Richard Sachs

Bicycle Builder / United States / Richard Sachs Cycles

Richard Sachs’s Book List

These are my books. I’ve had some for a very long time; others are recent acquisitions. Quite a few were gifted to me by their authors. I don’t really have any particular favorites from the pile, but the books about D’Aquisto and Nakashima are the ones I've turned to more often, and over a longer time, than any of the others.

The thread that runs through most of the books shown here is one of focus. They’re about someone, or a staff of someones, or a family business with a long line of someones, all paying attention to detail. All the someones have their heads down trying to understand and tame the material, while simultaneously have their heads up thinking about ways to drive their past into a future. Many of the items written about here may seem like vestiges from another era, but I view them more as designs, crafted goods, and business models that are timeless. In the case of the titles that are not about making things, the same is true—the stories and their authors are beautiful to me.

I haven’t read any of the books on my list. But I have opened them hundreds, maybe thousands of times looking for inspiration or an answer. Each is like a friend, or a therapist, or even just good medicine that I turned to when I needed direction. And I think that fact is reflected in the work I do at my bench. It’s been said that I have built the same bicycle for decades, inferring that I am stuck in time. I don’t think I have ever built the same bicycle twice. I am not sure I’d ever want to build the same bicycle twice.

The pages in these books have been my safe haven. With an attention span that measures on the far left hand side of the meter, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the tools to read (read, as in finish) any of them. I’d love to know what I am missing. In the meantime, I’ll take my small doses since they have served me well. And every time I come back for visit, the results are different. No two alike.

2 books

I met Michael Maharam in 2009 when his firm underwrote an exhibition I was part of at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. From the first e-mail a year prior to the show’s opening, I felt a kindred spirit in this man. We’ve been friends ever since. When the book came out, I had to own it. It’s like having Michael on my coffee table, but I can pick him up and put him down at my whim!

Richard Walker

This is a typical book that made my radar during the 1990s. I thought reading about tailoring on London’s famed street would help me find my way as a bicycle maker. I found it, but this book was never the part of the equation I expected it to be.

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