BQ 61 (Autumn 2017)
With the Autumn 2017 issue, we celebrate 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly! Fifteen years is a long time, and much has changed in the bike world since our first slim issue suggested that smaller chainrings would be a good idea for most riders. (This was long before the big makers introduced compact cranks). In the planning of this special issue, we thought about how to celebrate our anniversary.
We teamed up with Peter Weigle, one of the best constructeurs of today, to enter a bike in this year’s Concours de Machines technical trials. The idea was to take everything we’ve learned in those 15 years, and test it against the best “real-world” bicycles on the toughest roads.
The Concours was a great adventure, more than enough to fill an entire issue. In fact, we had so many great stories and images that we made this issue 25% larger than usual. (Our anniversary provided a good excuse!)
Peter Weigle talks about how he built the lightest bike at the Concours, an amazing machine that weighs just 20 pounds (9.1 kg) fully equipped. It’s not just the light weight that is astonishing, but even more that this was achieved without compromising performance or reliability. Read the exciting story about how the bike completed the challenging ride without penalties and won the prize of the jury, as well as the silver medal.
No fewer than 24 bikes entered the event, coming from France, Sweden, the UK, the U.S., Slovakia and even Japan. The variety and ingenuity were truly amazing. We feature all of them in Nicolas Joly’s beautiful studio photos – above, the winning PechTregon – and we tell you how they performed on the road.
The put this year’s Concours in perspective, we researched the history of these amazing events that brought us things like aluminum cranks, cantilever brakes, low-rider racks and cartridge bearings in hubs and bottom brackets.
You don’t have to be a fan of classic bikes to be totally amazed by the photo feature of a Pitard bike that competed in the last of the mid-century Concours. In 1949, it already featured an aluminum frame…
One reason we added so many pages to this issue is that we had so many exciting stories. We went to California to visit Paul Component Engineering. We take you right into the factory where the famous brakes, stems and other parts are made, and we talked at length with Paul himself.
While we were in California, we tested a Steve Rex monstercross bike. Is it a ‘cross bike with bigger tires, or a mountain bike with drop bars?
We also spent some time on a Chapman “light tourer” with generator-powered electronic shifting. How did this amazing machine fare on a 300 km randonneur ride that included everything from smooth asphalt to gravel roads?
To top off this action-packed issue, we take you on a ride across the most amazing pass in Japan. Kurakake Pass is a mountain road like Jan had envisioned in many daydreams. Imagine his surprise when that road actually existed! But as so often, when you venture far off the beaten path, it’s more of an adventure than you bargained for!
These are just a few of the features in the Autumn 2017 Bicycle Quarterly. We’ve often dreamt of BQ being a quarterly book, rather than just a magazine. This issue comes closer than ever: It’ll provide many hours of reading enjoyment.
- Table of Contents
- The Perfect Mountain Pass
- Fun at Paul Camp
- Visit to Paul Component Engineering
- Concours de Machines 2017
- Gold: PechTregon
- Bronze: Cyfac
- The Bicycles at the Concours
- Results of the Concours
- Peter Weigle: The Long Road to the Concours de Machines
- Silver: J. P. Weigle
- Bikes, Builders, Philosophies
- Spectators’ Bikes
- Technical Trials from 1901 until Today
- Pitard from the 1949 Concours de Machines
- Alps – Pioneer of Rinko
- Skill: Climb out of the saddle
- Icon: Flite Saddle
- First Ride: Steve Rex Monstercross
- Bike Test: Chapman Light Tourer Di2
- Readers’ Forum