René Herse: The Bikes • The Builder • The Riders
The Bikes • The Builder • The Riders
By Jan Heine
Foreword by Lyli Herse
The story of René Herse takes you to a time when cycling was a way of life. The bikes, as beautiful as they are, provide only the backdrop for the adventures and friendships that they made possible. René Herse needs little introduction these days: He created some of the most sought-after bicycles ever made. This 424-page book takes you right into the action, with thousands of historic photos and stories told by riders, racers, randonneurs, employees and René Herse’s daughter Lyli. Follow René Herse and his friends through half a century of adventures, starting with Herse’s early work on prototype aircraft. Join them at the 1938 Technical Trials, where his bike created a sensation: Fully equipped with wide tires, fenders, lights and a rack, it weighed just 7.94 kg (17.5 lb), lighter than any similar bike today. Witness the difficult years during World War II and learn how they used their bikes both to forage the country for food, but also to spend time with friends and to help each other. Watch amazing performances in the Poly de Chanteloup hillclimb race, Paris-Brest-Paris, and professional races won on René Herse bikes. Visit the workshop and learn how American customers helped to keep the lights on during the difficult period of the 1960s. Find out how his daughter Lyli and Herse’s best framebuilder joined hands to continue the tradition, crafting amazing bikes that were as out-of-this-world as her father’s. This book tells a story that will inspire you in many ways!
Comes with a 4-page update that includes new research and brings the story up to date.