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Custom Bicycles: A Passionate Pursuit Paperback – 23 Aug 2010
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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
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.
So best to borrow a copy first, see if you like it and then order.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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...
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.
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.
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.