A Pseudo Review
I’ve been a subscriber to Bicycle Quarterly for upwards of eight years now (I read each issue cover to cover), and when I saw that editor-in-chief Jan Heine was publishing a catch-all book entitled The All-Road Bike Revolution I submitted my preorder.
I was stoked when the blue hardbound book arrived. At first brush it reminded me of college textbooks I had in the eighties. BQ and Jan’s previous books are eye candy stuffed with beautiful photos, but The All-Road Bike Revolution is a departure in that it is illustrated with cartoons. At first I was a bit bummed but I quickly realized that the cartoonist was rather clever and that the illustrations really do accentuate the text.
You can disagree with Jan, but you can’t say that the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and even though I’ve been serious about cycling for over forty years reading the book taught me a lot about bicycle design, bicycle fit and what exactly makes a bicycle fast and fun.
Another part of the book that I especially enjoyed was the discussion of different frame materials. I think it’s easy to discount Jan as a “steel is real” old skooler but I think that’s a mistake. Jan gives aluminum, titanium, carbon, steel, even bamboo and wood, equal treatment and notes that all of these materials are suitable for bike frame manufacture given suitable design and manufacture. One way is not the only way.
I worry that the title, which makes it seem like more of gravel or bikepacking book, will detour quite a few readers. Perhaps a better title would have been The Bicycle – A 20 Year Study, or something like that. Basically the book is a collection of what Jan has learned over two decades of publishing Bicycle Quarterly.
What I really like about Jan is that he backs up what he writes with scientific explanation and real world data. Whether it’s fixies, long range touring, racing, bikepacking or even tandems, Jan loves cycling and that passion comes through in every page of the book. I highly recommend that anyone interested in cycling – from beginner to crusty old racer – grab a copy of The All-Road Bike Revolution.
Click here for ordering info.