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.

From the Bicycle Quarterly Bookstore

Today, it’s raining in Seattle, which makes me want to settle into a comfy chair with a book. The Bicycle Quarterly bookstore sells a small selection of excellent books. If we sell a book, it’s because we like it and … Continue reading

Posted in books | 5 Comments

How to Brake on a Bicycle

Whether you ride fast or slow, being able to stop quickly is an important skill. Your ability to stop also depends on how well your brakes perform. In Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1, we tested brake performance to determine: … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues, Cycling Safety, Testing and Tech | 84 Comments

Walking Your Bike

When the terrain is incredibly steep or rough, cyclists tend to crank it out instead of walking. Walking might feel like defeat – they didn’t “clear” that section. I have gotten to the point where I don’t mind walking when … Continue reading

Posted in Rides, Testing and Tech | 78 Comments

Separated Cycle Paths: Who Asks the Cyclists?

In the discussion about separate or “protected” cycle tracks, it has been surprising that planners and decision makers don’t seem to want input from those who actually ride bikes. In some cases, there is open disdain for those who have … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 167 Comments

Happy 100th Birthday, Madame Porthault!

Today is the 100th birthday of Paulette Porthault! Madame Porthault was an avid cyclotourist from the early 1930s until well into her 80s. She has been an incredible resource for information and insight into the “Golden Age” of French cyclotouring. … Continue reading

Posted in People who inspired us | 11 Comments

The Appeal of Randonneuring

Randonneuring is often described as a “big tent” with many valid approaches, and there are many reasons why people ride their bikes long distances. For me, it comes down to three elements: Beauty: I live in the city, but I … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 25 Comments

A full line of Extra Leger tires

The Grand Bois Extra Léger tires have been available for the better part of a year now, and the feedback has been entirely positive. Compared to the standard Grand Bois tires, the Extra Léger (Extralight) models use an even lighter … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 39 Comments

Cyclepaths: Perceived Safety and Actual Safety

I’ll say it up front: I want to see more people ride bikes for transportation. However, I am also concerned when perceived safety turns out to be anything but… which is exactly what happens with the “protected” bike lanes that … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 70 Comments

Staying Ahead of the Tour de France

Throughout my recent trip to France, I tried to stay ahead of the Tour de France. It just turned out that way… wherever I went, the Tour seemed to be about to arrive as well. And with the Tour came … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 20 Comments

Col de Pavezin

Vélocio, the founder of the cyclotouring movement in France, has long been a great inspiration. Imagine my delight when I suddenly found myself on one of the maître’s favorite roads! I was riding from the Rhône valley, where I had … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 13 Comments

700C x 29 mm Extra Léger Tires

We asked Grand Bois for Extra Léger tires in other sizes than those already available. As a result, we now have a limited quantity of 700C x 29 mm (28 mm nominal width) Grand Bois Extra-Léger tires available. They are … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 15 Comments

Cyclepaths in Berlin

I recently visited relatives in Berlin, Germany. One morning, I borrowed an old mountain bike and rode around town. I love Berlin, especially the neighborhoods away from the tourist bustle. It’s so down-to-earth and accessible. Berlin mixes businesses and residential … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 39 Comments

New Books: Rebour and Everyday Bicycling

We have 2 excellent cycling books to share with you. We reviewed them in the Summer 2013 issue of Bicycle Quarterly and they are now are available through our web site. Elly Blue’s Everyday Bicycling is one of the rare books … Continue reading

Posted in books | 2 Comments

Partners on the Road

I am always surprised how many cyclists are afraid of cars and their drivers, or have downright animosity to them. I prefer to see drivers as partners in a big game called Traffic. It starts with the wording: “Share the … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 58 Comments

Tour de France: The Unsung Influence of Cyclotourists

The 100th Tour de France started today. Wherever you look, there are retrospectives: in magazines and newspapers, on TV and the radio. Winners get to write history, and so the role of cyclotourists in the development of the most famous … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues | 7 Comments

Extra-Leger Tires in Stock

Many of our customers have been waiting patiently for the Grand Bois Extra Léger tires. These tires are made in small quantities, so they are hard to keep in stock. We just received another shipment. The latest batch has tan … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 34 Comments

Super Randonnée 600 Reconnaissance, Part 2

In a previous post, I described our reconnaissance trip for the Super Randonnée 600. We climbed a dirt road pass at night, and even though we had to hike through some snow still left from the winter, it was passable. … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 7 Comments

Viennese Mechanics’ Bikes

Late last year, Richard Hollinek sent me a calendar about Viennese “mechanics’ bikes” – bikes built by small builders in Vienna, Austria. The calendar hangs in our bathroom, and I smile every time I see it. The “mechanics’ bikes” are … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Climbing Dirt Roads at Night

Ever since the Super Randonnée 600 program was announced by RUSA, we’ve been planning our ride. Even though RUSA cancelled the program, we’ve been pursuing the idea. (You still can ride the SR600 by applying directly to the ACP in … Continue reading

Posted in Rides | 17 Comments

It’s Not Easy to Be Honest

I used to wonder why manufacturers offer things that are popular, even though they don’t work well. I recently read an interview with a BMW engineer, who complained about the huge wheels that the company now puts on their cars. … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 89 Comments