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Cyclepedia: A Tour of Iconic Bicycle Designs Hardcover – 7 Mar 2011
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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' --Road.cc
'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'
`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'
'Luscious' --London Cyclist
'Luxurious ... if you're not ashamed of high-end bike erotica, the book will not disappoint'
'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
About the Author
Michael Embacher is a designer who lives in Vienna. He boasts one of the world's greatest collections of bicycles. Paul Smith is a world-famous designer and a passionate cyclist.
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There is also an iPad app that brings the pictures to life in 3D.
Choose your technology .. just like the bikes included :-)
The frequent irritations perhaps arise from the translated text - a proof read by someone with a decent historical & technical knowledge of bikes would have been good, as the strength of this book should lie in the discussion of the technical details shown; some gripes:
Limited range of bikes - why nothing pre 1920?? - there's plenty of iconic designs missed as a result. A lot of 'grey porridge' bikes and not enough truly iconic ones.
Limited spec lists for each bike (e.g. no info on chain sets, sketchy descriptions of brakes, useless info on wheels & sizes......)
Frequently imprecise descriptions of frame parts, build processes and regular reference to steel 'varnish' - surely paint?
From a UK perspective, there are disappointingly few British bikes, the handful include one example (a 1970 roadster) from Raleigh, which mysteriously has some distinctly non standard mid-late 1980s pedals and clips; it's not the 'iconic' British example I'd choose from Raleigh - eg Chopper? , one of their GOD race bikes?, early cross-frame? All-Steel?
Some of the other race bikes are not at full standard race spec - it seems odd to have beautiful photos of obviously non-standard setups.
Disappointingly, the example from Mercian - builder of iconic & traditional British touring bikes - has a fairly awful 'urban fixie' as their representative - I'm sure a design they'd like to forget.
Its a shame that the Lotus race bike illustrated is the later road going derivative, rather than the earlier, iconic!, track bike, or Burrows original version; also on Mike Burrows designs - how about the iconic HPV Windcheetah?
There are no BMX bikes, 'standard' mountain bikes, speedway bikes, no Ordinaries, early sociables, no Boneshakers, early safety bikes, triplets/quads/quints, sidecars or cyclo cross bikes, to name a few - surely some iconic designs from more diverse sources should be included, at the expense of the near repetition elsewhere.
There are limited/no representatives from some of the large/influential manufacturers either - eg Peugeot, Klein, Vitus, trek, giant & probably many more.
It's not all doom & gloom though - there's some nice photos of some weird, mostly European designs; just don't expect the text to be much use, or the ground breaking examples to be plentiful.
Bought as a birthday gift for a bicycle fanatic it has been a huge success, giving hours of pleasure. (If a bit of a bore for the rest of us) I am told not only is it very informative but there is bike history to be enjoyed too.
I first saw it reviewed in a Sunday newspaper supplement. I ordered in a bit of a hurry but delivery was so speedy it arrived in good time for the birthday. Very well wrapped, so in perfect condition.
Although I only buy books from Amazon from time to time, when I have bought them they are always just how I expect them to be from the online description. So one can buy with a lot of confidence.
If you are interested in how things have evolved and having your idea of what's new shaken up (when do you think electronic shifting was first used in the Tour De France, for instance?), then this is a wonderful choice.
I received mine as a gift and was delighted by it, when I put it down, I was always keen to pick it back up to look at the next curious or interesting specimen.
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