Bicycle Quarterly Tire Test

20 12 2008

I posted this originally in November 2006. Since then I’ve resubscribed and found BQ to be an amazing resource. This is one of the few sources for scientific test data on bicycle performance you’ll find.  I suppose that makes sense as unlike with other glossy bike magazines BQ gets most of it’s revenue from reader subscriptions not from advertising so it can afford to actually point out what works and what doesn’t.  The tire test in the issue below is one of the most useful articles I’ve ever read and something I refer to on a regular basis.

Jan Heine deserves kudos for putting out a very special publication.  If you have never read BQ I encourage you to order up this one back issue just for the tire test.  You will likely find yourself subscribing and looking forward to each issue.

BQ - my favourite bike magazineI received my first issue of Bicycle Quarterly Magazine yesterday published by Jan Heine. I have heard about this publication for a while, but was hesitant to subscribe. It was formerly titled Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and I was not sure how much of the content would be of interest to me.

There was a lot of commotion on the ‘net about a recent article in BQ about the rolling resistance of bicycle tires. I decided it was time to get a subscription to find out what the hubhub was about and worst case I would be supporting a small business in the cycling world.

Wow – what a great magazine. The tire article alone was worth the cost of the entire subscription. An objective repeatable test was performed that shatters a lot of long held beliefs about tires. I think most cyclists would agree that narrow high pressure tires are inherently faster. It’s too bad that notion is wrong. Interesting Jan found over 20% difference in speed between some of the tires he tested. Think about that 24kph instead of 20kph just by swapping out tires. Now add to that the fact the fast tires might be wider lower pressure ones that are much more comfortable. Pretty amazing stuff.

BQ also running a series of articles about how to be a better randonneur. This issue discusses how to make a randonneur bike faster.


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6 responses

20 12 2008
Christian Ricco

I have been getting this publication for a a couple years now myself. Everytime it shows up I lock myself away from the world (usually in the bathroom away from my beloved wife and children), and take its contents in from cover to cover. I have tried making it last over a few days, but usually can’t get myself to put it down…anyways I share the sentiment of Kudos to Jan Heine and all the contributors to BQ

21 12 2008
Dan

Vik, I’m wondering if there is an RSS feed for this new site. Dan

15 01 2009
6 06 2009
Dave

I have subscribed to BQ for 3 years now and always find the articles to be highly informative, unprejudiced and to have a wide breadth of topics. Keep it up Jan.

6 10 2009
Tire Pressure « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] tires at max pressure doesn’t make them faster.  It just makes them ride more harshly.  Bicycle Quarterly has run some comprehensive tests on various tires to validate this and in my own experience it has proven true as well. I find myself explaining this over and over […]

21 09 2011
Bow Cycle | Vik's Picks » Tire Pressure…

[…] listed on the sidewall doesn’t make them faster.  It just makes them ride more harshly.  Bicycle Quarterly has run some comprehensive tests on various tires to validate this and in my own experience it has proven true as well. I find myself explaining this over and over […]

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