Bicycle: The HistoryRead about the other entries on the list.
David V Herlihy (2004)
For much of the 20th century, the history of the bicycle was muddied by the proprietary claims and myths of competing industrial nations: Germany, France, England, Italy, the US and even Scotland all asserted they had invented the machine. Herlihy brings academic rigour and clarity to the development of the steel horse. It is a fantastic tale – of ingenuity, eccentric inventors, technological impasses, lost fortunes and luck, which culminates in the first modern bicycle. The prose can be a little dry but the illustrations are excellent.
Also see Jon Day's ten best books about cycling, the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books on cycling, John Mullan's list of ten of the best bicycles in literature, Marjorie Kehe's list of ten great books about cycling, Matt Seaton's top 10 books about cycling, and William Fotherham's top ten cycling novels.