Bike! A Tribute to the World's greatest bike designers  £25.00

9/10

A triumph and worth every penny... even with the exclamation mark

Weight 1500g   Contact  www.aurumpress.co.uk

by Dan Kenyon   November 16, 2012  

Bike by Richard Moore and Daniel Benson

What do you get if you gather together some of the leading cycling journalists and ask them to contribute to an in depth historical encyclopaedia of cycling hardware? You get Bike! by Aurum Sports Press.

Weighing in at a hefty 1.5kgs, Bike! is a beautifully designed and researched history of the most significant marques in cycling manufacturing - alphabetically listed from Atala (who in 1948 sponsored a certain Giovanni Pinarello for the Giro) through Colnago, Cervelo, Flandria, and a wealth of bike building history - to close with Wilier Triestina. Yes - that Wilier - who surprise, surprise are Italian not German as I and probably many of you have long assumed. Wilier it seems is an acronym of the phrase 'L'Italia liberata e redenta' with 'W' as an abbreviation of 'Viva' at the front which, as all you fluent in Italian know, means "Long live Italy, liberated and redeemed." Oh, and Cannondale are named after a small railway station in Connecticut...There you go. Just a few snippets that illustrate the richness of Bike!

The quality of writing is superb: A forward by Robert Penn, introductions by Richard Moore and Daniel Benson and then a wealth of considered bike building history - including the key moments and photos of the legends that rode them. From end to end it's a cycle nerd's oily dream come true.

For those of you with the Cyclopedia app for iPad the quality of the bike photography will be familiar. Late at night, curled up in bed with 'Bike!', rain lashing against the winter windows, you can almost feel the 1950's Italian sun on your face and the scent of Adriatic orange blossom radiating off the page as you ogle Coppi's famous Bianchi frame in glorious close up, reach out to stroke that beautiful glossy Bianchi bottom bracket and..Sorry. Where was I..?

Clever touches abound: the small coloured tags to link images to text rather than the 'Top L, Bottom R' system works well (unless you're unfortunate enough to be colour blind) and every page has been considered alongside it's neighbours to produce harmony and balance throughout. There isn't one badly designed spread or mediocre image in the whole 352 pages. The book concludes with a full list of TDF winners by name, frame maker and group set - which should finish the Campag v Shimano argument once and for all. Shimano need another 17 TDF wins to equal Campagnolo - so stuff that up your Dura-Ace and smoke it.

The editors have chosen well. The bespoke frame building geniuses Pegoretti and Masi (who have built frames for champions such as Pantani and Merckx plastered with the decals of different sponsorship manufacturers) sit alongside modern mass market technological giants like Cervelo, Trek and..er..Giant. It's not just frame manufacturers - the history of Campagnolo, Shimano, Sram, and Mavic are covered in full. For anyone like me who's had a pair of those very useful Cinelli Spinacci bars hanging up in the shed for the past 15 years the full tale of how the bars were passed by the UCI and then banned by Jean Marie LeBlanc in 1997 is here. Since Jean Marie has now passed away - can I put them back on the bike again? They were brilliant.

The book's only fault is the vulgar exclamation mark in the title. In a Lynn Truss type fit I'm currently taking a black marker pen to the hardback cover of my cover and tippexing the white pages. I wouldn't want to tell teach such fine writers their business but an exclamation mark (unless following a verbal scream: eg: 'Aaaeeiii!!') is a desperate bid for attention - something this very fine book doesn't need. Did Enzo need 'Ferrari!' or Ernesto 'Colnago!' I rest my case. I imagine Aurum wanted to guarantee attention on the book pile for Christmas by shouting! about their product. 'Bike' would have been enough and as classy as the book itself. 'Bike!' is still a triumph and worth every penny.

Verdict

A triumph and worth every penny... even with the exclamation mark

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bike! A Tribute to the World's greatest bike designers

Size tested: n/a

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Well, from a book point of view probably the most technical thing I can tell you is this...

ISBN: 9781781310113

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

I'd give it a 9.5 (4 and three quarter stars if I could) and it would be close to a 10 if I wasn't so exclam allergic

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height:   Weight:

I usually ride: Dolan Prefissio - winter bike  My best bike is: Condor Moda Ti - summer bike

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Dabble in Triathlon

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Brilliant book.I was afraid when I first got it that it would be a coffee-table book- all stylish pics and no substance- but was very glad to be proved wrong.

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [130 posts]
18th November 2012 - 0:18

52 Likes

"The book concludes with a full list of TDF winners by name, frame maker and group set"

Can anyone tell me what a full list of Tour de France winners is now please? Confused

Looks nice though.

Exercising my rights by taking them cycling

posted by pedalingparamedic [88 posts]
18th November 2012 - 11:01

59 Likes

Big mass market manufacturers like Trek. Erm, sorry, but trek is just a brand, their bikes are actually made by giant. Not sure but suspect cervelo are probably made by someone else.

posted by joules1975 [76 posts]
18th November 2012 - 20:31

50 Likes

Um, Trek's carbon frames are definitely made by Trek, at their HQ. No third party/OEM involved there.
(disclaimer/how I know this for a fact: I work in research for the company that supplies them with carbon)

posted by Al__S [645 posts]
19th November 2012 - 8:28

55 Likes

I suspect most brands have a mix of manufacterurs for their bikes. Pinerello make their alu bikes in Italy, but their carbon machines are made in China. Specialized has the majority of their bikes made by part owner Merida. Al__S, you may be right about some of Trek's carbon models being made in US, but I suspect this will only be the high value ones, and may only be the R&D, but I guess you'd have an idea of the quantities of Carbon they order.

Ultimately, there are only two main brands that actually make all their own bikes. Merida and Giant. For everyone else, unless it specifically states where the bike was made, you can be pretty sure it wasn't the name on the frame, and that it was in Taiwan or China.

posted by joules1975 [76 posts]
19th November 2012 - 9:29

43 Likes

i guess the sub-title is saying 'designers' and not 'manufacturers' otherwise it would be 5 pages long.

posted by Cervelo12 [78 posts]
19th November 2012 - 12:21

50 Likes

The Madone (and Domane) carbon frames, every single one, are made in Wisconsin at HQ. I think their high end metal frames are made there too.

All the low end stuff is far east, yes.

posted by Al__S [645 posts]
19th November 2012 - 12:43

53 Likes

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