We are excited to add two new books to the Bicycle Quarterly bookstore. One is a lovely little book with photos of racers from the 1920s and 1930s. Whether you are interested in racing or historic photos, Goggles & Dust is a treasure trove of interesting images.
Take this image of Eugène Christophe in the 1925 Tour de France. Goggles protect his eyes from stones thrown up by other riders on the gravel road. A musette bag and two spare tubular tires are slung over his shoulders, one deflated and unused, the other with some air and perhaps ripped off the rim after a puncture. Another tubular is strapped under his seat. His randonneur-style handlebars are tilted upward and have a very shallow drop. His stem-mounted double bottle cages hold only one bottle. Christophe is outfitted like a warrior, yet his face expresses the confidence and serenity of a champion.
Goggles & Dust features 101 photos like this one, all from Brett Horton’s unique collection. At $ 17, this small-format book is very affordable. The perfect stocking stuffer for the cyclist in your life?
TOEI – The Art of the Beautiful Bicycle is a more weighty tome – the most beautiful book on TOEI we’ve ever seen. Many readers will have heard of TOEI, the legendary Japanese builders, but few know much about their history. This book tells the TOEI story with beautiful studio photos of 110 TOEI bicycles. This text is in Japanese, but I found I enjoyed the photos without needing to understand the text.
The book begins with a Randonneur made in 1957. The early bikes took their inspiration from French and British bikes of various makers, with fancy racks made from steel wire and lugs with curly cutouts. Toei then began to emulate the restrained style of René Herse. However, rather than simply copy the master, Toei often imbued the bikes with refinements of their own. For example, Toei’s rod-operated front derailleurs had limit screws to adjust the travel, unlike Herse’s.
Toei builds what the customer requests. The result is an incredible variety of bicycles, which makes this book so appealing. There are Herse-style Démontable take-apart bikes, but also bikes with S&S couplers. Some bikes feature ornate, British-style lugs. Others are fillet-brazed. There are racing bikes, tandems, camping bikes and even a track bike. Most of the stems are fillet-brazed like Alex Singer’s, but once in a while, a lugged stem catches the eye. It is fun to see each bike and think of the owner’s vision that led to him or her placing the order.
A few historic photos of Japanese cyclotourists provide a context for the bikes. Beautifully produced and 288 pages thick, TOEI – The Art of the Beautiful Bicycle is the ultimate book on this famous Japanese builder.
Bicycle Quarterly’s 2015 Calendar of Classic Bicycles still is available as well. If you like to look at beautiful bicycles, it’ll be a wonderful companion throughout the coming year.
These are just a few of the titles available in our bookstore. We only sell the books that we think are exceptional, and we hope you will enjoy them as much as we do. For more information or to order, visit the Bicycle Quarterly bookstore.
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