Author - Jan Heine

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...

Introducing the Oracle Ridge 700Cx48mm

When bikepacking legend Lael Wilcox talked about the tires she wanted for her bikepacking adventures, she mentioned a 48 mm-wide knobby in addition to the Fleecer Ridge 700C x 55: Ideal for many modern gravel bikes like her Specialized Diverge. Lael suggested a great name for the new tire:...

Customer Service in the days of Covid-19

Over the last few months, we've revamped our customer service, both because we've had to adapt to the restrictions that came with Covid-19 and because we want to improve your experience. We've added a lot of information online – instructions for our parts, specs and Frequently Asked Questions, plus...

New, Small and Useful

Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference. Things that we need or want, but that nobody makes because they are, well, small and not so profitable, since they'll sell only in small numbers. But we need them for our own rides, and so we're making them....

My PBP Bike: The Wheels

When I asked which part of my bike for last summer’s Paris-Brest-Paris our readers wanted to hear more about, the answer was: “Everything.” So I'm writing a series of posts about the parts of the bike. I’ve already talked about the frame and the centerpull brakes. Today let’s look...

Where to go from here?

The first half of 2020 has brought unexpected changes in many ways. When Covid-19 spread so suddenly around the world, there was little time to figure out how to deal with this. We stopped everything that was non-essential, we socially distanced, we discovered face masks, and we talked about...

How to Choose Your Rene Herse Tires

Choosing Rene Herse tires for your bike is easy, because our program is logical and simple. It's all based on performance. We started making tires because we wanted to ride high-performance tires on the gravel roads of the Cascade Mountains. We came from a decade of racing on hand-made...

Raymond Henry, 1944-2020

With great sadness, we say Goodbye to Raymond Henry, cycling historian extraordinaire, grand randonneur, and wonderful friend. He passed away today from the complications of a surgery that was to allow him resume his active life of cycling, woodworking and gardening. Raymond experienced the glory days of French cyclotouring first-hand....

Tubeless Tire FAQ

Car and motorcycle tires have been tubeless for decades, but bicycle tires have continued to use tubes. That changed during the 2010s, when first mountain bikers and then the riders of all-road and gravel bikes started to experiment with tubeless technology. They reason was simple: If you could run...

Committed to Diversity

There is much that needs to change in our world until all humans are treated equal, have equal opportunities, and feel equally welcome. We each must do our part to make it happen! At Rene Herse Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly, we are committed to diversity. We believe that great stories...

People who inspire us: Rachel Henry

Rachel Henry (right) loves her Jo Routens bike. When Natsuko and I visited them for a story about her husband Raymond, the historian of French cyclotouring and long-time Bicycle Quarterly contributor, the two accompanied us out of town on the spur of a moment. Rachel prefers contemplative cyclotouring, but she’s...