Gorgeous Bicycles from Chronicle Books

Cyclepedia by Chronicle Books

An homage to the beauty of the bike, Cyclepedia showcases the legacies of a century of iconic bicycle design. Avid collector and bike enthusiast Michael Embacher takes you on a tour of 100 bicycles, from the fines racing bikes and high-tech hybrids to the bizarrely specific (like a bike designed to be ridden on ice).

Here’s a peek at 15 gorgeous bikes from the book, recently featured in Vanity Fair.

  • Sironval Sportplex (France, 1939) 1 of 15
    Sironval Sportplex (France, 1939)
    Solo recumbent bikes like this lovely example were popular in the 1930s.
  • MFA Lambretta (France, 1960) 2 of 15
    MFA Lambretta (France, 1960)
    A mini replica of the popular Lambretta motor scooter for kiddos, sans motor.
  • Umberto Dei Giubileo (Italy, 1996) 3 of 15
    Umberto Dei Giubileo (Italy, 1996)
    A handmade bike launched to celebrate Umberto Dei's 100th anniversary.
  • Smith & Co. Long John (Denmark, 1983) 4 of 15
    Smith & Co. Long John (Denmark, 1983)
    The first bike to tackle serious heavy cargo, this beast has a load capacity of over 300 pounds.
  • Carnielli Graziella Leopard Tipo Cross (Italy, 1976) 5 of 15
    Carnielli Graziella Leopard Tipo Cross (Italy, 1976)
    Chopper bikes like this one were built to satisfy the desires of children longing for dirt bikes back in the day.
  • Raleigh Tourist, Ladies (U.K., 1970) 6 of 15
    Raleigh Tourist, Ladies (U.K., 1970)
    This lovely touring bike from 1970s looks deceptively light but is actually pretty heavy duty.
  • Messenger Bike (Italy, 1978) 7 of 15
    Messenger Bike (Italy, 1978)
    The ultimate "fixie," now considered a staple among modern cyclists.
  • Pacific Cycles iF Mode (Taiwan, 2009) 8 of 15
    Pacific Cycles iF Mode (Taiwan, 2009)
    A futuristic folding bike, ideal for urban mobility.
  • BMW Super-Tech (Germany, 1997) 9 of 15
    BMW Super-Tech (Germany, 1997)
    An aluminum and varnished steel mountain bike that borrows stylistic features from the cars for which its parent company is known.
  • Sølling Pedersen (Denmark, 1978) 10 of 15
    Sølling Pedersen (Denmark, 1978)
    This engineering marvel from Danish inventor Mikael Pedersen features a flexible saddle that is suspended with a plastic-covered steel cord.
  • Cinelli Laser (Italy, 1985) 11 of 15
    Cinelli Laser (Italy, 1985)
    This bike demonstrates the fine craftsmanship involved in perfecting bicycle aerodynamics.
  • Lotus Sport (U.K., 1994) 12 of 15
    Lotus Sport (U.K., 1994)
    This bike uses a lightweight carbon-composite frame to attain astonishing speed.
  • Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra (Belgium, 1990) 13 of 15
    Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra (Belgium, 1990)
    A 10-year special edition model created by celebrated racing star Eddy Merckx.
  • Schauff Wall Street (Germany, 1993) 14 of 15
    Schauff Wall Street (Germany, 1993)
    The unique design and dynamic build of this bike garnered it the 1992 Rote Punkt design prize.
  • Bianchi C-4 Project (Italy, 1988) 15 of 15
    Bianchi C-4 Project (Italy, 1988)
    An organic and modern design that speaks to the future of cycling.


‘Cyclepedia’ can be purchased for $35 on the Chronicle Books website.

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