BQ 54 (Winter 2015)


The Winter 2015 Bicycle Quarterly’s theme is “Riding with Friends”.

We test the Elephant National Forest Explorer, a bike made for gravel roads by riding it to the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting. How does it perform when riding with friends on gravel roads and trails? And how did it and its extra-wide tires handle the ride to the event?

Tom Moran reports on a ride to the “Magic Bus” (of Into the Wild fame) with an Alaskan friend that is much more than just a winter fatbiking adventure.

Jan’s ride in this year’s Paris-Brest-Paris turned from a quest for speed into a ride with friends, both old and new, over the backroads of France. And it was all the better for it.

Riding through a typhoon doesn’t sound like fun? Unless it’s a great ride with friends that ends at one of the most beautiful Onsen hot springs in Japan.

We visit Jean Hoffmann, a randonneur who turned professional racer and rode in the Tour de France before returning to randonneuring. After looking at the photos from his archives, we join him for a ride up a small mountain pass in central France. 

We have a studio photo feature that shows the details needed to make a randonneur bike Rinko-compatible, with full fenders, generator-powered lighting and even low-rider racks. A related feature talks about optimizing the design of low-rider racks.

How to mount fenders on a bike that isn’t quite designed for them? We show you a few neat tricks that solve common problems.

We also test the Gevenalle brake/shift levers, which present an alternative to the systems from the “Big 3”. We try out a Swift Industries handlebar bag and the Haulin’ Colin Porteur rack.

Our “Skills” column talks about maintaining traction on wintry roads, whether it’s in rain or snow. Our “Icons” feature looks at the old Clement silk tubular tires. And we have a lively discussion about last issues Specialized Diverge test bike in the “Letters” and much more.

  • 6 Fatbiking to the Magic Bus
  • 18 The Race to the Butter (Procuring food in occupied France)
  • 20 Paris-Brest-Loudéac...and Loudéac-Paris
  • 34 Jean Hoffmann: Randonneur to Racer and Back
  • 57  The 2015 Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting
  • 58  The Old Road to Houshi Onsen (cyclotouring during a typhoon)
  • 94 Skill: Maintaining Grip on Wintry Roads
  • 92 Icon: Clement Paris-Roubaix Tubular Tire
  • 40 Bike Test: Elephant National Forest Explorer
  • 80 Test: Gevenalle Brake/Shift Levers
  • 82 Test: Swift Industries Ozette Handlebar Bag
  • 85 Test: Haulin’ Colin Porteur Rack
  • 87 Update: Dromarti SPD Shoes
  • 91 Update: 2 Years on the Islabikes Luath
  • 68 How to Make a Rinko Bike
  • 74 Low-Rider Rack Design
  • 78 Other Rinko Systems
  • 88 Metal Fender Installation
  • 4 News: NAHBS Rando Shootout, Randonneur Handlebars, MAFAC Tool
  • 92 Readers’ Forum