pro rider, are looking for an amusing read or want to improve your cycling knowledge, there are some great books out there. So here is our round up of some of the best.
Discover the men behind the lycra
Nicely timed for Christmas is a clutch of biographies from some of the world’s most famous professionals. First up, The World of Cycling According to G provides an insight into the life of the cheeky chappie from Wales. From the first time he shaved his legs to the injuries he’s acquired during his career so far, Geraint Thomas gives an entertaining glimpse into the world of pro racing.
There have been a fair few attempts at the Hour Record during 2015, and Bradley Wiggins: My Hour is dedicated to Wiggo’s record-breaking ride. The book covers in detail his training and preparation, the people who support him, the gruelling physical and psychological effort involved. If you wonder why people do it, read this book!
Chris Froome may not be one of cycling’s most charismatic personalities, but he knows how to ride a bike, and The Climb: The Autobiography is a very honest account of his life. From growing up in Kenya to working his way up through the cycling ranks to claiming the famous yellow jersey, The Climb is an engrossing and compelling read.
Moving on from the man who wants to ensure cycling is a clean sport to cycling’s biggest villain, The Program: Seven Deadly Sins – My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong is journalist David Walsh’s account of his 13-year quest to prove that Lance Armstrong was guilty of using drugs to win. Subsequently made into a film (very good, by the way), this is a fascinating exposé.
Something for the coffee table
P is for Peloton is jam-packed with interesting snippets that cover everything from the sport’s most famous names to many weird and wonderful facts. A fun read, this book is perfect if you like to read in small bursts (maybe whilst waiting for a short sharp storm to pass before setting off on a ride!).
Infographic Guide to Cycling provides plenty of information in a visually interesting and easily digestible way, covering diverse topics such as doping and bike tech, along with various cycling disciplines.
For knowledge junkies
If you’re hellbent on conquering serious gradients, then Simon Warren’s guides are a must have. Titles include Cycling Climbs of South-East England: A Road Cyclist's Guide and 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour de France: A Cyclist's Guide to Riding the Mountains of the Tour. Start ticking off some of these climbs and your ears will be ringing with the sound of ‘chappeau’!
For cyclists who want to be ‘in the know’ possessing a copy of The Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple is absolutely essential. The Velominati have created the cyclist’s bible – more extensive than the Ten Commandments, these rules will show you how to become the hardman of cycling, how to ensure your bike is uber-cool and why tan lines are a good thing. You’ll probably also start to look at fellow cyclists a little differently, too!
And for those of us who want to unleash our inner bike mechanic
Don’t do anything unless you’ve got a copy of The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance opened at the relevant page! Motorists have relied on Haynes manuals for donkey’s years and the cycling version is just as informative.Happy reading! (And please note: we’re really not promoting Amazon, the site is just a very good virtual bookshelf!)