The Winter 2012 edition of Bicycle Quarterly magazine has returned from the printer and will be in the mail shortly. In this issue, we focus on titanium racing bikes and modern shifting systems. A titanium bike shoot-out in Bicycle Quarterly? We look at the best modern bicycles to establish benchmarks of what performance we can expect from a bicycle – any bicycle. So we test two top-of-the-line titanium racing bikes, a Seven Axiom SL and a Lynskey Helix.
The two test bikes are equipped with the latest in electronic shifting: Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS. How are these systems different, and how do they compare to mechanical systems? In addition, we give you an overview of the strong and weak points of the three most popular shifting systems: Shimano STI, SRAM DoubleTap and Campagnolo Ergopower. If you are looking for a modern shifting system, our evaluations will help you choose the system that will work best for you, based on your riding style and preferences!
We were really impressed with the performance of these titanium racers, and we wondered: How much speed are we giving up by insisting on fully equipped bikes? So we pitted the best of the Ti bikes against Mark’s 650B randonneur bike on a hillclimb. How much faster is the Ti bike on the uphill? And what about the twisty downhill?
Surprisingly, the lightest bike in this issue is not one of the modern titanium bikes, but a 1975 machine. To round off our “Titanium Shootout,” we feature a Speedwell with superlight components, and explore the history of the first commercially successful titanium bike. A Speedwell also appears to have been the first bike ridden to a Tour de France victory that was not made from steel.
For many readers, a favorite part of Bicycle Quarterly our inspirational ride stories. This time, I take you along to explore unpaved gravel passes in the Cascade Mountains late in the year. With unknown roads and snow falling, the scene was set for a truly epic adventure.
We take you on a trip to Philadelphia, where we visit two very different makers of custom bicycles: Bilenky Cycle Works and Engin Cycles. Enjoy the photographs of their shops and learn about the builders’ philosophies.
As always, there is much more, including a technical article that explains how chainring ramps work, book reviews, new products, tests and My Favorite Bicycle. Click here for more information about the current issue of Bicycle Quarterly, or here to subscribe.