Author Archives: Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.

Out of Reach

When I am riding alone, cycling is meditation for me. When riding with friends, it’s uninterrupted time together. In both cases, it means leaving my busy life behind. No random e-mails, no urgent phone calls, nobody coming to my desk. … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 39 Comments

The Stem formerly known as Nitto Pearl

Once upon a time, most stems had quills that inserted into the steerer tube. The stems were made from forged aluminum. Cinelli, 3TTT and others offered them. They were attractive and relatively lightweight, and stem failures were unheard of. Many … Continue reading

Posted in Stems | 31 Comments

The Actual Width of Tires?

Sometimes we get an e-mail or a phone call from a customer asking, “I bought the Compass 32 mm tires, but they only measure 28.5 mm on my rims. Why is this?” Decades ago, some tire makers cheated when stating … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 26 Comments

A Japanese Book on Simplex

Hideki Sasaki has released the second book in the “Derailleurs of the World” series. The new book covers Simplex, perhaps the most influential derailleur maker of all. From the earliest 1920s designs to the last slant parallelogram derailleurs of the … Continue reading

Posted in books | 2 Comments

Thoughts about Getting Children Engaged in Cycling

Many avid cyclists would love to share their joy of cycling with their children, but some find that their children aren’t interested at all. I am lucky – for now – that my son shares my love of the sport. … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 30 Comments

A Reappraisal of Tullio Campagnolo

When Bicycle Quarterly did an article on Tullio Campagnolo, you knew it wasn’t going to be another fluff piece re-hashing the same old stories and myths. We did some real research, and we were surprised by what we uncovered. Cyclists … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues, People who inspired us | 26 Comments

Our Last Mountain Passes in Japan

It all started innocently enough. We had taken the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto in the morning. We were to spend our last weekend in Japan with our hosts, Ikuo and Harumi Tsuchiya of I’s Bicycles, in Miyama. … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 10 Comments

What to Do with a Bad Book?

I am cleaning out the Bicycle Quarterly Press library. I am keeping all the great books or those that we may need for reference later. This even includes two editions of Eugene Sloane’s Complete Book of Bicycling, which I bought … Continue reading

Posted in books | 34 Comments

Challenge + Teamwork = Fun

My most memorable rides involved a challenge and friends. We came up with a goal, and then we set out, as a group of friends, to achieve that goal. What followed was a magical ride full of seamless teamwork. We … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 22 Comments

How much faster are supple tires?

Improving your tires can make the biggest impact in the speed of your bike (apart from changing the motor!). The difference is especially pronounced for slower riders, whose wind resistance is less than that of faster riders. Most cyclists know … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 71 Comments

The 650B Ancestor: René Herse Randonneur

I had the opportunity to ride a favorite classic René Herse again recently. This is the bike that started the current trend of 650B bikes in North America. It’s the bike that made us re-evaluate front-end geometries and wide tires. … Continue reading

Posted in A Journey of Discovery, Rides, Testing and Tech | 65 Comments

Helmets Wars – Missing the Point

In the U.S., most “responsible” cyclists wear helmets, yet when I cycle in Europe or Japan, I see many cyclotourists who ride without helmets. The Europeans or Japanese don’t seem like dare-devils or poorly informed. What is going on here? … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 211 Comments

Bicycle Quarterly Jerseys

We’ve been wearing Woolistic’s merino 100% wool jerseys for fourteen years now, since we first ordered these for the Seattle Randonneurs. We appreciate the scratch-free comfort and the wide range of temperatures in which these wool jerseys are comfortable. During … Continue reading

Posted in Product News | 20 Comments

Oregon Outback and The Long Way Back

Last week, I rode the 363-mile Oregon Outback gravel road race/ride. It was an epic adventure, and a full report will come soon, either here or in Bicycle Quarterly. In the mean time, you can enjoy first-finisher Ira Ryan’s report … Continue reading

Posted in Rides, Uncategorized | 58 Comments

Summer 2014 Bicycle Quarterly

The Summer 2014 Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer. We spent most of April in Japan, where we found cycling, culture, and bicycle manufacturing that were even more amazing than we ever imagined. This issue features our first reports. For … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues | 8 Comments

Bicycle Quarterly Meeting in September

On September 13-14, 2014, we’ll have a Bicycle Quarterly Meeting in Packwood, WA. The “meeting” is a simple get-together of cyclotourists, not an organized event. Perhaps “un-meeting” would be a better term: there is no registration, no fee, and no … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 16 Comments

Setting Our Own Trends

“You don’t want to give people what they want. Give them something they didn’t know that they wanted.” Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet. This quote really resonated with me. When I pick up other cycling magazines, I am often … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues, Testing and Tech | 28 Comments

Flèche Northwest: 24 Hours, Mostly Rainy

“Le tandem avale la distance,” I thought as we pedaled through the night. “The tandem gobbles up the distance.” Long stretches of road seemed to be compressed during the weekend’s ride, with the difference being that I wasn’t riding my … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 59 Comments

Pro-Joy instead of Anti-Racing

These days, the “real-world” or “alternative” cycling world often seems to define itself by what it is not: It’s not racing. One company even made a patch that said: “Racing Sucks!” Perhaps this sentiment is understandable, considering how much racing … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech | 66 Comments

Three Weeks in Japan

Bicycle Quarterly contributor Hahn Rossman and I just returned from a three-week trip to Japan. It was an incredible visit, filled with excitement, wonder and learning. We rode through wonderful landscapes. We met randonneurs, cyclotourists, bicycle collectors and many others. … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 12 Comments