Book - The Data Book
Hand-drawn illustrations of bicycle components from the late 1890s thru 1959. It’s kind of like an illustrated history book with no comments. It was put together in Japan, but the parts illustrated are European, lots of French.
In the early 1980s Hiroshi Iimura of Jitensha (Bicycle) Studio in Berkeley got ahold of about 25 copies of this book, and word spread fast and they all sold out in a week. I knew (and raced for) Hiroshi, so I got four copies and gave away three, one to Tom Ritchey, as I recall. I heard that Gary Fisher got ten copies; and a handful of others got them. There were no more to be had, so people were photocopying pages of them.
In 1988 and again in 2017, The Data Book, originally a cult classique, was authorizedly republished by Van Der Plas publications in San Francisco, so magically and thank god it became widely available to hoi polloi.
If you are INTO bikes or know somebody who is. Not just new fancy bikes, but bike-bikes, and old bikes, not kids bikes, but adult bikes, good ones, the parts that went on them and which year it happen, and are curious about when this or that brake style or detail first appeared, this is a fascinating book. Many drawings by Daniel Rebour, the most famous bike-parts illustrator ever, a French fellow, now deceased.