I’m a bit of a sucker for beautiful bicycles and Rizzoli has recently published a brand new book called Japanese Steel that specifically highlights some of the best Japanese bicycle companies currently operating.
The book by William Bevington, does a wonderful balance of bringing together historical details of Japanese bicycle culture and design with the intricate details — from build, to components, and color — of each company’s unique perspective on the market.
The photographs by Scott Ryder featured in this book are all privately owned bicycles donated for the purpose of this project. The result is just a big volume of gorgeous imagery that really shows how these Japanese bicycles have held up over time. No bicycle in the book is straight off the production floor so don’t expect ultra-clean and shiny bikes (although a lot of them look that way). Instead, just be sure to note the patina on the metals and the worn-in yet lasting leather bound components.
A bicycle’s purpose is for getting from one place to another in an efficient manner. But after looking at this book, you might just reconsider the bike as an object of art rather than a strict utilitarian tool.
Pick up Japanese Steel over at Amazon today. It is currently $30 and makes a perfect holiday gift!