The 650B Ancestor: René Herse Randonneur

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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. It’s truly the ancestor of the bikes we ride today, and it has been hugely influential.

I first rode this 1952 René Herse more than a decade ago. I didn’t have very high expectations. Wide tires at low pressures? Must be slow. “Suicide” front derailleur? Must be difficult to shift. Huge amount of fork rake? A clear sign they didn’t understand front-end geometry back then. Today, we smile about these assumptions, but back then, they were deeply ingrained in all of us.

Imagine my surprise then when the old Herse was faster than my custom bike. It handled better and was more fun to ride. I set a few personal bests on this bike, and to this day, it holds the fastest time on the challenging “Three Volcano 300 km” brevet.

The old Herse made me realize the merits of 650B tires. I talked about this bike with Grant Petersen from Rivendell, who took up the idea of 650B tires. Then Kogswell asked me for a bike design, and I modeled the P/R’s low-trail geometry on this Herse. And the rest is history…

Seeing and riding the bike again was a lot of fun. Underneath the lovely patina of its 62 years, it amazed me once again how aesthetically and functionally resolved this bike is.

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The Herse stem still is one of the most beautiful ever made. It’s also quite lightweight. The bell is directly attached, and the original owner’s name remains engraved on the stem cap.

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The René Herse crank has become a more common sight these days, but it’s still one of the most beautiful ever made. Too bad about the 38-tooth middle ring, which is the largest ring that didn’t always have the triangular cutouts. I think it would look a lot nicer with the cutouts, so we added them to the 38-tooth rings on the current-production René Herse cranks.

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The Herse cantilever brakes are among the lightest ever made, yet they work very well. Details like the rack attachment to a forward extension of the brake attachment bolt are elegant and functional. (Several companies now offer copies of these bolts.)

Every component and every bolt is only as large as it needs to be. This doesn’t only save weight, but also makes the bike so elegant.

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The Herse front derailleur shifts very smoothly, even on a triple. At first, I found it difficult to move the chain from the big to the middle chainring – it went straight to the small ring. After a few shifts, it became second nature, and I never thought about it again.

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The Cyclo rear derailleur has an aesthetic purity that must have appealed to René Herse. It shifts surprisingly well. This one needed a little lubrication: Front shifts tended to rotate the entire derailleur on its support, rather than just the chain tensioner arm. The result was an unexpected rear shift every other time I shifted on the front. When I rode the bike years ago, it didn’t have that problem…

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Herse made an eccentric shift lever, since the Cyclo derailleur moves inward and outward as you shift. Otherwise, the shifter cable goes slack on the largest cogs. One thing that is easy to miss in this photo: There is no lighting wire going from the fork to the frame. The current is transmitted via a carbon brush inside the head tube.

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You can see where the inspiration for the Compass taillight came from! We had to modify the shape so it looked good with a flat reflector instead of the curved lens of this old JOS taillight.

You also notice how the rear brake cable runs parallel to the seatstay. That is one of the reasons the classic Herse’s look so light and elegant.

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I wish somebody would make a headlight that was nearly as pretty as the old JOS. This is Herse’s special version, with no mounting bracket, since it attaches directly to the support on the rack. The lighting wire runs inside the rack tubes.

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The only lighting wire that is exposed on the entire bike is at the rear. Here, it leaves the fender and immediately enters the seatstay.  A little further down, it exits the seatstay at the bottle generator. All other lighting wires are internal. I love the blue line painted on the “Le Paon” fenders, outlined in gold.

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The bottom bracket shell doesn’t look special, until you realize that it was fabricated from pieces of tubing that were welded together. On the inside, there are shoulders to locate the pressed-in SKF cartridge bearings for Herse’s custom bottom bracket. The bearings have never been overhauled in the bike’s 62-year life, yet they still spin smoothly.

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This photo epitomizes the craft of René Herse for me. The stays extend as far as possible toward the rear axle. As a result, the custom-made dropouts are tiny, which saves significant weight and also makes the frame stronger. The workmanship is close to perfect. (The slight rounding-off you see on the stay ends happened during the polishing for chrome-plating.)

Notice how fender eyelet is placed on a smaller radius than the smallest freewheel cog. That way, the nut that protrudes on the inside doesn’t interfere with the chain on the smallest cog. Few makers, past or present, have resolved details like these in such a neat and unobtrusive way.

So how was it to ride the 1952 Herse again? When I first rode it 11 years ago, it was a revelation, but today, it feels surprisingly familiar. The main reason is that my current bike is basically an updated version of the 1952 Herse. (So are about a dozen test bikes I’ve ridden for Bicycle Quarterly.) The differences are slight: My own bike feels like a 105% version of the 1952 machine, with slightly more flexible fork blades, a slightly more responsive frame, slightly better shifting (my Nivex vs. the Herse’s Cyclo) and slightly better brakes (centerpulls vs. cantilevers). Even the weight of the 1952 Herse (11.2 kg/24.8 lb including the pump) remains more than competitive for a modern bike that is fully equipped.

I rode the bike on a beautiful spring day. Mark and I headed out on our “standard” loop around the North End of Lake Washington. We rode up Juanita Hill, and it was obvious that Mark was feeling strong that day. We raced up the hill with abandon, and more than once I felt like surrendering. But somehow the bike kept going, and toward the top, I even felt good enough to try to outsprint Mark. I managed a clean shift with the Cyclo derailleur, but when I rose out of the saddle, my legs almost buckled, and Mark pulled away. Can’t blame the old bike for that!

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We stopped at a café in Kirkland, and just as we were leaving, a Ford Model T racer pulled up. Now here was a machine that was even older than this Herse. However, unlike the Herse, which easily holds its own with modern machines, I doubt the Model T holds any course records today!

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

Helmets Wars – Missing the Point

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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? I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’ve concluded that helmets don’t matter all that much, compared to other factors that that influence the safety of cycling.

Please note that I am not anti-helmet. When I was in college in Germany during the late 1980s, I was one of two cyclists in town who wore a helmet. I’ve worn a helmet on most rides since then. Even so, I have revised my views on this topic – while continuing to wear a helmet.

As an individual cyclist, safety comes from being able to control your bike and from being able to anticipate traffic’s often erroneous moves. On a societal level, safety comes from having so many cyclists on the road that cycling is normal and accepted.
A helmet is only the last line of defense when everything else fails.

What about the arguments in the “helmet wars”? Let’s look at them one by one:

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1. Most cyclists who died didn’t wear helmets (used as proof that helmets save lives).

This analysis assumes that riders who wear helmets and those who don’t wear helmets otherwise behave identically. They don’t.

Consider that 25% of cycling fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Most people who are getting killed aren’t randonneurs on night-time rides. They are people who lost their driver’s license because of drunk driving. (31% of cycling fatalities have blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher.) These fatalities were on their way home from the bar. Most of them don’t wear helmets, but they also are riding a bicycle while intoxicated, without lights, usually on busy highways, just after the bars close. The lack of helmets is their smallest problem.

To figure out how effective helmets really are, you’d need a randomized trial, where you assign riders randomly to wear helmets or not each day they ride. The riders shouldn’t know whether they are wearing a helmet, so you’d give the “no-helmet” riders a placebo – something that looks like a helmet, but doesn’t protect your head. Of course, you wouldn’t do a trial where you potentially put riders in harm’s way…

So these statistics are misleading. The good news for us is that the statistics also overestimate the dangers of cycling. If you do not ride drunk, without lights, after midnight, on busy highways, then you already have reduced your accident risk significantly.

A better way is to compare statistics from one country to the next. And there, we find little evidence that the countries where people wear helmets (like Sweden) see fewer cycling head injuries than those where people don’t wear helmets (like Denmark).

Conclusion: Helmet use doesn’t seem to have a great impact on cyclist fatality rates.

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2. Helmets make cycling appear more dangerous than it is.

In the U.S., when I part with people and get on my bike, many say: “Be safe!” or “Be careful out there!” I don’t get that in France, where people encourage me with “Pedalez bien!” (Ride well!)

When I drive a car or walk, nobody says “Be safe!” Modern cars are equipped with airbags, so you don’t have a wear a helmet while driving. It would be cheaper and safer to wear helmets – race cars don’t have airbags, yet are much safer than the cars we drive on the road. But helmets would reinforce the message that you are about to engage in a dangerous activity, whereas airbags are invisible until you need them…

In reality, cycling becomes safer if more people ride. Cycling in Copenhagen is relatively safe not because the cyclists there are more skilled. Nor do the cyclepaths reduce the risk of accidents (they don’t). Cycling in Copenhagen is safe because everybody is used to looking for cyclists.

Furthermore, if everybody cycles, drivers no longer harbor resentments against cyclists for their presumed political views and social preferences. In the U.S., much of the animosity against cyclists stems from what people perceive cyclists to stand for – city dwellers, liberals, granola-crunchers – rather than from the minor inconvenience they may cause.

Conclusion: Emphasizing helmets discourages people from cycling, which makes cycling less safe.

LeschiFirst

3. Helmets provide a false sense of security, therefore people feel they can take more risks.

The initial argument for risk compensation was based on the fact that more cyclists die in countries where riders wear helmets (U.S., UK) than in countries where cyclists ride bare-headed (Europe). The conclusion was that helmets somehow make cycling less safe, and the best hypothesis seemed to be that riders who wear helmets feel invulnerable and take greater risks (risk compensation).

The data do not support this analysis. In the U.S., most riders who die don’t wear helmets (see 1), so the higher death rate in the U.S. cannot be explained by risk compensation of helmet-wearers. In fact, helmets take the “carefree” out of cycling and make people more aware of the risks (see 2.).

There is a concern about helmets, though: If we tell new cyclists that a helmet is all they need to guarantee their safety, we are putting them in harm’s way. Real safety comes from accident avoidance through looking ahead, anticipating others’ behavior, and judging the road conditions correctly.

We see the same in cars, where we North Americans focus on buying big cars with the best safety ratings, but not on learning to drive well. And our traffic fatalities are among the highest in the industrialized world, much higher than in countries where people drive small (and relatively unsafe) cars with greater skill.

Conclusion: As a society, a focus on helmets detracts from teaching about real safety.

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So where does all that leave us? From my perspective, there are two conclusions:

  1. On an individual level, wearing a helmet is a good idea. It is likely to reduce your injuries in many crashes, and it rarely seems to do any harm. The “rotational brain injuries” often quoted by helmet opponents seem to be very, very rare, if they occur at all. (I hit my head and cracked my helmet in a recent accident, and fortunately did not sustain a head injury. I only broke my hand.)
  2. On a societal level, insisting on helmets is detrimental. It detracts from the facts that a) cycling is relatively safe, and b) that safety lies in preventing accidents more than in trying to survive them.

Wear a helmet if you are an “optimizer” – the type who worries about the last 5% in performance or safety. (I do wear a helmet!) But don’t tell anybody else to wear one, or not to wear one! Instead, let’s focus on teaching cycling and traffic skills.

Will this analysis end the “helmet wars”? I am not holding my breath… and with that, I am opening up the comments, and ducking for cover.

Posted in Cycling Safety | 211 Comments

Bicycle Quarterly Jerseys

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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 long rides, we are glad these jerseys don’t smell like synthetic clothing… They’ve been remarkably durable: I am still wearing the very first jersey I ordered in 2000.

When I designed the Seattle Randonneurs jerseys back then, I tried to find a color that was brightly visible but not garish when we are out on our bikes. The “Italian Champion Blue” with simple white lettering doesn’t clash with most bicycle colors.

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We now decided to have Bicycle Quarterly jerseys made along the same lines. They are  made by Woolistic in Italy, and they simply show our logo on the front and the back. Three rear pockets, short zipper, long or short sleeves. Limited quantities.

Click here for more information or to order.

Posted in Product News | 20 Comments

Oregon Outback and The Long Way Back

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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 here.

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I saw Ira’s tire tracks much of the time, and he even wrote “Go Jan!” in the gravel during one particularly hard stretch toward the finish. Thank you, Ira!

I finished second, a bit less than two hours after Ira. My goal was to beat 30 hours, and I made it with 2 minutes to spare. (I took the photo above after trying to find somebody at the finish, but realized as an “unorganized” event, there wasn’t anybody there.)

After resting for 30 minutes, it was time to take stock. I was 100 miles from the next train station in Portland, and the wind was howling up the Columbia Gorge. Riding into that wind would not be fun. And on Memorial Day weekend, the trains (or at least the bike spaces) might be fully booked. There was some vague talk about a shuttle to Portland from a bike shop nearby, but I didn’t know the details, nor the schedule.

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My bike was in great shape, having survived the challenges of the Oregon Outback better than its rider. Not a single flat on the Compass Babyshoe Pass Extralight tires, nothing broke or fell off during hundreds of miles of rattling and bouncing from rock to rock.

The chain squeaked because it was so dry – I should have lubed it before the event! And the spare spokes that I had attached to my fender stays with cloth handlebar tape were gone. The vibrations had worn through the tape, and the spokes had fallen off. That shows how punishing this ride was, but neither were significant issues…

Before I left Seattle, I had heard that Chinook Pass was to open this weekend. So I chose Option 2: just ride home. I figured I could cover the roughly 350 km (220 miles) in two days.

As I was about to cross the Columbia River, I ran into a group of bicycle tourists. One of them, a Bicycle Quarterly reader, recognized my bike and offered some chain lube, which was greatly appreciated. The climb out of the Columbia River Gorge was slow into the howling winds, but the shower and bed in Goldendale’s nice motel were welcome.

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I only had brought maps for the course of the Oregon Outback, but at the upper edge of the last map, I could see some small roads going through the Simcoe Mountains as an alternative to the busy Highway 97. It was an easy choice…

So I found myself on the edge of town, heading into the hills. Ahead was a gorgeous view of Mount Adams. Wildflowers were in full bloom. Life was good.

I had planned to re-inflate my tires to their “road” pressures, but had been too tired the night before. Now I was glad…

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After a few hours of riding on empty roads, I came to the boundary of the Yakima Indian Reservation. The signs had very specific instructions on what was not allowed: Hunting? No. Alcohol or controlled substances? No. Firearms? No. Sightseeing? Well, I was just traveling through. I thought I passed the entrance exam and continued along the inviting road.

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I didn’t see anybody for the next few hours. From time to time, I caught a glimpse of Mount Adams in the distance, so I knew I was still traveling in roughly the right north-easterly direction. (I was off my maps by now.) After a few hours of riding, I got on pavement again, and then saw a sign for a gate ahead.

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At the guard station, I was detained by two officers of the tribal police. It turns out that these mountains are restricted tribal land of the Yakima Nation, and non-members of the tribe are not allowed there. The officers were surprised to see a cyclists: “That is definitely a first!” They radioed the head game warden to come and deal with me. They were friendly, and we chatted for an hour while we waited.

Things became a little more tense when the head warden arrived, radioed for a case number for trespass, and wrote me a ticket for $ 100. I don’t think any of us expected that, since I had no ill intent. If I wanted to argue my case, I could take it to tribal court. At least I was free, and allowed to continue… and the game wardens had mapped me a nice route through the reservation.

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Eastern Washington has a feel of the “Old West” to it, and nowhere more so than on the reservation. When I passed this man looking for a ride at this lonesome intersection, I called out: “Hi!” His reply was “I don’t get high!” His joke had me smile for miles thereafter.

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Food is a problem east of the Cascades – Coca-Cola, potato chips and candy bars get old very quickly. Fortunately, this fruit stand had fresh cherries. I bought a container, put it in my handlebar bag, and ate them while riding through the afternoon heat. Like Hänsel and Gretel, you could follow my tracks by the cherry pits I left behind.

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Trying to get around Yakima, I got a bit lost as I went up the wrong canyon, although the lovely roads made the detour well worth the while. Finally, I found my way to Cowiche. A few sprinkles fell as a huge thunderstorm passed to my East.

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I had a final fright when the road to Naches was closed – which would have meant a long, long detour most of the way to Yakima, and then riding back on the busy roads I was trying to avoid. But the repaving was done, and I was able to pass through on a road that just lacked striping. I was even more lucky to find a hotel room in Naches…

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The next day took me across the Cascades. Chinook Pass is a long slog – 80 km (50 miles) uphill. Clouds were covering the mountains, but there also were sunbreaks. The rainbows were beautiful. I only got hit by a few sprinkles, but the roads were wet, so I was glad to have fenders on my bike – even though they had been of little use during the Oregon Outback.

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After a few hours of gentle climbing in the valley, the road pitched up for the final ascent to the pass. With clouds obscuring the view, it was wintry up here.

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The top: Time to put on every piece of clothing I carried in my handlebar bag!

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On the other side of the pass, it was raining hard, but fortunately, it wasn’t very cold. Once I left the mountains, the sun came out, and it became another transport stage back to Seattle. I missed my goal of getting home in time for dinner by an hour and a half, though…

The trip back added an adventure to the adventure. Thank you to the guys from VeloDirt for putting on the Oregon Outback – definitely one of the most challenging rides I have done – and enticing me to ride all the way from southern Oregon to Seattle over the course of a long weekend.

Posted in Rides, Uncategorized | 58 Comments

Summer 2014 Bicycle Quarterly

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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 our tour of the Shinshu Mountains (cover), we set out with a rudimentary map and no Japanese language skills. We discovered empty roads, met monkeys and climbed mythical mountain passes. Join us in this splendid adventure!

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We got to look over the shoulders of two Keirin framebuilders. Learn about the mythical “NJS-approved” bicycles used for this unique sport. Join us as we visit Panaracer to find out how tires are made, and discuss tire technology with Panaracer’s engineers.

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We witnessed an impressive demonstration of “Rinko”, which transformed a full randonneur bike into a travel-ready package – in just 12 minutes.

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From today’s Japan, we take you to mid-century Italy: After more than a decade of research on Tullio Campagnolo, the time has come to reassess a few of the legends that surround the most revered of all bicycle companies. Did Campagnolo really invent the quick release? Where did the inspiration for the parallelogram derailleur come from? More importantly, we explore how Campagnolo’s concept of a component group, with all parts designed to work together seamlessly, revolutionized bicycles. We look at many of Campagnolo’s large and small innovations that continue to be used today.

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Closer to home, we rode two wide-tire titanium bikes. Can Lynskey’s 650B machine combine the joyous performance of their racing model with the comfort and handling of wide tires?

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Bilenky’s tandem has it all: titanium frame, couplers, full touring racks, wide 650B tires, low-trail geometry… How does this impressive feat of fabrication perform on the road?

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Who doesn’t want to go faster with less energy? Learn about the aero tuck in our Skills column. We show you how to increase your downhill speed. Stop pedaling and tuck instead!

Those are just a few of the articles in the Summer 2014 Bicycle Quarterly. Subscribe today to receive the new issue without delay.

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues | 8 Comments

Bicycle Quarterly Meeting in September

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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 services will be provided. Several of us will be there on that given date, and anyone can join us on rides into the surrounding mountains. We’ll have a few route sheets for a number of rides, both on gravel and on pavement, covering between about 50 and 100 miles each. (No sag wagons, obviously.)

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The Bicycle Quarterly Meeting is inspired by Vélocio’s “meetings” of the 1920s. Vélocio simply put a note with the date and location in his magazine, Le Cycliste, and anybody could show up. Vélocio rode to these meetings from Saint-Etienne – which meant that he didn’t always make it, especially if the winds were unfavorable or his progress was slowed by other circumstances. Whether the maitre was there or not, everybody had a good time.

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Our meeting this year will be in Packwood, a little town nestled in a deep valley within the Cascade Mountains, between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. You will have the opportunity to ride on some of the roads you’ve read about in Bicycle Quarterly, including Skate Creek Road (below) and parts of the course for the Volcano High Pass Super Randonnée.

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You’ll need to make your own travel arrangements. Packwood has a few small hotels. The Hotel Packwood (360.494.5431) is especially recommended. There is a campground (www.packwoodrv.com) as well. The surrounding national forests allow camping as well.

To remain in the spirit of Vélocio’s meetings, we invite you to travel to the meeting by bike and train, rather than by car. The nearest train station is Centralia, WA. From there, it is a 127 mostly flat kilometers (71 miles) to Packwood. We hope to see you there.

More details will follow – start location and time for the ride, and maybe an informal get-together that night at the Packwood pizza place. (Unfortunately, the dining options don’t match the scenery.) It’ll be fun!

Posted in Rides | 16 Comments

Setting Our Own Trends

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“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 disappointed. They talk about the trends of the moment. Right now I’m pleased that they seem to be wider tires, gravel racing, 650B wheels, and city bikes with porteur racks. I should be happy, and yet there isn’t anything inspirational or new. It’s like reading yesterday’s newspaper…

During a recent solitary ride, I finally realized why this is so. Most magazines live off their advertising revenue. The magazines rely on the bike industry to bring them ideas and content, and so they report on what the industry is pushing at any given time.

As a result, the magazines are unlikely to present new ideas. Why would a bike magazine clamor for a way of riding for which the bikes do not yet exist? Why would they suggest products that their advertisers do not yet sell? Why would they do testing that refutes commonly-held beliefs (and the advertising claims that are based on them)?

Bicycle Quarterly has a different business model from most magazines: We are financed by our readers – by cyclists. This results in a fundamentally different point of view, which has led us to think about what we – the cyclists – need, not what the industry wants to sell.

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We are pleased to have been trend-setters in many instances. Looking back over 12 years of publication, here are some things we suggested long before they became commonplace:

  • Compact double cranks: In our very first issue, we rode an Alex Singer with 46-32 chainrings. We found this gearing ideal for most riding. At the time, the big makers only offered 53-39 racing cranks or triples.
  • Gravel riding: Nine years ago, we wrote about the beauty of riding on gravel roads in the mountains.
  • Tire performance: At a time when the industry still was fawning over ceramic bearings, we looked at tires and found that they make the biggest difference in your bike’s performance. Through careful testing, we identified what makes a tire fast.
  • Front loads: Our testing showed that front loads are easier to balance and much better when riding out of the saddle – as long as your bike has the appropriate frame geometry.
  • Metal fenders: We pointed out that the uninterrupted interior and better coverage of a longer front fender kept you drier. We also weighed aluminum fenders and found that they were lighter than plastic ones.

It has been nice to see these trends adopted by the industry and – finally – by the magazines. But it’s also sad to see that many great things still don’t get exposure in mainstream magazines:

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Fully integrated performance bikes: We are starting to see a few city bikes that come with racks, fenders and lights, but if you like spirited riding, you are still told to buy a racing bike that is not much fun in the rain or at night. Bicycle Quarterly has featured and tested many bikes that combine performance with the utility of fenders, lights and a bag. What we want is the Porsche 911 of bicycles – a great performance machine that can be used every day, even when you are running errands.

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Truly wide high-performance tires: I am encouraged when I read about “wider tires” being “hot.” Then I realize that the magazines are talking about 25 mm tires. Why not ask for bikes with 38 mm tires and the performance of a racing bike?

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Well-designed lights: Most current lights use simple beam patterns that would be illegal in cars. Not only do they blind oncoming traffic, but they also put too much light in the near field and not enough into the middle distance. This makes riding at night tiring and difficult. Better optics put a well-distributed beam of light on the road, and only on the road. These lights are available, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the big bike magazines.

These are just a few examples of products that the industry doesn’t push and that the magazines don’t ask for. These products tend to be hard to make or expensive, so the bike industry isn’t too keen to offer them.

At Bicycle Quarterly, we are proud to write from the perspective of riders. Our concern never has been “What does the industry want?” but “What do we need to take our cycling to the next level?”

As a result, we have nudged and pushed the industry toward better, more versatile bikes that are also more fun to ride. And when some of these trends finally make it into the mainstream, we are happy to have contributed to making cycling more fun for more people.

Click here for more information about Bicycle Quarterly.

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