Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
93 internautes sur 97 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Masterful Indeed!31 mai 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Bicycle training includes physical, psychological, and skills training. Although riders often ignore the latter, without skills training mountain bikers limit their potential enjoyment and development as competent cyclists.
This is one of the best books ever published on acquiring mountain biking skills, a book whose principles broadly apply to other forms of bicycling, including road cycling.
The book is well-organized and the topics flow well. The book begins with general bike set-up and pedaling, transitions to braking, cornering, hopping, dropping, and jumping, and puts the basics together in chapters about flowing, crazy (miscellaneous) conditions, and racing.
The book has more than 100 color photos and diagrams, which overall illustrate its points well. Diagrams, such as those on pages 64, 66, and 67 depicting zero, negative, and positive camber help the reader learn the meaning of familiar yet uncertain terms. Time-sequence photography, such as images on pages 106 and 107 illustrating the difference in jumping techniques of a dirt-jumper and cross-country racer are superb.
The book attempts to detail principles for beginners and experts alike, and overall does a great job.
As excellent as the book is, it could be improved.
A glossary would help. Authors and editors often forget that not everyone knows the meaning of the jargon words-such as rail and carve. Even if explained at first usage, a glossary of mountain biking terms would improve the book.
The language is hip, sometimes crude. Although attractive to many who practice downhill mountain biking, the lingo might not appeal to all. For example, in describing pedaling style at the bottom of the pedal stroke on page 34, the authors write: "Pretend you're scraping dog crap off the bottom of your shoe."
The book includes descriptions and illustrations that are inconsistent. For example, in describing a series of turns on page 59, the text describes a left then right series of turns, but the illustration is right then left. In describing how to carve flat turns, on page 66, the text says lean your bike more than your body, but the rider is leaning his body more than the bike. On page 69, in describing skidding into loose corners, the text describes the method of dealing with a skid turning left, but the time-sequence photos are of a rider turning right. Such inconstancies make it more difficult for the reader to follow the authors' points.
Sage advice has its exceptions. When exceptions are not qualified as such, readers may be confused. For example, throughout the book, the problems associated with needless, overzealous, panicked, or overly cautious braking are reiterated. The novice mountain biker may think: "Always stay off the brakes!" Yet in describing how to conquer switch backs, page 68, the first item of advice is "Slow WAY down....you want to reach a happy speed, not scare yourself..." which, of course, is what novice riders think in every situation they consider braking. If the authors had said: "This is an exception to letting-the-brakes-go-to-ride-more-effectively rule," they'd clarify their thinking for the reader and gain credibility.
These minor quibbles aside, this book has great information about mountain biking skills, from one of the most skilled riders who has every lived. If you are a mountain biker, get this book-even if only to look at the pictures.
Reviewer's note/disclaimer: The publisher sent me a review copy. I was not paid for this review.
72 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Is it too late in life???30 septembre 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I'm going on 53 and got my first mountain bike 1 year ago. After a rude introduction to single track, I decided to try and learn some skills. This book looked like a good source of info, so I ordered it. My first impression was that I'll never risk most of the moves shown by the pros in the book. It's definitely geared toward all-out riding. But I went back to the book and got more selective with the chapters. I then realized that all the basics are there. Not only are the techniques shown, but there's great explanations of why they work. It's almost like having a video. So what first looked like an intimidating how-to manual, now seems more like Pandorra's Box. I look forward to practicing whenever I can spare the time, then getting out and enjoying some terrain. The deer trails above my home have taken on new meaning.
53 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Conscious Competence26 décembre 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Learning anything proceeds along a continuum. Starting from where one isn't even aware how much one doesn't know, (unconscious incompetence), the first step is to become aware of just how much one doesn't know. This would be the stage of conscious incompetence. As one gains knowlege and practices a set of skills, they are in the phase of conscious competence. Elite atheletes, like Brian Lopes in mountain biking, have reached the stage of unconscious competence. They no longer even have to think about it, they "just do it." Lopes started riding at 4 years old, and turned pro at 17. Rising from the ranks of BMX, Brian has been successful in a vast range of off road biking activities. Not only has he been successful at many of the biking disciplines, he holds world records in bunny hopping and distance jumping, and he is even the star of a mountain bike video game "Downhill Domination" for PlayStation.
The problem is, people at Brian Lopes' level of unconscious competence are not necessarily any longer the best teachers for us mere mortals. The years of developing skills, motor memory, reflexes, and balance, mean folks at this level are no longer even aware of all that goes into their amazing performance. They aren't even necessarily able to say how they do certain things.
Enter Lee McCormack, a man who has been explaining things and writing about bicycling for years. Despite some pretty impressive biking acheivements of his own, he is still close enough to his conscious competence to break down and write about the basics and specific skills that go into excellent biking performance.
Mastering Mountain Bike Skills describes itself as for anyone who wants to ride better, faster, or more confidently. It helps you master the skills to all types of terrain in almost any type of situation: cross country, freeriding, downhill, dirt jumping, bikercross, urban terrain, and even skate parks.
Chapters cover bike selection and setup, balance, position, pedaling, pumping terraqin for speed, braking, cornering, wheelies and hops, drops, jumping,speed, lines, and racing.
I read this book straight through, but it's one you'll want to keep out and refer to often as you ride, develop, and practice skills. There's great tips and tricks for people at all levels of skill and experience. It's also fun that Lee throws a lot of little jokes in all through his writing. The combination of Brian and Lee have produced a book that will help me in getting back into mountain biking after an 11 year break, and will be referred to often.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Good but could be better23 janvier 2008
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I think this is a great book for a visual perspective.
Things that are hard to describe in words are often given good visual treatment. I especially liked it when they showed multiple frames to illustrate a technique that might have changes across time.
For example, they illustrate performing a jump by showing you various frames including hen the rider enters the jump (showing body position, etc), while he's in the jump, and what he looks like when exiting.
This alone puts this book above others I have read on the same topic.
I also liked the treatment of many different topics. There's a really good cross-section of useful information covered, so it seems like just about anyone in the sport would benefit from the content.
There are a couple of things that I think need to be improved on to make this book better.
First and foremost, the book either needs to dispense with all the flowery, colorful jargon, and stick closer to simple English, or it needs to provide a glossary up front.
I am a beginning rider (supposedly one of the people this book is aimed at) and there were many times I did not understand a section perfectly clearly because of the specialized language they used.
Here's an example, taken from early on in the book:
"Pump backsides. Any time the trail turns downward, press down for some free speed".
That probably makes perfect sense to someone who understands these terms, but it did not help be as a beginner.
What does "pump" mean? Does it mean to "pedal hard"? Does it mean to quickly raise and then lower your body on the bike to "pump it"? And how about "press down" - press down on what? The pedals? The handlebars? The saddle?
I've read the whole book and I'm still not 100% sure if "pump" means "pedal", or something else.
This problem occurs throughout the book, in some places worse than others. There were spots where the language was so flowery that I actually laughed out loud.
I remember one paragraph talking about pimping and nailing and lips and rhino horns. I wasn't sure if somehow a chapter from Alice in Wonderland had ended up in this book about Mountain Biking.
The other thing I found confusing about the book was some of the conflicting advice given.
I found this especially true in areas related to braking. If one just listed all the sentences related to braking you might see something like this: "Stay off the brakes, speed is the key to smoothness", "Use the brakes to remain in control", "Only brake when you really mean to", "Braking is one of the most important skills", "People rely too much on the brakes", and so on.
This all reminds me of an out-take from the movie Poltergeist in which the main characters are giving Carol-Ann advice about how to come home: "Go into the light!", "Get away from the light!", "The light is your salvation!", "The light is the enemy!".
I'm afraid that after reading this book I am as confused about braking as poor Carol-Ann is about whether or not she should go into the light.
Apart from these gripes, I have spent many hours with this book and feel that I will become a better rider for it.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Best Step-by-Step I have read for mountain biking21 février 2006
Jeffrey J. Meyer
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The combination of experienced authors, supportive facts, and the fashion in which the material is presented makes this book the best way to learn about mountain bike skills. The format is what I like the most. There are clear frame by frame pictures of moves with concise descriptions to go with them. The authors also provide interesting scientific facts about cycling physics. The troubleshooting sections are also helpful. The chapters are all well organized and packed full of helpful and not so obvious information. Any rider can benefit from this book. The book is more than a list of tips (like most other books: outside foot down, look ahead, etc.) It is the best tool that I own for improving my skills next to my bikes. I am a seasoned racer and I am learning so much from this book. Buy it!