On your (book)marks... get set... GO!

If you’re planning on being at home a bit more then chances are you’ll end up needing some new books to read. Here are the best mountain biking books.

>>> Seven tips for riding alone

mountain biking books

The Birth of Dirt: Origins of Mountain Biking

by Frank J. Berto

The version of the early history of mountain biking that’s retold with the least amount of vested interest.

“Relive the birth of a sport and the invention of a machine. In this fascinating book, Frank Berto, leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the truth about the beginnings of mountain biking and the invention of the mountain bike. Illustrated with period documents and vivid photographs by two of the early pioneers themselves (including Wende Cragg and Erik Koski), this book should put an end to the question of who invented the mountain bike. At the same time, it will let you experience the pioneering days of the sport for yourself.”

Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking

by Charlie Kelly

Whilst there is no shortage of vested interest in this version of history, it’s no less fascinating or valid.

“Charlie Kelly — co-founder of the MountainBikes company with Gary Fisher, organizer of the Repack races, and chronicler of the sport — now delivers the true, complete, and often unbelievable history of the rise of mountain biking and its lasting culture. Rich with first-hand descriptions and bursting with original photographs, drawings, and memorabilia, Fat Tire Flyer is the definitive history of one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century.”

Great Britain Mountain Biking: The best trail riding in England, Scotland and Wales

by Tom Fenton and Andy McCandlish

This is not a book to read to front-to-back but it is more than just a series of routes. It’s part inspiration and part information.

“The book is split into four sections – Southern England, Northern England, Wales and Scotland. Within each area is a detailed introduction, advice on what kind of riding to expect and when to go. Each area includes at least one featured route – 56 in total – complete with introduction, information box, route directions and Ordnance Survey map, together with suggestions for further rides (around 200 rides in total!), with abbreviated directions to allow you to plan your adventures. There’s also a detailed information panel with accommodation details, bike shops, trail centres and more. The book is illustrated with stunning photography throughout.”

mountain biking books

Hurly Burly 4, the 2019 Downhill World Cup and Championships Yearbook

by MisSpent Summers

We’re not alone in pessimistic thoughts about the 2020 (non) racing season, but there’s always last year to remember. Sigh.

“In 2019 the UCI Downhill World Cup and Championships went back to some of the sport’s most revered venues. Varied courses and conditions made for a classic season of racing that saw the sport’s current powerhouses come out victorious. From early-season Slovenia to a dramatic final in the USA and every race in-between, this book covers the highs, lows and most important stories of the season.”

Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: the art and science

by Tony Foale

For those who can’t enough of banging on about fork offset, front-centre rear-centre balance and steering dynamics. Geek-tastic.

“There are a wide range of technical topics discussed within a relatively small book and so in some cases a prior knowledge of the basics has had to be taken for granted. Naturally some parts of the general text are more technical than others, but there should be little problem for any interested enthusiast in gaining a better understanding of the principles involved. It is not necessary to understand every last detail to derive benefit. To cover the subject adequately it is impossible to completely avoid mathematics, I have tried to keep this as simple as possible. The level of mathematics used is deliberately kept at a level below that requiring a knowledge of calculus, in the hope that the book will be of use to the widest range of readers. A multitude of diagrams and graphs from both data logging and computer simulation have been used to demonstrate various phenomenon without a great number of formulae” Download from motochassis.com

mountain biking books

Into the North Wind: A Thousand-mile Bicycle Adventure Across Frozen Alaska

by Jill Homer

Scott of the Antartic on knobblies. With less death. Jill Homer is a singular individual. She has also written a great acccount of riding The Tour Divide.

“‘Into the North Wind’ chronicles Jill Homer’s record-breaking bicycle ride across Alaska on the Iditarod Trail. Fitness, however, remained elusive as ambitious preparations left a wake of failures, sickness and injury. Even the existence of the trail remained in question — throughout the winter, Alaska experienced unprecedented heat waves and snow melt that threatened to render the Iditarod Trail impassable. By the time Jill lined up at the start, she was ready to chuck her dream into the barely-frozen lake. Instead, she pedaled across waterlogged ice, repeating her mantra of ‘one day at a time.'”