Spring 2017 Bicycle Quarterly

Spring 2017 Bicycle Quarterly

We are always excited when the final files for Bicycle Quarterly go to the printer. We think that our readers will especially enjoy the Spring 2017 issue.
We tested no fewer than three really amazing bikes. The Open U.P. (above) promises the performance and feel of a modern carbon racing bike and the go-anywhere ability of wide tires. Does it deliver?
To find out, we took it to one of the highest mountain passes in Japan. The first day, we climbed more than 2000 m (6500 ft) on pavement. The next day, we descended via a vertiginous gravel road. This wasn’t just a bike test – it was an adventure.
The Specialized Sequoia is an affordable Allroad bike intended for bikepacking. Initially planned as a one-day “First Ride”, we ended up riding the Sequoia more than 300 km (190 miles) over a variety of terrain. How do the Sequoia and and its bikepacking bags (right) compare to a more traditional randonneur bikes like the one framebuilder Corey Thompson (left) brought on one of our test rides?
The third test bike was made by BQ contributor Hahn Rossman, whose main job is building custom bikes. I suddenly realized that even though I had ridden with Hahn for thousands of miles, I’d never really been on one of his bikes. We took one of his custom machines to San Francisco. How did it perform on the steep hills and challenging descents of this beautiful city?
Natsuko Hirose tells the story of a tour in the Mexican cordillera during Easter week. Read about meeting a group of pilgrims who traversed the mountains on old racing bikes. It was one of those encounters you could only have when riding a bike.
In Germany, we visited Schmidt Maschinenbau, makers of the best bicycle lighting anywhere. During our factory tour, we saw many innovative ideas that make Schmidt’s components so exceptional. In the process, we discovered a company that cares about more than just making outstanding products.
When BQ reader Brian Sampson told me that he was going to restore a 1946 René Herse – which included making replicas of the original Speedy brakes – I had some doubts whether he’d succeed. He proved me wrong and tells the story of this heroic rebuild.
We are always excited when a company introduces new “Allroad” tires, and we were eager to test Specialized’s new Sawtooth tires. We also tried a Revelate saddlebag, and we reviewed Brooks’ new book, the Compendium of Cycling Culture.
How do you carry a bike with full fenders on a car-top roof rack? We show you how to make a detachable fender section from simple parts.
One of my favorite features is our “Icon”, where we tell the story behind a famous cycling component. In this issue, we look at the helmet that won the Tour de France. Or did it?
This and many other features make up the Spring 2017 Bicycle Quarterly. Subscribe today to make sure you get this exciting issue without delay.

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Comments (18)

  • Gugie

    It will be interesting to read your take on riding in San Francisco, and perhaps comparing and contrasting to Seattle. The picture begs the question: were your tires wide enough not to worry about the cable car tracks and cable slot?

    February 7, 2017 at 11:49 am
  • Christopher Grande

    Corey Thompson! Ever consider reviewing a Thompson?

    February 7, 2017 at 11:50 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Absolutely. But Corey, like most really good builders, is so busy that he doesn’t really need the publicity. Even so, we keep badgering him…

      February 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    • Ross

      Hi Chris! I too was happy to finally see Corey pictured with BQ! 🙂

      February 8, 2017 at 12:41 am
  • Bill Lindsay

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting that OPEN U.P. review. This looks like a great issue!

    February 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm
  • Rider X

    I have put about 2000 km on a pair of sawtooth tires. They are a real mixed bag for mixed terrain riding. The set up tubeless really easily and the traction was really good for what they are. I ended up riding across sheets of ice in a pinch due to the soft rubber compound and all the edges the tire presents (studded tires would have been preferable, but I survived!). I was also able to ride some gnarly mountain bike trails without too much fuss. Wet traction was also really good.
    Where they let me down was on the pavement. Much slower than compass tires. They only rolled well at higher pressures (e.g., north of 60 psi). The tire carcass was reasonably supple, my best guess is that higher pressure is needed to stop all the off-centre tire edges from engaging the pavement surface so that you are only running on the solid center ridge.

    February 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm
  • C.Williams

    Funny I was going to suggest at some point to spent some ink actually looking at and riding Hahn’s bikes. What I’ve seen I love, like the green bike and the Ex-Bonti. In all these issues, he’s kinda just there, quiet and capable.

    February 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm
  • Jim

    Jan is one of the test bikes the mystery machine my friend saw you on up by Randle last fall. He keeps asking me what kind of bike it was.

    February 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      You’ll see that one soon enough! It was fun to meet your friend up there in the wild – only guys I saw all day.

      February 7, 2017 at 9:37 pm
  • jeffguildblog

    Copy that. Can’t wait for the up review. Steel is real but that thing looks faaaassst. The teaser sounds promising but one never knows.

    February 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm
  • Cynthia

    What a gorgeous lugged stem by Hahn Rossman! Great topic for a “Builders Speak” article.

    February 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm
  • Robert Cochran

    I have a question about the photo (above) of you and (Corey Thompson?) riding two up. How do you keep your hands and feet sufficiently warm when riding in cold weather?
    I’m looking forward to the next issue. The trip you did in Mexico is especially interesting because I have friends and family from that region.

    February 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      It wasn’t that cold – around freezing. Key to keeping hands and feet warm is keeping your core and arms and legs warm. If your legs and arms aren’t warm, your hands will be cold no matter how many mittens you wear. Wool gloves work well, but for descents, I usually wear Gore-Tex shell mittens.

      February 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm
  • Robert Cochran

    It is hard to tell from the photos here, but is Hahn’s bicycle equipped with Compass tires?

    February 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm
  • jeffguildblog

    Jan, perhaps I’ll be reading about it soon enough in the OPEN U.P. review coming out, but do you have any take on press-fit bottom brackets?

    February 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      The classic René Herse bottom brackets use press-fit bearings. It’s really a logical way to do it, if it’s done right: with shoulders to locate the bearings, screwed-in dust shields that hold the bearings in place and prevent contamination, and, of course, bearings that are dimensioned to handle the loads. Those BBs usually last for 50+ years without overhaul.
      My experience with modern bottom brackets, press-fit and otherwise, is more mixed. It’s surprising how many Bicycle Quarterly test bikes have developed BB problems, and usually, these problems are predictable.

      February 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

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