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Book Review: It’s All About the Bike

April 19th, 2011 2 comments

I just finished reading “It’s All About the Bike” by Robert Penn (here is the Amazon link if you are interested, but I don’t get any money from them so feel free to buy it in a bookstore). The book is a story of the author’s quest to build his own “dream bike” and describes his visits to the manufacturers of each selected component along with significant historical background of the bicycle. I came away from it with my own strong desire to build a dream bike, but also a greater appreciation of the technological developments that went into producing the bicycle as we know it.

I found it to be a highly entertaining read as the author’s descriptions of the¬†characters¬†involved in the production of high-end bicycle components brought life to the historical context in which they were presented. From the highly secretive Campagnolo factory to the laid back attitude of Steve ‘Gravy’ Gravenites, the artisanship and attention to detail that each of these manufactures exhibit truly comes across. These stories add to the significance of each technological development in the history of the bicycle, from the lowly ball-bearing to the intricate derailleur. I began appreciating aspects of my bike which I had previously taken for granted.

If you are remotely interested in bicycle building you will throughly enjoy this book. Hopefully, even if you are purely a cyclist you will come away with a deeper understanding of the history and hard work that went into each aspect of your ride, because truly we can all agree that it’s all about the bike!

Disclaimer: I received this book as a birthday present, so I did not pay for it myself, but it was not provided by the publisher. Thanks KJT!

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