The Chainbreaker Bike Book by Shelly Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark

Shelly Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark
Microcosm Publishing (2019)
ISBN 9780977055739
Reviewed by Mark T. Sneed for Reader Views (05/20)

“The Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance” by Shelly Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark is a great introductory and no intimidation read if you are looking for a fun bike maintenance book. Unlike some maintenance books that seem more for bike mechanics, “The Chainbreaker Bike Book” is for the everyday bike rider. It is a sometimes silly and always entertaining grassroots bike maintenance book. “The Chainbreaker Bike Book” is easy reading, and a nice thing about the book is that it can be something to gift a cyclist or refer to anytime an odd problem arises on the bike.

It could be seen just as a maintenance book but it is so much more. The book is a look into the cycling community, culture and history as well as a no-frills all you need to know bike book. The book gives the reader everything from going to a bike shop and not sounding like a newbie to the various and constantly changing types of bearings, drivetrains and shifters available nowadays.

What is really enjoyable about “The Chainbreaker Bike Book” is that it is an illustrated manual. I loved the hokie drawings. They have cartoons in the book as well, always a winner. The drawings of the components were refreshing compared to the stiff and sometimes dull photographs of bike parts and the frozen shots of a hand on a wrench fixing a pedal. “The Chainbreaker Bike Book” is a surprising look into the bike culture thanks to the authors decade plus of dedication to their bike shops in Oregon and Louisiana.

Have to admit that I read the book trying to figure out if I could use it to fix problems that I struggled with as a cyclist. Thankfully, after reading for accuracy I was happy to find the section entitled: Random and Hopefully Helpful Information.  It was a treat to read through the manual and find that the authors had included several of the original Old Chainbreaker magazines as a bonus as a bit of a homage of the hard work and dedication of the Chainbreaker crew of Shelly Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark. They have been doing this for ten years. Well done.

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