Get Them While You Can!

We recently decided not to reprint Bicycle Quarterly back issues any longer. In the past, we’ve reprinted issues as they sold out, because we wanted to keep the great content available: amazing bike builders like Alex Singer, Charlie Cunningham, Jack Taylor, Reyhand, Hetchins, Charrel; the incredible French technical trials; original technical research that has revolutionized our understanding of bicycle tires.
The historic photos, but also the great adventures and bike tests, have inspired many cyclists. It’s been rewarding to see readers on social media who’ve ridden to Babyshoe Pass, Bon Jon Pass, Naches Pass (above) and even Rat Trap Pass.
With more than 3600 pages, the back issues of Bicycle Quarterly contain a huge amount of information, of stories, of photos… To make it easy to find your way around, we’ve put the complete table of contents of all issues on the Compass Cycles web site. It’s easy to search and find that article you are looking for. It also helps you to select the issues you want to order. Or simply buy them all, by taking advantage of the special price for issues 1-50.
With 58 issues published so far, it’s simply too much to keep every single magazine in stock at all times. For most issues, we still have good supplies – it’s not like all this content will go away overnight. But some issues are running low (that is why we had to make a decision), and when they are gone, you’ll have to hunt for them in Used Book stores and on eBay…
Another publication that will be sold out soon is the Limited Edition of our René Herse book. The René Herse book (also available in a “standard” edition) has been exceedingly popular, with more than 1300 copies sold. This isn’t a book for collectors, but a fascinating story of a time when cycling was a way of life. The bikes, as beautiful as they are, provide only the backdrop for the adventures and friendships that they made possible.
The 150 copies of the Limited Edition come in a beautiful slipcase with four otherwise unpublished, ready-to-frame art quality prints of amazing photos from the René Herse archives. You see Lyli Herse with Robert Prestat in full flight as they dominated the Poly de Chanteloup hillclimb race, a young Yves Cohen shifting the lever-operated front derailleur of his René Herse, riders on the Herse team during the 1950s, and Lyli with friends posing during the 1940s.
If you love beautiful books (or are a fan of René Herse), the Limited Edition is the final touch on what many consider the most amazing cycling book ever published. (It’s amazing because of the incredible photo collection of the Herse family that made this book possible.) The standard version (without the slip case and special photos) is a wonderful book in its own right – the contents are the same, of course.
So if you’ve been thinking about getting the book or some Bicycle Quarterly back issues…
Click on the links below for more information:

22 Responses to Get Them While You Can!

  1. D G December 8, 2016 at 5:13 am #

    I hope as back issues dwindle, you will reconsider publishing them electronically. Whether on DVD’s, downloadable files, or whatever technology comes along. Fine Woodworking & Homebuilding publish a complete DVD archive annually. It’s been great to be able to find a 25yr article so quickly. I think PDF files have been around for 30yrs.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 8, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      It’s not as simple as just putting pdfs on a DVD. Some of the back issues exist only as printing films, not as electronic versions. About a decade ago, we lost a few issues in a computer crash. Beyond that, electronic publishing is a completely different animal, and as a small company, we have to allocate our resources to what we feel is most important. Right now, that is creating new content for Bicycle Quarterly, the blog and future book projects.

      • Larry December 9, 2016 at 10:10 am #

        I wouldn’t think it would be all that hard, or expensive to scan and save the magazines. And hopefully the later editions are already digital, with remote backups? I hope?

  2. Nestor Czernysz December 8, 2016 at 5:40 am #

    I realize it’s not a democracy here, but I vote for keeping them in stock anyway.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 8, 2016 at 9:18 am #

      Your vote has been noted. I think the best solution is to just buy the ones you want. Just having the contents available may feel nice, but unless you actually read it, it’s of little use.

      • Nestor Czernysz December 8, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

        I have them all, and I consider them essential reading. You were my backup.

  3. Vincent December 8, 2016 at 6:19 am #

    HAve you thought of making them available as eBooks to spare the costs and hassle of re-prints, shipping etc.
    I do acknowledge the difference in pleasure of “real vs ebook”, but this might be a worthwhile middleroad for those who are after content more than full experience.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 8, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      We’ve considered it, but as I mentioned above, we don’t have the resources to start an “eBook Department”. However, with thousands printed, these back issues will remain available, just a bit harder (and more expensive) to get than ordering directly from us.

      • Rudolf December 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

        You’re certainly allowed to say “we don’t want people pirating this content so we’re not making it available electronically”. There’s no need to dissemble.

        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

          There are ways to prevent pirating, but it’s complex and requires a real commitment to electronic publishing. Most of all, generating pdfs of a manageable size – even for the issues where we have electronic files – is a huge amount of work. Every image must be redone to reduce its size, yet it should not be so small that it looks terrible. It can be done, and we did it for the BQ flip book of sample articles, but it’s not as simple as pressing a few buttons. The files we send to the printer are way too large to be useful for this – each magazine requires its own DVD!

  4. Andrew December 8, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    Thanks very much for making the searchable table of contents available! I had to flip through my modest library of back issues a few days ago to find a particular technical article. Took a while.

  5. Jon December 8, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks for the new feature of a great magazine. In the searchable table of contents I noticed you have under the TECH heading of the Winter 2016 issue page 80, Skill: Cornering with Confidence and my issue has Frek : A 650B Allroad Bike on a Budget. Just for whatever it’s worth.

  6. Steve December 8, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Would there be enough demand to ship a consignment of the Rene Herse book to the UK?

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 8, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      We did that once, when the book was new. We’d need at least 30 orders to make it worth while to airship the books to the UK, then re-ship them to their destinations. It’s a big, beautiful book, so shipping is expensive no matter what.

  7. Steve W December 9, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    Jan, any chance of making the rates for shipping to non-US residents much more reasonable(I’m just north in Canada)? Even for just 1 back-issue of Bike Quarterly magazine, the cheapest shipping rate is $24.95(US). Wanted to get a couple of back-issues of Bike Quarterly back in late-Sept 2016, but immediately backed off on seeing the shipping charges.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 9, 2016 at 7:45 am #

      When you select the shipping options on the checkout page, please make sure you select the least expensive one. Sending a single issue to Canada is $ 24.95 in a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope, but only $ 15.50 with First Class Airmail. If you order several magazines, the shipping cost becomes more affordable – four Bicycle Quarterlies fit into the same Priority Mail envelope. (For the early issues with fewer pages, you can fit even more.)

  8. Gugie December 9, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    I do most of my reading on a Kindle. Holding a book in bed isn’t nearly as comfortable, I can read without the lights on, so my wife isn’t bothered, and I read a lot more since I startred reading eBooks. I don’t subscribe to any magazines anymore,
    Well, except for BQ. There’s no way you could reproduce the beautiful photography on a computer screen. All of the advertising is topical, I even read all of those.
    Deciding not to continue reproductions is good business sense, but it’s going to drive the price of back issues sold online up!

  9. Michael December 9, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

    Rivendell has about 39 of their Rivendell Reader issues on a cork thumb drive they sell. I bought one. Maybe you could do it that way. Sure, the picture quality won’t be good but it will be non-existant anyway once the paper issues are sold out. Better to have the issues out there and accessable to the common and/or exploring cyclist in some form than gone forever except to the $collecteurs$. You worked so hard on bike research and history, now most of the “journals” will be gone. I think the cork drive solution is better than nothing. And easiest way to market.
    RBW allows sharing with a friend/relative but not showing in public. Honor system.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

      With a zine like the Rivendell Reader, it’s not difficult to put the pdfs on a CD or drive. Bicycle Quarterly‘s production values are totally different, and the files are huge. It’s certainly possible to reissue the magazines, whether in print or digital, but we have only finite resources. Right now, we decided that creating new content for future Bicycle Quarterly issues, new products for Compass and perhaps even a new book or two are more useful for our readers. For now, all but one back issues are still available… (One sold out shortly after the announcement.)

  10. Ford Kanzler December 12, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    Why don’t you create a product with a CD of the back issues, or a CD for each year?

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly December 12, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      Many reasons. One is that creating that CD would take considerable time and effort, which we prefer to allocate to creating content for new Bicycle Quarterly adventures, technical research, history and more. We prefer to look forward, and not into the past, so the back issues really aren’t something we want to spend a lot of time on.