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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

All tires are back in stock

Most of our customers considers their Rene Herse tires 'essentials' – components they need to keep riding. Knowing this, we work hard to keep all models in stock at all times. Sometimes there are unforeseen fluctuations in demand, delays in production and/or shipping, and a model or two may...

Round 2 of DIY Gravel

Today would have been the Belgian Waffle Ride in California – which means that Round 2 of Ted King's DIY Gravel is starting. We've got until next Sunday to do our own version of this iconic ride, which offers three versions: Waffle is 138-miles, 53 off-road and nearly 12,000...

Join Ted King for DIY Gravel

All of us are figuring out how we can resume our lives safely and responsibly. How can we ride our bikes? Does it make sense to train when races and events are postponed or cancelled? How can we enjoy the community that cycling brings us? I caught up with...

Rene Herse Sample Sale

Let's face it: Life isn't the same as it was just two weeks ago. We're all in this together, and we've been encouraged how everybody has been pulling together to face this challenge. At Rene Herse Cycles, we've thought about what we could do to help. Most of us still...

James Bay Descent – The Movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=579&v=Fz106hSZqJk&feature=emb_logo When Ted King, Ryan Atkins, Eric Batty and Buck Miller rode more than 600 km in northern Ontario last winter, it was a real adventure – and they raised money for a local charity. We were happy to be involved in a small way – we supplied the entire...

Predictions for the 2020s

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade, the 2020s! Ten years ago (above), Bicycle Quarterly predicted that wide tires would become commonplace, that all-road bikes would replace racing bikes as the most popular genre, and that riders would soon venture off the beaten path and onto gravel. All...

Happy Holidays!

All of us at Rene Herse Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly thank you for your support. We wish you a wonderful new year filled with many great rides! —The Rene Herse team

Rethinking Packaging

Since we've started Rene Herse Cycles in 2011, we've been working on reducing our environmental impact. We were among the first to use custom-designed cardboard boxes with inserts that hold our cranks securely. That has been part of our commitment to reduce our impact – while making sure that...

Job Opening at Rene Herse Cycles

We've got a job opening at Rene Herse Cycles. Are you dreaming of working on beautiful bikes, assembling dazzling cranks and brakes, and chatting about amazing rides all day long? The reality is not quite as glamorous, but we've got a good team, good compensation and benefits, plus the potential...

Blog Transition is Complete

Thank you for your patience last week while we've transitioned the blog to the Rene Herse web site. We've moved all the old contents – blog posts and comments – to the new site, so everything continues to be available. If you've bookmarked a blog post, the link no longer works....

Our Blog Has Moved

We are excited to move our blog and integrate it seamlessly with our Rene Herse Cycles web site. This will allow us to create even more exciting content. And now we can link directly between blog posts and support pages. This and other changes will improve your experience as...

Gravel Before It Was a ‘Category’

I've been wanting to thank Bicycle Retailer and Industry News for the nice article about Rene Herse on the front cover of a recent edition. It's not often that the media talks about the contributions of small companies, especially those without a big ad budget. BRAIN's Steve Frothingham wrote that Rene Herse "has nurtured...

Celebrating 2000 Posts on Instagram

We're celebrating our 2000th post on Instagram with a favorite image. It shows everything I love about cycling: small roads off the beaten path, beautiful bikes and great riding companions. I don't spend a huge amount of time on social media, but I've been enjoying Instagram a lot: Seeing where...

Ryan’s PBP Video

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve3tXQY5pFk&feature=youtu.be?rel=0&w=640&h=360] I've really enjoyed the stories that have come out of last week's Paris-Brest-Paris. Above is my friend and training buddy Ryan Hamilton's short video, seen entirely through the eyes of his bike-mounted camera. I was moved when seeing the great big bridge that leads into Brest. My eyes...

Celebrating Earth Day

Today is Earth Day – a day to celebrate our planet and think about what each of us, in our daily lives, can do to protect it. As cyclists, we get to enjoy nature in immediate ways: As we pedal over hill and dale, we feel the landscape, we...

Ted King's Bike for Land Run 100

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=bJxrxIcplvM?rel=0&w=640&h=360] In his latest video, Ted King takes us around his bike for Land Run 100 and explains why he chose the Rene Herse Snoqualmie Pass 44 mm all-road tires, rather than knobbies, for the race across the red dirt of Oklahoma. Click on full screen mode and enjoy!

Land Run 100: The Movie

[youtube https://youtu.be/xBoNRa_62k0?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Gravel racing is one of the most exciting developments of cycling as a sport in recent years. It combines full-on racing with adventure and drama. Gravel races are a modern take on the roots of cycling, when racers were battling it out on the unpaved mountain passes of...

Video: All-Road Cycling in Japan

[youtube https://youtu.be/Bqn2MZJw9-Q?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Beautiful bikes, great roads, traditional Japanese inns: BQ editor Natsuko Hirose's short clip takes you to the Izu Peninsula. It's the first trip on her new all-road bike – a great opportunity to enjoy cyclotouring with friends. Enjoy this preview, then read the full story in the Spring 2019 Bicycle Quarterly....

Welcome to Rene Herse Cycles!

It's official: Compass has become Rene Herse Cycles. It's a big change, with a new name and new logo for a line of products that has a very strong following. Rest assured, our philosophy won't change, and neither will our products. We'll continue to make the high-performance components that we...

Back in Stock: SON Hubs and Parts

SON generator hubs and other parts have been flying off the shelves lately. Some of it can be attributed to cyclists preparing their bikes for the upcoming Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km brevet. More cyclists also realize that generator hubs provide peace of mind on long rides and commutes alike. As...

Our Holiday Gift Guide

What to give a cyclist? And as a cyclist, what to answer when somebody asks you to make a wish? Here are a few gift ideas that are certain to bring a cyclist joy for a long time. You can't go wrong with Bicycle Quarterly. Each edition covers a variety...

Berthoud Mirrors Back in Stock

The popularity of Gilles Berthoud's new mirrors surprised us. We expected them to be popular, but we didn't expect to sell out within days. It's easy to understand why customers like them, though: They are beautifully made from the best materials, and they work well with all road handlebars. They...

HED Belgium+ Rims

We are glad that the HED Belgium+ rims are available again – they are the best modern rims we have found. They build up straight, they remain true, and tire mounting is a snap, even tubeless. They come in disc brake (top) and rim brake (above) versions, in 650B and...

BQ 4-Pack: 15th Anniversary Year

To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly's 15th anniversary last year, we increased the size of the magazine and put together a number of truly outstanding editions. We now offer them in a special 4-pack. We kicked off our anniversary year with our biggest edition ever. More book than magazine, this hefty volume...

Steilacoom dual-purpose knobbies back in stock

We just received another shipment of our Steilacoom 700C x 38 mm dual-purpose knobbies. We appreciate your patience while these popular tires were out of stock. Originally designed for cyclocross, the Steilacoom has become a popular dual-purpose tire: As you'd expect from a tire with widely-spaced knobs, it excels in...

Natsuko’s Trip to Rishiri Island

Mount Rishiri-Dake (1721 m) is a popular hiking destination. Bicycle Quarterly editor Natsuko Hirose takes you to Rishiri Island, off Hokkaido's coast in northern Japan. From the northernmost town in Hokkaido, Wakkanai, there is a ferry that goes to Rishiri and Rebun Islands. These small islands are the northernmost inhabited parts...

Back in Stock: MKS Allways Pedals and Kaisei Fork Blades

[youtube https://youtu.be/Hmltrz9xfXI?rel=0&w=640&h=360] The MKS Allways pedals are back in stock. The video above shows how the super-smooth cartridge bearings make these spin almost forever. The slightly concave platform allows optimum pedaling efficiency without the need for foot retention. Made in Japan, these may be the best platform pedals ever made. Click...

BQ Skills: Ghost Riding

[youtube https://youtu.be/xGh49T2rlmY?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Most of us remember when we learned to ride a bike. The incredible feel of balancing on two wheels – it felt like flying. Over the following days, months and years, our skills improved. First we learned to ride without wobbling. Then – in my case – to...

Why We Like Custom Gearing

Our Rene Herse cranks are available with chainrings from 24 to 52 teeth, in single, double and triple configurations, including 11-speed compatible versions. We even offer tandem cranks. That way, riders can benefit from customized gearing, but it also means that we stock a lot of chainrings. We try to...

BQ 64 Preview: Our Biggest Adventure Yet

[youtube https://youtu.be/21Vb3RPCRG0?rel=0&w=640&h=360] The Summer 2018 Bicycle Quarterly caps our 15th anniversary year, and so we've put together a very special issue. In our most epic adventure yet, we headed south to the incredible Copper Canyons of Mexico. The video above takes you right into the action. Make sure to enjoy...

Back in Stock and New Fenders

Some new products are much more popular than we anticipate. Even though we try to keep everything in stock at all times, production can take a while to catch up to the increased demand. Recently, that has affected a few products. The first batch of our 11-speed Rene Herse chainrings sold...

New Compass Web Site

If you have visited the Compass Cycles web site in the last few days, you'll have noticed that it has a new look. On the home page, you'll see a slide show with the three parts of the Compass story. The first slide links to the story of the 'Wide...