50th Issue of Bicycle Quarterly!

50th Issue of Bicycle Quarterly!

I love my work. A few years ago, I was concerned that editing Bicycle Quarterly might eventually become a “job” rather than a passion. As it turns out, I am still excited about every issue of Bicycle Quarterly, especially this 50th one! To celebrate the occasion, we added 50% more pages, so we could cover several topics in-depth without having to worry about page counts. So there are no promotional tie-ins or water bottle give-aways to celebrate – we just give you more of what really mattters at BQ.
The 50th issue presents an opportunity to take stock and look back over 12.5 years. Perhaps Bicycle Quarterly’s greatest contribution has been to redefine what a performance bike can be. No longer do we have to choose between comfort and speed, between spirited performance and the ability to go on adventures off the beaten path.
To examine the state of the art in “real-world bicycles”, we tested one of Peter Weigle’s nearly mythical 650B bikes. We took it to the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting, where it had to carry a light camping load, traverse a mountain pass on gravel roads, and chase a personal best on a long, paved road climb. I don’t think I give away too much when I say that it performed admirably at all those tasks, and we had great fun with it, too.
To put the Weigle into perspective, we selected 11 milestones among the 60+ bikes we have tested. Each of these bikes was special when we tested it. Together, they chronicle how our understanding of performance bicycles has evolved over the last decade.
Three years ago, I got my own “ultimate custom bicycle”. Now with 18,000 km under its wheels, I take stock: How is it to ride a bike with 1930s derailleurs, 1950s brakes and 21st century lights every day? What would I do differently next time around, and which features have proven their worth?
I’ve long been a fan of Bernard Déon’s classic book Paris-Brest et Retour. In this issue, we bring you the story of the very first Paris-Brest-Paris from his book. Conceived in 1891 as a “utilitarian race”, the first PBP was an extreme adventure and a gripping race. We combine Déon’s classic text (translated into English) with unique images from the Jacques Seray collection to take you right into the action.
World traveler Damian Antonio takes you on an amazing adventure in the Himalayas. What is it like to cycle above 5000 m (16,400 ft) elevation?
We also went to the Big Island of Hawaii, and bring you the experience of climbing the volcanoes there. At the same time, we evaluate the compromises inherent in a bike designed to fit into a suitcase. It made us realize that some features of our favorite bikes are not essential, but others we would not want to live without.
We take you on a factory tour of Nitto, the famous makers of handlebars, stems, racks and other metal components. Among other things, you will learn how the bulge in the center of high-end handlebars is formed.
Of course, that is far from all. We show you how to replace a rim without completely rebuilding the wheel. We feature book reviews, product tests, news, as well as our popular “Skill” and “Icon” columns. We hope you enjoy this issue and join our celebration.
Click here for more information about Bicycle Quarterly or here to subscribe.

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Comments (21)

  • Matt Sallman

    Congratulations Jan!
    Both for reaching 50 issues and keeping it fresh and enjoyable. Can’t wait to get this issue – of course I feel that way every issue.

    November 10, 2014 at 9:34 am
  • Tim Bird

    Yes, well done Jan!
    It’s no exaggeration when I say BQ has revolutionised my cycling. Thank-you.

    November 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm
  • Alan Ardizone

    Great job you’ve done all these years, Jan. Your approach to cycling journalism is unique in the world. I’m excited to get the 50th issue in my paws !
    Uncle Al

    November 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm
  • Dyon

    Jan – Thanks so much for all the great work. BQ really is a treasure.

    November 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm
  • Doug Wagner

    Eagerly awaiting the next issue, just as I did the first!

    November 11, 2014 at 6:44 am
  • Paul Ahart

    I’ll add my congratulations to those above. Your magazine and its excellent articles have certainly changed my perspective on bicycle performance and overall usefulness. Especially illuminating have been your in-depth bicycle road tests and extraordinary research in tire technology, in what makes a performance tire. To say the least, I eagerly look forward to every issue, and encourage others to subscribe to it as well.

    November 11, 2014 at 8:15 am
    • Dan Christopherson

      I’ll add mine to that of Paul Ahart, who also walks the walk and talks the talk.

      November 11, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Ford Kanzler

    BQ just keeps improving and is always an informative, enjoyable read. Great job!

    November 11, 2014 at 8:29 am
  • Tim Evans

    I remember asking you at the 2008 NAHBS show in Portland if you might run out of material for Bicycle Quarterly. You said you had plenty, as each issue has certainly shown. I hope you have half as much fun making Bicycle Quarterly as I always have anticipating the next issue.

    November 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      So far, it’s been a lot of fun. We just returned from Japan with lots of material for future issues, and we’ve got some new contributors lined up, so I am even more excited about the next 50 issues than I have been about the last…

      November 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm
      • marmotte27

        Would I be right to think that maybe the downright “revolutionary” material, on geometry, frame stiffness, tire performance and suchlike, questioning most commonly held beliefs about bikes and their performance will become somewhat more scarce in the future as you have tested these things quite thourougly now, and there are maybe no great discoveries to be made anymore?

        November 13, 2014 at 1:24 am
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          It’s been very satisfying to see that our “revolutionary” findings (or “far-out ideas”, depending on your point of view) have become accepted in the mainstream. Wider tires, frame stiffness tuned to the rider, low-trail geometries, 650B tires – it’s not as radical as it used to be.
          We’ve examined most areas that we think matter for performance bikes: Tires, aerodynamics, frame stiffness, frame geometry, etc. So you are right that there isn’t much left to study, but we always keep looking. In fact, I’ve been working on a test that pushes the boundaries of frame flex a little further…

          November 13, 2014 at 6:24 am
  • petergsimmons

    Groan. How many weeks do I have to wait for the magazine to show up in my physical mailbox after this teaser showed up in my electronic inbox.
    On a more serious note, my wife blames you for me getting a custom rando bike as a Christmas present to myself. I on the other hand thank you!

    November 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Anticipation is part of the fun, isn’t it? The magazine will go into the mail on November 21, so you should have it 1-2 weeks after that, depending on the USPS.
      I am sure you’ll enjoy your custom randonneur bike so much that your wife will be happy for you as well!

      November 12, 2014 at 5:55 am
      • Theo

        … and when will it arrive here in Germany?

        November 14, 2014 at 8:31 am
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          Around the same time. We ship all German copies by airfreight, and then they are re-mailed in Germany. That saves about 1-2 weeks over standard airmail.

          November 14, 2014 at 8:33 am
  • don compton

    As always, I can’t wait to get the next issue. I am a car guy and a bike guy, and I always toss my car magazines, but I keep all my Bicycle Quarerly’s

    November 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm
  • Bob Ehrenbeck

    Congratulations, Jan, and thanks for all your efforts with BQ and Compass.
    I just saw that same JP Weigle bike in person at the Philly Bike Expo last weekend; it is a sight to behold, and I’m eager to read your write-up on it.

    November 12, 2014 at 8:21 am
  • Julie jacobs

    Congratulations Jan, good job. I enjoy your magazine a lot, especially the stories about the rides, old and new. Keep up the good work. And…THANK YOU

    November 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm
  • Mark Schneider

    I really enjoy the magazine Jan, and it has really changed my perspective on cycling. Last year after reading BQ, I bought an old Trek 614 with somewhat low trail, put on a front bag, converted it to 650b and put some Grand Bois tires on it. I love riding with a front bag and supple wide tires. The old Trek was great introduction to low trail riding. Now I’m waiting for my Terraferma Corsa 650b to be finished, I have Rene Herse Cranks, Mafac Raid Brakes ready to go. While I still seldom ride longer than 4-5 hours I do plan to try a 200k next year.
    I love all the stories about the old constructeurs and their amazing bikes. Thank you for your passionate endeavor, now if you could just get Grant to make one low trail model…

    November 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Every builder has their own philosophy. I am glad there are so many builders who believe in fully equipped randonneur bikes with precise handling…

      November 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

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