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Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,536 ratings  ·  309 reviews
Cycling is exploding in a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC cycling's most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous blogger brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob tr ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Chronicle Books (first published 2010)
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Jessica
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: would-be/novice cyclists
I grew up in Berkeley, CA, where riding a bike meant you loved Critical Mass and describing your moral superiority to people who drove cars, often while in the backseat of my Camry as I drove you home from a show in the city. Since at that time I was already vegan and didn't watch TV, I worried about turning into a caricature of myself, and I always steered clear of the bicycle thing.

Later on I lived in Portland, OR, where riding a bike meant you loved racing drunkenly down hills in the pouring
...more
Janna
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Look... As a person that wants to spend much more time on her bike, I found this book a fun read. It was an easy read too, finished in a matter of hours. But my goodness... Analogies, similes, and metaphors, oh my. This book was filled with so many pop culture refrences and comparisons, it made me uncomfortable at times. An attempt at humor gone to far? It just got to be too much, and I found myself skimming the last few sections to avoid it all. But I appreciate a good rant, which is what this ...more
Jordyn Bonds
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book had entertaining parts and alienating parts, which is why I think it's more for existing riders than for conversion (despite its claim to the contrary). Also, this guy seems to think the only women that ride bikes do it the wrong way down a one-way street while talking on the phone, which is a very unhelpful attitude.
Kara
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alright, in all fairness, if one happened to be an extremely avid (and long time) cyclist, this would probably be a fun read, as it casually name drops various brands, parts, and what the author deems types of cyclists. For someone who has average bicycle knowledge hoping to glean something extra (be it either about certain styles of bikes/parts or various items of bicycle culture- which the author denies exists), it was almost completely useless.

There was a lot of humor, and I will be the firs
...more
Brian
Jan 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
here's the thing, this was not a good "book." this would be a good blog, probably...and at the end it was revealed that this is a book based on a blog. that is just kind of weird.

i enjoyed the first part about bike history in new york, the newspaper articles were pretty good (i am just assuming that they are true and real) and it kind of devolved from there.

to be fair, there is probably a spot somewhere that explains what a book is supposed to be about so readers arent allowed to go in with fals
...more
Andrew Hecht
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All cyclists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica
My expectation was that this book would be anecdotal with the author essentially making fun of cyclists at a very shallow level. And yes, there is quite a bit of that (and why not, it's fun); but the book had much more depth both in content and execution. This book is witty, insightful and relevant; though I would speculate that with all the popular culture references, it may not age well. I found myself acknowledging and laughing at alot of his observations. This is a book about cycling by a ma ...more
Matthew Downey
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author's frequently snide tone is off-putting and does little to help those of trying to get more people to accept bicycling as a practical mode of transportation.
Melanti
While the book is more geared towards encouraging novices who may be afraid to ride in traffic, it does have enough cycling related jokes to make the seasoned daily bike rider chuckle often.

Just because it's written for novices, don't assume that it's going to tell you how to fix a flat, or do routine (or any) maintenance - it does tell you you need to know how to do such things, then directs you to use the ever so handy Internet to look it up. If you want a how-to book or tips and tricks, look
...more
Bernie
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I first saw this book while visiting with my daughter in NYC. She took me to a weird "bicycle bar". I mean weird as in unusual but really cool. I didn't know there was such a thing. Anyway, at the bicycle bar, which was in Manhattan, they serve strong coffee (alcohol and bikes don't mix) and displayed fascinating vintage, road, and hipster bikes. They have a little "bike library" where this one was featured. So I added it to my to-read list.

The Bike Snob was an entertaining read. Eben Weiss kep
...more
Ma'Belle
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bicycles
I am not one to follow blogs, but I've been aware of BikeSnobNYC's presence for about 5 years. I've been a cyclist and enthusiast/advocate of safe, smart, practical, and pleasant bicycling lifestyles for close to 7 years. I started off with Mister Snob's second book, The Enlightened Cyclist: Commuter Angst, Dangerous Drivers, and Other Obstacles on the Path to Two-Wheeled Trancendence, expecting to identify most with the issues raised and ranted about on those topics. Instead I found it to be a ...more
Dustin
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bike Snob is a book mainly about bikes, bike riding, bike maintenance, and overall all things bikes. However, it is even more about being entertained by a snarky hipster blogger's relatable experiences through being a cyclist in a generally cycling-unfriendly world. A lot of people who have reviewed this book on Goodreads seem to be completely missing the point of this book, because it's not at all a book to be taken seriously. If you are looking for how to lube your chain, how to share the road ...more
Geoffrey Clouser
Jun 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Perhaps because I didn't go into this book already a fan of the Bike Snob blog, I wasn't able to fully appreciate it. I'm somewhat new to the adult cycling world, and thought this book would be a fun way to learn about different areas of cycling I was never aware of, and be a fun commentary. This book generally had no useful information, the area near the end of the book that referenced maintenance and repair was only there to say "I'm not going to go into details because you can find this infor ...more
Jesse
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This may have been more of a 3.5. But, my love and sodade for biking allowed for me to round up. It put a lot of things I think into words for biking that I didn't quite know how to say. It made my laugh a few times and it had some interesting bits of info.

I don't see it as being something to stand the test of time as far as cycling goes. The author uses a ton of pop culture references that pretty much act as carbon dating for his age/era he grew up in. And he talks about hipsters a lot. But, th
...more
Josh
Dec 20, 2010 rated it liked it
not too bad of a book and generally a pretty quick read. while i didn't particularly agree with all of his points, the author does a pretty good job of giving the reader a crash course in the history of cycling, where it stands today and some solid starting points for being a more responsible cyclist.

parts were pretentious. parts decimated hipsters and what they've done by commandeering so many parts of cycling subcultures into their own little quasi-culture.

as i said, i don't agree w/ many of h
...more
Leslie
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
If you want to read an interesting and witty biking book, don’t read this one. Instead read “Over the hills” by David Lamb.

Nonetheless, Bike Snob does make a few excellent points:

“The most important thing for the advancement of cycling is for people to be seen on bikes. And that’s definitely happening.”

“Once you start riding you’re no longer one of the sedentary masses. Also, you won’t need to eat less. Actually, you’ll need to eat more. Food will no longer be an indulgence. It will become
...more
Rob
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of good advice and information. When the author recommends two goals for commuting - 1. get there alive and 2. don't get angry - you can appreciate his point of view and learn something from it. However, I took off 1 stat because this book needs serious editing. The authors trademark tangents, while entertaining in small doses on his blog, are incredibly distracting and annoying if you try to read an entire chapter in one sitting.

I would recommend this to anyone who rides a
...more
Nick Scott
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
A quick, informative read about all manner of cycling things. Good tips on how to be a better cyclist (mostly referring to being a commuter cyclist), as well as some good tips for non-cyclists on how to treat cyclists. I've been looking to start riding my bike places rather than driving, and this provided some good help to do so, and some encouragement to ride on the roads, which I have been nervous about because wear I live seems like it was purposefully stacked against any form of travel other ...more
Brian
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This book, though reasonably well written and occasionally humorous, felt like blog posts. This makes sense given the authors background. I guess I just wanted something more from it. It was such a quick read that it just didn't feel like reading a book. It felt like reading a couple of articles. I agreed with the author on a number of topics, disagreed on others, and once or twice laughed out loud. It was enjoyable for what it was but I will probably not read another of his books in favor of ju ...more
James
Oct 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
There is a hilarious amount of non-information here, and several times when there is about to be...the author tells you to “look it up”.

There’s also lots of pretension, because the author has somehow managed to feel superior to almost everyone.

Also, for the love of god, who allowed them to justify the type by letter-spacing?!
Matthew
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it


I enjoyed the book. It was humorous and fun p read. If your looking for a how-to book on commuting then this book isn't for you. Rather it's got a bit of everything: history; scientific classification of cyclists; romance; religion, economics; crime; fashion; and some tips.

Read it if you don't like the entire book you'll at least like many parts of it.
Gísli Marteinn Baldursson
Maybe I was expecting something else. I thought it was more about cycling as such, not only the types of people who bicycle. Though beautifully illustrated and laid out, I was disappointed in not getting more good writings on cycling.
bluespacething
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, kindle, non-fic
Do not read this book. It actually starts out pretty well. And then the author decides to show the reader how judgmental and pretentious he apparently is. I started skimming large sections of the book about a third of the way through. Not worth the time.
Ili jesi
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. — Mark Twain

David Buccola
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A fine book on cycling, but the author tries too hard to be witty and often fails. Overall there was plenty to like and enjoy. I particularly enjoyed his description of various cyclists.
Zais
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbook
Mixed bag of tediously boring NYC history lesson compensated by handy tricks and whining about day-to-day cyclist's life (which rises your mood).
Doctor Moss
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cycling
This is a really enjoyable little book, great to read on rainy days when you don't feel like getting out on your bike. The Bike Snob mixes a little bit of attitude -- not too much -- with a pretty practical account of cycling and cycling culture. He's not an over-the-top advocate or even a "snob" in the more-carbon-than-thou sense, but an easy-to-take writer with intelligence and a healthy sense of humor about himself.

The book combines three things -- a little bit of cycling history, a descripti
...more
Darren Cormier
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This will appeal to people who are serious cyclists or those who cycle enough to enjoy it, and those who feel an unquenchable insecurity to disparage the things they love. Parts of the book were interesting and inspirational/aspirational, specifically those that break down the ease and time commitment involved in some bike repair: some repairs are not as difficult as your anxiety makes it out to be. It also has inspired me to become more familiar with being able to repair a flat, especially as m ...more
Maxime Ferland
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a long time bike snob myself i must say that his depiction of the cycling subculture is very well detailed and most importantly really funny and full of wit. If you dont take yourself to seriously and embrace Zen philosophy this book is for you. I worked in a bike shop for a few year so i could relate to most of what the author is saying so please unsuscribe from bike magazine and buy this book . On the down side for me there was many references to movies that i didn't watch( i'm far from a c ...more
Jeff
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A mildly interesting read. It wasn't really what I was expecting, though the title actually bills it pretty accurately. I thought it would be more of a New York City version of Mia Birk's "Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet". In reality it's mostly just the snarky sarcastic blog posts of a strongly opinionated, though otherwise pretty ordinary NYC bicyclist, reformatted as a book.
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BikeSnobNYC (a.k.a. Eben Weiss) is the blogger behind bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com, a massively popular cycling blog. He also writes a monthly column in Bicycling magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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“Really, in a lot of ways being a cyclist is like being a vampire. First of all, both cyclists and vampires are cultural outcasts with cult followings who clumsily walk the line between cool and dorky. Secondly, both cyclists and vampires resemble normal humans, but they also lead secret double lives, have supernatural powers, and aren’t governed by the same rules as the rest of humanity—though cycling doesn’t come with the drawbacks of vampirism. Cyclists can ride day or night, we can consume all the garlic we want, and very few of us are afflicted with bloodlust or driven by a relentless urge to kill.” 4 likes
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