BQ 43 (Spring 2013)


The Spring 2013 Bicycle Quarterly focuses on the performance of tires. We use a new methodology to test tire performance on a smooth track surface. Which tire rolls fastest, which rolls slowest? How does tire pressure influence tire performance on smooth roads?

Are tubular tires faster than clinchers? What is the optimum inflation pressure for your tires? How does the tread pattern of your tire influence its cornering?

The only part of professional racing bikes that has not changed at all in the last 50 years are the handmade tubular tires. We interview François Marie, the owner of FMB, and find out why the pros still prefer tires made the same way as they were decades ago. A step-by-step photo documentary shows you how FMB’s famous tubulars are made.

Bicycle Quarterly is as much about inspiration as it is about research and technology. In this issue, Tim Bird takes you on a wonderful spring-time adventure in Yorkshire.

We test a custom-built randonneur bike from New York City’s Johnny Coast with beautiful “bi-laminate” half-lugs.

In our Builders Speak series, Mike Kone of Boulder Bicycles examines when superlight frame tubing is appropriate, and which riders should select a stiffer frame. He discusses shimmy, riding no-hands and other important considerations.

We test a number of products, including a CNC-machined aluminum taillight, leather bar tape from Brooks and Grand Bois, and Tire Savers.

  • Features:
  • 16 A Visit to FMB, Makers of Hand-Made Tubular Tires
  • 46 Boggle Hole and Back – A Two-Day Dash to the Yorkshire Coast
  • 62 Builders Speak: Mike Kone (Boulder Bicycles) on Superlight Frame Tubing
  • 70 My Favorite Bike: Calfee Adventure

  • Reviews:
  • 6 Bike Test: Coast Randonneur
  • 24 Which Tire is Faster: Vittoria CX or Schwalbe Marathon?
  • 66 Product Test: Leather Bar Tape, Blink / Steady Light, Tire Savers
  • Tech:
  • 22 Tire Performance on Smooth Roads
  • 26 Tire Pressure and Performance
  • 28 Tire Drop for Different Tires
  • 30 Clinchers vs. Tubulars: Which Is Faster?
  • 32 Wider is Faster – Up to What Point?
  • 34 Tire Performance 101 – What Does It All Mean?
  • 39 Width vs. Air Volume: How Much Difference a few Millimeters Make
  • 42 Tire Tread – What Does it Do?
  • 44 Choosing the Correct Tire Pressure
  • News:
  • 14 Readers' Forum