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The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles


Read the book that has inspired an entire generation of riders and builders! During the “Golden Age,” small makers created 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. Famous makers like René Herse, Alex Singer, Jo Routens and others spent countless hours on each bicycle in their search for perfection.

With lavish color photography, The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles charts the development of these machines from the early 1900s through the present day. The 50 classic bicycles in this book display amazing craftsmanship, elegance and function. Each brought innovations that continue to be used today. Additional historic photos show the bikes in competition and with their original owners. Insightful descriptions set the scene for each bicycle and explain its details. Here you find machines with a level of craftsmanship that never has been surpassed.

Now available in a Rizzoli Classics edition with updated content and improved image reproduction in a slightly smaller format.



The Authors:

Jan Heine is editor of Bicycle Quarterly, the magazine about the culture, technology and history of cycling. He also has written The Competition Bicycle and René Herse: The Bikes • The Builder • The Riders.

Jean-Pierre Pradères’ photography has been published in many magazines and books, including the Guggenheim Museum’s The Art of the Motorcycle.

  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Pages: 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 9″ x 11”