Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bicycle Quarterly Magazine

I just finished reading the summer edition of Bicycle Quarterly. I always enjoy reading this publication and this issue was just as interesting as previous editions. Only published four times a year, its a little expensive at $8.50 a copy, or $30 a year for a subscription. I've been cheating and borrowing copies from a fellow work pal and bike fan. It's a cool magazine, I need to pony up order a subscription myself.

Bicycle Quarterly is not the usual bicycle magazine. I jokingly refer to it as Vintage Bike Porn, since the mag focuses a lot on vintage bikes and articles. It's not all about old bikes however, newer bikes are reviewed and featured as well - most with a randonneur influence. Bikes designed for real world use - fast, but with fenders, lights and racks.

Modern racing bikes are also featured, with some coming under criticism for not fitting most riders real needs, and I would have to agree with some of that. Many riders would be better off on a randonneur style bike instead of a full race bike. At times though, they seemed to really biased towards the "vintage is better" mindset, and that is cool in its own way, even if you don't agree with it. They actually have a point of view and will openly criticize a bike or component and that's refreshing compared to the "everything is great" view other magazines seem to have - or maybe are afraid to offend a few advertisers.

The magazine also goes into really detailed analysis on subjects like frame geometry, frame flex in relation to performance, and other topics that are interesting to read. Mix in stories on people, travel, vintage history - and you have something to actually sit down and read - instead of the usual 20 minute magazine flip though.

Vintage to modern bikes, travel, kids feature, history and tech features in the latest issue.

Simple layout, black and white graphics give this magazine a classy, retro look.

Jan Heine is the editor of this great magazine, along with various contributors. An added bonus for me is that it's Seattle based, so I recognize some of the rides and testing routes featured. I actually met Jan once while I was riding home from work. I recognized him from the mag and we chatted for a bit waiting for a light to change. Cool little visit.

As you can tell, I really enjoy this magazine. It's not the usual bicycle mag, and trust me, I read many - and have for years. This one is out of the ordinary and even if you're not into vintage bikes, give it a go. It's worth the time for the other features as well.

I'll be signing up for the official subscription soon. People putting out this kind of quality deserve the support and business - no doubt.


  1. Cool magazine, I think Grant Peterson would approve!

  2. Oh yeah, a bit of Petersen in there - never a bad thing.