How many bits make up a bike?

Canadian photographer Todd McLellan explores the inner workings of everyday things for a new book

by Dave Atkinson   June 4, 2013  

Things Come Apart - bicycle

Eight hundred and ninety-three, apparently.

The image above is from a series produced by Canadian photographer Todd McLellan showing everyday objects reduced to their constituent parts. The bike in question is a 1980s Raleigh, and McLellan has also dismantled a fire extinguisher, a bedside clock radio, a typewriter, a chainsaw and a host of other familiar things. The book of the images, Things Come Apart, is published by Thames & Hudson and will be available soon.

www.toddmclellan.com/thingscomeapart

10 user comments

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Awesome.Imagine how long it would take to build the bike back up from that picture!

posted by jellysticks [80 posts]
4th June 2013 - 11:48

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Wow - I love stuff like this, it shows you all the beautiful thought and engineering that goes into even the smallest piece.

I bet the photographer has got an amazing tool kit, too!

posted by Not KOM [79 posts]
4th June 2013 - 13:10

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jellysticks wrote:
Awesome.Imagine how long it would take to build the bike back up from that picture!

The real question is whether there would be anything left over when he'd finished!

"Hmm, what does this bit do then?"

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2953 posts]
4th June 2013 - 14:00

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Why three saddles though?

andrewfurlow's picture

posted by andrewfurlow [37 posts]
4th June 2013 - 14:08

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andrewfurlow wrote:
Why three saddles though?

Base, foam and covering I think

posted by Veloacciaio [15 posts]
4th June 2013 - 14:44

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No matter how i put it back together I guarantee there would be 4 screws left over who's purpose would only become apparent after the first mile!

Yossarian2809

posted by Yossarian2809 [2 posts]
4th June 2013 - 18:08

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if your going to dismantle the saddle why not the frame and fork? seems an odd thing to do.

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posted by mrmo [1031 posts]
4th June 2013 - 19:35

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On a bike of that vintage, well over half of those 893 parts come from just one - the chain. 570 parts roughly.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
4th June 2013 - 21:15

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I still think a good quill stem is one of the most beautiful things going.

posted by merckxissimo [59 posts]
5th June 2013 - 9:47

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It's a steel frame right? So a bit of heat applied to the lugs and hey presto - 15 more bits.

posted by italianbikesnob [3 posts]
5th June 2013 - 13:48

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