The Bicycle Book is a recently published history of the bicycle and its technical and social contexts. It is offered by Dorling Kindersley and edited by Chauncey Dunford. The ISBN is 978-0-2412-2611-7 and Dorling Kindersley lists it at 20 pounds. The exterior of the book is striking. There is a full colour cover photo which wraps around the front cover to the back and is embossed with highlights using metallic inks. The book has board covers but no dust jacket.
Organization is by chronological sequence that begins in 1817 and extends to the present. Within each era are sub-sections about unique developments originating in the period as well as specific bicycle marques and technology. For example, the 1970s feature touring bikes and the manufacturer Colnago.
There are profiles of notable bikes like the Raleigh Chopper, Moultons, the Bianchi Paris Roubaix and the Specialized Stumpjumper. Great manufacturers are featured with 2 page spreads with history and relevant photos. Campagnolo, Raleigh, Peugeot, Colnago, Cannondale, Shimano and Giant all are featured manufacturers. As well, inserted into the appropriate historical sections are overviews of the great races like Paris-Roubaix, the Giro, the Tour and the 2012 Women’s Olympic road race.
The book also evaluates bicycle technology with photos , illustrations, and exploded diagrams tracing and explaining technological advances.
The book features exceptional quality photography although there are occasional captioning errors such as misidentifying a brake caliper’s brand or describing my C 37 as a touring bike. Nonetheless, niggles aside, the book has fabulous photography, interesting narrative and an effectively organized presentation. Highly recommended.
Aside: A year ago, I was contacted by Dorling Kindersley with a request to provide a photo of a Bertin C 37 for this book project. I supplied and gave permission to use a profile photo of my recently restored C 37 which eventually showed up on page 112 of the finished book in the section on touring bikes. (See the poor copy of my page scan from the book.) I subsequently received a free copy of the book as compensation for providing the photo. Nonetheless, despite my obvious bias, I believe the book to be an outstanding overview of the bicycle itself and of cycling history.