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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...

Compass and BQ in the News

During the last week, Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles have been mentioned in several news stories. The popular web site www.bikepacking.com featured an article about converting a 700C bike to 650B. They wrote: "The benefits are fairly obvious. Wider tires offer more floatation, a more supple ride, and are all...

Live Interview on Path Less Pedaled

[youtube https://youtu.be/x6x5VC2nAuE?rel=0&w=640&h=360] I love the unscripted spontaneity of live interviews, where neither side knows the questions and answers in advance. When I sat down down with Russ Roca of Path Less Pedaled, we talked about how Bicycle Quarterly got started, what inspires Compass products, and how the bikes we ride...

North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Last weekend's North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) was a great success by all accounts. I've especially enjoyed the beautiful photos of John Watson (aka The Radavist) from the show. With his permission, I am reposting a few of them here. J. P. Weigle's bike (above) for the 2017 Concours de...

Global Cycling Networks Video on Frame Flex

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH_AL4rxrp8?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Global Cycling Networks just published a video in which they did an experiment that many of us have been talking about: Load up a frame with flex, and then release that energy. The rear wheel turns as the energy is returned to the drivetrain. It's nice to see...

Berthoud Saddlebags

Gilles Berthoud's are my favorite under-seat bags: lightweight, beautiful and functional. Since using one on a tandem in the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris, I've found them useful whenever my handlebar bag doesn't have enough capacity, or as the only bag on bikes without a front rack. Berthoud now offers a version...

Allroad Riding in Alsace (Open's Video)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAwXw_GGtY4?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Open made a video to introduce their facelifted U.P. wide-tire racing bike. They went for a beautiful ride in the Alsace Mountains of France, coincidentally the same region where the first post-war Concours de Machines was held in 1946. A few months ago, we sent Open's Andy Kessler a...

1995 Rivendell: Turning the Tide

When Bridgestone USA closed in 1994, many mourned the loss of what they saw as the last bastion of sensible design in the quickly changing world of bicycles. They rejoiced when later that year, Bridgestone's marketing manager Grant Petersen started Rivendell Bicycle Works. The new company's first project were...

MKS Allways Pedals

Allways pedal At Compass Cycles, we sell only parts that we want to ride on our own bikes. It's important that we can rely on the components we use to carry us through all conditions, problem-free. This is why we offer the top-of-the-line pedals from MKS. Each of the MKS pedals...

Compass Tires Back in Stock

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TQA54V913k?rel=0&w=640&h=360] The container with Compass tires has arrived, and all sizes are now available again. We thank you for your patience as we continue to work hard to keep all our products in stock. Enjoy the little video of our Elk Pass 26" x 1.25" Extralight tires in action! Click here for more...

Paul Components Interview

7 Questions with Jan Heine, of Bicycle Quarterly We always enjoy to learn how others see Compass Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly. Paul Component Engineering has been making CNC-machined bike components in Chico, California for over 25 years. Like Compass, Paul focuses on quality, craftsmanship and making parts that last a lifetime. Paul's monthly email...

Video: Testing the Open U.P.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUvHudzx8VE Bicycle Quarterly took the Open U.P. to Odarumi, one of the highest passes in Japan. How does a carbon bike for wide tires handle the 2000 m (6600 ft) paved climb? And how does it do on the challenging gravel descent? We made a little video to take you...

Visiting C.S. Hirose

A highlight of my trips to Japan is visiting Cycle Store Hirose. It's a truly special place. I enjoy talking about bikes with Mr. Hirose. His knowledge is deep, and his ideas and thoughts never cease to surprise me. This time, I was proud to show him the Compass decaleur that licenses...

Join Us at 'Stoked Spoke'

Every year in Seattle, Swift Industries organizes the 'Stoked Spoke' series of presentations about cyclotouring trips. On January 18, I'll talk about our ride across the Paso de Cortés in Mexico. Hear the story behind the ride, discover the inspiration that had us pack up the bikes and head to Mexico, and finally,...

Bicycle Shop Gen

In Bicycle Quarterly, we've featured a number of the great bicycle builders in Japan: TOEI, C.S. Hirose, Iribe and Level. We did a brief feature on Bicycle Shop Gen – one of my favorite shops anywhere in the world. This year, I had the opportunity to visit again. Bicycle Shop...

Follow Us on Instagram!

At Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles, we take thousands of photos on our rides big and small. Only a fraction make it into the magazine or onto our web site. Many of the others are just too precious to vanish into our archives. Instagram provides a great way to share them. Most...

Holiday Gift Guide

Winter is a time when we think about our bikes. That way, when we are riding, we don't have to think about our bikes. During the off-season, we overhaul parts to make them last another year. We switch components in search of comfort, performance or beauty. We then test the modifications...

Our Man in France

Compass components have found fans all over the world. We are shipping them as far as Brazil, South Africa and Singapore. Unfortunately, international shipping is expensive. And we really want to see our products in bike shops. So we are working with distributors to make our products more widely...

Just Another Road!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY_9e-dB8M0?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Here is a little video we made in Mexico during our trip to the Paso de Cortés. Compass doesn't have the means to air it during the Superbowl, but we think you'll enjoy it nonetheless. Click on the image above or watch at this link. Make sure you watch it...

Rinko Systems: Ezy and Ezy Superior

  We have discovered a compatibility issue with the different versions of MKS Rinko pedal. Please note that the SPD-compatible MKS US-S pedals (shown on left) use the "EZY" release system while the other MKS Rinko pedals we offer use the "EZY-Superior" release system (shown on right). Each system works...

SPD-compatible Rinko Pedals

The long-awaited SPD-compatible Rinko pedals from MKS have arrived. Now you can enjoy the convenience of SPD shoes and cleats, and yet remove your pedals in just seconds without tools. Initially intended for Rinko (the Japanese system of disassembling bikes for train travel), MKS Rinko pedals have two parts. A stub attaches...

Bicycle Flea Market

Visiting Japan is fun, in part because I meet so many different cyclists. There are the cyclotourists, the randonneurs, the collectors... Bicycle collecting as a hobby has a long tradition in Japan, and there are many events for collectors. The Keiokaku Bicycle Flea Market is one of them. It's a popular...

It's a Hobby!

It might be challenging to understand cycling enthusiasts when you aren't one. We spend a lot of money on bikes, then spend a lot of time getting into shape, and then we go on rides to nowhere, and come home tired. After all this effort, we are back exactly where we started. We...

Join the Swift Campout

Some of Bicycle Quarterly's favorite stories have been campouts – short camping trips into the mountains. We pack lightly and enjoy spirited rides, unrolling our sleeping bag or setting up a lightweight tent at the end of the day, before continuing the next morning on a loop that brings us...

Tokyo Cycle Parts Show

The first Tokyo Cycle Parts show was held last week. This trade show is open only to the bicycle industry, which allowed focused inquiry into products, and provided a good glimpse at what is happening in Japanese cycling. For me, it also provided a great opportunity to see acquaintances, such as Mr. Yoshikawa,...

Happy Holidays!

I wish all our readers Happy Holidays! I've enjoyed all the interactions with readers. The technical discussions are stimulating, but most of all, it's nice to read about so many people enjoying their bikes on great rides! Thank you all! Photo credit: Fred Blasdel

Gift Ideas from Compass Bicycles

It's that time of year, with the holidays fast approaching, when many relatives and friends wonder what to give to their favorite cyclist. Here are some great gift ideas you can use, or forward them to anybody who asks: “What would you like?" For The Allroad Cyclist The Allroad Cyclist is an inveterate randonneur, a...

Charlie Cunningham Needs Our Help

Of all the people I have interviewed for Bicycle Quarterly, Charlie Cunningham was perhaps the most fascinating. We talked for hours about a great variety of bike-related topics. I am particularly fascinated by his various brake designs – we both prefer brakes with posts next to the fork crown. (Since then,...

A Visit to Ben Le Batard

While I was in Paris after this year's Paris-Brest-Paris, I visited Ben Le Batard, who runs a machine and fabrication shop. He specializes in motorbikes and bicycles. The bicycle portion of his shop is run by Daniel Hanart, perhaps best known for building Jeannie Longo's hour record bike, as...

Customer Newsletter

Along with our updated website, Compass Bicycles updated its customer newsletter. We use it to announce things like new items, products that are back in stock, and other noteworthy news. It's the best way to stay updated on what is going on at Compass. Our newsletter frequency is once every...

400 km Brevet Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7PBPtmNCZU Theo is the ride organizer of an upcoming Seattle International Randonneurs 400 km brevet. So a week ago, Theo, Hahn and Ryan of the Bicycle Quarterly team pre-rode the course, to make sure that the cue sheet is correct, that roads are open, and to get a general feel...

Japan in Autumn

I just returned from Japan. It was an amazing trip of talking to Compass Bicycles' suppliers and of collecting material for future Bicycle Quarterly stories. Most of all, it was great fun! We got to see old friends and acquaintances, and meet new ones. We rode bikes with some, went...

Optimizing Tire Tread

Most tire manufacturers agree that supple sidewalls and a thin tread make a tire fast, but the role of the tread pattern remains poorly understood. Most modern tires have either a completely smooth tread (slicks) or a coarse tread pattern similar to car tires. Many high-performance tires are smooth...

Flèche in Japan

Last weekend, the Japanese randonneurs organized their Flèche 24-hour ride. We were honored to be part of the banquet at the finish. (The photo shows us with Maya Ide, the organizer.) Originally, we had been scheduled to ride with a team, but I broke my hand three weeks ago....

BQ in Japan

The Bicycle Quarterly team is in Japan for a few weeks of visiting manufacturers and builders, enjoying the culture, and cycling. Above is the view from our window in Kyoto. Doesn't it look like a dream spot, with temples in the foreground and rugged mountains in the background? Our wonderful...

Switching to Zero Emissions

Cycling used to be the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation available, but with recent technological developments, this no longer is the case. Even though the emissions of riding bikes are small, they are not insignificant. As we cyclists convert carbohydrates into energy to power our legs, we emit CO2....

Viennese Mechanics' Bikes

Late last year, Richard Hollinek sent me a calendar about Viennese "mechanics' bikes" – bikes built by small builders in Vienna, Austria. The calendar hangs in our bathroom, and I smile every time I see it. The "mechanics' bikes" are workmanlike in their quality and execution, but not without some...

Oops! AdventureCorps Ad Mix-Up

At Bicycle Quarterly, we appreciate our advertisers. Even though the magazine is financed by subscribers, the advertising revenue allows us to print a few additional pages of the magazine. Our advertisers tend to be small companies who believe in what we do, and support Bicycle Quarterly. In fact, we use...

René Herse édition française

Our new book René Herse • The Bikes • The Builder • The Riders will be available with French text in addition to the English version. Therefore, this update is in French. Notre souscription pour l'édition française du livre René Herse a connu un beau succès puisque nous avons reçu...

Charity Drive: Thank You!

The Bicycle Quarterly charity drive was a success. We were able to raise almost $ 1500 for three charities. Checks are going out this morning to Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Thank you to all who contributed!

Winter Training

I enjoy the annual rhythm of the seasons. It encourages me to change my cycling and exercise, like a farmer rotating crops and leaving some fields fallow for a while. The early months of the year remind me of preparing the soil and sowing that year's crop. This means base...