Winter 2016 Bicycle Quarterly

Winter 2016 Bicycle Quarterly

The Winter 2016 Bicycle Quarterly will be mailed soon. Winter is when many cyclists review the year’s riding season and think about a new bike. If we were to order (or even build) a new bike, what we would do differently?
In the Winter BQ, we look at this question from many angles. We test a titanium Allroad bike from Moots that is designed for pure performance. Not only do we ride it as intended, but we also explore its limits. How much adventure can a production bike handle?
At the other end of the spectrum is the “Mule”, the steel Rinko bike I built for travel in Japan. The Mule is a full custom bike equipped with the very best components, yet it costs less than many stock Allroad bikes. The Mule has surprised me with its performance and versatility – there is hardly a ride where it doesn’t offer excellent performance. To celebrate its second anniversary, I took it on an epic ride across the rain-soaked Cascades to the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting.
For those on a more limited budget, Steve Frey explains how he made a competent 650B randonneur bike out of an old Trek with few tools, learning the skills as he went.
The promise of the Allroad bike is alluring: It’s the one bike you’ll need for almost all your riding needs. Where does a road bike with wide tires reach its limits? We found out by entering an Enduro Allroad bike in the toughest mountain bike race in Japan (cover photo of this issue).
All these bikes have one thing in common: wide tires. Wide, supple tires really have revolutionized cycling, and we are still figuring out the limits of this exciting trend. We test how fast wide tires roll on smooth roads. Do you give up anything when joining a fast group ride on 42 or even 52 mm tires?
We are especially proud of the next feature: For the first time, Panaracer has allowed a photographer into their factory. See how some tires are made largely by hand.
Many of us are inspired by cycling’s golden age, when riding bikes was a way of life rather than a pastime. Our photo feature takes you right to that wonderful time when life revolved around rides, brevets and other cycling activities.
Some of the best rides aren’t about performance at all. A tour of the Tango Peninsula in Japan takes us to a breathtakingly beautiful and remote region that is within easy reach of the big cities of Kyoto and Osaka.
Other articles report from the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting, explain why a bike can be ridden no-hands and much more. We hope this issue will give you plenty of ideas and inspiration as you plan how and where to ride next year.
Subscribe or renew today to receive this exciting issue without delay! (We are submitting our mailing list to the printer tomorrow.)

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Comments (17)

  • Greg

    Looking forward to the Steve Frey article, as well as the rest of yet another issue! Also, again, congratulations on your recent wedding to Ms. Hirose (pictured above, ne?)!

    November 6, 2016 at 8:44 pm
  • ipedalslowly

    Looking forward to the Steve Frey article as I have recently purchased an ’86 Trek 400 Elance with the intent of doing exactly that to it this winter. 😀

    November 7, 2016 at 9:13 am
    • B. Carfree

      I’m looking forward to it to see what he did differently from me when I converted my wife’s 1984 Trek 720 last year. She just loves the “new” bike. I may just convert one of my own older still Treks to 650B for myself since even the old 720s don’t have enough clearance for adequately wide tires and fenders if one stays at 700C.

      November 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm
  • Robert Cochran

    Just so I get a correct understanding…when you say you will submit your mailing list to the printer “tomorrow”, I think of “tomorrow” as being 00:00:01 a.m., November 8, Eastern Time since I’m in the Washington, D.C. area. But you may have a different definition of “tomorrow”. Any suggestions?

    November 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      To be included in the first mailing, your subscription must be current by 7 a.m. Seattle time on November 8. We then process the latest subscriptions/renewals and submit the mailing list to the printer.

      November 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Jon A

    Jan, is there an issue where you went into building the Mule and the geometry and component choices you made? Did you do the metal work and brazing yourself? I like reading those things and I look forward to reading the next issue, especially the Trek conversion. Thanks

    November 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      The Mule was covered in Bicycle Quarterly 51. And yes, I did all the metal work and brazing myself, with guidance from BQ contributor and framebuilder Hahn Rossman. It was a fun project.

      November 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm
      • Robert Cochran

        There is also “How to Make A Rinko Bike” in issue 54. Neither issue shows photos of the bike being actually built. That would be an interesting topic for a blog post. Did you have to take welding and frame design classes of any sort?

        November 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          It’s very hard to photograph yourself while you build a bike! I have worked with numerous builders on many projects, so I just learned by watching and doing. Ernest Csuka, Glenn Erickson, the builders at TOEI, H. Hirose, our own Hahn Rossman and Alex Wetmore all have taught me a lot, plus some others I got to watch as well.
          I started with building racks for a number of bikes, as well as the prototypes for the Compass racks. The Mule was the first full frame I built, and I was lucky to have guidance from Hahn Rossman. I find brazing quite intuitive – you just move the heat around to get the brass to melt where you want to melt it. Once you have mastered brass, silver is different (you don’t see the metal heat before the silver melts), but it’s not a huge step. I found the hardest part was to heat the entire lug evenly – with a rack joint, that is much easier. I guess it was a bit of a risk to build my first frame from tubes with extremely thin walls, but it’s held up fine so far.
          Of course, I don’t claim to be a framebuilder, and if I ever wanted to sell bikes, I’d need a lot of experience – if only to get quick enough to actually make a living at it. Watching the guys at TOEI make bikes – 2 builders and an apprentice make 160 very involved and beautifully crafted bikes a year – is quite an inspiration.

          November 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm
  • STS

    this question was probaby asked and answered before but a quick search did not find it. Do you also offer a subscription to a digital issue of BQ? I would prefer that much rather than a printed version.

    November 11, 2016 at 10:19 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      We are a small publication and cannot offer both, so we chose print because it’s the only way we can do justice to the beautiful photos, because reading a paper magazine is a special joy, and because paper is more durable in the long run. It would be nice to offer both, but the cost would be prohibitive.

      November 11, 2016 at 10:38 am
      • Leigh Breitenbach

        Jan, I am wondering if you distribute only via subscription? Can I find you magazine on the newsstand?

        November 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          Very few newsstands carry Bicycle Quarterly. Newsstand sales usually generate a loss… For most magazines, that doesn’t matter, because the more magazines they sell, the more they can charge for the ads that support the publication. But Bicycle Quarterly is financed by subscribers, so that model doesn’t work. We do offer a “Money Back” guarantee if you don’t like the magazine. It’s only happened a handful of times in 15 years…

          November 11, 2016 at 1:38 pm
      • STS

        Thanks Jan,
        maybe your answer was to be expected for someone who likes “old school” stuff so much ;-). Having worked for a (printed) magazine for some time in my life I’m aware of the different contributions to the cost that a printed version causes. But I don’t know so far which are the big costs for a digital version especially if you already have created the files for the printed version.
        I think the digital version could be as simple as a PDF mirroring the printed version.
        You’re then facing the problem of unauthorized copying and distribution of course, but I think measures exist against this and maybe this isn’t a real problem for your audience of whom the vast majority, I suppose, are happy to pay for their copy.
        I for one don’t want to have more paper in my life but as little as possible and I consider it to be one of the biggest improvements of our digital world that you don’t need to print things anymore if you don’t want to. And not having to physically ship paper copies over the ocean / country to guys like me in Europe also has some very small but positive environmental effect, too.

        November 12, 2016 at 1:32 am
        • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

          The pdf files for each issue are much too large to be shared, except via FTP uploads. Imagine files are huge if you want them with decent resolution. There are services that do the file creation and distribution of electronic magazines, but the cost usually is about 40-50% of the subscription price. That actually is close to the cost of printing and mailing a magazine.
          The problem is that if we split the magazine into digital and print, our per-copy cost for both goes up a lot, because most of the cost is in the setup. In other words, we can print 6500 copies with 100 pages each, and still deliver the magazine for a reasonable price. If we print 3500 copies, it’s no longer possible. Similarly, we could deliver 6500 digital copies at a reasonable price, but not 3500.
          As to the paper in your life, I agree. I have greatly reduced the paper I consume, but I really cherish the books and magazines that I have kept. I hope that Bicycle Quarterly readers feel that way about the magazine. The environmental impact of 4 copies a year is small, and you’ll re-read your copies for years to come.

          November 12, 2016 at 6:54 am
    • Robert Cochran

      Someone recommended that I subscribe to Bicycle Quarterly. My first issue was #57. I too wish that there were electronic versions, more so that I can zoom high-resolution photos so I can see some small detail that catches my eye, but on the whole I love the print version. Subscribing was exactly the right move for me. I like the content so much that I plan to give one subscription as a gift to someone in my workgroup at my employers and I’m seriously thinking of giving a second subscription to my son-in-law, who is a better bicyclist than me.

      November 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

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