A reading list — modern bicycle history, inspirational builders and electric too.

I’ve been meaning to make my own bicycle history timeline, as I meant to do for motorcycles before that as an intro to what experience I’ve come from.The blog itself is a searchable reference for myself that I can throw an occasional email at and look at again later once I’ve forgotten about it.

This post began as an email to a local guy I sold bicycle tyres/tubes to. He is looking into learning frame building so I thought of these references and influencers that inspired me.

First one I’d suggest following on Facebook is Kinetics, that is a one man workshop in Glasgow, the guy is Ben Cooper.


He is regularly acquiring specialist workshop machinery, shares photos and little videos of workflows with said machinery. Sometimes he digs up interesting old stuff from his blog/website e.g. from 2012 long before I was a new follower in 2015.
This reading list is partly inspired from his bicycle library recommended reading list of titles he posted.
It’s as close to being a fly on the wall in the daily life of a one-man bike workshop that I’ve stumbled on.


The Pro’s Closet (TPC) is a kind of bicycle pawn shop via ebay. Their founder’s story off their YouTube channel is interesting as a startup, how it happened, how it grew.
From their success they’ve made some YouTube videos, this TPC Museum Series has to be the best thing I’ve seen in a long time, only matched by the Jeff Jones video. Loads of modern bicycle history touched on in there that tied together lots of loose bits of info I’ve come across. Here’s the TPC Museum Series playlist:


In there a couple interesting ones there for me was Steve Potts and Charlie Cunningham’s history together in WTB and as individuals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Cunningham …and his wife http://mmbhof.org/jacquie-phelan/


Joe Breeze was also charismatic, just more passion and less of the business drama of the WTB story. Great talk through his first frames and innovations.


Electric bikes, like above MTB history of nearly 40 years ago, our present day we have some leaders that will end up in an Electric Bicycle Hall of Fame should there be one in 30 years time.
Endless Sphere Forums is the go-to, and you’ll inevitably hit it with google on an electric bicycle topic. I also only just noticed some electric topics on the Kinetics site above. It’s a growth market so pays for a builder to know it.

Grin Tech in Canada at http://ebikes.ca/ is a quality leader in the market and is run by Justin Lemire Elmore who “Saved” the Endless Sphere forum from private monetisation and a “free ideas exchange” cultural backlash by the user base.
This intro article about the original founder of the forum is pretty amazing. In the top 10 it also refers to a self taught local Aussiejester who custom built a couple of electric bikes and his own frames over a couple years of dedicated effort while in a wheelchair. I think he’s since met a Balinese girl and is living there half the time now not actively building as he once was.


Jeff Jones talking through his personal ride history and how he’s come to build a longer wheelbase comfort plus size 29er. You see it’s something that’s been brewing for years and lots of designer R&D goes into it.


I’ll get onto my own bicycle/motorcycle history and current fleet in another post, but for now the day is sunny it’s time to ride.

“Have fun, be good, ride.”

PS: Riding inspiration, Danny Macaskill’s Inspired Bikes April 2009 video with brilliant editing and chosen soundtrack “The Funeral” by Band of Horses.

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