Author - Jan Heine

Rift Iceland 2021

The Rift Iceland gravel race has fascinated me since it was first announced. I've only been to Iceland once, during a short layover on the way to France for Paris-Brest-Paris in 2015. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the landscape – everything seemed vast and inhospitable, yet also magnificent...

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 most...

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 raced...

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 epic...

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 made...

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 riding...

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. From...

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 with...

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)? We've...

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 by...

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 fifth...

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 to...

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 the...

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 start...

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 my...

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 – without...

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 stiffness...

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 singletrack,...

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 joy...

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 reading...

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 Slower?...

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 for...

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 it...

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 the...

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... But...

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 stopping,...

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 the...

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 design,...

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 reach...

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 the...

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 the...

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 a...

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 methods...

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 the...

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 use...

Gear of the Year Award for Fleecer Ridge

We usually don't expect to get 'Gear of the Year' awards – we don't advertise, since we prefer to spend our resources on R&D and high-end materials rather than marketing. And our products are expensive to make, so we can't send out a lot of review samples, either. We're especially...

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 you...

Introducing Rene Herse One-By Cranks

After months of R&D and testing, we're now offering Rene Herse cranks with a 40-tooth one-by chainring. One-by is a great idea: Get rid of the front shifts that always break your rhythm, and you end up with 11 or 12 consecutive gears. For most riders, that's enough for all...

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 and...

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 are...

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 was...

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 comes...

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 perform...

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 light...

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 fenders...

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 drama...

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; others...

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 does...

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 come....

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: One...

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 links...

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. We've...

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 at...

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 contact...

How to Select Your Rene Herse Tires

Selecting 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 tubulars...

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. As...

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 your...