Looking for the best cycling books? I’ve got you covered.
The list below includes books written by some of cycling’s greatest icons and storytellers.
1. The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle
Tyler Hamilton, a former Olympic gold medalist and top-ranked cyclist, was once part of Lance Armstrong’s inner circle.
Over a period of two years, Hamilton collaborated with Daniel Coyle to produce what was to be an explosive-page turner that upended the professional cycling world, exposing the sport’s doping culture—with the iconic Lance Armstrong right in the thick of it.
Courageous, groundbreaking, The Secret Page reveals a world of unethical doctors, careless team directors, and desperate athletes driven to do anything to win.
What’s in it for you: a well-written book about cycling’s drug problems—filled with bombshells and revelations
2. The Rider by Tim Krabbé
Written at break-neck speed, The Rider pays tribute to bicycle road racing.
Prepared to compete with his rivals through Central France’s mountains, Tim Krabbé starts at the Tour de Mont Aigoual, riding for 150 kilometers while pulling readers into the life of his beloved sport.
What’s in it for you: a bicycle odyssey for bicyclists who love the sport
3. Racing Through the Dark by David Millar
Living and racing in France, 18-year-old David Millar was on his way to becoming the next English-speaking Tour winner.
He achieved this milestone, realizing his dream and winning a professional contract.
But after drinking a little too much and breaking his heel in an unfortunate fall, Millar found himself considering the possibility of doping to keep on racing.
In Racing Through the Dark, Millar reveals cycling’s drug culture from the inside while reflecting on his dark years.
What’s in it for you: a behind-the-scenes look at doping in the cycling world
4. Slaying the Badger by Richard Moore
The 1986 Tour de France was a showstopper that featured a rivalry that gripped spectators all over the world.
Greg LeMond made history when he won the Tour in 1986, becoming the first non-European to win it.
But LeMond had to snatch his victory from Bernard Hinault, a man notoriously nicknamed “The Badger.”
Slaying the Badger revisits the camaraderie, betrayals, agony, and exhilaration of the 1986 Tour de France.
What’s in it for you: an adrenaline-filled story of one of the Tour’s fiercest rivalry
5. Rough Ride by Paul Kimmage
As a boy, Paul Kimmage dreamed of cycling glory.
But in 1986, when he turned professional, the reality hit him.
Cycling wasn’t about courage and glory, or even training and dedication.
It was about the chastening defeats, the life-sucking exhaustion, and the drugs.
Rough Ride is a heartbreaking lament by a man who tried and failed to make it in the cutthroat world of cycling—the fate of almost everyone in the sport—and the drug issues that no one seems to want to talk about.
What’s in it for you: an eye-opening exposé of the cycling world
6. Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh
Lance Armstrong overcame testicular cancer to become a record seven-time winner of the Tour de France, writing a bestselling inspirational account while at it.
Yet, something about his story seemed too good to be true.
Determined to discover the truth, David Walsh set forth on a twelve-year quest into the cycling world.
The result is this book, which tells a captivating story of Walsh‘s struggle to expose Lance Armstrong’s drug use.
What’s in it for you: the story of how cyclist’s biggest star drugged his way to the top
7. Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike by William Fotheringham
Eddy Merckx is arguably the most successful cyclist of all time, achieving over 400 victories throughout his career.
In this book, William Fotheringham explores what made Merckx so successful.
More than just his victories, Merckx relentlessly dominated competitive cycling.
But his extraordinary story takes unexpected turns, punctuated by drug enhancements, injury, and death.
What’s in it for you: a fascinating story of one of cycling’s greatest
8. My Time by Bradley Wiggins
22 July 2012.
Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France, becoming the first British cyclist to do so.
Just two years ago, however, in 2010, he had been humiliated at the Tour, suffering from poor results and mediocre form.
In a hard twist of fate, his granddad, a man who raised Wiggins since he was a boy, also passed away.
Rock bottom, desperately at a loss, Wiggins had to pick up the pieces of his life back together and find his way back to the top.
My Time is the remarkable story of his rise from the lowest point of his cycling career to the highest.
What’s in it for you: an extraordinary account of what it takes to win the world’s toughest race
9. It’s All About the Bike by Robert Penn
As a lifetime biker, when Robert Penn decided to get a new bike, he went all out to build his dream bicycle, a customized machine to ride for the rest of his life.
It’s All About the Bike details Penn’s journey to find the perfect bike, exploring the history, science, and culture of the bicycle along the way.
What’s in it for you: a wonderful tale for bicycle lovers
10. Bike Snob by BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is enjoying a massive resurgence.
Bike Snob rants hilariously about bikes and their riders, offering a fresh perspective of the cycling world, its history, hallmarks, and odd practitioners.
Throughout, the book explores the bike culture, criticising its absurdities, missteps, and pretensions.
What’s in it for you: a laugh-out-loud book for everyone who loves cycling
11. The World of Cycling According to G by Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas sees cycling as an escape, an adventure—not a job.
In this book, he shares his unique take and insight into life as a professional cyclist, revealing inside codes and secrets along the way.
What’s in it for you: an informative, funny, and captivating celebration of the cycling world
12. The Climb by Chris Froome
Chris Froome grew up in Kenya with little opportunity to become a pro cyclist.
The Climb tells the story of his remarkable journey to victory in the 2013 Tour de France.
A journey like no other, Froome overcame personal setbacks, humbling defeats, and crippling illness to achieve his dreams.
Groundbreaking, life-affirming, and enlightening, The Climb is a tale of hardship, persistence, and incredible success.
What’s in it for you: an incredulous story of unlikely success in cycling
13. Pro Cycling on $10 a Day by Phil Gaimon
Aged 16 and just about to enter college, Phil Gaimon picked up biking to lose weight.
Soon, he discovered racing, fell in love with the sport, and managed to win a pro contract despite his inexperience.
Pro Cycling on $10 a Day is a guide for inexperienced racers who dream of going pro.
Far from being a fairytale, Gaimon asserts, a racer’s daily life is filled with bloody bandages, cheap food, crummy motels, and flooding toilets.
But he emphasizes that the journey is worth the hassle and celebrates the beauty of the sport.
What’s in it for you: a hilarious, cautionary tale for aspiring racers
14. Just Ride by Grant Petersen
In Just Ride, Grant Petersen encourages riders to ride like they did when they were kids, bucking against the racing culture.
He shares a lifetime of controversial opinions, surprising facts, expert techniques, and his maverick philosophy.
What’s in it for you: how to rediscover the pure joy of riding your bicycle
15. We Were Young and Carefree by Laurent Fignon
In this book, Laurent Fignon, a two-time winner of the Tour de France in the 1980s, narrates his life story.
Fignon spares no detail, revealing what really went on behind the curtains of cycling—the rivalries, friendships, betrayals, parties, and performance-enhancing drugs.
His story depicts a golden era in cycling, when headlines featured heroes—not doping—and cyclists were fearless.
What’s in it for you: a captivating look into the unrelenting hard world of cycling