Structures of Speed Throughout History
The ultralight, high-tech, elegant two-wheelers of today had to start somewhere. Jan Heine and Jean-Pierre Pradères’ newly released book from Rizzoli, The Competition Bicycle, begins to tell the tale.
As Heine, the Editor of Bicycle Quarterly, began to research the early days of competition bicycles, he noticed vintage bikes that defied imagined functionality. He tracked down old champions and bike makers, and even had the chance to ride some of the original funky clunkers himself. “Some of them even rode quite nicely,” he says.
Heine teamed up with Pradères, a longtime motorbike photographer, to explore the mechanics behind these steel-welded mutants, and why the champions chose the bicycles they rode. They sought to understand why...