Author - Jan Heine

Tour de France Cyclotouriste

This year's Tour de France provided gripping racing and a worthy winner: Tadej Pogačar rode a smart, powerful race, and his second win in a row promises more for the future. Especially since he's just 22 years old and at the beginning of his career. And yet one of the...

Bikepacking.com: Best Tires for the Great Divide

With the 2021 Tour Divide happening this year – on a shortened course, since the Canadian border is still closed – Neil Beltchenko from bikepacking.com looked at what he considers the best tire for this challenging 2,745-mile (4,418 km) course. Neil has more experience than most: He has ridden and...

Amanda Nauman: Racing Unbound XL

Amanda Nauman is a true inspiration: Not only is she a top-tier cyclocross and gravel racer, but she also works full-time as an engineer – and she's putting together a gravel event, Mammoth Tuff, that takes riders into the beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada. We caught up with her after her...

We Have Tires!

We have tires! All sizes, most casings, and even most colors are in stock again! Some quantities are still limited, but there's no real shortage on the horizon for the next month or two – and hopefully beyond. You'll understand our excitement when you hear the story: Four weeks ago,...

Summer 2021 Bicycle Quarterly

The Summer 2021 Bicycle Quarterly is another action-packed edition. We test one of Fern's dreamy creations, a pure adventure bike equipped to handle everything from fast road riding (with aerobars) to ultra-steep technical terrain (with a dropper seatpost). Outfitted with a full complement of custom-made Gramm_Tourpacking bikepacking bags, it's...

Italian Fixed Champion on Rene Herse

It's been exciting to see the first stages of the Tour de France. A little too exciting, in fact, when spectators aren't aware that the privilege seeing racers zipping so close comes with responsibilities. Here's a little secret: Every bike racer, deep down, just a little bit, dreams of...

A Mid-Summer Ride to Spada Lake

"Let's go to Spada Lake," suggested Steve when we discussed where to head for a one-day ride. Now that the entire BQ Team is vaccinated, we can return to our long-missed team rides. Steve mapped a route that combined favorite gravel and paved roads through the Cascade foothills to Sultan....

Keeping Supplies Coming During the Pandemic

If you've been trying to buy a bike or components lately, you'll have noticed that many things are out of stock. Shortages have affected not just the bike industry, and it's been all over the news... We've been less affected by this situation than most. We have long-term relationships...

The Unsung Heroes of Unbound

One thing that's great about gravel racing is its inclusiveness. Where else can you line up with world-famous pros and ride the same course, under the same conditions, and be cheered by the same spectators (who cheer even more for those who push themselves just to finish the event)?...

German Edition of The All-Road Bike Revolution

Exciting news: The German edition of our book The All-Road Bike Revolution is set to appear in July. We've worked with Covadonga, a specialist publishing house for cycling books, who already published The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles (Meisterwerke des Fahrradbaus) and The Competition Bicycle (Die Räder der Sieger). Translated...

Congrats to all Unbound riders!

Congratulations to all riders at last weekend's Unbound. It was exciting to see so many riders ride through heat and the infamous Flint Hills – and enjoy the challenge. Special kudos to Ted King, who overcame breaking his collarbone just 5 weeks ago (and a veritable invasion of Euro-Pros) to place...

Women Racers at Unbound

Gravel racing – like randonneuring, passhunting and other cycling adventures – has always welcomed women racers as equals. We're excited to see so many women head to the Flint Hills of Kansas this weekend for Unbound, the world's most famous gravel race. We caught up with three of them...

A Rene Herse for the Outback

Last week, Lael Wilcox and I rode the Oregon Outback, the 364 mile (585 km) gravel route across the length of Oregon. It was an adventure, full of beauty and challenge. Starting the ride with Lael as the full moon (with a partial eclipse) was to our side, then seeing...

Oregon Outback with Lael

It's been a busy weekend planning, packing, figuring out how to make a Spot tracker work, and going on a shake-down ride on my new bike. Now all is ready, I'm heading down to Portland on the Coast Starlight to meet Lael and Rue. Lael and I plan to...

Tires and Cranks Back in Stock

This is just a quick note that we received a few long-delayed shipments: Most tire models are back in stock, although some quantities are still limited. Rene Herse 171 and 177 mm crankarms have arrived, too, but we're still waiting for 165s and chainrings. Brakes and Berthoud saddles are...

Returning to the Oregon Outback

Over the last seven years, the Oregon Outback has evolved from a crazy adventure (and race) to one of themost popular bikepacking routes. Back in 2014, when Donnie Kolb first mooted the idea of this ride, gravel bikes were still in their infancy. I rode the first Outback on...

Why narrow tires FEEL faster

All our research shows that wide tires roll as fast or faster than narrow tires (if they use the same casing). How come that generations of cyclists believed that narrow tires are faster? The answer is simple: Narrow tires feel faster. They simulate the sensation of higher speed –...

Visiting Makino, the Japanese Builder

Just before the pandemic made travel next-to-impossible, Natsuko and I visited Makino Cycle Factory, one of Japan's most renowned builders. It was intended as a short visit to take a few photos, but it turned into a wonderful day of watching the craftspeople at work, discussing frame geometry and...

A Shipment Arrives With a New Tire

We finally receive a big shipment of tires that had been on the seas for what seems like ages. And we've also got a new tire: The 26" x 2.3" Humptulips Ridge is now available with the ultra-tough Endurance Plus casing. Whether it's adventures into the unknown or gnarly...

My PBP Bike: Derailleurs

Why would anyone make custom derailleurs when modern electronic shifting works extremely well? It's a bit like driving a car with manual transmission even though the latest automatics are very sophisticated. It's about being involved in the operation of my bike, rather than just pushing a button. There's a...

Taking a Break from Comments

We've decided to turn off the comments on our Journal for a few months. We really enjoy the interactions with readers and value the discussions, but running one of the more popular cycling sites on the web risks becoming a full-time job. A recent post had 80 comments, and...

Cranks, Berthoud Saddles and New Products

Usually the logistics of keeping things in stock don't matter to our customers. Usually we receive new shipments before the old stocks run out, so the transition is seamless and parts are just always in stock. Usually... If you've been following the bike industry just a little bit, you...

Tire Test Results

Last week, we talked about how real-road tire tests have revolutionized our understanding of how bicycles work. We've looked at different ways of testing tires, and why it's so important to perform tests carefully and under realistic conditions. Today, let's look at some results of our testing. Are Wider Tires...

Umtanum Ridge 650B x 55 / 27.5 x 2.2

Ever since we've worked with Lael Wilcox to develop the 29" / 700C Fleecer Ridge dual-purpose knobbies, we've been deluged with requests for 26" and 650B versions with the same noise-cancelling tread pattern. We launched the 26" Humptulips Ridge late last year. Now we're excited to announce the 650B...

How We Test Tires

One of the secrets behind the performance of Rene Herse tires lies in our R&D. We run our tests under real-world conditions, so we can optimize our tires for what matters: riding on real roads. When we started our research 15 years ago, high-performance tires were narrow and designed...

Rene Herse Cable Hangers

Cable hangers aren't a very exciting topic. We love to talk about derailleurs or brakes, because they are complicated parts with many intricacies. But cable hangers...? And yet they're as important for the performance of your bike. It's small parts like these that can make a big difference when...

The Bike Sauce Reviews our Book

When The Bike Sauce reviewed our book, it came as a surprise. We aren't really part of the book industry, and it's not like we've sent out hundreds of review copies. It's nice to hear that the book meets the target of summarizing all the research that has transformed...

What Cyclists Say

It's one thing to write a book that the experts enjoy, and you may have read what bike designer Gerard Vroomen (Cervélo/OPEN) and gravel racers Lael Wilcox and Ted King had to say about "The All-Road Bike Revolution." It was great to see that even they learned new things......

A Long, Slow Winter Ride

Winter is a great time for riding in the Cascade Mountains. The high passes are covered in snow, but our favorite roads in the foothills spear far into the deep valleys of the mountains. These are long, cold, hilly rides. Rides that are about getting in a rhythm without...

Super Tuck vs Aero Tuck

The big news in bike racing is that the UCI wants to ban the Super Tuck position. It's a position pro racers sometimes use during fast descents, when reducing your wind resistance provides more benefit than pedaling hard. With the UCI decision, many cyclists wonder: How much benefit does...

All Tires Back in Stock

Another shipment with some favorites just arrived: All Rene Herse tires are back in stock. When unloading tire boxes, we’re imagining all the rides these tires will experience, from great road rides to incredible adventures on our widest and toughest knobbies. We can't wait to hear the stories and...

Most Tires Back in Stock

It's no secret that supplies in the bike industry are a bit of a challenge right now. It's not just manufacturing that's compromised due to Covid, but shipping is also delayed. As a small company working with high-end suppliers, we've been less affected than others, but nonetheless, it's been...

A Long-Awaited Shipment

We just received a shipment with many eagerly awaited products. These include the new 26" Humptulips Ridge knobby tires in Standard and Extralight casings. (Endurance casings are on the way, but will take a bit longer.) Most other Rene Herse tires are also back in stock, too. Now is a...

Live with Path Less Pedaled

Chatting with Russ from Path Less Pedaled about our new book 'The All-Road Bike Revolution' was a fun way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. Russ asked why we wrote a book, we talked about front-end geometry and the future of 650B. I especially enjoyed Russ' take on bike...

Optimizing the Cantilever Brake

Cantilever brakes have traditionally been the way to make brakes for bikes with wide tires. Invented by Nicola Barra in 1936, they were the first direct-mount brakes with pivots that attached to the fork blades and seatstays. This eliminated the flex that is inevitable with long brake calipers that...

A Winter Ride

January is a great time for riding. A new year is starting, and it's a time for those long, slow miles that build our distance base. After a month of rest, our minds are eager to get out and start preparing for the adventures that will come later in...

What Makes a Bike Fast?

It used to be easy: If you wanted a fast bike, you chose a racing bike. End of story. And what made a racing bike special were first and foremost the narrow tires. Light weight was a plus, too, and so was the lower, more aero riding position. Then came...

Rides to Remember

It's been a difficult year, but cycling has provided one way to deal with the challenges we've faced. Whether riding alone or with a good friend, it's allowed us to get away from it all, recharge and return with new energy to tackle what lies ahead – and have...

Video: How a Bicycle Is Made

A reader sent a link to the video "How a Bicycle is Made," filmed in the 1945 at the Raleigh factory in Britain. It's definitely a period piece, but look beyond that, and the 17-minute movie has a lot of interesting content about how bikes were mass-produced. Some production...

Humptulips Ridge Tires Are Here

The new Humptulips Ridge 26" x 2.3" knobbies have arrived! Usually, we airship just a few tires for photography, but with so many riders eagerly awaiting these tires, we sent over a few more. We have a small quantity with Standard and Extralight casings (tan sidewalls), as well as...

We’re Hiring

Rene Herse Cycles is hiring a full-time, long-term position in our shipping/warehouse department at our Seattle, WA, location. Be a part of our fun team and growing company. Passion for cycling is a plus, but not required: We don't expect you to know our products – be ready to...

Our Holiday Gift Guide

Every year, we enjoy the autumn cycling season, and then, suddenly, the holidays are almost here. And with that, we are looking for gifts for others, and we're being asked what we want ourselves. Gift giving is a wonderful tradition, and Natsuko and I really enjoy gifts that we...

My PBP Bike: Lights

Nothing else has changed our riding as much as modern generator hubs and LED lights. When I first started riding the almost-mythical (and now long-defunct) cross-state races in Washington – Cannonball and S2S – I ran a Nightsun battery light. These races started just after midnight in Seattle, so...

And the Winners Are…

The vote is in, and the winner of the Bicycle Quarterly photo contest is Samuel P's evocative B&W study of his bike during a recent trip. He writes: "I'm a LatinX cyclist from the Bay Area, California. I've been riding since I was five years old. I enjoy cyclotouring...

BQ Photo Contest Finalists

The results are in: Hundreds of photos from all over the world were entered in the BQ Photo Contest. It was fun to see so many different photos – in style and subject – and it was difficult to selected eight finalists. Many great photos didn't make the cut. Here...

Please Vote!

Today I did one of the most important things I will do this year: I voted. It's a privilege to have a voice in deciding the future of our country. Like all rights, it's also a responsibility. The right to vote was not won without a fight – whether it...

Gran Fondo Tests the Steilacoom

It's all nice and well when we talk about our tires – why we design and manufacture them a certain way, how we think they perform, etc. The real proof is when others test them. Especially independent testers who've ridden dozens or hundreds of tires. And if the review...

New Book: The All-Road Bike Revolution

Bicycles – and how we ride them – have changed tremendously over the last decade. Many accepted facts have been turned on their heads. We've learned that narrow tires aren't faster. Higher pressures don't reduce resistance. More trail doesn't always make a bike more stable. Stiffer frames don't always...

Berthoud and Spokes Arrive

Covid-19 has created many challenges for the bike industry. Supply chains have been disrupted, lockdowns have stopped production, shipping has become erratic, and exchange rates fluctuate wildly. Even staples like inner tubes are in short supply. At Rene Herse, we've been working hard to keep our products in stock, because...

Idaho Stops Now Legal in WA

Politics can be a depressing subject these days, but there are occasional good news, too. Here's one: Washington State just passed a new law that allows cyclists to roll through stop signs if no other traffic is present. The same law also allows cyclists to proceed through a red...

My PBP Bike: Fenders

Until 1991, all bikes in Paris-Brest-Paris had to be equipped with fenders. Traditionally, this had been a way to distinguish randonneur events from races – the randonneurs were expected to ride bikes that were equipped for real-world riding. However, by the 1980s, there simply weren't many performance bikes with...

Why Pros Ride Handmade Tires

In France, the Tour is one of the rituals of summer. I can't count how many times during my research I've interviewed somebody while the colorful images were playing on TV in the background. Racers, randonneurs, cyclotourists – all enjoy the grand landscapes, the beautiful form of the riders, the...

Testing Prototypes

Product development is fun, because we get to think about bike parts, figure out how to improve them, and then test them on our adventures. This summer has seen plenty of excitement in that respect. Some of the parts we've been testing are almost ready to go into production;...

No Un-Meeting this year; BQ Photo Contest

After much thought, we've decided to cancel this year's Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting in Marin County, California. We've made this difficult decision together with this year's organizers, Bicycle Counterculture. The pandemic shows little sign of letting up. To have a large number of cyclists travel to the Un-Meeting and gather...

Rob English’s new bike

Rob English is not just a talented framebuilder, but also a top-class rider and racer. He recently built this bike for himself. Even though the bike is a superlight racer, it rolls on (extralight) 700C x 32 mm Stampede Pass tires – a sign how far racing bikes have...