BQ 30 (Winter 2009)


Vol. 8, No. 2

Oregon Manifest; Paul Charrel

The first Oregon Manifest was a design competition and technical trial with the goal to determine the best urban commuting bike. More than two dozen builders entered a variety of bikes, from full cargo bikes via porteurs to racing bikes, including one with a carbon-fibre trailer! The “field test” went over a challenging 77-mile course, and our embedded reporter rode in the event and witnessed first-hand which bikes worked well, which presented problems, and which failed outright. It was a most instructive experience, and great fun, too.

Raymond Henry recounts the story of Paul Charrel, the constructeur and avid randonneur from Lyon. Charrel’s bikes feature many innovative details, such as cantilever brakes that push the pads straight to the rims and fender stays that telescope for adjustment. Perhaps even more inspirational are Charrel’s exploits as a rider. His goal was to ride from Lyon to the top of Mont Ventoux and back in 24 hours. Not only did this require riding 516 km, but Charrel was guaranteed vicious headwinds either on the way to Provence or on the return. Add the soft gravel of the climb up Mont Ventoux, and you have a formidable challenge. Charrel attempted this feat six times, but never succeeded. He did accomplish another challenge, to ride from Lyon to Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc, in 24 hours… Charrel’s challenges directly inspired the Cyclos Montagnards challenges of the Bicycle Quarterly editorial team.

Our test bikes are the Boxer Randonneur that Dan Boxer rode two third place in the Oregon Manifest field test, and a Box Dog Pelican. In our technical section, we discuss cornering on a constant radius, and how your bike’s geometry can help with this skill. To round off this issue, Ian Lewis takes us on a great cycling trip to Norway.

  • Features:
  • 4 Travel: Five Friends in Norway
  • 16 The Oregon Manifest Technical Trials
  • 22 Interview: Tony Pereira on his Winning Bike from the Trials
  • 26 Judging the 1930s Technical Trials
  • 30 Paul Charrel, Constructeur and Cyclotourist
  • 70 My Favorite Bike: 2008 Gängl
  • Reviews:
  • 40 Bike Test: Boxer 650B Randonneur
  • 48 Bike Test: Box Dog Pelican
  • 60 Tests: Pass-and-Stow Front Rack; Lumotec IQ Cyo R LED headlight; Velo-Orange Retro Bottle Cage
  • 62 Tests: Bags from Acorn and Zimbale
  • 65 Tests: Wool Clothing from Ibex and Patagonia
  • 66 Test: Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Jacket
  • Tech:
  • 28 Builders Speak: Peter Weigle on Classic Designs
  • 56 Cornering on a Constant Radius
  • 58 Visualizing Wheel Flop
  • News:
  • 12 Readers' Forum
  • 14 News
  • 15 New Products
  • 69 Our bikes