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Custom Bicycles: A Passionate Pursuit Paperback – 23 Aug 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Images Publishing Group Pty.Ltd; Reprint edition (23 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864704233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864704235
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 2 x 26.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,124,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Christine Elliott and David Jablonka share a love of cycling that has taken them on cycling trips through Italy, Greece, and the USA, believing that cycling is a wonderful way to experience the sights, sounds, and aromas of another country. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Hardcover.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
That's a really nice book. I really like to open it at a random page, to find new details or some inspiration.
Being a framebuilder myself, I found that some framebuilders should have been included in the book (like Tony Pereira, etc...), and that one or two of the framebuilders in the book where clearly not at the same level than others, with obvious defaults appearing on the pictures...
Also it seems that the builders showed the bikes they had available at the moment they met the author, so sometimes it's reduced to one or two bikes which are not always representative of their work.
Apart from that, I really recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a well produced book with great photos and descriptions, but its scope is limited, it seems, to America, and a few selected European makers. Where are the Japanese Keirin builders - as niche as cruisers I would have thought.

So best to borrow a copy first, see if you like it and then order.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well made, contains short write-ups on several custom bike producers, with beautiful photography. This is not a serious reference book, rather something to keep on a journal table and browse through; great conversation starter as well
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars images and writing miss the point 14 July 2009
By G. R. Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's a shame about this book. The Authors have hit on some interesting builders and some not...the book seems to have been put together by people who aren't passionate about bicycles or maybe don't know about what to put into a book for people who are...There are a few satisfying photos, but not many, its mostly artsy detail shots AND NEVER SHOWING YOU THE WHOLE FROM WHICH THE DETAIL WAS TAKEN...which is lame.
The writing also seems to miss, in that the one consistent point (made vaguely) is what music is playing in the builders studios at the time of interview...which could be interesting if there were real content.
At no piont are any specs of bicycles discussed in terms beyond the words steel, carbon fiber, and titanuim...
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book on beautifully crafted bicycles 19 May 2009
By Steve Frazier - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the great features of bicycling is that the bikes themselves can still be made to personal specifications by individual craftspeople or small shops. This book features both well known veterans, and a few newcomers, and shows all types of bikes -- from all-out racers, to touring bikes, to even a few "show" bikes that likely don't get ridden much (e.g., Craig Calfee's bamboo bike with bullhorn handlebars).

There are plenty of "coffee table" type books exploring other crafts -- hand made furniture, pottery, custom motorcycles, etc. -- but as far as I know this is the only widely available recent book showing the current state of the art of custom bike building. Many of these bikes appear to date from early 2008 (several of them were on display at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show in Portland in February 2008, and were made about then). And most of the builders are "open for business:" except for two or three who have exceptionally long waiting lists, I think you could contact practically anyone in the book and get your own custom bike in a matter of weeks or months (more likely months than weeks).

A few quibbles - since the photos were collected from a variety of photographers from various sources in Europe, North America and Australia, the photos and layout lack a consistency or point of view about how to show a bike (as opposed to Jan Heine's book, "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles," which is about historic custom bikes, and which used a single photographer shooting bikes with a consistent, clean white background). As a result, while all the photos are good, in some cases the photos are not as useful as they could be (for example, there are way too many shots of Calfee's novelty bikes and not enough of his standard bamboo or carbon fiber bikes).

Anyway, that is just a quibble. It's a great book for any serious cyclist or anyone who enjoys fine craftsmanship.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Steer" clear. If you know bikes, your brain will hurt. 8 Jan. 2010
By Ed Menke - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book stinks. Arbitrary collection of some bikes, some of them lovely, with artful pictures. Writing is terrible. And I mean _poor_. Highschool-bad. As previous reviewer notes, book was created by people who -- clearly -- had no fundamental connection and little familiarity with their subject matter. There is no author insight whatsoever, and builder "insight" is restricted to comments like "Bob takes special pride in fitting the bike to the rider," or "Gary gets goosebumps when he finally brazes the rear triangle." (These are not literal quotes, but)...Yeesh!

I -- and many of the probable (or intended) purchasers of this book could write a far better one.

Further deconstruction and/or constructive criticism is pointless without a solid basis, and this book doesn't provide one.

I don't know who the book is supposed to appeal to. Other reviewers have offered frankly puzzling comments; there is not sufficiently detailed or ample information presented to make this book a "guide" to anything beyond where to put a mug on a coffee table.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars top-flight bicycles and their designers 17 May 2009
By Henry Berry - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Thirty-nine small (boutique) bicycle design and manufacture companies from Australia, Canada, the U.S., and Europe are catalogued with website references in an appendix. This alone would make the book of special interest for serious amateur bicyclists and competitors. But the book goes far beyond this with a section of a short essay on each company followed by half a dozen or so color photographs of its bicycles and close-ups of details of these. Some of the sections also have photographs of workshops, employees, manufacturing steps such as welding, and bikes in use for pleasure or competition.

Reading the essays on the companies gives an overview of design intents, ideas, and options for custom or limited-production bicycles and different types, uses, materials, and features. The essays also have information on the backgrounds of the founders of the small manufacturers, their attachment to the field, and the principles and aims in the design of their bicycles. In this material, readers will learn about advanced dimensions and trends of the field.

The illustrated book combining elements of a buyer's and consumer's guide and art-book appearance and quality makes an ideal gift for any bicycle enthusiast or an outstanding book on the technicalities and romance of the field for oneself.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best custom builders in one place 10 Dec. 2013
By Bill Boggs - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a lover of all thing s bicycle. A very good view of what custom builders are capable of doing. Inspires the reader to build your own bike, just made for you. Even if you can't afford to do that, you'll get great ideas for customs touches you can do.
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