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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...

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... But...

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 methods...

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 use...

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 and...

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 are...

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 was...

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 does...

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 come....

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 links...

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 contact...

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 feet...

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 gravel...

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 team...

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 that...

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 our...

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. Replace...

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 you...

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 the...

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 you...

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 welled...

"Why I love Gravel" – Interview with Ted King

Last weekend was the 14th running of the Dirty Kanza, the famous 200-mile gravel race in Kansas. After the race, I was chatted with Ted King (TK), winner in 2016 and 2018, about what makes gravel racing so special. JH: Congratulations to another great finish! TK: This was my 4th go at DK, and...

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 smell...

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 the...

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. Make...

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 need...

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 a...

Racing a 40-year-old bike

I've been racing my Alan cyclocross bike since I bought it second-hand, many years ago, when I was still in college. Back then, it was simply a used 'cross bike. Now it may seem like a relic from another era. And yet the Alan continues to hold its own in the...

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 counts...

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 of...

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 start...

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 keep...

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 it...

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 out...

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 around...

Compass Introduces Quintuple Cranks

Seattle, April 1, 2018: Compass Cycles is proud to introduce the new René Herse quadruple and quintuple cranks. We are one of the few manufacturers of triple cranks with a wide selection of chainrings, and we've received requests for even more choices. There is a historic precedent for this: Alex Singer...

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 have...

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 Machines in...

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 it...

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 set...

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 three...

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 we...

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 newsletters...

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 right...

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 Hirose's locking...

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, find...