The best books on cycling – Bike Magazine Australia

“Mountain biking is awesome!” We agree, and we especially agree with Lopes and McCormack’s suggestion that to make mountain biking even more awesome, any and every rider, no matter what standard, is going to benefit from skills training. The better your skills, the more fun you’ll have.

Now in its third edition, Mastering Mountain Bike Skills is the go-to bible for dirt shredders, from beginner to advanced – so much so that it’s given to every participant in Mountain Biking Australia’s coach education programs. The third edition has been thoroughly revised to include new technological developments in wheel sizes and frame geometries (although the photos could use a bit of an update as well). 

McCormack and Lopes have different, but equally impressive, pedigrees when it comes to their qualifications: Brian Lopes is a legend of the sport, with a career spanning 20 years and across many disciplines, and he’s been World Champion a few times in Downhill. McCormack is a professional skills coach with a way with words. Together, the two make a formidable educational team.

The book covers everything a mountain biker could need to know, from bike types, to bike setup, to tyre choices, to suspension tuning. But it’s in the skills department that the book really shines, with clear, easy-to-follow instructions, logical progression to even the most advanced techniques, and a lot of good humour. This is the perfect book for the off-road fanatic in your life, especially those starting out, curious, and looking for confidence and guidance.

RRP: $35.95

Cycling Science by Stephen Cheung & Mikel Zabala

More than ever, cycling performance depends on technology and research. And that’s not just at the pointy end of the sport. Today power meters, social ride-sharing platforms, and ultra-accessible analytics mean that numbers and percentages and split seconds and wattages are the language of many post-ride conversations and coffee-shop banter.

The internet provides endless answers, but for those seeking academic accuracy, Cycling Science compiles much of the most recent thinking on cycling and performance. The book is a collection of chapters – scholarly research articles – on topics ranging from hydration science to injuries, to biomechanics, to aerodynamics, and covering all kinds of training and racing in all disciplines. 

With their scholarly pedigree, these essays can be quite complex for the lay reader. That said, many of them present or compile new research gathered over the past 10 years – fascinating reading for those willing to take the time to understand some intricate figures and concepts. Some of these chapters come from big names in coaching and research, such as Hunter Allen, one of the pioneers of cycling’s powerhouse software analysis platform, WKO+, and co-author Dr Stephen Cheung, of the PezCycling News website.

RRP: $42.95. E-Book: $42.80