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. Here are a selection of our favorite images from the book.
Dropouts, fork ends and crowns bear the distinctive stamp of Richard Sachs, perhaps the most iconoclastic of makers.
Brooks The Elite Bicycle
Brooks now make a wide range of leather goods as well as saddles: bar tape, tool bags, trouser bands, and other items, all manufactured economically from off-cuts.
Winter Bicycles The Elite Bicycle
This head badge motif by Winter Bicycles in Oregon represents a Chinese flowering plum tree, noted for its resistance to cold weather.
Cliff Polton The Elite Bicycle
Innovative and independent, Cliff Polton (the man who designed the toilet flush handle on the Concorde) likes to push the boundaries of conventional thinking in his designs.
Welding a Frame The Elite Bicycle
The welders only light up the brazing torch once they are happy with the dry fit.
Mavic Wheels The Elite Bicycle
Mavic wheels on the assembly line. Note the carbon spokes.
TIG Welding The Elite Bicycle
A gas lens is used to direct the argon gas onto the welding area around the tungsten electrodes and it’s vital to keep the gas flowing over the joint while it cools. Tig welding titanium at this level is very difficult but these people make it look easy. The weld puddle is formed at temperatures well in excess of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping that run of liquid neat and tidy demands formidable expertise.
Singer The Elite Bicycle
At the heart of the Singer reputation was invention: the characteristic lug filed from welded X-section steel tubing; the slender, copper-chromed lightweight handlebar stem and pillar; and many others.
Serotta Cycle The Elite Bicycle
Dropouts, fork ends and other such items are CNC machined in-house at Serotta Cycles.
Rourke Bicycle The Elite Bicycle
The signature detail of a Rourke bicycle is a seat stay/seat tube “wrap”.