BQ 53 (Autumn 2015)


The Autumn 2015 Bicycle Quarterly’s combines the new (carbon gravel bike with electronic shifting) with the classic (a visit to legendary constructeur C. S. Hirose in Tokyo).

We test the Specialized Diverge Carbon Di2 on pavement and gravel, on spirited rides and loaded tours, as well as commuting. Is it the only bike you'll ever need? And is it really the fastest bike we've ever tested?

C. S. Hirose is legendary for the variety of his output. We visit the master in Tokyo and take you on a tour of his shop. We also ride one of his amazing Mini-Velos on a beautiful tour in the Japanese Alps. And we feature a Hirose cyclotouring bike built for a small rider.

We evaluate the state of the art in “road” disc brakes. Are they mature technology? We test Specialized's new Flux lights to find out whether they are credible alternatives to generator-powered lights.

  • 6 A Visit to C. S. Hirose
  • 23 A Hirose for a Small Rider
  • 56 To the End of the Road: A 24-Hour Camping Trip
  • 72 The Cyclotouring Life (France, 1950s)
  • 80 ALAN in a Timewarp
  • 92 Icon: Bell Wingnut
  • 16 First Ride: Hirose Mini-Velo
  • 32 Bike Test: Specialized Diverge Carbon Di2
  • 54 The Diverge as a Commuting Bike
  • 64 The Diverge for Loaded Touring
  • 82 Test: Specialized Flux Lights
  • 85 Test: Rivet Independence Saddle
  • TECH
  • 50 How Fast is the Diverge?
  • 53 Planing and the Limits of Bicycle Performance
  • 66 Touring on a High-Performance Bike
  • 68 Are Disc Brakes Mature Technology?
  • 90 Skill: Cyclocross Remounts
  • NEWS
  • 4 News: Cannondale 650B Allroad Bike, Compass Knickers
  • 26 Jobst Brandt, 1935–2015
  • 88 Readers’ Forum