What books do you know about learning mountain biking.

  • converted to CW, this question will likely have more than one answer. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 21:00

4 Answers 4


I am an avid reader, and while I agree that the best way to learn is get on your bike and ride, I like to have a book to refer to and enjoy when riding isn't an option.

I have three recommendations:

Riding Skills: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by Lopes and McCormack - great descriptions, photos and diagrams. Can really help you become familiar with terms and techniques. Now in it's second edition, so if you get it from the library you may want to see if they have the newest.

Maintenance: Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance - unless you are interested in shelling out $200+ for a shop quality repair guide, this the 'bible' of mountain bike maintenance. Again, there are multiple editions of this book.

Training: The Mountain Biker's Training Bible by Friel - A little dated now, and a lot of crossover with Friel's book The Cyclist's Training Bible. Really designed for someone who wants to coach themselves to better performance; it requires some work on your part to develop the plans.

Hope you enjoy one or more of these.

  • I have the Lopez book and it's really good. Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 1:53

I found William Nealy's books to be quite good when I was learning how to mountain bike. They are a bit old now, but many of the fundamental techniques are the same, and the graphic presentation really helps to get the "image" of the skill into your head.

Mountain bike!: a manual of beginning to advanced technique


I've just read Mountain Biking The Manual which was a good read. There's a lot of information inside covering a wide variety of topics. I've also read Riding Skills mentioned in another post which is also very good.

I know everyone learns differently but for me I find that reading books is a very good way to learn about techniques you will use when out on your bike. If you can read a good description of what you should be going then you can visualise yourself doing it and putting it into practice on the trail becomes easier. Also it gives you some glue about which areas of your technique are lacking and how to improve.


It is difficult to actually learn anything physical from a book - the best way is to go out and do it - find a local trail, start riding and you'll meet plenty of people who are happy to help.

What you can get from books on mountain biking are trail guides, maintenance guides, etc. Basically all the peripheral things you will need to know to get the most enjoyment form the sport.

If you're reading, you aren't riding, and the best way to learn is by riding!

  • 3
    I would disagree with that. The books put concepts into your head that your might otherwise never come up with yourself. Then you go out and practice them in the real world. The Lopes/McCormack book is an excellent example of that. It is the realization that someone has made the mistake you are about to make and that you can learn from it ...
    – tplunket
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 12:47
  • @tplunket That can be true, but (anecdote ahead) I certainly found it easier to watch someone and learn than by looking at the worked examples in magazines, etc.
    – Byron Ross
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 8:42
  • Different people learn in different ways. Some people can learn from reading a book and then practicing, whereas others learn best from visual demonstrations, or other methods. An important part of instructing people is picking up on the different learning styles of your students.
    – deemar
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 21:50

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