Comfort = Speed…

28 04 2011


Thanks to a comment about the Terry Bike podcast archives I found another interview with Jan Heine editor of Bicycle Quarterly Magazine. The topic this time is speed & comfort in relation to tire pressure. Click on the image above to listen to the podcast.

Does your bike plane?

28 04 2011

Boulder Bicycle All Road...

Click on the image above to listen to an interesting podcast interview with Jan Heine [Bicycle Quarterly Editor] about the idea of planning in a bicycle frame. Thanks to Terry Bikes for posting this online.

Bicycle Quarterly Baby!

13 02 2011

All 8 volumes of Bicycle Quarterly...

I enjoy reading Bicycle Quarterly Magazine.  I’ve been a subscriber for 2 or 3 years and bought individual issues around those subscriptions, but sadly I could only put my hands on a few copies of BQ lately.  I suspect some got lent out and not returned and others lost or misplaced.  I recently decided to bite the bullet and order all the back issues of BQ.  Since I do have some old copies this gives me a few duplicates, but the buy all 8 volumes button was far easier then going through and trying to get only the issues I needed.

I know Jan Heine isn’t getting rich off this enterprise and if I want more BQ to read I have to support him so the extra copies are a small price to pay.  If you want to check out my BQ collection you are welcome to do so at my house, but I won’t be letting them leave the property!

I also wanted to get Jan’s Golden Age of Hand-built Cycling book, but decided to wait until the summer since I’ve got months of bike reading already with these BQ back issues.  By waiting I can also justify getting his Competition Bicycle book which looks great as well.

If you have some spare $$ and were thinking about buying an upgrade for your bikes consider back issues of BQ.  Knowledge is power and you will probably get more benefit from reading BQ than a titanium spoke wrench…=-)

650B Tires…

29 12 2010

Pacenti Pari-Moto 650B 38mm tires...

Having looked at 650B bikes recently the one question that I needed to resolve if I went with the less popular 650B size was what tires to use?  If they stopped making 650B rims I could buy 8 and be set for 20yrs, but tires don’t last that long and don’t have the same shelf-life as a rim.  Having said that the Greenspeed Scorchers have shown me that you really only need one awesome model of tire for a given wheel size to be happy.  So I don’t care about having 15 choices. I just need a couple awesome ones.

Looking at 650B rubber it seems like the two kick ass tires are Grand Bois Hetres [42mm] and Pacenti Pari-Motos [38mm].

Grand Bois Hertres 42mm 650 tire - Photog unknown...

The Pari-Motos are 127TPI & 280g with a true width of 38mm sold by Velo Orange for $59USD.  They are very thin which makes them light and fast, but not very durable.  Jan Heine at Bicycle Quarterly calls them an “event tire” because their thin casing [1.3mm compared to the 2.3mm of the Hetres] will wear out in ~2000kms on the rear.  The Hetres are 412g and 42mm wide sold by Compass Bicycle [aka Bicycle Quarterly] for $68USD.  The more robust Hetres hold 16% more air and should last over ~4000kms on the rear.

That sounds like two great options to me.  Pari-Motos for brevets where speed/efficiency is key and Hetres for training and general use where long life and some extra plushness matter more.

The wait is killing me…

18 12 2010

Grand Bois Cypres 700c x 30mm...

These Grand Bois Cypres 700c x 30mm tires are the fastest rolling 700c tires I know of.  I’ve bought two previous sets and didn’t get to keep either of them as other people in my life managed to “acquire” them!  Average speed increases on a longstanding commute of 20% were achieved and this was noticed by someone who pays no attention to their bike unless stuff breaks.  Sharon has a set on her 700c bike and loves the speed increase and comfort over her stock OEM tires.

So I orded myself a 3rd set which will go on my Surly LHT to replace my long serving Schwalbe Marathon XRs.  I’ll keep the XRs for future rugged tours as they have life left in them and they are no longer made so I might as well save them for what they do best – heavy duty touring.

Grand Bois Cypres on Anna's Surly Long Haul Trucker...

I’m looking forward to the fast rolling smooth ride of this new rubber…=-)

The trouble is before I conduct the swap I want to run some roll down tests on the XRs so I can gauge the speed increase between these tires.  I found a suitable test course and methodology.  I had some time this AM so I figured lets do it!  Unfortunately we’ve got crazy winds here today gusting to 30mph.  My test course is on a MUP below street level so it’s protect from wind, but when it’s howling this much I don’t think it would be protected enough not to compromise the results.


So I wait with the Grand Bois Cypres sitting on my desk.  Hopefully Monday will work [Sunday is surfing at Jordan River].

I bought all my Grand Bois tires from Compass Bicycle which is the storefront of Bicycle Quarterly.  They sell a great mix of useful products and I’m happy to support them since I benefit from the testing they do.  If you haven’t read Bicycle Quarterly’s tire testing articles you are missing out.

If you need some 700c rubber and have room for 30mm tires buy these tires – you will not be disappointed.

Off The Beaten Path

4 12 2010

Cover Winter 2010 Issue of Bicycle Quarterly

I don’t read very many magazines, but one I try not to miss is Bicycle Quarterly published by Jan Heine.  It features detailled reviews and interesting articles for the practical cyclist as well as the aspiring randonneur.  The trouble is that I usually get through an issue in a few hours and they are only published 4 times per year so that leaves a lot of the year with no BQ or a lot of rereading my old issues.  The good news is that Jan now has a blog called Off The Beaten Path which provides us an opportunity to get some extra BQ content between issues and allows Jan a way to provide extra content that couldn’t be included in the limited pages of his magazine.  Sounds like a win – win to me!

Since we are talking about blogs originating in the PNW Alex Wetmore has started a new one called Rough Stuff Cycling Northwest to share info about backroad rides in the US NW.

And speaking of off the beaten path Cycle 9 is having an interview with one of the Riding the Spine crew next Tuesday.

How to setup cantis…

9 10 2009
Another useful article from Bicycle Quarterly

Another useful article from Bicycle Quarterly

If you’ve got cantis [cantilever brakes] and aren’t sure how to set them up to optimize braking performance click here and read this short, but useful article on the subject from Bicycle Quarterly.