I’ve got a very comprehensive library in the shop, free for browsing (and occasionally borrowing) – but if you can’t make it into the shop I’ve done the next best thing and listed a bunch of good bike books:
There are lots of bike books about – these are all the ones on my bookshelf 😉 Mostly, they’re not about Tour de France riders, they’re about stuff that interests me – bike design, technology and culture.
None of these books are for sale, though they are available to read in the shop. If you want a copy of any of these books, try www.amazon.co.uk, www.ebay.co.uk or www.abebooks.co.uk – some of them are very rare (not necessarily the ones you’d think!), some are easy to get hold of.
In no particular order:
100 Years of Bicycle Posters – Jack Rennert – ISBN 0 246 10774 X
An A3-sized book with wonderful reproductions of bike company posters – including the really beautiful Art Nouveau ones…
The Paterek Manual – Tim Paterek – available from Henry James
This is the definitive framebuilding manual – an enormous and very comprehensive book on all aspects of building a frame. The first edition is photocopied, half-typewritten and with lots of scribbled-in notes – the second edition is a complete rewrite and much more up to date…
The Dancing Chain – Frank Berto – ISBN 1 892495 41 4
A beautiful hardcover history of the derailleur – sounds boring, but with lots of good pictures and drawings, and lots of intrigue as well 😉
The History of Shimano – no author or ISBN – produced for dealers
Written for the company’s 70th anniversary in 1990, this is a fascinating insight into quite a secretive company…
Bicycle Accident reconstruction for the Forensic Engineer
– James Green – ISBN 155369064 8
Pretty self-explanatory, really 😉 A very comprehensive book…
How To Build Unicycles and Artistic Bicycles – Jack Wiley
– ISBN 0 913999 13 X
Lots of info on how to build unicycles without a huge amount of equipment – and some really eccentric designs.
100 Years of Bicycle Component and Accessory Design
– ISBN 1 892495 01 5
Originally published in Japan, this is the work of a Japanese collector of illustrations of early bikes and parts. Most of them are beautifully-drawn line drawings – there are no explanations, so working out what they are is part of the fun 😉 This book is called – not entirely untruthfully – “Next year’s Shimano catalogue”…
Designing and Building Your Own Frameset – Richard Talbot
– ISBN 0 9602418 3 3
If the Paterek Manual is the professional workshop framebuilding book, this is the definitive work for homebuilders…
That’s Moulton – ISBN 4 06 366229 2 – Japanese text
Even if you can’t read Japanese (like me!), this book is well worth getting for the pictures alone – beautiful full-colour shots of historic and modern Moultons, behind-the-scenes pics, and lots of pics of modified Moultons.
Chasing Rickshaws – Wheeler / I’Anson – ISBN 0 86442 640 2
This is a Lonely Planet book, so the photographs are wonderful – this is partly a story of the different rickshaw designs around the world, but much more a story of the people who power them…
Human-Powered Vehicles – Abbott / Wilson – ISBN 0 87322 827 8
A big and well-illustrated book covering everything from Biomechanics to land, air and watercraft.
Electric Motors and their Controls – Tak Kenjo – ISBN 0 19 856240 3
A good, small and not-too-scary book for electric bike experimenters 😉
Rechargeable Batteries Applications Handbook – ISBN 0 7506 7006 1
Covers all battery technologies in good detail – another good book for electric bike enthusiasts.
Touring Bikes – Tony Oliver – ISBN 1 85223 339 7
A bit out-of-date now, but a very good book covering everything from designing your touring frame to choosing equipment.
Fat Tyre – Amici Design – ISBN 0 8118 1982 5
A hardcover history of mountainbiking – wonderful photographs, and a strip of rubber tyre stuck to the front cover 😉
The Birth of Dirt – Frank Berto – ISBN 1 892495 10 4
A small but comprehensive book which tries to sort out the arguments of who invented the MTB – still ignores the Brit inventors, though 😉
Cycling For Profit – Jim Gregory – 1 892495 12 0
How to start and run a bike-based business – courier and delivery services, mostly.
It’s in the bag! – Tony Hadland / John Pinkerton
A history of British folding bikes…
Bike Cult – David Perry – ISBN 1 56858 027 4
How to describe this book? It’s like a giant scrapbook from someone who’s just bike obsessed – it covers everything from the history of bicycles, technology, cycle sport, Critical Mass, bicycle injuries, to sex on bicycles. A wonderful book…
Framing Production – Paul Rosen – ISBN 0 262 18225 4
The story of British bicycle production – a brilliant and often sad story. A good book, though a bit academic in places…
Electric Vehicle Battery Systems – Sandeep Dhameja
– ISBN 0 7506 9916 7
Although this is mostly about cars and larger electric vehicles, it’s still interesting for electric bike designers…
The Recumbent Bicycle – Gunnar Fehlau – ISBN 189259058 1
The definitive book on recumbent history, design and culture – with lots of good photographs. This is the English rewritten version – the original German version is also good with different pictures…
Pedal Power – James McCullagh – ISBN 0 87857 178 7
How to use pedal power to do almost everything apart from move yourself about! Pedal-powered generators, water pumps, wood saws, lawn mowers,…
How to Rock and Roll – Sam Tracy – ISBN 0 9676026 0 2
Bicycle repair and bodging from a courier bicycle mechanic – lots of fun, lots of swearing 😉
Critical Mass – Chris Carlsson – ISBN 1 902593 59 6
A comprehensive history of the Critical Mass movement around the world…
Bicycle Design – Mike Burrows – ISBN 0 9520603 2 9
A no-nonsense bike design book from one of the most famous (and infamous) bike designers – well worth reading for anyone who thinks they know why bicycles work…
On Your Bicycle – Jim McGurn – ISBN 1 898457 05 0
An illustrated – and very detailed – history of cycling.
Human Power – Arnfried Schmitz – ISBN 0 9536174 1 6
A rather hodgepodge history of recumbents – lots on the Mochets who started recumbenting in the ‘30s, and quite a bit on the early BHPC.
The Bicycle Builder’s Bible – Jack Wiley – ISBN 0 8306 9725 X
A fascinating book which tries (sometimes too hard) to cover everything – choosing a first bicycle, repairs, folding bikes, unicycles,…
Atomic Zombie’s Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza
– Graham / McGowan – ISBN 0 07 142267 6
Bored? Got an arc welder? This is a brilliant collection of eccentric (and sometimes unrideable) project ideas – choppers, very high bicycles,…
Das Powerbike – Hannes Neupert – ISBN 3 89595 123 4
A very good German-language book on the history and design of electric bikes – with quite a bit on solar cars and electric recumbents as well.
The Moulton Bicycle – Tony Hadland – ISBN 0953617408
A good hardcover history of the earlier Moultons…
Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips – Dave Glowacz – ISBN 0 9651728 1 3
A fun book on how to survive cycling the urban jungle 😉
Railbike – Bob Mellin – ISBN 0 935902 29 5
Railbiking is riding a modified cycle on disused (hopefully!) railway lines – this book covers the history of railbikes, different designs, and where to go (in the US).
The Custom Bicycle – Kolin / de la Rosa – ISBN – 0 87857 254 6
Another good framebuilding book – this time because of all the profiles of British, American, French and Italian framebuilders.
Bicycle! A Repair and Maintenance Manifesto – Sam Tracy
ISBN 1 933108 01 0
A revised, updated and expanded book from the author of How to Rock and Roll…
Bicycling Science – David Gordon Wilson – ISBN 0 262 73154 1
The real, definitive scientific textbook about cycling – covering the human engine, all aspects of cycle design and construction, aerodynamics, etc. A must-read book for any bike designer.
Velomobile – Dovydenas – ISBN 3 341 00790 3
Cold War recumbents! A fascinating book, reprinted in East Germany from a Lithuanian original written by a long-term recumbent builder. Full of beautiful colour pencil drawings of his ideas and machines.
Cyclecraft – John Franklin – ISBN 0 04 440210 4
The definitive book on safe road cycling – how to cycle in traffic, how to be assertive on the road, how to handle complex junctions,…
Bicycle Metallurgy for the Cyclist – Douglas Hayduk
ISBN 0 9618977 0 8
There’s a lot of bad science about in discussions of bicycle frame materials – this book by a real metallurgical engineer cuts through it all. Required reading for framebuilders I think.
The Proteus Framebuilding Handbook – Dr Paul Proteus
Dating from 1976, this book is a bit out-of-date, but still a good guide to traditional framebuilding.
Newnes Every Cyclist’s Handbook – F J Camm
Dating from 1936, this is a lovely hardcover book covering everything the serious cyclist needs to know…
Scottish Bicycles and Tricycles – Alastair Dodds – ISBN 1 901663 21 3
A fascinating little book, covering Scotland’s long history with the bicycle.
So You Want To Build An HPV – contact the BHPC
Pretty self-explanatory, really 😉 More a fat leaflet than a book…
The Bicycle Wheel – Jobst Brandt – ISBN 0 9607236 6 8
I think the best book on wheelbuilding from someone who takes a very scientific approach.
Bicycles – Chronicle Books – ISBN 0 8118 0750 9
A little book of studio pictures of antique bicycles, including some fascinating ones – folding army bikes, firefighting bicycles, wooden bicycles…
Bicycles & Tricycles – Archibald Sharp – ISBN 0 262 19156 3
Bicycling Science for the 19th Century! First published in 1896 (this is a reprint) this is a very detailed scientific book on early bicycles – still well worth a read by modern bike builders.
The Sturmey-Archer Story – Tony Hadland – ISBN 0 9507431 2 7
A large book on the history of this historic British hub gear company…
Cycle Building and Repairing – Paul Hasluck
Dating from 1898, this is a wonderful book on how to build your own bicycle, and he really means build – the list of required tools includes a forge for making your own cranks! Aimed at the home handyman, this book dates from the days when bikes were mostly made in small sheds by amateurs…
Principles of Bicycle Retailing III – Randy Kirk – ISBN 0 924272 05 8
A really funny (unintentionally) American book on bicycle shop sales technique…
The Bicycle in Wartime – Jim Fitzpatrick – ISBN 1 57488 157 4
Apart from a few brief mentions of folding bikes in WWII and Vietnam, bicycles have a very pacifist image. This fascinating book shows how armies around the world have tried to use bicycles for almost anything you could think of…
Bicycle Transportation – John Forrester – ISBN 0 262 06085 X
A good though US-oriented book on how to promote cycling and create cycle-friendly roads.