ONE FOR THE CYCLING CURIOUS
HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS BROUGHT TOGETHER WITHIN THIS CELEBRATORY TOME OF BROOKS
In 2016, legendary saddle manufacturers Brooks celebrated their 150th anniversary with the Dashing Bikes project, which saw the Smethwick-based outfit invite a select number of partners to create limited-edition bicycles in the theme of copper. Cue collaborations with Brompton, Pegoretti and Pelago.
Style and substance echoed loudly, as did the price tag. But ever the democrats, Brooks have now released a 192-page tome to continue the birthday celebrations into their 151st year at more affordable £29.95.
As the name suggests, The Brooks Compendium of Cycling Culture depicts Brooks’ unique and idiosyncratic view of the wide-ranging impact that the humble bicycle has had on the world. Though we’re given a brief background to Brooks and their takeover in 2002 by Italian steel behemoths Selle Royal, this is a collection of stories that stretches beyond Birmingham. There can’t be many cycling books, for instance, that feature a historical tour of Picasso’s famous Bull’s Head alongside recollections of when Fausto Coppi packed out the Albert Hall.
Beautiful illustrations by the likes of Joe McLaren complement the photography, which is a mix of portraits, candid black-andwhite race photography and the realist grit of the Brooks’ workforce. We’re big fans; in fact, so impressed are we that we feature an extended extract on page 68.