What Cyclists SayJan Heine
It’s one thing to write a book that the experts enjoy, and you may have read what bike designer Gerard Vroomen (Cervélo/OPEN) and gravel racers Lael Wilcox and Ted King had to say about “The All-Road Bike Revolution.” It was great to see that even they learned new things… But really, our goal was to create a book that is fun and accessible to all cyclists.
JaBig is a DJ by profession. He’s also an accomplished rider who has cycled across Canada twice and who was on a round-the-world trip when Covid hit, but he’s not someone who worries about a degree in seat angle or half a watt lost in a derailleur pulley. I didn’t even know he had bought the book until he contacted me and wrote: “Thank you for writing such an excellent guide. It’s so well-written and I am grateful that you kept it simple. I take my time reading it, because I don’t want it to end. I have learned sooooo much and feel confident to discuss bike matters even with experts.”
I was very happy when I read this. The biggest challenge for this project was to create a book that explains the complex nature of how bicycles work, yet remains approachable for cyclists who, like JaBig, “just like to ride my bike and that’s it.”
We also sent a copy to our editor at Rizzoli, who published “The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles” and “The Competition Bicycle,” We just wanted to show them what we’re up to these days, and we didn’t really expect anybody there to read it in great detail… Again, there was a surprise message:
“I got the book! I absolutely love it. Really, really well done. My girlfriend is already sick of me talking about it. I was surprised, since of course I was expecting something larger and photographic, closer to the Herse book or Golden Age, etc. But this is a really brilliant surprise. I’m only just getting into Part 2, so plenty to read yet; but the book seems to me like something you can enjoy reading in solid sittings, but also that you can come back to as a reference again and again.”
We didn’t even know our editor was a cyclist, but he continued:
“Finally I have a book that means I don’t have to scour odd web sites for specialist bits of technical information; and finally it’s written and designed in a way that’s easy and charming and fun. The design is excellent, the illustrations are great, and I love the blue – fantastic idea.”
Our goal was to create a book that would be informative and enjoyable for cyclists of all backgrounds. Getting these messages was the most wonderful feedback we could have imagined.