- Sports/Recreation -

The Elite Bicycle: Portraits of Great Marques, Makers, and Designers

This beautiful book is all about the bike — in exquisite, intimate, celebratory detail.

The Elite Bicycle: Portraits of Great Marques, Makers, and DesignersIf you’re into bicycles — really into bicycles — you’ll want to check out this lavish artbook by Gerard Brown and  Graeme Fife that celebrates some of the most stunning artisan bike makers working their craft today.

There are many books on the market all of the sudden telling the story of cycling, galleries of beautiful bicycles, histories of the Tour de France, and such. This volume does not slot into that overcrowded “peloton.

Instead, renowned cycling photographer Gerard Brown and author Graeme Fife step behind the curtain into the workshops to peak at how these works of art are crafted — and, in turn, what drives and inspires the builders.

Chapters examine framebuilders and constructors like Seven, Richard Sachs, Ben Serotta, Alex Singer, Independent Fabrication, Tony Pereira, Dario Pegoretti, Mark DiNucci, Ira Ryan, Eric Estlund of Winter Frames, Massimo Faggin, Guru, Cyfac, Cino Cinelli, and others at the tête de la course of building bicycles. The glorious color photography captures the artists at work in a celebration of gritty artisan craftsmanship and industrial beauty.

In addition, the team examines the artistry that goes into constructing the most gorgeous cycling componentry, including the lustrous Brooks leather saddles, seats from Selle Italia, tubing from Reynolds and Columbus, hubs from Chris King, wheels and rims from Mavic, and even the rubber tires made by Continental.

In fact, there are few photos of full, complete bicycles here at all, and so this is not a tome for every cycling fan. Instead, this book from Velo Press is for those enamored by craftsmanship and the eccentric individuals who build some of the most unique bikes on the road today.

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“Hammering these beautiful copper rivets requires a steady hand and a trained eye. The idea is to flatten the head sufficiently to spread the load across as wide a surface as possible whilst keeping both surfaces flush.” —p.20-21
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Rob Vandermark from Watertown, Massachusetts, part of Seven Cycles. —p. 126-127k
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“Richard Sachs prefers to work alone. His workshop is a quiet, contemplative place dedicated to the practice of excellence.” —p. 106-107
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“This is one of Massimo’s personal projects: a gentleman’s tourer par excellence.” —p. 82-83

Michael Dregni is Experience Life’s managing editor.

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