Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rene' Herse, Book Review

Rene' Herse

Written by: Jan Heine

Published by: Bicycle Quarterly Press
2116 Western Avenue
Seattle WA 98121

Copyright: 2012 
Printed in Malaysia
424 pages

Rene' Herse (1908-1976) was a constructor of fine bicycles from 1940 till his death. His bikes were most sought after by Cycletourists during the 1940s and 1950s. Herse's shop was in Paris France. He continued to manufacture and sell complete bikes through the German occupation of France during World War II. 

This fine book contains hundreds of photos of Rene' Herse's bicycles, riders and the shop where the bikes were made. Upon first examination of this book I assumed it to be a picture book with a lot of captions. When I sat down and began to read it, instead of flipping through the pages and looking at the photos, I found it to be very good reading. I enjoyed seeing the bikes and riders, but also hearing about their rides and competitions. A glimpse of life in Paris during the war is exposed while reading this book. 

Much of the information and photos contained in the book came from riders of Rene Herse bicycles. His daughter, Lyli Herse, was instrumental in Jan Heine's 10 years of research while writing this book. Lyle Herse rode and raced very successfully on her fathers bicycles and after his death continued in the production of Rene Herse Bicycles. 

This book sells for $85.00 and is a good investment and addition to any cycling library. It is my option that to truly understand bicycles one must study the history of them.  I highly recommend purchasing this book and taking the time to read and absorb it. Rene' Herse is available to purchase at 

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