Journal

A Journey of Discovery, Part 3: Wide 650B Tires

How did our preferences change from our familiar bikes with mid-trail geometries, 700C x 28 mm tires and saddlebags to low-trail 650B bikes with much wider tires and handlebar bags? In the first two parts of this series, we talked about discovering handlebar bags and aluminum fenders. Inspired by the old randonneurs,...

A Journey of Discovery, Part 2: Handlebar Bags and Aluminum Fenders

In the last installment of this series, we looked at the bikes we rode when Bicycle Quarterly got started almost a decade ago. How did our preferences change from our familiar bikes with mid-trail geometries, 700C x 28 mm tires and saddlebags to low-trail 650B bikes with much wider tires and...

A Journey of Discovery, Part 1: What We Used to Ride

We sometimes hear people criticize our technical analyses: "Bicycle Quarterly's testers simply prefer they bikes that they ride most. You get used to anything, and then you prefer it." Or: "Jan has got his preferences. He started a magazine so he could have a place to talk about them." The reality is a bit...

A New Book on Cycles Alex Singer

From 1938 until today, Cycles Alex Singer has made some of the most wonderful bicycles ever made. (I may be biased, since I ride my 1973 Alex Singer randonneur bike more than any other bike.) Alex Singers have been appreciated especially by Japanese cyclists. This new hardcover book celebrates Cycles...

Handlebar Width

A few people have asked about handlebar width in our handlebar discussion. Compass handlebars come in widths between 40 and 46 cm, which may appear narrow by some standards. Many riders, even very tall ones, prefer relatively narrow handlebars. Above is my friend Ryan, who is 6' 4", riding on 41...

Urban Delivery

My favorite bookseller called and said: "We just sold the last copy of The Competition Bicycle, and there is a gaping hole next to your other book in our window display." There was only one thing to do: I loaded up the trusty Urban Bike with a 40-lb box of books...

Avoiding Numb Hands

Hand numbness can spoil the most wonderful long distance ride. A cyclist's hands can get numb from vibration and pressure. The first step is to eliminate as much vibration as possible near the source (road surface). Supple, wide tires, run at moderate pressures, are key. Flexible fork blades and suspension are...

Mr. Pedersen – A Man of Genius

David Evans spent more than a decade researching the life of Mikael Pedersen, who is best known for his unconventional bicycles. I have been fascinated by these machines since we photographed a rare racing version for our book The Competition Bicycle (see photo below). I have ridden a reproduction Pedersen,...

Bicycle Quarterly Press Around the World

Does this book look familiar? Look again: It's the German edition of The Competition Bicycle – A Photographic History, published by Covadonga in 2009. Our books and Bicycle Quarterly are being read all over the world. Here are a few examples: The Times (London, UK) mentioned Bicycle Quarterly's article on...

Preparing for 2011 and PBP

At this time of year, we reflect on the cycling season that just has ended, and make plans for the next season. For me, the highlight of 2011 will be Paris-Brest-Paris. The famous 765-mile ride still is 9 months in the future, but now is the time to begin preparing...

Oregon Manifest Technical Trials 2011

The 2011 Oregon Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge will be held in Portland, Oregon, on September 23-24, 2011. The goal is to determine what the ultimate modern utility bike looks like and who can build it. The 2009 Constructor's Design Challenge was an innovative event that focused on riding bikes over a...

Winter 2010 Bicycle Quarterly Mailed

The Winter 2010 issue has been mailed. Most subscribers will get it soon, but delivery times vary depending on the whims of the U.S. Postal Service. All subscribers should have their magazines by December 24, 2010. In the mean time, click here for a preview. And for some fun with truly...

A Neat Bike

When I was working with Peter Weigle on an article on fender mounting for the Winter 2010 issue of Bicycle Quarterly (now at the printer), Peter sent me a photo of his latest bike (above). His bikes always have been special, but on this one, I noticed a lot of...

COMPASS BICYCLES: Components for Real-World Riders

At Bicycle Quarterly, we sometimes discover products that are superb, but nobody imports them to North America. Or our research indicates that certain classic components work better than those available today, but nobody is making them. We have suggested some of these products to existing manufacturers. I told Paul Price how...

Farewell to the Mountains

Autumn is a melancholy time. In Seattle, it is hardly noticeable, as the weather gradually gets cooler and wetter. But in the Cascade Mountains, the change of the seasons is swift and spectacular: Cold nights turn deciduous foliage into bright hues of yellow for a brief time, before snow falls...

Science and Bicycles 1: Tires and Pressure

Most cyclists are interested in improving their bike's performance, because rolling along at considerable speed while expending relatively little effort is one of the great appeals of cycling. Before you can improve your bike's performance, you need to know what makes your bike faster, and that is where science comes...

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show

The Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show was a celebration of finely crafted bicycles. With natural overhead light in a former industrial building, the bicycles were displayed well. Tony Pereira (above) showed a replica of his Oregon Manifest-winning commuter machine with its integrated lock.  We hope to get this one for a...

Carbon Fiber Handlebar 911

Emergency Roadside Repair in 3 Easy Steps Materials required: • wooden stick • steel strap • big rock • 5 mm Allen wrench (optional) Time required: 25 minutes. On a spring-time ride in the Cascades, we took a side road from Sultan to Gold Bar in the Skykomish River Valley. Our destination was Index, and we were...

Welcome to Our New Blog!

In this space, I'll blog about what is going on at Bicycle Quarterly: Rides we do, how we keep our bikes on the road, new products, glimpses of topics in upcoming issues of the magazine and more. BQ's contributors will feature occasionally as well. We welcome everybody to join us...