The Elite Bicycle brings together intimate portraits of the world’s greatest bicycle artisans, examining the philosophies, the meticulous workmanship, and the eccentric personalities behind cycling’s most prestigious brands. Their materials and methods could not be more disparate, yet their pursuit is the same: the perfect bicycle.
In chapters featuring some of cycling’s greatest craftspeople, The Elite Bicycle offers up a conversation with the men and women who make the most coveted bicycles. Lavish, oversize photographs and personal interviews invite readers into their workshops to show the melding of old-world craftsmanship with space-age materials in fascinating studios and factories that fabricate superb machines.
The Elite Bicycle is both an homage to the bicycle maker and a collector’s piece in its own right, celebrating the stories behind the greatest bicycles and components in the world.
See bike maintenance tips and related stories from VeloPress books on the Bikes & Tech page.
The Elite Bicycle: Portraits of Great Marques, Makers, and Designers
Graeme Fife and Gerard Brown with foreword by Sir Paul Smith
Hardcover with jacket. Full-color interior with 250 photographs.
11″ x 11″, 224 pp., $39.95, 9781937715083
THIS BOOK HAS SOLD OUT. Please check your local bookstore, used bookstore, or online booksellers for copies.
Foreword by Sir Paul Smith
The Elite Bicycle is one of the finer coffee table books we’ve seen in years. The book profiles some of the world’s greatest (and disappearing) bike artisans with shart portraits, incisive photojournalism, and keen essays.
This beautiful book is all about the bike — in exquisite, intimate, celebratory detail. This beautiful book is all about the bike — in exquisite, intimate, celebratory detail.
While the only way to truly experience the quality and craftsmanship of these components is to ride them, the book gives an effective introduction to many of the brands we often hear about without ever fully appreciating why. After spending a few hours with The Elite Bicycle, you’ll no longer be a just a name-dropper.
What makes The Elite Bicycle so fantastic is not so much what is said about the people and companies themselves, but the insightful, lesser-known tidbits that provide a greater depth of understanding…It’s little gems that are peppered throughout the already rich descriptions of people and place that make the profiles spring to life.
An eccentric and entertaining book, beautifully produced with top-quality photos and amusing but informative text and a foreword by cycling-mad British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, The Elite Bicycle deserves to find a place on many a cyclist’s bookshelf this holiday season.
The Elite Bicycle delivers something quite different…it’s the sense that you’ve spent an afternoon at the builder or company’s work space, that you’ve seen the work being done and then been left to wander on your own. You could unleash a dozen cycling photographers on the same set of subjects and very few would come up with anything so evocative.
The Elite Bicycle is the kind of glossy hardback you need to chain to the coffee table to avoid it being smuggled out of the house and into someone’s pannier.
Photographs anchor any coffee table book worth its weight, and Gerard Brown’s images are nothing short of amazing. The reader sees not only the detail work of a bicycle, but also the soul behind it.
Cycling photographer Gerard Brown has taken superb photographs in the workshops of framebuilders and component makers that capture the essence of their craft and, surprisingly, show the tools and methods used to make frames and components. Looking through the chapters, one can only be amazed that each framebuilder allowed such access to their operations. I know of no other collection of photos anywhere that shows in such detail the manufacturing processes, tools and techniques as The Elite Bicycle.
With such a roll-call of names, the authors were certainly off to a good start…and they have managed a hugely rewarding and useful guide for any bike enthusiast. One which not only covers some of the technical aspects of production in engaging depth, but also gives great insights into both the personalities and, dare we say it, philosophies behind the storied names we see etched, stickered and pressed onto the various pieces of our machines each time we throw a leg over the bar.