BQ 23 (Spring 2008)


Vol. 6, No. 3

Comfort AND Speed

In this issue, we debunk the myth that comfort and speed are an either-or choice. When a rider’s body vibrates, heat is generated, and the necessary energy no longer is available to drive the bicycle forward. We test how much fork blades flex, and find significant differences based on shape and geometry of the fork.

We continue our research into aerodynamics by looking at drafting and different rider types. A commuter in street clothes has more than twice the air resistance of a track pursuit rider! And when drafting, not only the following rider, but also the leader, obtain an aerodynamic benefit.

Al Tietjen takes us back a century, when his family lost its fortune on the development of the Chainless Hill-Climber, a shaft-driven three-speed bicycle. We look at similarly revolutionary drivetrains today. A photo feature of a 1930s Vélostable recumbent shows another revolutionary idea that has yet to take over the mainstream.

A more practical article shows how to make a custom LED taillight and how to integrate a rotating light switch into your stem. We also look at shimmy and how to cure it.

  • 1 Comfort: A Key Factor Toward Speed
  • 4 Showtime: Report from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
  • 10 The Chainless Hill-Climber Bicycle Rides Again
  • 15 Still At It After All These Years: Revolutionary Drivetrains Today
  • 16 Readers' Forum
  • 18 Obituary: Sheldon Brown, 1944-2008
  • 19 Web Resources:
  • 20 Project: Making a Custom Lighting System
  • 23 Why Harder Tires Feel Faster
  • 24 Measuring the Flex of Fork Blades
  • 26 Fork Blades Optimized for Comfort and Speed
  • 28 Book Reviews: Paris-Roubaix — A Journey Through Hell; The Archives of Cycling Science; Lightweight Cycle Catalogues Volume II
  • 30 Old New Ideas: 1930s Vélostable Recumbent
  • 34 Fall Colors in the Cascade Mountains
  • 39 Test: Coho Randonneuse
  • 43 Top Tubes, Planing and Shimmy
  • 44 Curing Shimmy on a Bike
  • 45 The Aerodynamics of Drafting and of Different Bike/Rider Types
  • 48 Test: Clothing for Everyday Riding
  • 49 Make Your Own Shpants Suit!
  • 50 My Favorite Bike: Alex Wetmore’s 2007 IvyCycles