Gift Ideas from Compass Bicycles

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This year, the holiday season has snuck up on me. I’ve been so busy with testing bikes, writing articles for Bicycle Quarterly, and developing new products, that suddenly it’s December, and I wonder what to give to those who are special in my life. Worse yet, family and relatives ask me about my wishes.

The same may be happening to you, so here are some great gift ideas. Forward them to anybody who asks “What would you like for …” Click on the photos or links for more info.

Magazine:

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If you read this, chances are that you already subscribe to Bicycle Quarterly. If not, it’s a great gift idea. The magazine provides inspiration for rides, tests great products, explores fascinating history, and is simply an overall good read – especially the extra-large 50th issue. The most common complaint is that it does not appear often enough! We also offer back issues, in case you already have a subscription. $36

Books:

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Goggles & Dust is a lovely little book with photos of 1920s and 1930s racers. You can spend hours marveling at the bikes, the clothes and the facial expressions of the “heroes of the open road.” $17

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Our large-format Calendar of Classic Bicycles will accompany you through the year, with beautiful studio photos of some of the most amazing bicycles ever made. $15

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Need for the Bike is my favorite cycling book. Philosopher Paul Fournel writes about why we ride. He’s a true philosopher, and he doesn’t hide behind inscrutable prose. It’s a lovely read, and on every page, you’ll nod your head in agreement and yet learn something new. $17

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The René Herse Posters bring two of our favorite images from the René Herse archives to your wall. Large (23″ x 32″) posters printed on coated stock and varnished for protection. Ready-t0-frame. $20 / $ 35 for both.

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The Competition Bicycle is the sequel to our classic The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles. Even if racing bikes are not your thing, you’ll learn how bicycle technology developed and enjoy the beautiful studio photos of some of the rarest bicycles in the world. $50

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TOEI – The Art of the Beautiful Bicycle is a great photo book about the amazing bikes that TOEI has made over the last 50+ years. The text is in Japanese, but the beautiful photos are a joy to behold without foreign language skills. Limited quantities, so if you want this book, put it on your gift list now! $70

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Reviewers have called our René Herse book a masterpiece. It wasn’t difficult to write about such a rich and fascinating subject: beautiful bikes, great events, wonderful friendships between riders. The joy of cycling radiates from every photo, and the stories that go with them are incredible. This book isn’t just about René Herse, but about a time when cycling was more than a pastime – it was a way of life. $86

Signed Limited Edition comes in a slipcase and includes four ready-to-frame prints. $185

“I can hardly put it down. This book is so much more than I expected.”
Constance Winters, Lovely Bicycle

Clothing

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Our Merino Wool Jerseys isn’t just the most comfortable jersey you’ll ever wear, it’s also one of the most durable. The blue color is visible on the road, yet blends into the landscape. Available with short and long sleeves. $155 – 165

Components:

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The René Herse Straddle Cable Hanger looks like a holiday ornament. It won’t make your bike perform better, but it will make it prettier. $38 (pair).

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Waterbottle Cages: Nitto and Iribe cages combine beauty and function – a great addition to any bike. Add a Compass Water Bottle to make it a complete set. $60 and up.

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If you haven’t tried supple, wide tires yet, this is your chance. Ask for a set, and you’ll smile on every ride. $57 – 78

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Tired of overhauling creaking bottom brackets? The SKF bottom bracket is designed for 65,000 trouble-free miles and comes with a 10-year warranty. $149

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Perhaps the ultimate holiday gift are our René Herse Cranks. Giving you a choice of chainrings in single, double or triple configuration, you’ll never find yourself in the wrong gear again! $435 – 495

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The holiday season always is busy, but I look forward to taking a break and going for a ride, even if it’s only around the city.

All of us at Compass Bicycles wish you and yours a happy holiday season!

Photo credit: Fred Blasdel (top photo)

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. Bicycle Quarterly's sister company, Compass Bicycles Ltd., turns the results of our research into high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
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20 Responses to Gift Ideas from Compass Bicycles

  1. Luis Bernhardt says:

    “It won’t make your bike perform better, but it will make it prettier.” I am overwhelmed by your honesty, Jan! This can pretty much be said of most expensive bike components (like my Campag Super Record dual pivot rear brake, a rather blatant example), but no manufacturer/marketer will ever come out and say it. It does give me greater confidence in the quality/utility of the rest of your products, which I imagine was the intent of being so honest. Chapeau!

    • Thank you for the kind words. I think we should stop apologizing for wanting our bikes to look beautiful.

      To me, aesthetics are important. Otherwise, we could all run around dressed in rags, and sit on empty crates instead of chairs in our homes. My bikes are my most cherished possessions, and I want their appearance to reflect that.

  2. David Cain says:

    if you don’t mind me asking, I’m curious where you found the tan knickers you’ve been wearing in recent photos? Is this something Compass might offer at some point? They appear to have the perfect balance between function and presentability.

    • It’s funny that from our big holiday gift list, you want something that we don’t offer. The knickers are made by Montbell, and I do like them a lot. Currently, they are available in Japan only. (Montbell’s North American program doesn’t include them.)

      • David Cain says:

        Oops.. No offence intended in asking. I was just curious as I’ve long been interested in finding something along these lines. Let me just say that both the magazine and the offerings of Compass Bicycles are amazing. I often wonder how you manage so much top notch output, both in the literary and component realm. Hats off to you, your work, and your vision!

      • No “oops” and no offense at all! It just struck me as funny – I bought the knickers in Japan, and I really like them, but I haven’t talked about them at all. Yet people see them in photos, and I’ve got a good number of requests about them.

  3. David Pearce says:

    To paraphrase Dylan (and I don’t mean Dylan Thomas), “Everybody’s got to sell something,” but I don’t think you’re doing it right. I saw NOTHING from you about Black Friday and early opening hours. NOTHING about busting any doors. And I certainly saw ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Cyber Monday, which is certainly your bailiwick, nor about “Cyber Monday Deals Continue All Week,” nor “Hurry, only 3 days remain for Holiday Deals, nor “Don’t Miss Out, These Deals Only Good ‘Til Midnight!”.

    Jan’s Team, I love you guys, but you gotta speak to the big man. He just is not effective at selling the product. Also, jingles might be good. Something zippy like, “Compass Cycle Parts/ They’re Shiny!!”

  4. Ford Kanzler says:

    It strikes me that two of my favorite brands are in the cycling equipment business, Compass and Rivendell. Small, privately-owned, individualized (differentiated) and forthcoming…businesses and people I enjoy supporting with purchases and recommendations.
    Holiday Best!

  5. Lar Davis says:

    Just got my new issue – so finely presented, and I look forward to soaking up all the info and images. Thanks for the high quality of work!
    KAMICO™ Easy Knickers Men’s Style #2105221 in “Asian Fit” was what I found on Montbell’s site; but not sure if that’s what you’re wearing – drawstring/tape waist?

  6. Peter Mathews says:

    Sadly freight to Australia is prohibitive and just about doubles the price of a subscription. If you offered cheaper postage I would have renewed my sub to BQ. I’ll miss reading it ;-(

    • Unfortunately, overseas postage is very expensive. We actually subsidize international subscriptions, since they otherwise would be prohibitive. Sending a single copy of the current issue overseas costs between $ 10.82 and $ 12.35, depending on the country! Multiply that by four issues a year… For some countries, we send larger packages of magazines to friends, who then re-mail them. This saves time and a little money, but the fact is that overseas subscriptions always will be costly.

      • Peter Chesworth says:

        I live in Australia but still consider BQ a bargain. It is not substitutable. Audax/rando club blogs are a nice read but BQ has the depth, rigour, artwork and opinions.

      • Perhaps you can consider an online version of BQ to skirt the postage issue, like what the newspapers are now doing. You don’t get the nice quality of paper, but I would imagine subscribers could just print their own on whatever stock they wanted if they wanted a tangible copy. Of course, this might cannibalize the sale of the hardcopy version of BQ in the US (the online version would have to be cheaper), but it could increase international circulation.

      • The online version would actually cost significantly more than the print version. We are too small to have our own platform for this, and all the providers like Apple charge 30-50% of the cover price to administer the subscriptions. Plus, this would reduce our print run, which would increase the cost of the printed copies, too, so it would result in a hefty price increase all-around.

        And you wouldn’t get the same resolution on-screen as you would with the print copies.

    • marmotte27 says:

      Including the price for single issue overseas postage quoted by Jan, a BQ subscription is probably no more expensive than sunscribing to anyone of the worthless cycling-magazines published in your country (my calculation is based on actual subsricption rates for ‘Le Cycle’ in France).

  7. Jan, thanks for the explanation. I also found the reference to why you don’t do digital issues in your July 2011 blog, and I tend to be in agreement. When I did my MBA, they required two copies of the final thesis be printed on acid-free paper, which they then bound for posterity!

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