Mastering Mountain Bike Skills (Anglais) Broché – 3 juin 2010
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I read bits and pieces of the first edition while in Scotland on a TCL training a couple years ago ... and it got even better with the second edition.
These guys know their stuff and it sure brings another perspective on how to ride a mountain bike.
Go for it!
My bedside book for biking.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
The first edition was awesome and the second edition is even better. This book contains everything you need to know from choosing the right bike, how to set it up, and it then goes through every aspect of riding a mountain bike - pedalling, braking, cornering and how to cope with any obstacle that any trail will throw at you. Each concept is explained very clearly and has photos and diagrams to make things clearer - the book is packed with very useful photo sequences so you can study a rider's form all through the execution of the move. It is very progressive and never overwhelming - you can go through it chapter by chapter, or ignore the stuff you know and go straight into drifting and cranking jumps - the choice is yours. I found this to be a valuable reference book: after spending days or weeks on a certain skill I would re-read the appropriate section to fine-tune my progress.
I have read many magazine articles and watched many videos/DVDs on riding skills, but this book is far more comprehensive. This book takes a few days just to read, let alone practicing the lessons - you can't fit that much information on to a DVD (or even three). I also think it is a better place to start than skills clinics which are often overcrowded and expensive - this book is like having your own instructor on-call. Once you have used this book to build your skills you will get a lot more value from a skills session with a professional as they will polish your skills instead of teaching them to you.
For much less than the price of a decent tire, Mastering Mountain Bike can help you corner faster on the tires you already have. Many people upgrade components on their bike instead of investing in their skills - to those people I say "Buy this book!"