My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This has flashes of being a great book on racing bicycles, but often disappoints.
It consists of many short entries on a series of famous brands. They might be bike manufacturers (Bianchi, Flandria, etc) or component makers (Reynolds, SRAM, etc). There’s also the occasional special two-page spread for more detail: such as Coppi’s 1952 Bianchi after the chapter on Bianchi.
That’s all good, an accompanied by plenty of fine illustrations. But the whole is let down by poor execution.
For a start, the number of contradictions within the text shows sloppy proof reading. Within two or three pages you can read three different start dates for some companies. Are any of them correct?
The editors also made a lazy (non-)decision about units of measurement: everything is listed in both miles and kilometres. This makes for awful reading in sections where four or five racing distances are listed in the one sentence.
Further, for a book about classic cycling brands, I think it was a poor decision to include some ‘up to date’ recent technology – poor because they aren’t classics. The spread on Mark Cavendish’s Specialized Venge just reads like a press announcement from three years ago.
I enjoyed this book, but I don’t trust it as a source of information. Hence, two stars.