BQ 66 (Winter 2018)


Winter is a time to dream about bikes, and BQ editor Natsuko Hirose takes you back to her student days, when she dreamt of a bike to go cyclotouring. Illustrated with beautiful gouache paintings by MIYOSHI, who went to art school with her. Natsuko takes you onto a first-timer’s journey into the mysterious world of cyclotouring bikes.

The high mountains at night are a mysterious world in a different way. Seeing the giant volcano of Mount Rainier illuminated by moonlight while climbing and descending gravel mountain passes is a unique experience – and a great test for a custom-built cyclotouring bike. We take the MAP All-Road on this ambitious 30-hour adventure, and we bring a second bike that takes a different approach as comparison.

The All-City Gorilla Monsoon offers all-road capabilities at a relatively affordable price. We test it on road and trail and compare it to its distant cousin, the Surly Midnight Special. Which one is better? It depends on your riding style – our review enables you to pick the one that suits you.

Few rides are as challenging as the Transcontinental Race. Jonah Jones takes you on this remarkable journey, with photos of amazing mountain roads that will make you dream of riding there. His is a story of remarkable achievement to overcome the difficulties that this long ride represents.

Peter Weigle’s French Fender Day is famous the world over as a gathering of friends and beautiful cyclotouring bikes deep in the woods of Connecticut. Discover this unique event and the bikes that attended this autumn.

Our popular shop visits continue with a report from Firefly, the masters of titanium, and Idéale, the reborn maker of classic leather saddles in France. Plus, we bring you the history of this innovative saddle maker.

A scientific study of Q factor suggests that power increases and injury risk decreases for most riders with a narrower-than-standard distance between the pedals. Our ‘Project’ shows you how to modify a crank to clear the wide chainstays of all-road bikes.

  • 6 René Herse: Celebrating Eighty Years of Innovation (1938-2018)
  • 34 Buying my Alps Passhunter – Entering the Mysterious World of Custom Bicycles
  • 40 The Challenge of the Transcontinental Race
  • 50 Barra Aluminum Bike: The Mad Genius of Cyclotouring Bikes
  • 66 Firefly - Masters of Titanium
  • 74 Harvest Ride in Connecticut
  • 80 Roger Baumann, Randonneur and Cyclotourist: 1930-2018
  • 86 Shop Visit: Idéale Saddles
  • 94 Idéale, the History
  • 98 Peter Weigle’s French Fender Day 2018
  • 108 Skill: Spinning
  • 112 Icon: Look Carbo Pro
  • 8 First Ride: All-City Gorilla Monsoon
  • 12 Bike Test: Overnight Adventure on the MAP All-Road
  • 104 Product Tests: Tire and Chainstay Gauges; Tire Cleaner
  • 106 Book Review: Japanese Steel
  • 58 Q factor, Performance and Injury
  • 96 Project: Reshaping Crankarms for All-Road Bikes
  • 4 News
  • 110 Readers’ Forum