The 75th Bicycle QuarterlyJan Heine
The Spring Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer! It’s our 75th edition, and we’ve put together a very special magazine for the occasion. We visit an amazing framebuilder in Japan. Makino-san shows us how his small workshop builds frames of amazing quality and beauty, for professional Keirin track stars, road racers and cyclotourists. He explains how he matches the frame stiffness to the rider’s pedaling style to optimize performance. We spent a fascinating day at the master’s shop, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy the result.
To reflect on these difficult times, we look at how cyclists in war-time Paris kept their spirits up despite the challenges they faced. We bring you the recollections of Paulette Porthault, who talked about using bikes to smuggle food into Paris. Lucien Détée remembers his time as an apprentice in René Herse’s workshop. He tells us how the ‘Magician of Levallois’ made his amazing bikes and components with very limited resources. We also discovered contemporary reports of a Concours de Machines (technical trials) organized during those difficult days. Because even during hard times, it’s important to remain positive and keep the spirit.
Karen Yung takes us on the backroads of Vermont for a tour that mixes gravel and pavement, green mountains and beautiful New England towns. Her story shows that it’s possible to discover new places safely and joyfully.
We look at the performance of knobby tires. How much do you give up when you run knobbies on pavement? There are many factors, from tire pressure to the aerodynamics of knobby tires. We look at them all – Peter Weigle even shaved down some knobbies so we could compare otherwise identical tires with different knob heights. The results are surprising and, in some ways, as revolutionary as our original tire tests that started the ‘All-Road Bike Revolution’ fifteen years ago.
Nicolas Joly re-evaluates what makes a good all-road bike. Are modern gravel bikes, with their 40- to 44 mm-wide tires, really the best tool for rides that combine gravel and pavement in equal measure? What do we gain – and give up – if we use a mountain bike for these rides? He tests both on a beautiful course in the French Alps.
Our test bike is the Wake Robin, a randonneur bike from a promising young builder. We took it on a mid-winter adventure in the North Cascades. Yes, we did encounter snow. Yes, Jan did face-plant when entering a deep snowpatch too fast. And yes, we discovered a magical road that climbed past waterfalls to reveal snow-covered peaks glowing in the setting sun. Because that’s what it’s all about: Even the most beautiful bikes are tools that enable memorable experiences.
Now we are compiling the mailing list for the new Bicycle Quarterly. Make sure your subscription is current – click here to subscribe or renew – and we’ll make sure you’ll be among the first to get the 75th Bicycle Quarterly. Thank you!
Jan & Natsuko
Photo credits: Donalrey Nieva (Photo 3), Peter Weigle (Photo 4), Nicolas Joly (Photo 5).