I like to write. I also like to read. I also like to cycle. I like to read cycling books.
If you’re reading this blog (literary titan that it is), I’m sure you like to read cycling books as well.
On this page I give you a selection of my favourite books about bikes.
Note: The links to Amazon below are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I will get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
Road Bike Maintenance Books
Road Bike Maintenance
Even though I am not averse to using YouTube videos to guide my
In addition to containing information on pretty much every maintenance job you might like to attempt on your trusty steed, it contains handy reference materials including torque tables for every bolt and screw and a comprehensive glossary.
A worthy (nay, vital) addition to every amateur (and semi-pro) workshop.
Best Cycling Training Books
The Cyclist’s Training Bible
‘Bible’ is a grand claim to throw into a book title, but Friel carries it off. This book contains all the information you need to build an effective, structured training programme.
Not one for beginners (it’s aimed at the performance / racing road cyclist) but put the advice into practice and you’ll get fitter… faster!
Here is a long post I wrote on the subject of cycling fitness training, which draws heavily on the content in The Cyclist’s Training Bible.
Buy the paperback rather than Kindle version due to the large, detailed tables used in the book.
Fast After 50
A really interesting read for the more mature MAMIL (or WILMA).
Written by the same guy that wrote the ‘Bible’ (see above), Fast After 50 helps riders of ‘a certain age’ build fitness, improve performance and reverse (or at least hold back) some of the effects of ageing.
Click here to read my full review
Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance
I have waxed lyrical about how great this book is in a number of blog posts about losing weight (or more correctly, getting lean). Since reading it 3 months ago, I’ve lost 4kg and my body fat has dropped from 18.9% to 15.9%.
The book contains sensible, pragmatic advice based on how top performing endurance athletes eat. There are no fads or gimmicks.
My favourite book on how to get lean (and look good-ish) *and* perform strongly on the bike. Full of clear, actionable advice.
Best Cycling Books For Beginners
Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing and Enjoying Your First Sportive
Yes, this is my book. By me. On Amazon!
Worth clicking through just to read some of the reviews…
Best Books About Cycling
How I Won The Yellow Jumper
An account of ITV sports Ned Boulting’s experiences reporting from his first few Tours de France, including gaffes, cultural confusion and transportational discomfort.
A light-hearted but loving look at the Tour. A great book if you want to get up to speed on ‘how the Tour works’ or if you simply enjoy well-written, humorous prose (I know you do!)…
On The Road Bike
The follow up to How I Won The Yellow Jumper (in that it’s a second book about bikes, written by Ned Boulting). This book investigates the ongoing re-blossoming of Britain’s love affair with road cycling.
It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels
A lovely book recounting the author’s experience travelling around the world to source each of the individual components needed to build his perfect road bike. His trip takes him to Italy for gears and handlebars, to the US for the wheels and to Stoke-on-Trent for the frame…
French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
I first read this book almost 10 years ago (so before the most recent resurgence in British cycling interest) and I’m pretty sure I’ve read it since (a good sign). The tale of a writer from London simply deciding to ride the route of the Tour de France one summer, without much training and without much clue.
I’m not sure whether this book falls under light relief. It almost deserves a category of its own: cycling literary fiction. Don’t let that put you off though. It’s a must read, and not at all hard to get through.
It’s the fictional first-person account of a local cycling race in France and it captures everything you need to know about bike racing.
Anything I say will undersell this book. Just read it.
A book on the science of cycling performance, written by the well-known (at least in velo circles) high level time trialist turned cycling journalist.
Although not an autobiography (the book is organised thematically rather than chronologically), ‘Faster’ draws on Hutchinson’s experiences trying optimise every aspect of his riding in order to achieve his best possible performance. No stone is left unturned.
I thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed the book, and you can find my review here.
Best Books About Professional Cycling
Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France
Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle
Project Rainbow: How British Cycling Reached the Top of the World
Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson
Easy Rider: My Life on a Bike
Best Books About Cycling Routes And Climbs
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs – A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills
A nice little book detailing the author’s top 100 climbs to ride in Britain. Some are famous (in the UK at least); some less so. Each climb has a photo, description, key statistics and a difficulty rating.
Some will complain about the omission of their favourite climb. Complainers should write their own book. It’s nice to have a list of climbs to tick off and compare experiences of.
Here are my posts on two of the climbs that feature in the South-East chapter of the book: Leith Hill and Box Hill.
Although its a small book (i.e. in height), being a guide book, you probably want to own it in paperback rather than ebook format.
Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills
What’s this? Another 100 British climbs, described, documented and diagrammed for your delectation?
Why, yes it is.
I’ve bought both books. If you’re interested in becoming a hill-bagger (is that a term?), I suggest you do the same.
Get the paperback, for the same reason as mentioned above.
2 thoughts on “Best Cycling Books: The Sportive Cyclist Guide”
The Rider from Tim Krabbé is awesome. One of my favourites.
I would add the book called “The All-Road Bike Revolution” from Jan Heine (René Herse Cycles) to the list if you are interested in what makes your bike fast, comfortable and reliable. Highly recommended.
Thanks, very nice list.
Plus one for The Rider. A must read. Some others I enjoyed:
The Magic Spanner- The World of Cycling According to Carlton Kirby (racing commentator)
The Ascent- history of Irish cycling
The Rules- lighthearted, rules of cycling
Pro cyclist for $10 a day