Bicycle Quarterly Press's large-format book explores the world of cycling competition through the actual bicycles ridden by champions and amateurs.
Great champions battled the mountain passes of the great tours. Others whirled around the banked oval of a track. Randonneurs embraced the open road unsupported. Newspaper carriers raced each other over the cobblestones of Paris with 15 kg of newspapers on the front rack. Mountain bikers did away with roads altogether and raced on mountain trails.
Their bicycles are shown in The Competition Bicycle , from a rare 1890s racing High Wheeler to Tony Rominger's 1994 hour record bike. In between are 32 carefully selected bicycles. Most are the actual machines ridden by great champions like Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Eddy Merckx, Greg LeMond, Andy Hampsten and many others. With well-worn saddles and paint bearing the scars of many a hard-fought battle, these unrestored bikes tell the stories of their eventful lives. Historic photos of these bikes in action complement each chapter.
The selection includes rarities like a Dursley-Pedersen racer and the incredible Labor “Monobras” with a single-sided fork, both dating from the early 1900s. Each bicycle not only has a fascinating history, it also represents a milestone in the development of cycling technology.
The Competition Bicycle is a celebration of beautiful bicycles lovingly crafted for one purpose only: to go as fast as possible.
"There is no better gift for the die-hard bike nut."
—The Sunday Times, London
"This coffee-table photographic art book is enthusiastically recommended."
—Midwest Book Review
"Detailed photography of the un-restored, sweat-stained bikes."
"The photographs make every detail of spoke, chain and handlebar pop out on the page."
"Brilliant, large-format photos... carefully researched texts."
"If you intend to own only one book about racing bicycles, make it this one."