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NUDA is here!

We just received the first shipment of our Rene Herse × Barbieri Nuda carbon minipumps – the big sister of the tiny Nana pump that has been one of our all-time best sellers. The Nuda is a collaboration between Barbieri in Italy and Rene Herse Cycles. Barbieri had discontinued this...

Lael’s summer riding plans

All of a sudden, it’s almost summer. With a busier spring in the desert than expected—from starting a new Tucson GRIT (Girls Riding Into Tomorrow) cycling mentorship program to setting a new fastest known time on the 827-mile Arizona Trail—time just flew. In between were a quick trip to Alaska...

All Tires Back in Stock

It's been busy at Rene Herse Cycles. With all the big gravel races on the calendar, plus many riders planning their own private adventures, tires have been flying off the shelves. As a result of this surge in demand, a few popular models were out of stock for a...

Tires from Unbound

We work with a number of top riders and racers to develop and test our tires. After big races like Unbound, the famous race across the Flint Hills of Kansas, we ask them to send back the tires they raced on, so we can look at how they fared....

Hailey’s Ozark Gravel Doom FKT

"Navigating the unknown was the most challenging aspect of the trip, but also the most rewarding." Hailey Moore's intrepid solo ride over the Ozark Gravel Doom, the 378-mile (608 km) bikepacking route in Arkansas clearly left strong impressions. That's not surprising, as the DOOM, as it's affectionally called, remote...

Nana is getting a big sister!

The Nana carbon minipump has been one of our best-sellers. It's small, it's light, it's cute, and it works well. I carry one on every ride as a backup in case my 'big' pump fails. (That has happened only once in all my riding, but at 25 g and...

Why we’re excited about bolts

Some readers were surprised by the light weight of my Oregon Outback bike: 10.3 kg (22.7 lb) with lights, rack and all those parts that usually are left off when a bike is weighed: pedals, bottle cages, pump, etc. Others wondered how our bikes can withstand these challenging rides...

Thank you!

It's been a long two years since Covid first hit our world. The pandemic isn't over yet, but two years have given us time to adjust to the new situation. Throughout this difficult time, we appreciate our customers' support and understanding as we dealt with lockdowns, employees who had...

Extra-Wide Handlebars and 165 mm Cranks

There isn't much discussion of the subtleties of handlebar shapes these days, for a simple reason: Today's racers almost exclusively ride on the brake hoods. Sometimes, they get in the drops. When you put out that much power, there's little weight on your arms and hands, and all you...

JaBig and Ted King Live

DJ + world traveling bike-tourer JaBig is one of the funniest, most positive humans you could imagine. His observations are always inspiring and thought-provoking. Right now, he's on a 6-month, 10,000-mile ride around the perimeter of the United States to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief. Ted King is isn't...

Cross-Wind Spokes and Self-Truing Wheels

April 1, 2022. Today Rene Herse Cycles announced a new wheel system with spokes that adjust on the move. This allows orienting bladed spokes in response to crosswinds, and it also makes it possible to true wobbly wheels without stopping. It's another example of the company's 'thinking outside the...

Spring 2022 Bicycle Quarterly

The Spring 2022 Bicycle Quarterly is coming off the press as you read this. Paper shortages have delayed this edition a little, but it's been worth the wait. Putting together the magazine has been a lot of fun. Our team followed with amazement as Lael Wilcox rode the entire Alaska Pipeline...

A big SON shipment

Months of hard work (and patience) are paying off, and shipments are arriving at our warehouse almost daily. Most of the Rene Herse program is in stock now. The latest arrival are SON generator hubs, Edelux lights and associated small parts, like coaxial connectors and dropouts for the ingenious...

Tire Pressure Calculator

The new Rene Herse tire pressure calculator is based on hundreds of tests of tires from 20 to 55 mm wide. These tests have consistently shown that supple high-performance tires roll fastest at two distinct pressures: A relatively high pressure that provides a firm feel to the bike, and...

177 mm Crankarms Have Arrived

The headline says all you need to know: A small quantity of 177 mm crankarms have arrived, so we can custom-build you one-by, double, triple and even tandem cranks. There's no need to bore you with more stories about supply chain woes. This isn't a post about why we...

Brevet Rims Back in Stock!

We've got rims again! Rims are essential components of our bikes – we can't ride without them. They are among the parts that we try to keep in stock at all times. But these aren't normal times... To give you an idea of what it takes these days to...

BQ 4-Pack Sale: $ 28

We feel it's time to take a break from the news. Not to close our eyes to the terrible things happening in the world. Not to stop being inspired by the heroism of the Ukrainians. Certainly not to block out the suffering caused by war. But to avoid getting...

Why No Half Knobs?

We get that question sometimes: "Why don't you offer tires with smaller or shallower knobs?" At first glance, it seems like Rene Herse offers only extreme tires. Our tires are either almost slick or have large knobs. Wouldn't an 'in-between' tire offer the best of both worlds – just...

Thank you for helping Ukraine

Thank you to all our readers and customers who chipped in and made our fundraiser for Ukraine a success. A few readers missed the deadline, but we were able to include their donations as well. We came close to our goal of donating $ 10,000 – so close that...

Let’s Help Ukraine

We can't imagine what it's like right now to be in Ukraine. We've heard about bombing raids and invasions from our grandparents and from René Herse's riders and employees, but those were stories from a time long ago. (The photo above shows the Rene Herse shop window during the...

Meeting JaBig

JaBig and I have known each other for a number of years now. Back in 2019, he was planning a ride around the world to raise money for World Bicycle Relief, and we asked him whether he was interested in testing our tires on his ride across Europe, Africa...

Servicing the NANA carbon pump

At Rene Herse Cycles, we offer parts that last a long time and that are rebuildable if it ever becomes necessary. And not just 'rebuildable' in theory – we stock the parts you need for the rebuild, and provide detailed instructions how to do it. It's all part of...

Rim and Tire Standards

Standards exist mostly to ensure interchangeability of parts. If you need replace one of the bolts that attach the bottle cages on your bike, you can go to any hardware store in the world and buy an M5 bolt. Unless it's specified otherwise, the threads will have a diameter...

Readers’ Forum: Flat pedals vs foot retention

The readers of Bicycle Quarterly are a vibrant group, and that comes through in the Readers' Forum where we publish comments, opinions, and questions. It's more than just a 'Letters to the Editor' section; we also answer technical questions that don't warrant a complete Bicycle Quarterly article. In a...

Back in Stock and a New Rack

"I feel like Santa Claus," said the truck driver when he saw our excitement as we unloaded the latest shipment. "You are! We've been waiting for these for a while!" was our reply. The shipment from Japan included some popular tires, like the 700C x 42 Hurricane Ridge and...

Routes: Tahuya-Hood Canal

When we talk about wide tires and other bike tech, it's for one reason only: so we can have more fun on our bikes. We have some amazing riding in the Pacific Northwest, and here we're sharing some of our favorite routes. First in the series is a wonderful...

Why wider tires are NOT slower

Our bike shop partners tell us that the most asked question these days is: "Aren't wide tires slower than narrow tires?" That's what all of us believed for many decades, and old beliefs don't disappear overnight. Rene Herse Cycles makes tires all the way from narrow 26 mm racing...

There is no place for Antisemitism

This is so evident that it shouldn't need saying: Jews (and all other religious groups) should not have to be be afraid when congregating in places of worship. There is no place for Antisemitism. It's sad that almost a century after this photo was taken, Antisemitism is still very real...

Price Increases and ETAs

Inflation has been all over the news, and it's caused much confusion. Customers have asked us: Do we really need to worry if used car prices are high? We are cyclists, after all... From our vantage point, we don't need to worry, but prices will increase. It's a world-wide...

Gravel is as old as cycling!

When the project for a Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame was announced, there was immediately some pushback: Isn't 'gravel' too new to have a Hall of Fame? From the perspective of gravel racing, that makes sense. Many of the big names from the early days of 'gravel' are still...

Job Opening at Rene Herse Cycles

Rene Herse Cycles has a job opening for an Order Fulfillment Assistant. 25-40 hr/week (negotiable). Full benefits. It’s not about scanning barcodes or driving forklifts: As a small company with a large program, we rely on the skills of our employees, not automation. You’ll work under our shipping manager, who...

Cranks have landed

It's been a long wait, but we have good news: Rene Herse cranks have arrived. We've got 171 mm arms, and the 165 and 177 mm arms are at the polisher. They'll be here soon. In an age of integrated spindles and carbon cranks, you may wonder why many riders...

More Merino Wool Jerseys

This is just a short note that we got more Merino Wool Jerseys. They're the ultimate performance cycling wear for the cold season, and they are a key part of what makes our adventures possible: They keep us dry and warm over a wide range of temperatures, during hard...

Why we call it a Revolution

The word 'Revolution' is overused. Almost every new product and idea is marketed as 'revolutionary.' And yet, once in a while, something happens that really does change everything. For bicycles, the 'All-Road Bike Revolution' has been perhaps the biggest change since multi-speed drivetrains replaced singlespeeds. The 'All-Road Bike Revolution'...

Looking back over 2021

Despite its many challenges, 2021 also brought out a lot of resiliency. We learned to live with the new circumstances, helped by the fact that riding bikes is actually safe, even in small groups. For us at Rene Herse Cycles, 2021 was another year where our tires and components were...

Our Favorite Routes

Rene Herse Cycles was born out of our passion for exploring the forgotten mountain passes of the Cascade Mountains and beyond. Now we are sharing some of our favorite routes, from an all-paved rambles through the Cascade foothills to the multi-day adventures that take you over the highest passes. Explore...

Trail Does NOT Make a Bike Stable

For decades, cyclists have believed that trail makes a bike more stable. It makes sense: A bike's front wheel touches the ground behind the steerer axis. As the bike moves forward, there's a self-centering force on the front wheel – sort of like the caster of a shopping cart. Trail...

Job Opening at Rene Herse Cycles

Rene Herse Cycles has a job opening for an Order Fulfillment Assistant. 25-40 hours a week (negotiable, but consistent), full benefits. It’s not about scanning barcodes or driving forklifts: As a small company with a large program, we rely on the skills of our employees, not automation. You’ll work...

Sleeping Beauty: Riding a Rene Herse in Paris

Winter is coming to Seattle, but, contrary to stereotypes, it's not always raining. Sunny days invite us to explore neighborhoods we usually don't visit. Last weekend, I decided to ride a bike that brings back many memories: The Rene Herse I used for years to commute around Paris. Back then,...

A Big Tire Shipment Has Landed

The holidays have arrived early at the Rene Herse headquarters here in Seattle: A long-awaited tire shipment has landed. Almost all models are back in stock. This includes our most popular tire, the 650B x 55 Umtanum Ridge, as well as our other dual-purpose knobbies that are ideal for...

Lyli and the Puy de Dôme

We love history because the stories are so inspiring – real life is often better than fiction. One of my favorites is Lyli Herse's record-setting ride up the Puy de Dôme in 1951. Tour de France fans know the 'Puy' as one of the toughest climbs in France. Many times...

Winter 2021 Bicycle Quarterly

The Winter 2021 Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer. We are preparing the mailing list this week – subscribe now to be among the first to get a copy of this exciting edition! It's another un-missable BQ, starting with the cover story: Donalrey Nieva and Karen Yung climb Mauna...

Holiday Gift Guide

It's the season for giving nice things to people you like. It's an opportunity to show appreciation and love. Giving something that delights and is useful creates lasting memories. Every time we use a gift, we think of the person who gave it to us. It's always fun to...

Rene Herse Merino Wool Jerseys

Our Merino Wool Jerseys have landed! I've been wearing the prototype for the past year, and I'm glad we can finally offer them to our customers. Some may ask: Why Merino wool? It's all about performance. Synthetic fabrics have improved a lot in recent years, but wool has a...

More Umtanum Ridges and Hatcher Passes!

Just a quick note that we've received a restock on our most popular tires of the moment, the new 650B x 55 Umtanum Ridge knobbies and 700C x 48 Hatcher Pass all-road tires. A few other models are available again, too. Ever since taking prototypes of the Umtanum Ridges (above)...

Books!

Whether it's after a long ride (and shower and good meal) or on a day when it's not appealing to head out at all – there's nothing quite like making a cup of tea and sitting down with a beautiful book. Great books don't just tell stories and convey...

Let’s Focus on Humans, Not Things

The latest U.N. Climate Talks concluded this weekend. There was some encouraging progress, but not nearly enough. Yet bike companies and social media has been mostly silent on what is probably the most urgent problem humanity faces. It's almost as if we don't want to talk about what many...

Back in Stock: SON and Berthoud

We just got a big shipment from Europe with SON hubs and lights, as well as Berthoud saddles, bags and other parts. No doubt you've read in the news how supply chains are stretched to the breaking point... So when a shipment arrives at our warehouse in Seattle, all...

‘Steel Bike Edition’ of Bicycle Quarterly?

Half-jokingly, we've been referring to the Autumn Bicycle Quarterly as the 'Steel Bike Edition.' We didn't plan it that way; it just happened. This illustrates how vibrant the world of steel bikes is today – arguably, they are better than ever before. Of course, there are also great carbon...

Dumonde Tech Chain Lube

When I was racing on fender-less bikes, chain lube was an important topic here in the wet Pacific Northwest. Back then, it was generally accepted that Dumonde Tech was by far the best lube. It was the only one that allowed you to complete a rainy ride without the...

Cal Poly Pomona x Rene Herse Cycling Research

We're excited to announce our partnership with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly (Pomona) to explore cycling-related research topics. Starting this semester, 38 undergraduate and 2 graduate students are working under Dr. Nolan Tsuchiya on a variety of projects, including: Measure drivetrain losses: Does cross-chaining decrease efficiency? What...

Travels with J. P. Weigle

Today would have been J. P. (Peter) Weigle's French Fender Day, the gathering of cyclotouring bikes old and new at the master's workshop deep in the woods of New England. The meeting went virtual this year, with a photo contest on Instagram with the tag #ffd2021v. You can still...

Introducing Rene Herse Stems

They are here! What is probably the most iconic stem of all time, the Rene Herse stem, is now available again, updated for the 21st century. And we're not just making the stem, but a complete, integrated system consisting of stem, decaleur and light switch, plus a few other...

80th Anniversary Rene Herse Update

It's been a while since we announced the 80th Anniversary Rene Herse bikes and frames and started taking orders. From the beginning, we had decided to offer just eight bikes and eight frames – this isn't a money-making project, but a celebration of our heritage and a way to share...

We Love Fenders!

Many years ago, the biggest American bike magazine published a short note about aluminum fenders with the comment: "We are charmed by the idea that there actually are fender snobs!" I had to smile, because the reason we care so much about fenders is simple: We like to ride...

Another Go at the Oregon Outback

The Oregon Outback has been a huge influence for us at Rene Herse Cycles. Back in 2014, the inaugural ride/race over the course made us realize the potential of truly wide tires. Ever since, I've wanted to come back with a bike built specifically for riding rough gravel roads...

Sad to Miss the BQ Un-Meeting

We have been looking forward to the BQ Un-Meeting in Marin County for two years now – ever since our friends from Bicycle Counterculture (BCC) offered at the 2019 Un-Meeting near Portland to host the next meeting. Last year's date had to be postponed for obvious reasons, and this...

Lights for the Tour Divide

Before our ride on the Oregon Outback, Lael replaced her headlight – which was designed for mountain biking – with a more road-oriented SON Edelux II. The more even illumination of the road surface by a shaped beam makes riding at speed much easier and less fatiguing. And a single...

Nivex or eTap?

We're offering the 80th Anniversary Rene Herse bikes with a choice of two drivetrains: either SRAM eTap or a Nivex rear and Rene Herse front derailleur. It's a choice between best electronic or the best manual shifting. Both the current Nivex and modern electronic drivetrains stand at the pinnacle...

80th Anniversary Rene Herse Ordering

There's been a great response to our 80th Anniversary Rene Herse bikes and framesets. There's a lot of excitement. Even people who don't want to order one are glad that they'll exist. Just like I'll probably never own a great sportscar, but when I see one, I smile. Perhaps the...

80th Anniversary Rene Herse Bikes

To celebrate 80 years of Rene Herse bikes, we're excited to offer a limited edition of bikes and frames. René Herse entered the cycling world in 1938, when he introduced innovative superlight components that drew on his experience making prototype aircraft components. A few years later, during the German...

Cross is Coming – Get Your Tires Now!

We're excited that cyclocross is back this autumn in North America. It's something we've missed more than almost anything else during the pandemic. 'Cross is so much fun in part because you get to ride multiple laps of the same course, so you get the opportunity to fine-tune your...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Lael’s Bike

Riding with Lael Wilcox, I was impressed not just by her speed and positive attitude, but also by her efficiency and planning. When we stopped at the small (and sparsely stocked) store in Index, I was still surveying the shelves when Lael was already checking out, having snagged the...

Stop Asian Hate

I never thought of myself as Asian, because I lived in Japan most of my life, where I was just like everybody else. Only when I came to Seattle did I notice that I may look like a stereotypical Asian woman: I'm not very tall; I tend to smile...

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......

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...

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...

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...