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One Year Ago: Oregon Outback

Already a year has passed since I last rode the Oregon Outback, the 364-mile (585 km) bikepacking route that traverses the length of Oregon. That ride was the culmination of a dream that took seven years to achieve. Ever since the very first Oregon Outback—back in 2014 when it was...

Tune Quick Releases

If you've built a bike with quick release hubs lately, you probably noticed that elegant and lightweight quick releases are hard to find. I know, because that's a problem I've run into. I am embarrassed to admit it: My Rene Herse bikes for Paris-Brest-Paris, Oregon Outback and Unbound XL all...

Ted’s Cannondale and Jan’s Rene Herse

Ted King's been on a roll lately. After his superb video about our epic ride when we scouted new bikepacking routes in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, he's made another short clip about our bikes. I think they look great all dusty, after riding all day, after climbing (and...

Ted King Explores the Cascade Mountains

"I'm going to be in Seattle," said Ted King. "Let's go for a ride!" Where do you take the 'King of Gravel,' the guy who's won more gravel races than almost anybody else on the planet? Earlier this year, we've introduced some of our favorite routes in our website, and I've...

Race Wins — What They Mean for You

Maybe you're getting tired of us talking about the races won on our tires. Like proud parents, we just can't help mentioning yet another big win, like when Sofiane Sehili repeated his win in the toughest bikepacking races of all, the Silk Road Mountain Race, last weekend. Most of our...

36-Tooth One-By Chainrings

The new 36-tooth one-by chainrings for Rene Herse cranks are now in stock. Like all our components, they've been tested extensively before we offer them to our customers. We've run them on challenging courses with different drivetrains to make sure they are compatible. Above is Anton Krupicka, who rode a...

Lauren Wins SBT GRVL; Brennan 4th

Less than a week after we discussed why 'too much tire' isn't really something we should worry about, Lauren de Crescenzo won SBT GRVL in Steamboat Springs, CO, on 700C x 44 mm tires (above on the left). SBT is known as one of the smoothest gravel races on the...

Too Much Tire? A Road Test.

"That's too much tire for that route," is something I've heard many times, usually from gravel racers who are preparing a relatively smooth ride, like next weekend's SBT GRVL in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The old belief that the narrowest tire that can (barely) handle the terrain will be fastest doesn't...

Rene Herse Cranks with Downshift Technology

The wait is finally over: Rene Herse chainrings are coming off the production line again. But this is more than a 'Back in Stock' notice: The new chainrings feature our downshift technology. This technology is found on the very best 12-speed chainrings (including those from Rene Herse), but this is...

The 1955 Tour de France Feminin

It's exciting to see the Tour de France Femmes take to the roads of France this week. It's a big step toward reducing the gender imbalance in bike racing. Most of all, there has been some great racing for all of us to enjoy. The Tour Femmes brings back memories of...

Randonneuring in the Grand Tradition: 3 Volcano 300 km

Since its inception more than a century ago, randonneuring has always been about pushing one's boundaries, exploring distant places, and experiencing spectacular scenery, all while enjoying the company of other like-minded cyclists. That tradition was alive and well last weekend during the 3 Volcano 300 km brevet. The course went right...

PBP: How to qualify and prepare

"Why did you want to ride Paris-Brest-Paris?” Natsuko asked Robert Demilly, who set a record in 1966, completing the big ride in 44:21 hours (together with Maurice Macaudière). We were sitting on the terrace of a French café together with Lyli Herse and other anciens pilotes. It was a beautiful,...

“The Mythical Tire Is No Myth.”

It's common for companies to write about their 'revolutionary' products, when in reality the new stuff is very similar to what's already out there. That's why independent reviews are so important, especially when they come from experienced riders who buy their own products. I've been following the adventures of joeski_nw...

Summer 2022 Bicycle Quarterly

The Summer Bicycle Quarterly is on the press now. What makes this edition special is the sheer variety of the articles. At Bicycle Quarterly, we cover cycling in all its wonderful variety. For example, we feature studio photoshoots of no fewer than three bikes: Our test bike, the carbon Allied Echo has clever flip...

The Choice of Experienced Riders

When Bikepacking.com featured the bikes of more than 120 riders in this year's Tour Divide, there was a wide variety of bikes for this incredible race from Canada to the Mexican border. About half the riders prefer drop bars, the other half flat bars. Some use suspension, others run rigid...

Seattle’s Urban Routes

Seattle has some of the best urban riding in the world. The coastline and many lakes make for scenic riding and routes with almost no cross traffic. Add the urban parks designed by the Olmstead Brothers (of New York Central Park fame), and you have a wide range of rides...

Rene Herse Tires on Podiums the World Over

We are excited to work with some of the world’s fastest racers and most intrepid adventurers. They test our tires all over the world, from the Flint Hills of Kansas to the forgotten mountain passes of the Silk Road Mountain Race. They provide feedback and ideas for product development. They...

Pressure Calculator Expanded to 25 mm Tires

The response to our online Tire Pressure Calculator has been tremendous. Cyclists everywhere appreciate a simple tool that allows them to figure out the lowest rolling resistance for their tire size and weight. It makes it easy to optimize tire pressure based on real data. One common request has been to...

Performance is Important for Slow Riders, too!

Adapted from Natsuko's article published in Bicycle Quarterly 58. During the Fun Ride before the Otaki Mountain Bike Race, the other participants were surprised when they noticed that my bike is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace derailleurs. But for me, the performance of my bike is very important. That doesn’t mean that...

Unbound XL was epic

What a week it's been! Seven days ago, I imagined Kansas as flat and covered with corn fields. And I wasn't sure whether I wanted to return to racing after more than a decade away from the peloton. Since then, I've cycled 350 miles (530 km) through a beautiful, wild country...

Scouting the Flint Hills of Kansas

It's hard to describe the buzz of excitement here in Emporia on the eve of the Unbound, arguably the biggest gravel race in the world. BQ test rider Mark and I are riding the Unbound XL, the 350-mile race through the Flint Hills of Kansas. At least this week, Emporia is...

Removing Tires Without Tools

Here's why we love really good tubeless-ready rims: The rim/tire fit is about perfect. It has to be – otherwise the tire can blow off, since there's no tube to reinforce the transition from tire to rim. This means it's easy to mount tires, and also easy to take them...

We’re Heading to Unbound XL

As part of our effort to test and improve our products, a small team from Rene Herse Cycles – comprising of Mark and me – is heading to Unbound XL, the 350-mile race across the Flint Hills of Kansas. This isn't Rene Herse's first foray to Unbound: Our tires have...

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 model...

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 to...

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 few...

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. Seeing...

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 and...

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 the...

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 without...

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 to...

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 ride almost exclusively 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 need...

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 just...

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 box'...

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 Trail...

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 connector-less...

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 a...

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 like...

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 keep...

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 numbed...

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 a...

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 we...

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 German...

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 and...

Servicing the NUDA and NANA carbon pumps

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 our...

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 of...

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 recent...

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 700C...

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 loop...

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 and...

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 thing,...

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 racing...

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 prefer...

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 efforts...

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' can...

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 tested...

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 the...

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 is...

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, I...

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 it...

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 Kea....

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 use...

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 few...

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) on...

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 information,...

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 perceive...

‘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 bikes...

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 chain...

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 about...

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 enter;...

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 parts. Typical...

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 the...

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 in...

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 at...

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 LED...

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 of...

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 biggest...

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 occupation...

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 lines....

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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 only...

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 when...