The invention of the mountain bike revolutionized cycling, created an entirely new Olympic sport, spawned a slew of slick magazines, and transformed the way tens of millions of outdoor enthusiasts around the world get back to nature. For them there is Fat Tire, a history and celebration of these agile, adventuresome, all-terrain machines and the people who ride them. Inside are hundreds of amazing photos, interviews with the founders, profiles of champions, and much more. The author and a long list of contributors—die-hard bikers and biking advocates—cover the designers, inventors, and frame builders; tales of the trails; style, gear, and components; evolution of the machine; Slick Rock and other extreme challenges and biking meccas—you name it. This is a glorious, full-color, full-speed, first-hand look at the culture, equipment, and key people of the most popular evolution of the bicycle ever. Oh, and that’s real tread on the cover.
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Amici Design is the brainchild of San Francisco based designer Lee Jakobs. This firm has worked with such bike industry outfits as Ritchey, Bianchi, Ibis, Sidi, Look, and Voodoo. For Fat Tire , Jakobs teamed up with photographer and designer Roberto Carra
Joe Breeze built the first frames for what would eventually be called mountain biking. He lives in Marin County, California, the birthplace of the mountain bike.
By Tom Vanderbilt
Fat Tire provides a wide-ranging breezy account of the transition from thrift-store "clunkers" to a multimillion-dollar industry in which industrial designers and engineers used high-performance metals such as titanium and composite materials, and have introduced innovations ranging from disk brakes to the Y-frame. They also shaved, in a single year, some six pounds off the weight of the average bike. Mountain biking, the authors write, has become a "vehicle for competition, commerce, artistic expression, fashion, friendly association and pilgrimage." Its constituency has broadened to include everyone from the "bacon" (bike slang for scab) covered, mud-splattered downhillers to outlaw messengers to Berkeley bike cops; and the junk parts of yesteryear have been supplanted by RapidFire shifters and Spinergy composite wheels. The original desire to get the best ride "using whatever technology possible" lingers on, however, in the quest for the tire that never goes flat or the derailleur-less design. Fast company, indeed.
If you love mountain bikes, check out Fat Tire, a new book about the history of the most popular type of bicycle sold in America. The book, which has part of an actual knobby mountain bike tire stripped across the cover, tells how, in less than 25 years, the mountain bike evolved from the old balloon tire Schwinns of the 1930s into the world's most popular style of bicycle.
The cover alone of Fat Tire: A Celebration of Mountain Biking makes it a great gift. A large, rubber tire tread is laid across the hard cover in this bountifully illustrated homage to this cycling phenomena. Created by Lee Jakobs, photographer Robert Carra and writer Dan Imhoff, this is an entertaining and passionate look at culture, equipment, places and key people of this radical bike evolution.
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