Late Winter Bicycle Quarterly
Every edition of Bicycle Quarterly brings you carefully curated stories that will surprise, delight and inspire. We cover many areas of cycling and refuse to be pigeonholed into one category, because the world of cycling is simply too great and exciting for that. As one reader recently put it: “It’s nice to see a publication that treats carbon and steel bikes, gravel and road, riding fast and slow, with equal respect.” Why not? Great adventures make for great stories—frame materials, bike types and road surfaces are just backdrops. What matters to us is an interesting story that evokes a passion for cycling.
Few stories are more passionate than Sophie Potter’s tour from the Cape to Kenya. After finishing the Rhino Run bikepacking race, she and Adrien Liechti simply continued riding until they had traversed half of Africa. Sophie fulfilled childhood dreams of becoming an explorer, crossing the equator, and seeing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Her story will have you dream of heading to Africa, too.
The Dark Divide 300 is closer to home, but no less of an adventure. Traversing the heart of the Cascade Mountains on trails that are often not rideable is a true challenge. Jan’s FKT ride is one he’ll remember—and you’ll be right in the action with his report and Daniel James’ evocative photos.
Donalrey Nieva takes you on a trip across the old military roads of the Alps. His ride on the Torino-Nice Rally is not just a cycling adventure, but also a place to find himself as he remembers his brother who used to accompany him on their adventures.
One of the most elegant bike genres is the mid-century 700C Randonneuse. It combines the speed of racing bikes with the real-world equipment of cyclotouring bikes. Heiko Strömer traces the origins of these elegant machines with a deep dive into the archives of contemporary magazines and makers’ catalogues. His fascinating story brings unexpected discoveries that change our understanding of the history of French randonneur bikes.
Bicycle Quarterly would not be complete without featuring beautiful bikes. Gabriel Refait tells the story of restoring a very special 700C Randonneuse. René Herse built this bike for a rider on his team, Jean Pierre Copentipy. A racer turned randonneur, Copentipy’s exploits are the stuff of legends, and he was the mentor for an entire generation of young randonneurs. Gabriel traces the story of the bike’s illustrious original owner with previously unseen photos and details how he brought the bike back to life.
Bicycle Quarterly’s research has changed cycling as we know it. There’s always more to discover: We measure the rolling resistance of different tire widths on gravel and find some big surprises: Suspension losses go up as the rider gets tired. This may explain why pro racers can ride on (relatively) narrow tires—above Ted King on the way to winning SBT GRVL—and why the same tire choice may not work well for mere mortals.
We test the MET Trenta Carbon helmet and Apidura’s ultralight reflective vest, plus ride hot-waxed chains on the most demanding courses to find out if they are superior to liquid lubricants. A review of the Jobst Brandt book takes you into the world of “cycling’s most influential outsider.” Our Skill column talks about how to park your bike so it won’t fall over, while our Icon brings you the untold story of Nitto’s ultra-rare carbon-titanium handlebars.
The new Bicycle Quarterly is coming off the press next week, and we are preparing the mailing list right now. There’s still time to be among the first to get this exciting edition: Subscribe today, and you’ll get your copy directly from the printer. With 108 pages of great stories and evocative photos, the new BQ is more book than magazine, guaranteed to delight and inspire for many hours of reading enjoyment.
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Jan, Natsuko & the BQ Team