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RIP Jobst Brandt

Page Turner

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Jobst Brandt leaves behind memories to last a lifetime


The Bicycle Wheel
Jobst wrote a lot (check out rec.bike or Sheldon Brown’s website), but nothing was more important to him than his book on the bicycle wheel. He spent more than a decade writing the book with the intention of producing a tome that would stand the test of time.

The book has sold well since being published by Avocet and is still in print. It could be in print 100 years from now because the principles of wheel building are never going to change. Sure, thanks to new materials we now have 16-spoke wheels, but it’s a number that made Jobst cringe.

Jobst let many people edit the manuscript, but it was Jim Westby, Jobst’s friend and manager of the Palo Alto Bicycles mail order catalog, who did the heavy lifting. Jobst also published a German edition.

I learned to build my first set of wheels using his book when it was still in manuscript form. It was the first time I read a description so well done that I could follow along and build wheels that would last for many years.



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A few years ago I was having a discussion about wheelbuilding at Interbike. He was talking about how poorly designed Rolf wheels are, and I disagreed with his rant against low spoke count wheels. 


As we were talking, his name badge turned around revealing his name was Jobst Brandt. Boy I felt stupid. 

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