The infamous Buick Electra Station Wagon, above, was customized to support riders at the XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles.

‘Anatomy of Cycling’ Art Revives Retro Bike Culture

Want a peek into cycling’s past? Coming off the press this month, a project by a London-based illustrator brings some two-wheel history back to life.

Buick Electra Station Wagon campagnolo bicycles olympics
The infamous Buick Electra Station Wagon, customized to support riders at the XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles

David Sparshott is a cycling enthusiast and artist. On March 26, his book, “Anatomy of Cycling,” comes to market from Laurence King Publishing.

Granted, “book” may be an overkill term here; the publication includes just 22 pages, each one a tear-out postcard with Sparshott retro bike art. Even one of the most impractical support vehicles ever concocted, the 1984 Buick Electra Station Wagon, above, owns a slice of cycling history in this book.

‘Anatomy of Cycling’ Retro Bicycle Illustrations

Sparshott’s drawings include a host of retro cycling gear, from iconic racing bicycles and Campagnolo crank arms to leather cycling gloves and bike-hauling jalopies.

anatomy of cycling book illustration retro

According to Sparshott, the Lotus Type 108, below, was made famous by British cyclist Chris Boardman. In 1992, he rode it to a gold medal in the 4,000-meter pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics.

Lotus Type 108 bike illustration

“This was a fun bike to draw and a nice departure from classically framed racing bikes,” Sparshott noted.

Designer Mike Burrows conceived that bike after a UCI rule change in 1990. Following the change, monocoque frames became race-ready machines thanks to Lotus Engineering.

Brooklyn and La Vie Claire cycling jerseys

And, Sparshott noted, the Brooklyn and La Vie Claire jerseys above came from two very famous bike racing teams.

“I am a huge fan of the designs and graphic styles of retro cycling jerseys, and these are two that have become iconic among cycling enthusiasts,” he said.

Check out below to see some of the other retro artwork from Sparshott’s book. Cycling enthusiasts are sure to love the classic velo stylings!

Renault Dauphine Tour de France Team car 1959 illustration
Renault Dauphine Tour de France Team car from 1959
Shimano Dura-Ace crankset illustration
Bike parts are enduring, classic, iconic designs, like this Shimano Dura-Ace crankset
Leather cycling shoes knit-mesh gloves illustration retro
Leather and knit-mesh were common material choices for cyclists of yore
bicycle components road biking illustration chainring crank arm tires tubes
Classic components for road biking
Colnago Master road bike
Iconic Colnago Master road bike

–”Anatomy of Cycling” comes out March 26 on