/ whats the best general road bike repair service manual?
Modern road bikes are really pretty simple to service if you've got the right tools - park tools are good but very expenisve, icetoolz are a much cheaper (and very good) option. I'd either buy their tool kit: http://www.highonbikes.com/icetoolz-essence-road-bike-mtb-complete-tool-kit.html#.UJ3twUi_pyQ
or buy the single tools you need to complete that set depending on what you've got already, and then just set aside a weekend to strip it completely, give it a thorough clean/grease and rebuild. Anything that's not obvious, youtube is your friend, and once you've done it the once, you'll never need to visit the bike mechanic for anything other than truing a wheel again.
The other thing you might want to get is a cable cutter - don't buy expensive shimano cable sets just get a few meters of unbranded gear and brake cable outers and a set of cable inners from your local bike shop - shouldn't cost more than a few quid and I can't say I notice the difference.
If you want a real book to compliment the online offering then Park Tool "Big blue book of bicycle repair" is good.
Save your pennies, and use youtube.
Personally I'm not that impressed by "Zinn and the ..." though a lot of people rate it, horses for courses I suppose. The Park Tools book and on-line videos are good.
Regarding tools: I'd get the best you can afford (though it's easy to spend lots of money) in roughly this order:
Set of Allen (hex) keys
Flat and Phillips screwdrivers
Chain tool and chain wrench
Cassette removal tool
BB tool (Leyzyne do a combined external BB and cassette tool for Shimano parts)
Add to this things like degreaser, lubes and rags/cloths and you are good for 90% of the jobs you are likely to do. There's probably one or two other things as well that I can't remember at the moment.
If you need to true a wheel then you can use the forks/rear drop-outs as a substitute stand - if it's badly out then a wheel stand will make things a lot easier.
After that lot you are getting in to the realms of jobs that you may do on a yearly or less basis so you've the choice of either using your LBS or splashing the cash but as an example, the cheapest headset press is about £70, the good one is £250. You can make your own using threaded bar and large washers.
(*Its all relative)
If you want a book, then Zinn is very good, but there's no real substitute for experience and playing. It's also the case, that there are some things that are probably not worth doing yourself, unless you have particular interest and want to have a mechanical "play" (also legitimate, by the way!). There are some jobs that require good, expensive tools, for jobs that you will only rarely do - from a value for money perspective, it's often best to get these done at a bike shop, unless you're going to derive specific enjoyment from doing it yourself.
Perhaps if you have no mechanical aptitude, but if you're the sort of person who's used to doing a bit of home DIY and what have you, it should be very easy to service a modern bike via youtube.
Elsewhere on the site
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more
A pack designed for year-round ascents. Super light, flexible, strippable and seasonally versatile you can rely on this perennial... Read more
Nuts, wires, stoppers, chocks, wedges, whatever you want to call them, have been around for a long time. Initially made from... Read more
Every so often you meet someone in climbing that makes you take a step back. Someone with a fire in their eye, passion in... Read more