Best Cycling Books of ALL TIME

BikeRadarAdmin Posts: 909
edited March 2018 in The cake stop
Hi All,

BikeRadar are looking to do a list of the best cycling books of all time and we need your help.

Either simply your favourite, or your top three cycling books.

They can be biographies, touring guides, training tips or collections of the best cycling photographs.

Thanks in advance!
BikeRadar Communities Manager


  • gethinceri
    gethinceri Posts: 1,515
    It's Not About The Bike. L Armstrong & S Jenkins.
  • graeme_s-2
    graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    The Hour by Michael Hutchinson
    Gives you an entertaining story about an hour record attempt along with the history of the record. I've leant it to people with barely a passing interest in cycling who've thoroughly enjoyed it
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    edited November 2015
    The rider, Tim Krabbé
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    For me, top three in no particualr order:

    I like Mike Carden's The Full English. He is like Bill Bryson on a bike and this book, by far his best, is a charming account of someone, without a racing bone in his body, getting out on a bike .

    Next up, Charlie Weglius, The Domestique. Brutal and yet informative, tells it how it is.

    Finally, Michael Hutchinson, Faster. A great insight into the science of riding a bike fast and covers off whether a great racer is, to a large degree, born. It can get a little too focused in places (probably not surprising given Hutch's nature) particularly on the biology of blood, etc., but one can always just skip the odd sentence.

    3 very different books, all enjoyable.
  • From a personal view:

    Lance Armstrong - It's Not About The Bike if it wasn't for this book I wouldn't have got into the sport and be here today!

    Wheelmen - Vanessa O'Connell and Reed Albergotti deconstructed my opinion of my (ex) hero

    Yoga for Cyclists - Lexie Williamson keeps me injury and pain free!
    BikeRadar Communities Manager
  • random man
    random man Posts: 1,518
    Mike Carter - One Man and His Bike - highly entertaining account of a novice cyclist's tour round the British coastline

    Tyler Hamilton - The Secret Race - matter-of-fact tale of doping with Lance

    Tim Moore - Gironimo! - story of how to ride the 1913 Giro on a period bike, hilarious :D
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,201
    It's all about the bike - Rob Penn
    In search of Robert Millar - Richard Moore
    Shadows on the road - Michael Barry

    The first one made me want to build my own bike. Second one is all about my schoolboy hero. Third one is just an excellent read from a top pro who many may not have heard off but rode with Armstrong and Sky.
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • harry-s
    harry-s Posts: 295
    Dog In A Hat, - Joe Parkin.
    "A Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium".
    How can that not be good?

    +1 for The Rider
  • andcp
    andcp Posts: 644
    The Death of Marco Pantani - Matt Randell
    Remarkable book.

    In search of Robert Millar - Richard Moore
    Not quite as remarkable, but very good.
    "It must be true, it's on the internet" - Winston Churchill
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    The Death of Marco Pantani
    The Rider
    Slaying the Badger
  • JackPozzi
    JackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    The Rider, Krabbe
    The flying scotsman, Obree
    The Hour, Hutchinson
  • crispybug2
    crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    Tour de France, The History, The Legend, The Riders - Graeme Fife

    French Revolutions - Tim Moore

    The Secret Race - Tyler Hamilton
  • motdoc
    motdoc Posts: 97
    The Rider


    Yellow Jumper
    Arrrrr I be in Devon.
  • joelsim
    joelsim Posts: 7,552
    The Secret Race
    Seven Deadly Sins
    Breaking The Chain
  • vimfuego
    vimfuego Posts: 1,783
    Racing Through The Dark - David Millar
    The Domestique - Charly Wegelius
    The Racer - David Millar

    He may polarise opinion to some extent, but Millar's books are bl**dy good and very insightful.

    Honourable mention to the Zinn and the art of... maintenance guides too. Kept me on the straight & narrow with mechanical issues - gives you all the info you need without patronising you and treating you like an imbecile or blinding you with technical info.
    Surrey Hills
    What's a Zwift?
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289
    Gironimo or French Revolutions. Tales of an ordinary bloke doing something extraordinary, well written and very funny. More relevant to the likes of me than books by pro's. Read a couple of books by pro's but don't have the same connection. Haven't read Yellow Jumper yet, really should.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    French revolutions by Tim Moore. The only cycling book I've read more than once.

    Honorary mentions to these two as well. Both brilliant.
    It's all about the bike - Rob Penn
    In search of Robert Millar - Richard Moore
  • pdstsp
    pdstsp Posts: 1,264
    edited November 2015
    Tony Hewson : In pursuit of stardom, Les Nomades du Velo Anglais
    Tim Moore - French Revolutions
    Tim Krabbe - The Rider
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    The rider is the only one with any kind of literary credential.

    Pity the cycling reader who hasn't read it. No excuses - it was translated in 2001.

    Krabbé also wrote lots of columns about his amateur races which have been compiled into a book but that won't be translated.
  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    In Pursuit of Stardom - Tony Hewson
    Domestique - Charlie Wegelius
    A Peiper's Tale - Allan Peiper

    Find books by or about the superstars of cycling invariably disappointing, with the exception of The Death of Marco Pantani.
  • In no particular order:

    The Secret Race Tyler Hamilton
    Breaking the Chain Willy Voet
    It's all about the bike Sean Yates
  • Rough Ride - Paul Kimmage (cannot believe no has mentioned it before - the original and still the best!)
    Heroes, villains & Velodromes - Richard Moore
    Slaying the Badger - Richard Moore

    The autobiographies of Coppi & Merckx are excellent as well.

    Surprised to see so many picking Armstrong's fine work of FICTION!

    '...time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana....'
  • priory
    priory Posts: 743
    Any of the books by Josie Dew are entertaining accounts of cycle tours
    mark beaumont , the man who cycled the world

    But every cyclist really should read these:

    Dervla Murphy wind in my wheels was a real treat. Not many of us have to whip out a revolver to stop a pack of wild dogs these days.And she always said she never mended a pucture , there was always a bloke nearby to do it for her.

    thomas Stevens Around the world on a bicycle is the real hard stuff, and you can download it free I think.
    Cycle tourists are soft these days. I always thought he was american , but now I find he was born in England , so that's ok .
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman ... =slideshow
  • mcstumpy
    mcstumpy Posts: 298
    Slaying the Badger
    Rough Rider
  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,819
    For me definitely the Allan Peiper book - think it's the only cycling book, and rare for any book, for me to reread.
    I think as he retired a few years ago now and was not seen as a big name his book has passed many by.

    Robert Millar book also was one I found interesting, more than most of the others that I have felt that, having read them I'd be quite happy to pass it on to someone else and not have any inclination to ever pick it up again.
  • mr_goo
    mr_goo Posts: 3,770
    +1 for The Death of Marco Pantani
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • Wide Eyed & Legless, a tale of Brits (mostly) abroad in the TdF. Funny and harrowing in turn, the sequel is good too.

    The Moore book about Robert Millar is well written and utterly absorbing, another world.
  • eric_draven
    eric_draven Posts: 1,192
    A Clean Break by Christophe Bassons
    Death of Marco Pantani by Matt Rendell
    Riding Through The Storm By Geoff Thomas

    As for It's Not About The Bike,I did enjoy reading it,having lost my father to cancer not that long before reading it,I have to say I was quite captivated by his bloody minded battle with the disease,same as i was for reading Riding Through the Storm a few years later
  • In no particular order:

    Seven deadly sins (David Walsh)
    Gironimo (Tim Moore)
    The Hour (Michael Hutchinson)
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.