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The Complete Bike Book

Mel Allwood
Mel launched The Complete Bike Book at Metropolitan Books, Exmouth Market this week

“I’m sure there are plenty of others like me carrying around a guilty secret. We don’t cycle because we’re virtuous. We do it because it makes us smile.” Mel Allwood, 2006

Cyclists aren’t some secret society, the truth is that most of us are just trying to get to work on time or simply riding because it’s fun and we enjoy the freedom of a bicycle. What we don’t want is that freedom to be compromised because we don’t know how to maintain our bikes or because we get stuck out in the middle of no where with a mechanical problem.

Here’s where The Complete Bike Book by Mel Allwood comes in…

‘Another bike manual?’ you might ask, but what is both unique and successful about The Complete Bike Book is that it is for everybody who uses a bike to get anywhere. Not just beginners, not just the elite but ‘everybody’.

Mel manages to speak to all levels of rider with perfect simplicity. Striking a perfect tone with both the experienced and the novice Mel proves that simplicity really can go hand in hand with the word bike.

From choosing a bicycle and changing a puncture to in-depth maintenance procedures Mel leads you through using her wealth of experience to break things down to a palatable read.

Mel Allwood began riding when, like a lot of us, she realised that she really could get from A to B much quicker if she did it on a bike. At the tender age of 15 she started her career and as a bike mechanic and one of the founding members of London’s notorious Brixton Cycles.

Both beautifully and practically illustrated at the same time, this book a pleasure to read and will become a bible for commuters, competitive riders and beginners alike.

So, in Mel’s words; “It’s not about Weight Watchers and we’re not all riding towards some cyclists utopia every morning. It’s about making yourself smile. You can stay in bed longer, eat more cake and drink more tea.”

“It’s also about furthering the independence of women so when they get a puncture and they’re out on their own, they don’t…(pauses and thinks) cry!”

Mel’s simple step-by-step instructions can help to make you safer, surer and more independent in enjoying your riding to the full.

Edited by Nigel Matheson and published by Carlton Books, The Complete Bike Book, The Illustrated Manual is available to buy now at £17.99 from all good book shops.


Photo Gallery


The SheCycles team celebrate at the launch


Mel gives a speech

…and a quick pose

The excitement is all too much for one SheCycles production girl!

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