Bikes are among the most humble of transportation, but the bicycle has also long been an objet: a medium for industrial designers and their fans to push and blur boundaries between art and utility. And in the past decade, this appreciation and fetishization of the bicycle has reached new heights, fueled by influences as disparate as a resurgent Tour de France following (with all of the inherent sportsmens’ drama and violence), and an newfound appreciation by city-dwellers (note huge numbers of psuedo-messengers, alongside well-dressed adults on Dutch cargo bikes, in any fashion-forward city). The new cool of cycling has also allowed Englishman Paul Smith to revisit the sport; the designer was a would-be racer himself, and has been injecting a solid dose of cycling into his own collections, as well as collaborating with lifestyle cycling brand Rapha. And in a mark of pure love for the bike itself, Smith has just co-authored Cyclepedia, which gives a look back at notable bike designs of the past 90 years. The book touches on everthing from swooping carbon fiber to aggressive velodrome geometry to urbane and proper commuters – with plenty of quirky non-sequiters thrown in. Great gift for any fans of bicycle design; check out a few spreads after the jump, and see end clothing to purchase.
The book is published in the US by Chronicle Books and has a different cover. http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/art-design/art-design-reference/cyclepedia.html Thames & Hudson has it in the UK.