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Home > Catalog > Books > The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles: classiest bike book!

The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles: classiest bike book!
June 11, 2009

$0 (inc. S/H)

[List $65. I have a low price of $50! Free postage in the USA. OUT OF STOCK! As of 1/11/11. End of an era. What a fun book to have promoted. I stock the 1st edition, French-printed, true cloth hardcovers and only have a few left. There's a newer paperback Rizzoli edition available elsewhere. I'll see if I can get some copies to sell. It's an important book to keep available!]

It finally happened. The most beautiful bicycle book ever.

Where to begin? How about with a quote:

"An instant classic. Stunning. I'm still reeling." --Matthew Grimm of Kogswell Bicycles

I'm very proud to bring you this book.

"The Golden Age" does three amazing things:

*It's the ultimate bicycle coffee-table book.

*It's the first book about this highwater mark in bike function integration and craftsmanship, thus it offers important scholarship while being completely readable.

*It's already influencing bike design today. Thanks in part to this book and its author, we're seeing a shift in bike-making to include the versatile, integrated bike concepts celebrated in this book.

And, last but not least, people are going nuts over it. It's the only book showcasing the best work of elite builders such as Rene Herse and Alex Singer, French constructeur builders extraordinaire.

Now, I know it's a pricey book, but quite a few run-of-the-mill coffee table books are $50 these days. I would hope that bike buffs can understand why some small craft products cost more. Many bike parts cost more due to their small-shop aspect. This book is the same. It was created to far higher standards than nearly any other coffee table book. It's worldclass research, in fact. A historic contribution, in fact. But it was produced in a very small run. And it's worth every penny. (Well, if a deluxe tire is---which commonly cost $65 as well---then this book is.)

"Golden Age" exuberantly showcases an age and bicycle type that offered the pinnacle of craftsmanship and innovation, never surpassed---that of the mid-century French constructeur bicycles. This book has crossover appeal for any lover of craft and beauty. It's also influencing a revival in the versatile, integrated bike type it showcases.

(NOTE: Of all my products, with this one I'm required to charge postage. Don't ask. : ) The $65 includes postage to the U.S.)

Non-US Postage ...Customers SHOULD see an option for postage to their country (or close enough) in their PayPal checkout cart. This book requires the *3-4 pound* postage rate. This option doesn't charge you full postage---you get a $5 subsidy. If this process doesn't work there are manual PayPal buttons for excess postage below (I recently updated my shipping system within PayPal and don't know how well it works yet).

This is the first time this type of versatile craftsman bike from the French Constructeur period has been celebrated in a book. It's the first time these bikes were gathered for a photoshoot with such a "big picture" mission.

It is the first book from the meticulous and talented Jan Heine and his Vintage Bicycle Press, and I'm repping it to the trade for him (as well as offering it direct here). What a triumph! It shows what a labor of love can do. I've never heard of such a "first book" achievement before, much less one coming from so small of a press. (Jan also edits the highly-esteemed “Vintage Bicycle Quarterly.”) It's as good as anything a huge publisher could've done. And that's really saying something. Little can be big!

This book is a world project: Jan is of German heritage, the photographer is Italian, the designer and printing is French, the bicycle owners live throughout Europe and America, and the distributor is American.


Author: Jan Heine, •Photographer: Jean-Pierre Pradčres, •Vintage Bicycle Press, •List price $60.00, •Full color throughout, •10x12, •Sewn hardcover & coated paper, •180 pp, •ISBN 0976546000, •Available in quantity orders to retailers at 40% discount (club/groups can get same big discount by ordering at least 5 copies).


From the back cover: During the “Golden Age,” small makers built amazing bicycles that transcended their function to become a form of art. Their craftsmanship was not limited to the frame, but included hand-made derailleurs, brakes, stems, racks and other components. The entire bicycle was carefully designed and crafted as a unit, combining function and beauty.

With lavish color photography [many pages offer a single, large image], “The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles” charts the development of these machines from the early 1900s through the present day. Here you find machines with a level of craftsmanship that never has been surpassed.

Jan Heine is editor of "Vintage Bicycle Quarterly." Jean-Pierre Pradčres’ photography was published in the Guggenheim Museum’s “The Art of the Motorcycle.”

With renewed interest in “real world” bicycles that combine the speed and excitement of racing bikes with unmatched reliability and versatility, “The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles” provides a timely review of what bicycles can be.

Non-US Postage Special Notice

Canadian orders pay excess Airmail postage costs for this large, heavy book. First click the above Ordering button then click this next Excess Shipping button which adds $10 to your Cart:

UK/Euro/Oz/other customers should click the first Ordering button above then click below to add an extra $20 to your Cart for Airmail service:

Send all mailable payments to: Out Your Backdoor, 4686 Meridian Rd., Williamston MI 48895.

Bikeshop and Bookstore retailer orders get standard trade discount of 40% plus shipping. (Club and Group orders of 5+ copies qualify for retailer discount.)

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