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Bicycles & Tricycles: A Classic Treatise on Their Design and Construction (Dover Transportation) Paperback – October 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Transportation
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486429873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486429878
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Lucas on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly, I have studied some of the older bikes, like highwheelers and the safeties and even the racing frames used by 6-day racers like Major (Marshall) Taylor... and I honestly thought most of the early bikes were designed by luck and a prayer.

Sharp shows how much engineering knowledge was known about bicycles at the early parts of the 20th century. No wonder bikes were the precursors to --the automobile, --the airplane, --Harleys!

Concerns about bottom-bracket flex, weight distribution, climbing efficiency, transmission systems, steering control, comfort, stability at speed, etc. are all covered. Various materials and their pros and cons are covered (but back then exotic materials were bamboo and heat treated rolled steel!).

If you are an engineer or have a good background in math, you will be entertained by the incredible amounts of analysis presented in the text. If you are just a techie bike geek like me you will still enjoy it without breaking out the calculator to verify the formulaes. There are lots of 'pretty pictures' and well explained concepts to inform and entertain anyone interested in the fundmental engineering priciples and concerns of bicycles.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark on December 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
The greatest bicycle engineering book ever written, and it's from 1896. When resources and minds were focused on bicycles, Archibald Sharp was leading the pack. Soon after the focus turned to internal combustion engines and no other books like this one have ever been published. This new edition is economical and a must for any serious bike book collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ninja boy on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a remarkable book.

It was written at the height of the first great period of mechanical engineering, which had transformed productive capabilities of European nations, Britain in particular, by railways, powerful factories, steamships. As such it records the immense and sophisticated technical competence of the age of, say, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. But it also introduces, in essentially final form, the impudent and revolutionary device that is bearing us forward into the post-indstrial and perfectioniat-environmental age.

The Oregon Historical Society possesses a beautiful photograph of Linus Pauling, as a high school student, cruising his bicycle over cobbled streets and streetcar tracks to deliver telegrams in downtown Portland; he possessed the energy to do that in support of his widowed mother and her rooming house on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. Pauling went on to revolutionize chemistry, connecting it with physics on one hand and biology on the other. His first chemistry laboratory was in the basement of that house, which now is adjacent to a prominent cycle shop that specializes in urban mobility.

Enough said!

Archibald Sharp wrote a text of mechanical engineering that is general enough to serve as such to this day. In its specific interest, bicycles, it has never been surpassed, even though freewheels, rim brakes, derailleurs were in the future; it is rigorous, which is why it endures. Here I recapitulate what I think is Sharp's most remarkable and insightful achievement: exact description of pedaling and production of torque and power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry Benjamin on May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
One of Sharp's goals was to debunk the truly awful designs of his day, and hopefully bring about their demise. When the book was written, the "ordinary" had only recently given way to the "safety," and the proliferation of designs described here is truly mind-boggling. As a historical record of early bicycle design, no other book even comes remotely close. The technical section is thorough enough to qualify as an engineering textbook, and needs no updating. The section on the design of individual components is of course limited by what was available at the time, but nevertheless is still of interest. After the numerous references to this book in Bicycle Design by Mike Burrows, I had searched unsuccessfully for years for a used copy. The reissuance of Sharp at a reasonable price shouldn't be passed up by anyone with even a passing interest in bicycle design and history. Be forewarned: this is a faithful facsimile of the original, and as such, the typeface isn't as clear as what we're used to nowadays. We're lucky that the book is available at all, and this edition is undoubtably superior in appearance to an original (assuming you can even find one).
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By Patrick L on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most everything you want to know about the Bicycle is in this book, first published in 1896. Those who design and admire bicycles are surprised by this book, that is, if they haven't seen it already. Copies I loan out never seem to make their way back to me. Inside are the engineering formulas from a time when bicycles were the focus, before cars. The book also has illustrations of many different bicycles that had been designed, leading to the leading type of bicycle used today.
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This is a good place to start if you are interested in bicycle design/ building, or have an idea for a "new" frame that you want to build. It may save you from making an ancient wrong turn. Then again, if you want to re-create an antique bike plenty of info. here to start. Basically, if it's not in this book, you really don't need it.
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