If you like your bicycle books to be eccentric, eclectic and a lot like an early edition of Rapha’s Rouleur magazine then you’ll love The Brooks Compendium of Cycling Culture. To be published in January by Thames and Hudson, the book’s Rouleur-flavour is evident throughout – from a 1943 Robert Capa black-and-white photograph through to an interviews with former pro David Millar, Rapha boss Simon Mottram and Sir Paul Smith – and the reason is simple, it was edited by Guy Andrews, founder and long-time editor of the roadie style-magazine.
Other contributors include cycle historian and author Bella Bathhurst, and there’s a profile of frame-builder Caren Hartley, too. Naturally, there are also features on the history of Brooks saddles, including a gritty photo-spread of factory workers by Martin Parr, see pic below.
Brooks has been a household name for 150 years. It was rescued in 1999 by Adrian Williams of Pashley, and bought in 2002 – and mightily resurrected – by Italian saddle-maker Selle Royal. The book was conceived by Fabio Fedrigo, Andrea Meneghelli, and Michela Raoss of Brooks.
And don’t think the book is just about bicycling or saddles. There’s also an article on the history of light-bulbs, toothbrushes, canned food and the hypodermic syringe.
The 192-page book retails for £29.95.