Cyclepedia pedals onto iPad

Michael Embacher book celebrating classic bike designs has been turned into a beautiful iPad app by Heuristic Media

There has been an affinity of late between designers and their bicycles, and last year Thames & Hudson brought out Cyclepedia, a tribute to classic bike designs with a foreword by Paul Smith. Now, the app developer Heuristic Media has turned the book into a coffee table-style app for iPad. It sells for £6.99 and is currently the App of the Week in the UK.

We've got two promo codes to give away if you want a copy of the app. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter and tweet the hashtag #CAxCyclepedia to @ComputerArts. At 5pm GMT on Wednesday 18 January the competition will close and we'll contact the winners with the codes.

Cyclepedia not just a remake of the book for touch screen, though. The designers have come up with new ways of presenting statistics about the 100 iconic bikes inside. You can browse them alphabetically, but also by year, weight and material. The screen adapts presenting the bikes across a different interface depending on how you want to browse. Further key stats like wheel diameter and frame height can also be gleaned.

"The hope was to create an at-a-glace feeling for how the bikes are scattered across their various vital statistics but also allow you to simply navigate the bikes through the visual interface created," says Toby Evetts at Heuristic. "This was designed entirely using code."

While the code gives parts of the app that infographic look and feel, a lot of hard work went into the spinning 360-degree images created for 30 bike models. Patrick Uden and Richard Loncraine of Heuristic went to Austria to work with the original book photographer, Bernhard Angeerer, using a rig to spin the bikes while they were shot at intervals. "They spent many happy hours up ladders hanging the bikes from a motor to spin them and calculating the exact number of stops per revolution. They also photographed the folding bikes as stop motion sequences that we later combined to make animations in the app."

The clean white aesthetic wasn't only chosen to appeal to the modernist eye, it's also very practical for highlighting the details of each vehicle. Evetts also built the headline type for the app, wherein the lettering's constructed out of 3D bike parts. "Obviously the parts we chose - pedals, frames and gears - are not to scale with each over but that doesn't seem to matter in the final piece. The letters Y and E proved to be the most difficult to find. I spent a long time in the 3D package copying bits of the bikes and turning them around till letters revealed themselves, he says.

In all, some 16 applications were used in the design and development of Cyclepedia including XCode, 3ds Max, After Effects, Photoshop, Final Cut, Vray and more.

Check out this list of the best iPad apps - courtesy of leading designers - at our sister site Creative Bloq.