Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

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Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby cycles gitane » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:36 pm

FYI
New book produced in Australia. Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel by David Rapley

http://www.imagespublishinggroup.com/in ... 1864704822

or have a look at:

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=wQ3 ... &q&f=false

for a preview.

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by BNA » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:58 pm

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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:58 pm

There's a review of this coming up on BNA shortly. It's a sexy looking book.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby GaryF » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:49 am

Absolutely fantastic!
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:01 pm

I'm a sucker for good photography, gonna have to buy it....
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby frailer5 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:03 pm

Ordered. Pretty good price for what sounds like a great book. Thanks for the heads-up. :)
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:43 pm

OK, my copy arrived yesterday and I have to say this book is really great. It is the first I have seen dealing with the vintage scene from an Australian point of view and the photography is absolutely fantastic! The text is informative too, tho as an ex-Londoner I nearly spat out my coffee when I read the comment in the Hetchins description that ' these bikes were not well known in their heyday' :shock: But of course they were looking at it from an Oz point of view so I suppose it is allowed :P .
I have had the magnifying glass out already looking at components and details so I can compare various bikes in my collections with the photos.
Thoroughly recommended! (Especially at the price if ordered from the publisher)
Cheers
Richard
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby frailer5 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:42 pm

WyvernRH wrote:Thoroughly recommended! (Especially at the price if ordered from the publisher)
Cheers
Richard


Just over half price. ..yep, it's a great book.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby devilishdesigner » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:34 pm

I think I might havt to get a copy too. Brilliant photography!
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:00 pm

my copy arrived this morning.
Many thanks to the forum members who contributed with their bikes.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby RobertFrith » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:49 pm

Got mine. The book is good, the history and writing both seem first class to me. I was pretty disappointed with the photography and reproduction though.

The shots are nowhere near the standard of the sort of thing you see on CycleExif or in Cyclepedia, or in other Images Publishing titles for that matter. I think we all know how hard it is to take a good pic of a bike, there's an awful lot of air in between those tubes! Not really an excuse if you're going to publish a fat coffee table book of Australia's finest. It all looks like it was done in a bit of a hurry with bikes leaning against walls pretty much like the average photo on the "show us yer whatever bike" threads round here. The close up shots are better by virtue of excluding distracting backgrounds.

The print quality is lacking as well, bit too much ink on the page. The images that reproduce the best are the three from Peter Underwood of Classic Lightweights fame. The fact that these pics printed well despite being predominantly black suggests that the rest weren't properly prepped for publication.

The bikes themselves look like an amazing set of machines. I love that many of them are unrestored condition and of Australian origin, the patina factor is off the scale. Great to see the forum members' bikes getting their just recognition too :D
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby Blockchain » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:58 am

Hello Robert.

Thank you for your constructive critisism of our book.

You may be interested to know that all major contributors to this production are members of this forum. Our collective desire beyond a 'picture book' of the bikes we love and admire (which seems to be missing from the book shops certainly with Australian content) was to try and promote the preservation of our racing bike heritage.

Further to incourage the physical preservation before restoration philosophy that is so important to the maintance of history.They can only be original once!
As all the machines are in essence 'old' it was decided to present them in their natural (home) settings, we did not want sterile stuido shots - the result or effectiveness of this will naturally be in the eye of the beholder some will like it some won't..

Image Publishing were good enough to produce our indulgence - we do hope they get their investment back!

Cheers for now Blockchain.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby frailer5 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:11 am

Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip in prepress and printing. Despite the constructive criticisms, it's a fine book. Especially for the price. OK, if the guys were doing it again (or a Vol 2? :) perhaps some tweaking on stuff like Colour Profiles for the target paper stock/presses; stuff like that. Sample press tests are a great thing, but cost money. Sometimes appropriate proofing helps to see stuff pre-print. I know in our neck o' the woods we've only belatedly moved (close) to F47 Uncoated Profile as an alternative, as customers are using recycled (sometimes hybrid) stocks of varying quality. Been an absolute boon.
A great book at a very affordable price.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby GaryF » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:23 pm

Hi guys,

I have a very small interest in the book as I know a couple of the machines quite well. I also have a copy of the book and, being a graphic design / printing novice, I was very pleased with the book. I can now see the 'environmental' nature of the photography as opposed to a studio controlled photograph but I was actually pleased to see the bikes 'at home'. I suppose the paper could have been a better quality too but I really didn't notice it. Nor did I notice the print quality. I think the price is right though as it seems to be value for money.

I just fell in love with the subject matter and poured over each and every page. I have re-visited the book on numerous occasions, in fact, it is within arms reach as I type this response.

I am just so impressed to see some good old Aussie bikes mixing it with the world's best. Just to know that some of this forum's members are involved is also impressive.

I can hardly wait for volume 2 to be released which is hopefully before I wear out this volume.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:30 am

Blockchain wrote:Hello Robert.
Thank you for your constructive critisism of our book.
You may be interested to know that all major contributors to this production are members of this forum. Our collective desire beyond a 'picture book' of the bikes we love and admire (which seems to be missing from the book shops certainly with Australian content) was to try and promote the preservation of our racing bike heritage.

Thanks Blockchain, I was very interested to find that out that BNA contributors are so involved with the book. Usernames make it hard to decipher but through personal dealings with Mario and Warren I know they're silverlight and bicyclepassion. I suppose, had I known of so many forum members' involvement in the book, I would have been more circumspect in my observations. I'm sure I'm not alone in my curiosity about the identities of the other featured collectors who are also BNA'ers, anyone care to out themselves? Your collective ambition is truly admirable and I wholeheartedly subscribe to it.
Blockchain wrote:As all the machines are in essence 'old' it was decided to present them in their natural (home) settings, we did not want sterile stuido shots - the result or effectiveness of this will naturally be in the eye of the beholder some will like it some won't..

I know I used Cyclepedia as a point of comparison. I also used Cycle Exif. My point wasn't that studio shots would be better, just that more respect be given to these beautiful machines. Too many of the images feature stunning bicycles posed against less than stunning contemporary suburban retaining walls and garage doors. Bikes are not garden fixtures, it could be argued that their natural setting is out and about. Have a squizz at Cycle Exif for the sort of photography that is possible when proper consideration is given to location, lighting and lens choice.
frailer5 wrote:Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip in prepress and printing. Despite the constructive criticisms, it's a fine book. Especially for the price. OK, if the guys were doing it again (or a Vol 2? :) perhaps some tweaking on stuff like Colour Profiles for the target paper stock/presses; stuff like that. Sample press tests are a great thing, but cost money. Sometimes appropriate proofing helps to see stuff pre-print. I know in our neck o' the woods we've only belatedly moved (close) to F47 Uncoated Profile as an alternative, as customers are using recycled (sometimes hybrid) stocks of varying quality. Been an absolute boon.
A great book at a very affordable price.

Let's be frank, my criticisms to date have not been particularly constructive :oops: OK, hand the man a shovel!
Here are some constructive observations that could cause further offense - sorry. If there was to be a volume 2 I suggest that professional advice be sought about the file prep of the photos. A good printed result is dependent on all parties involved using carefully colour managed workflows; photographer->designer->printer.
I've earned my living from photography for decades. A substantial part of my work is documentation of artworks for publication. I've had more sleepless nights over jobs going to print than I have spokes in my garage. I've put my heart and soul into making sure the images we send out are the best they can possibly be and I do my best to be sure that our clients are as invested in colour management as we are, 99% of the time they are. Good dialogue between photographers, designers and printers results in printed work that looks amazing. Colour management is easy today in comparison to five, ten or twenty years ago. In my experience the only things that will unstick a print job today are last minute changes to paper stock or printer or using an offshore (read Chinese) printer who isn't invested in colour management. Price is sending a lot of print work to China and many Chinese print houses are treating colour management with the sort of hit and miss techniques that were common in Australia a decade ago. Having said all of that it still bothers me that the Peter Underwood images have some sparkle that the others don't, despite their black backgrounds. I don't believe press tests would have improved matters, more careful consideration should have been given to the initial raw file conversions for the photos and subsequent post production work.

I have very mixed feelings about criticising the book. On the whole as I said in my first post I think it the curation, research and writing are great. The exposure and promotion of so many wonderful Australian bikes in this format is fantastic. However any book like this is heavily dependent on imagery and my feeling is that, despite being given such wonderful subject matter, the authors have illustrated the book with many images that are technically and creatively substandard. And I'm afraid all the best intentions in the world don't excuse an ordinary print job at any price.
My sincere apologies if this causes any offence.
Rob
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby frailer5 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:53 am

more careful consideration should have been given to the initial raw file conversions for the photos and subsequent post production work


You view is from a higher vantage point; I couldn't argue with that. I doubt anyone would take offence; well, for 5 seconds, but after that... not really. My vote is for you, anyway, as production consultant on Vol. II. :)

Yep, good summary on the unfolding of colour management/offshoring. But they'll catch up, as always.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby Shifty » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:54 am

My father, Shifty Arnold, rode off scratch with the greats in the 1950's. He handled/trained John Nicholson to his World Champion Sprint title, looked after Patto in six day races. He also trained Donny Allan and his partner, Danny Clarke. not a bad resume'. 84 now, he was a hoarder. His shed contains... Valentino , Record, Nuovo Record, Record C Simplex, Airlight, Harden, Cinelli, Brookes and many i" block chain chain rings. and lots of Japanese stuff, not to mention wheels with singles rims, both track and road. His collection of Regina cogs and blocks is huge. He also has the most extensive scrap books of the 1950's, including his experiences in the first two Sun Tours. There are many photographs of the bunches of the day, mostly scratch markers from all the major day races and tours, Vic and interstate.. He rode alongside Johnn Beasley, Eddie Smith, Russell Mockridge,George Goodwin, Alby Saunders, Barry Waddell etc. He has the original blue boxes for his Campy purchases, plus a full, unused, factory Workshop box for Super record period Campy...that's with the reamers, and all the Campy tools.
I guess this should establish his credentials. I was hoping to be able to contact David Rapley, after reading his book..100 years of Steel. I have Sid Patterson's 1960's Cecil Walker track bike, one of a pair, used for Melbourne milk Sixes. Not willing to sell just yet, but wanting to get this all documented. His photo colection and newspaper clippings are the history of the sport.Others who worked on the book, may like to contact me
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby Shifty » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:02 pm

Pg 232 of Steel......Chainwheels and gearing. Gear inches is the gearing of a bicycle expressed as the diameter of a single wheel that would produce that gear. eg 50x15= 90", a standard track gear.A penny-farthing with that size wheel would require the same amount of effort to push. This is not to be confused with roll-out, or the distance the bike moves for one turn of the pedal. The measurement would be 'gear inches x Pi. In the 70's, junior riders were restricted to an 81 gear. However, by using the high crowned Michelin Competition tyres, they could effectively increase the diameter of their wheel, giving a higher gear. Roll out was used to check for this. Gear charts were once given out by bike shops and companies, but when metric came in, they didn't match the chainring/cog ratio, and ended up being metric 'development' charts. We must not get gear inches and development confused at this level of writing.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby GaryF » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:32 pm

Thanks Shifty. Thanks just isn't enough though. It sounds like your dad has passed on his knowledge to you which will ensure it is not lost like so much of our cycling history. I'm sure many people would like nothing more than to talk to you and your dad. I cannot talk for him but I bet David will read this post and make contact. I have met him on a number of occasions and I know him to be a most passionate and honest bike enthusiast.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby LG » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:36 am

Received my copy yesterday and I must say it is well worth the money. Always thought it would be interesting to poke around bicyclepassion, silverlight et al's sheds, I guess after reading (looking at the pics) I can say I've done it :wink:

If you haven't bought a copy yet, do it!
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby daacha » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:31 pm

Just ordered mine. Looks amazing and can't wait for it to arrive.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby LUGLESS » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:27 am

Hi Shifty,,I am wondering ,with your fathers connection to John Nicholson ,if he was involved with the Blackburn amateur club and possibly lived off whitehorse road between Mitcham and Nunawading? If so then I remember him as Mr Arnold,(George I think)......Interesting that Sid Patterson had Cecil Walker bikes ,was it some time after 1960??,,from mid 50s till then at least I would have expected only Malvern star,,photo would be great...in1959 Cecil Walker Built my new road frame,,,I remember him(from a teenagers view ) as an elderly,white haired,frendly,American man !! I now know more about him and find he was an aussie who had great fame in the USA and is often forgotten when we talk about our cycling Legends,,,Cheerio
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:00 am

Shifty wrote:My father, Shifty Arnold, rode off scratch with the greats in the 1950's. ......
I was hoping to be able to contact David Rapley, after reading his book..100 years of Steel. I have Sid Patterson's 1960's Cecil Walker track bike, one of a pair, used for Melbourne milk Sixes. Not willing to sell just yet, but wanting to get this all documented. His photo colection and newspaper clippings are the history of the sport.Others who worked on the book, may like to contact me

I have David Rapleys email address. PM me.
Shifty, your dad would have been Bill Arnold?
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby dayne » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:24 am

I havnt picked up the book yet but had a quick flick through it,
I was suppressed to see my old hoffy in there,

I sold it to a fellow Brisbane collector Allan.

I don't think he is on here but a great guy with some amazing Australian bikes.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby munga » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:24 am

dayne, did you sell it at pushies? if so, i remember having a chat to him as he wheeled it up the road.
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Re: Racing Bicycles: 100 Years of Steel

Postby dayne » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:15 pm

Yeah I did at the second one
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