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Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design [Hardcover]

Paul Smith , Michael Embacher , Bernhard Angerer

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Book Description

3 Aug 2011
An homage to the beauty of two wheels, Cyclepedia is a celebration of the best bicycles designed over the past 90 years. Among this unique selection of exemplary bicycles are classic racing bikes that been in such events as the Tour de France, high-tech machines that use the latest in material science and aerodynamics, eccentric bikes designed for specific purposes such as cycling on ice, and rarities that are coveted by serious collectors. Gift book, reference, inspiration, fun, Cyclepedia will inspire lust and envy in bike nuts, commuting cyclists and design aesthetes everywhere.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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'A pictorial record of one man's bicycle obsession ... a wonderful thing ... a visual delight and a really fascinating read'

'A sumptuous visual anthology of bicycle design' --The Daily Telegraph

'An idiosyncratic collection ... enjoyable' --Cycle

'Stunning ... read this and you'll be on two wheels in no time' --Phoenix

'If you like poring over pictures of stunning bikes, your cravings may be temporarily satisfied with the publication of a photo-rich book that really should be sold in the proverbial brown paper'

'Will inspire, excite and leave you wanting about ten more bikes than you already own!'

'From racing sleek to mountain tough, touring to tandem, urban folding chic to colourful cargo carriers, there's a two-wheeler for you in Cyclepedia.' --Saga Magazine

'This sumptuous photographic anthology of bicycle design is so drool-inducing it ought to be sold in brown paper' --The Independent

'Weird and wonderful, iconic and eccentric - Cyclepedia captures the most eye-catching bicycle designs of the past 90years with some superbly detailed photography' --Sport

'A simple, fun book for grown up kids on two wheels' --125 Magazine

'Anyone who respects the lore, history and beauty of bicycles needs a copy of this book'
--Time Out

`Frametastic...not just for the bike geek' --Wallpaper*

`An extraordinary read...arguably the most comprehensive and visually satisfying books of bicycle portraits ever published' --The Sunday Times [cycling blog]

`A lavish hymn to beauty, innovation and what the French call la fantaisie'
--The Independent

'Luscious' --London Cyclist

'Luxurious ... if you're not ashamed of high-end bike erotica, the book will not disappoint'
--Literary Review

'Lavish appreciation of almost a century of bicycle design ... includes enough lovingly shot images to please any adherent of two-wheeled transport, as well as lovers of expertly honed craftsmanship'
--The Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ... But not really iconic 14 Mar 2012
By Diego Llaneza - Published on
I purchased the app, that is basically a very, very smart interface with all of the bikes in the book. I found it greatly interesting - specially the timeline feature - and enjoyed the possibility of playing around with the image of each bycicle.

But then i saw some of the typical icons where not included ... Then had to google the author. I found he is a very talented collector and designer. This shows very well indeed in this compendium of bikes. But theni found this is his collection, not the world's iconic bicycles.

That may - for anyone wanting to learn more about how bicycles evolved through history - be a major drawback. It is for me. Seminal introductions by giants as Raleigh, BSA, Campagnolo are not included, and if you don't bear in mind this is just one (huge) collector's collection, you might miss out how important they were in history.

Having said this, the book will make a great passtime to discuss some bike models and innovations with your friends. I recommend buying it ... Together with another, more comprehensive, publication out there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, close to great, whimsical 8 Dec 2011
By Jeff Potter - Published on
This is basically the best photo overview of bike design. The diversity depicted is inspiring. I just love a big bike book.

Chronicle Books knows what they're doing -- they consistently pick great topics and execute them well. Whenever you see the "spectacles on a spine" you know you're in for a treat.

(Say, I just heard there's now a "Cyclepedia App" available offering zoomable and 360-degree views of all the bikes! ...Plus extra historic footage. [...]

This book is very satisfying. Still, it has a couple aspects that make me hunger for the next big bike book... I suppose no bike book is exhaustive, and there's always room for more -- but a couple came close in their day (Richard's and Durry/Wadley's). This book has a couple aspects that might baffle a reader. First, the book is a presentation of one architect's amazing collection. This is mentioned nowhere. Michael Embacher's collection is world famous in a few ways, including because it has been touring on its own as an art exhibit with bikes displayed on an amazing S-track near the ceiling of galleries. It's been quite an attraction. This exhibit is shown in a tiny sidebar pic in the book but not explained.

Next, Embacher is not a bike buff per se, but a Viennese designer. He picked bikes that seemed quirky and cool to him. He was even accepting of failure. He went for audacity. If a laugh resulted, that was fine.

Now, many of the bikes depicted are enduring classics. But there are so many amazing bike designs that both astonish and succeed which don't appear. I miss them! Goofy false-start bikes might be more satisfying if successes along similar lines are included. (For instance, it only brushes the ultra-creative world of recumbents.) Oh, to have seen a dozen more 'just right' bikes! But I don't hold a grudge -- it's one guy's collection, and it's amazing! I agree that bike design can have a sense of humor, but more of today's important bikes would've made me happier.

Next, Embacher's text occasionally sparkles, but often seems to be riffing a bit too much. A highlight or two is noted then the subject might wander. Light is OK, but you might notice the lightness in this case. Also, it's German translated to English, which is also usually fine here, but is noticeable fairly often.

This basic book first came out as a German book called "Smart Move." That book included a few pages about the famous touring exhibit and the rationale of the collection -- helpful! It was also candid about the quirky nature of the collection (which still didn't really help it as a bike book, in my view). Thankfully, this new "Cyclepedia" doesn't have as much of the quirky bent and includes more pages, which extra coverage is used on bikes which are classic or useful -- good!

Whew, what complication for a pretty book! Now, just enjoy the photos...

(As a disclaimer, I publish a book, sold here, of pretty bike design called "The Recumbent Bicycle," and a website/magazine of indie outdoor culture which has an anthology, sold here, called "Out Your Backdoor.")
5.0 out of 5 stars The spectrum of bicycle designs 14 Oct 2013
By Paul - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The traditional diamond design bicycle frame in alloy steel has dominated the bicycle market for a century-and-a-half, but other designs have been attempted with various levels of success.
Michael Embacher covers a huge collection of eclectic forms, shapes, and materials. Clean studio photos, from many angles, show the iconic details and give real perspective to these beautiful machines.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great birthday present for a cyclist 31 July 2013
By Mary Stearns - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son-in-law requested this for a birthday present and enjoys it. For those of us who are not serious bikers, we can enjoy biking vicariously.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are interested in bike, you will love thia book. 30 April 2013
By Raymond I. Spangler - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What great pictures. These bikes have never received the attention that they deserve. 100 years from now, people will still need this book.
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