For better or for worse, they certainly don’t make bike catalogs like this anymore. Illustrated by George Retseck during the Grant Peterson, currently Rivendell Bicycle Works, years the catalog does feature some photographs here and there but is largely full of detailed illustrations of bikes and parts. The catalog is not limited to merely “stuff you can buy” but is supplemented by articles on how frame geometry works, wool jerseys, hybrid bikes, and an enlightening piece about being old school on page 14- highly recommended. Appropriately enough there’s even a four page article on Daniel Rebour, the famous (to the cycling obsessed, at least) technical cycling illustrator.
Some words from Grant Peterson on the catalogs:
I always liked working on our catalogs. From the ’80s to ’91, Bridgestone had decent catalogs. I thought they were great, but one day a friend sent me a copy of an Eagle Bicycle catalog from 1890, with a note saying “Now this is a catalog!” He was right, and I was ashamed, envious, and challenged.
I’m a catalog hound. I’ve saved every good one I’ve ever received. I went back through them all — the ’72-’74 Chouinard (climbing equipment), the late ’70s Rivendell Mountain Works, the old Paul Young and Winston fly rod catalogs. They were publications you could read and learn from, and want to keep. But mostly I liked the tone: sparse and respectful, not in your face. I tried to copy this.
from “An epitaph for Bridgestone” Bicycling, June 1994
Flip through the catalog in its entirety as well as nine other complete Bridgestone catalogs over at Sheldon Brown.
suggested reading: The Rivendell’s