Autumn 2020 Bicycle Quarterly

The Autumn 2020 Bicycle Quarterly is heading to the printer soon. We’re especially excited about this edition, with great stories and adventures, plus a renewed focus on ground-breaking technical research.

Few things have been as influential as Bicycle Quarterly’s tire tests. Those initial tests were revolutionary because they looked at the entire system of bike and rider, rather than just the tire alone. They showed for the first time that wide tires can be fast, and that high tire pressure don’t make you faster. This opened the way for today’s all-road and gravel bikes.

Now we’ve developed a new methodology to discover even small differences between tires. For the first time, we can reliably measure whether tubeless tires are faster than tires with tubes. We also compare the speed of different casings and answer many questions we’ve all had about tires.

All the testing would be meaningless if it didn’t improve our riding experience. In fact, the research hasn’t just changed the bikes we ride, but also where and how we ride them. This time, we head to Naches Pass to explore a forgotten wagon trail across the Cascade Mountains.

Karen Yung takes us to Oman, a beautiful country on the Arabian Peninsula, where she entered a stage race – without being too serious about the racing part. Foreign travel isn’t possible right now, so it’s nice to dream while we wait for the world to open up again.

We visit framebuilder Steve Rex in Sacramento. As always, there is much to learn – Steve has raced, ridden Paris-Brest-Paris, and his bikes reflect that experience: They ride even better than they look.

Sofiane Sehili won the two biggest ultra-distance races of 2020, the Atlas Mountain Race and the French Divide. We catch up with this messenger-turned-racer to find out why he loves racing long distances and how he stays motivated for days without real rest. Sofiane tells the gripping story of the French Divide, where he was never more than a few hours of the second-place finisher. He even shares his winning strategy!

Bicycle Quarterly’s bike tests are famous for being real adventures that challenge bike and rider alike. (Many builders probably have sleepless nights while we are out testing their bikes!) This time we take the beautiful Belladonna on a two-day camping trip in the Cascade Mountains.

A while back, Natsuko told the the story of how she bought her Alps cyclotouring bike as a college student. Many readers have asked for details of the bike. In beautiful studio photos, we show you how the Alps converts from cyclotouring bike with drop handlebars, fenders and a rack to passhunter with flat bars and no extra equipment — in just 10 minutes. We look at all the details that make this possible without compromising the performance in either configuration. And we examine how Alps managed to keep the price of the bike affordable for a young student.

These are just a few of the articles in the Autumn 2020 Bicycle Quarterly. We are preparing the mailing list at the end of this week – make sure your subscription is up to date, so you’ll get your copy hot off the press. (If your subscription has expired, you should have received a renewal notice.) If you’ve been thinking about subscribing, now is a good time…

Click here to subscribe or renew.

Photo credits: Donalrey Nieva (Photo 4); Aubin Berthe/Bidaia (Photo 6).

2 Responses to Autumn 2020 Bicycle Quarterly

  1. Steve Palincsar September 17, 2020 at 5:49 am #

    Speaking of Belladonna Cycles – are they still around? I can’t seem to find them online: their site is gone, Norther Cycles is gone and I’m not able to find any contact information.

    • Jan Heine September 17, 2020 at 8:02 am #

      Norther Cycles sadly closed their shop, so Belladonna Cycles is on their own again. Their new web site is at http://www.belladonnabicycles.com.