The title makes this book sound like some kind of all-encompassing tome of cycling. If that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. What this is, is a very nice catalog of one hundred bicycles from one man's bicycle collection. The man is Michael Embacher, who has a self-admitted endless fascination with the bicycle. This book is a way for Mr. Embacher to share his passion, and inspire others with a similar passion. The range of dates for the collection goes from 1922 at the earliest, up to 2010 at the latest. Road and mountain bikes are represented. There are some familiar names of manufacturers, and others I was completely unfamiliar with. Some were built for racing, others for utility. Some are straight forward and easily recognized by their design, others exhibit wildly innovative and unique means to deal with such things as suspension, braking, foldability and efficiency.
a Vialle Velastic, with adjustable leaf spring instead of seat post
an AFA, with another unique suspension design
The photos by themselves make this a worthwhile book for anyone interested in the history of the bicycle, but each bike also includes a brief written description including unique features and information about the maker, as well as a quick little overview listing of country of origin, date, weight, frame, gears, brakes and wheels. The book is not intended by be comprehensive in any way, but due to its wide range of makes and models, it does provide a wealth of information for anyone interested in the history and development of the bicycle.
Tur Meccanica Bi Bici, a compact tandem
BSA Paratrooper, one of many folding examples in the collection
Embacher, Michael Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2011