Posted by: Jan Heine Category: Uncategorized


Whether it’s after a long ride (and shower and good meal) or on a day when it’s not appealing to head out at all – there’s nothing quite like making a cup of tea and sitting down with a beautiful book. Great books don’t just tell stories and convey information, they are also tactile objects that have a timeless beauty. They become items that are treasured by their owners. I often pick a favorite book from the shelf, leaf through the by-now familiar pages, discover new details as I look at the photos, perhaps re-read a chapter or two.

The Rene Herse book is one of those books. I was incredibly lucky to meet so many riders, employees and Herse’s daughter Lyli, who had known the ‘Magician of Levallois’ from the beginning, when he left the aircraft maker Breguet to make innovative bicycle components. Their stories were incredible and inspiring. When Lyli and I found two suitcases of photos – her parents’ entire collection – that showed these riders in events and on rides, the foundation for the book was laid. The story is so rich – and there are so many great photos – that the book got bigger and bigger, until it ended up with 454 pages. It’s a book that would be impossible to write today, as most of the protagonists aren’t with us any longer. I’m glad it happened when it happened.

Now we’ve published a four-page update that tells how the the story has continued since the original book appeared. It also includes a few corrections and additions that have come to light in the years since. We include it with every Rene Herse book. And if you already have the book, you can buy the update for a nominal fee of $ 2. We suggest including it with an order from Rene Herse Cycles, otherwise, shipping costs more than the update.

The Limited Edition of the Rene Herse book came with a beautiful slipcover and four art quality prints of unpublished photos from the Rene Herse archives. The English version of the Limited Edition sold out a while ago. Many French readers have asked for a French version of this extraordinary book. Now we’ve created a French Limited Edition. There will only be 5 copies, each numbered and signed by the author. For French customers, they’ll be shipped from France in time for the holidays, so shipping costs will be reasonable. (All other customers will have their copies shipped from Seattle.)

Another very special book is our ‘The Competition Bicycle.’ We scoured the entire world to find the actual bikes ridden by great champions. These aren’t lookalikes, but the actual bikes Eddy Merckx (above), Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Tony Rominger, Sean Kelly, Greg LeMond, Andy Hampsten and many others rode to their greatest victories.

We tried to capture all aspects of cycling competition, so in addition to the famous racers, we included a bike of the Paris newspaper couriers, the famous porteurs, and Jacquie Phelans mountain bike that she rode to victory in the first three NORBA championships. More than just portraits of the bikes, ‘The Competition Bicycle’ also charts the technical development of bicycles from highwheelers to indexed shifting and disc wheels.

This book was translated into three languages. The German (above) and French editions are out of print, but we still have a small number of the English edition. If you want one, don’t wait – they’ll be gone before long!

And if you don’t have a copy of ‘The All-Road Bike Revolution’ yet, put it on your holiday wish list. This is our latest book, and it summarizes all the research that has revolutionized bicycles in a fun, easy-to-read format with illustrations by Miyoshi. The first edition sold out in just a few months. The second edition has been updated in a few details. You can order both the English and German versions on our web site.

Click here to find out more about our books and posters. (Yes, we made posters of two of our favorite photos from the Rene Herse book.)

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