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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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313 (10 / Woche)
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Off The Beaten Path
11. Juni, 07:53 Uhr

As part of preparing this year’s Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), riders qualify by riding 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevets. More than just preparation for the long ride in France, these rides are fun challenges in their own right. The last of the Seattle qualifiers started at 6 a.m. just south of downtown. It was easy to find the spot – a coffee shop surrounded by bikes leaning against walls, street...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Juni, 08:36 Uhr

Last weekend was the 14th running of the Dirty Kanza, the famous 200-mile gravel race in Kansas. After the race, I was chatted with Ted King (TK), winner in 2016 and 2018, about what makes Dirty Kanza so special. JH: Congratulations to another great finish in Dirty Kanza! TK: This was my 4th go at DK, and it was the hardest edition that I’ve experienced. JH: Tell us about the race! TK: After...

Off The Beaten Path
20. Juni, 12:41 Uhr

With wide tires, you can tune the ride of your bike to the terrain and to your personal preferences. This gives you options that simply did not exist in the past. Gone are the days when we inflated our narrow tires to the maximum pressure and rode on rock-hard rubber. Even with narrow tires, you can lower the pressure a bit to get a (slightly) more comfortable ride. Of course, there is only so...

Off The Beaten Path
13. Juni, 13:14 Uhr

Riding long distances – especially on rough roads – puts different demands on your body and your bike than short and fast-paced races. The contact points with the bike become more important the longer you ride. These days, you don’t hear much about them, especially the saddle and handlebars. If you compete in relatively short races, this makes sense: When you pedal at maximum effort, your...

Off The Beaten Path
17. Juni, 10:40 Uhr

The Summer Bicycle Quarterly is back from the printer! In this edition, we test two bikes that wowed visitors at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. How do they ride? The Calfee’s latest bike uses carbon-lined bamboo tubes for an even lighter and stronger frame. The show bike is equipped with Rotor’s long-awaited hydraulic shifting. How does it perform at the limit, exploring...

Off The Beaten Path
22. Mai, 13:03 Uhr

Working with Ted King, winner of last year’s Dirty Kanza gravel race, has added a new perspective to our R&D. We’ve got a lot of experience riding gravel, even racing it, but today’s mass-start races aren’t the same as exploring the Cascade Mountains on forest roads, or even racing the 363-mile cross-state Oregon Outback during the early days of gravel racing. Like all racers, Ted wants...

Off The Beaten Path
24. Mai, 18:04 Uhr

2019 will be remembered as the year when gravel racing started to be on equal terms with the great races of Europe. When Pro Tour riders appear at the Belgian Waffle Ride, you know that it’s not just a local event any longer. And yet, the fun part of the sport – above the leaders at Landrun 100 – and the ability for all riders to enter, remain undiminished. Gravel racing forms a great...

Off The Beaten Path
28. Mai, 15:03 Uhr

It’s hard to believe that the first Oregon Outback, that incredible 363-mile gravel race, was just five years ago. It’s almost like we live in a different world now, so much has changed… Back then, the idea of running a race that traversed the entire state of Oregon from south to north – on gravel roads! – seemed completely outrageous. So seemed the idea of riding the entire distance...

Off The Beaten Path
31. Mai, 07:09 Uhr

Every BQ test bike that arrives at our office is greeted with enthusiasm. When OPEN hinted that they had a revolutionary, top secret, new bike they wanted us to try, we were even more excited than usual. Until now, we’ve had to keep the new bike under tight wraps, but it’s just been launched, so we can tell you about it. So what makes the new OPEN WI.DE. special? Officially, WI.DE. stands for...

Off The Beaten Path
03. Juni, 16:36 Uhr

The Summer 2019 Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer. It’s an another exciting edition, full of bike tests, adventures and great stories. As a preview, we made the little video clip above of Natsuko riding the Frances All-Road. Perhaps you admired this beautiful bike at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show – now you’ll find out how it rides! Natsuko took the Frances to Marin County, where...

Off The Beaten Path
24. Dezember, 22:19 Uhr

All of us at Compass Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly wish you Happy Holidays!

Off The Beaten Path
16. Mai, 11:47 Uhr

Like many cyclists, we love climbs, but we live for twisty downhills. The feeling of the bike leaning deep into a turn is something that is hard to explain, yet easy to enjoy. This video clip was taken on a short descent toward Lake Washington. We know this road well, and even though we aren’t taking any risks, it’s always fun. Obviously, one key component in making descents fun and safe are...

Off The Beaten Path
19. Dezember, 13:51 Uhr

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s fun to look back on the great rides we’ve done. For me, it’s been a wonderful year full of exciting adventures. It started with the annual New Year’s Cycling of Tokyo’s Yama Saiken (Mountain Cycling Club), the famous passhunters. Jikkoku Pass is a great destination at any time, but climbing it in the snow was doubly fun, especially with such a great crew. It was...

Off The Beaten Path
17. Dezember, 11:34 Uhr

What to give a cyclist? And as a cyclist, what to answer when somebody asks you to make a wish? Here are a few gift ideas that are certain to bring a cyclist joy for a long time. You can’t go wrong with Bicycle Quarterly. Each edition covers a variety of topics and perspective, with well-written articles that are illustrated with beautiful photos and original artwork. Give a gift subscription...

Off The Beaten Path
10. Mai, 10:18 Uhr

At Rene Herse Cycles, we support the classics, in addition to pushing the envelope as we develop our modern parts. René Herse’s bikes were prized for their beauty and performance, and today, they continue to be treasured like few other classics. I’ve enjoyed many great rides on classic Rene Herse bikes and tandems – above in the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris – but I also know about the challenges of...

Off The Beaten Path
14. Dezember, 12:25 Uhr

How wide a tire can I fit on my bike? It’s a common question, and yet it’s difficult to figure out, especially when you plan to change wheel sizes. Hahn Rossman has developed a simple tire fit gauge that allows checking tire clearances on your bike. Put the disc for the tire width in the slot for the wheel size. Place the gauge on a dummy axle (any old hub axle will work). Rotate the gauge...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Mai, 12:15 Uhr

When Ted King recently won the Epic 150 gravel race in Missouri on our Rene Herse Steilacoom tires, many were surprised that he ran knobbies on a fast course. But there were a few muddy corners where the knobs would provide valuable grip, and Ted knew that on the smooth portions of the course, he wouldn’t give up performance, thanks to our innovative tread pattern. When we developed our...

Off The Beaten Path
12. Dezember, 12:45 Uhr

Our knickers are back in stock. They are sewn right here in Seattle in small batches, which can make it difficult to keep them in stock. Now all sizes are back. Inspired by the clothes worn by the stylish Japanese cyclotourists, and refined for even greater performance, the knickers all but disappear when you ride. When you get off the bike, you are dressed to look sporting without pushing the...

Off The Beaten Path
10. Dezember, 12:34 Uhr

Starting in early 2019, Rene Herse Cycles will be the sole brand for all tires and components made now by Compass Cycles. This streamlines our two brands and clarifies the philosophy that guides us. Since Lyli Herse asked us to become custodians of the Rene Herse name more than a decade ago – above I’m riding with Lyli to celebrate her 85th birthday – we’ve introduced a number of products...

Off The Beaten Path
07. Dezember, 13:04 Uhr

The cover of our Winter edition is one of my favorites. It illustrates the story of Natsuko buying her first bike, when she was a college student. Read how she struggled to figure out what it meant when bike magazines listed the price for “frame+fork only,” and how she finally decided to buy a custom-made Alps cyclotouring bike. To bring Natsuko’s story to life, MIYOSHI, who went to art school...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Dezember, 13:00 Uhr

The popularity of Gilles Berthoud’s new mirrors surprised us. We expected them to be popular, but we didn’t expect to sell out within days. It’s easy to understand why customers like them, though: They are beautifully made from the best materials, and they work well with all road handlebars. They are available as simple aluminum mirrors (top), or with a leather insert that matches Berthoud’s...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Dezember, 10:43 Uhr

I’ve been racing my Alan cyclocross bike since I bought it second-hand, many years ago, when I was still in college. Back then, it was simply a used ‘cross bike. Now it may seem like a relic from another era. And yet the Alan continues to hold its own in the Pacific Northwest’s cross races. I like the way it accelerates out of corners. Alan’s aren’t as flexible as legend has it – Bicycle...

Off The Beaten Path
29. April, 08:17 Uhr

Note: The previous version of this post referred only to our study about road and all-road bikes. We erroneously extrapolated our study to mountain bikes. We should have known better – we usually don’t publish data that we haven’t validated in the real world. A reader pointed to a real-world study similar to ours, but for mountain bikes. To avoid confusion in future web searches, the old post...

Off The Beaten Path
04. Dezember, 12:15 Uhr

How do you test a bike like Mitch Pryor’s latest MAP All-Road? With its 48 mm-wide tires, fenders, racks and full lights, this is a bike designed for epic rides. How about taking it on a 30-hour, non-stop ride that traverses four mountain passes and crosses the crest of the Cascade Mountains twice? Enjoy our little movie about this adventure! (Make sure to click on the ‘full-screen’ icon.) Read...

Off The Beaten Path
22. April, 14:09 Uhr

If you’ve been curious about Bicycle Quarterly, we offer an easy way to have a look at the current edition: Simply add it to your Rene Herse Cycles order. You’ll see a prompt when you check out. For just $ 7, we put the current edition in the box with your order. It’s that simple. When you open the box, it’ll be a hard choice: Will you mount your new parts on your bike or will you dive into...

Off The Beaten Path
01. Dezember, 17:19 Uhr

We are glad that the HED Belgium+ rims are available again – they are the best modern rims we have found. They build up straight, they remain true, and tire mounting is a snap, even tubeless. They come in disc brake (top) and rim brake (above) versions, in 650B and 700C (disc brake only). With a width of 25 mm (ouside), they are a perfect complement for our wide all-road tires. They have a...

Off The Beaten Path
22. April, 15:41 Uhr

Today is Earth Day – a day to celebrate our planet and think about what each of us, in our daily lives, can do to protect it. As cyclists, we get to enjoy nature in immediate ways: As we pedal over hill and dale, we feel the landscape, we smell it, and we become part of it. We also can make a great contribution to preserving it. Cycling as a commuter can replace car trips and make a significant...

Off The Beaten Path
29. November, 11:10 Uhr

To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly’s 15th anniversary last year, we increased the size of the magazine and put together a number of truly outstanding editions. We now offer them in a special 4-pack. We kicked off our anniversary year with our biggest edition ever. More book than magazine, this hefty volume counts 124 pages. Inside, Peter Weigle takes you through the building of his superlight...

Off The Beaten Path
19. April, 11:10 Uhr

Our entire line of Berthoud bags is now available in black-on-black, for a contemporary aesthetic that matches modern bikes. Unchanged is the outstanding performance, light weight and durability of these bags. Leather and canvas may seem like unlikely materials for a high-performance bag, but Berthoud bags aren’t just lighter than most ‘modern’ bags, they also retain their waterproofness in...

Off The Beaten Path
27. November, 11:46 Uhr

One of the benefits of wide tires is that they run at lower pressures. Yet the supple casings of our Compass tires require higher pressure to corner well and not bottom out on big bumps. Doesn’t the higher pressure negate the benefits of wider tires? Think of the tire casing and the air inside as two separate springs. Let’s call them the rubber spring and the air spring. Both work together to...

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