FAQ: (Frequently Asked Questions)General Bicycle Quarterly
Bicycle Quarterly is about quality bikes in the widest sense. We do examine the history of cycling and present amazing old bikes, but we also test the latest bikes from the best builders. Technical articles in Bicycle Quarterly present issues such as frame geometry or tire performance that are of interest to all cyclists.
Most bike magazines like everything their advertisers sell. How about you?
Most bicycle magazines are financed through advertising. Contrasting this, more than 90% of Bicycle Quarterly revenues come from readers' subscriptions. So we can afford to tell you what we think, even if it offends our advertisers. In fact, advertisers who make good products, appreciate our honest reviews: If we like something, it really is very good.
I would like to submit an article/letter to the editor to Bicycle Quarterly. How do I do it?
For a letter to the editor or an article that you have already written, just send it to the editor . If you are planning an article, please contact us with a proposal, so we can make sure it fits into our plans for the next few issues. We always look for submissions, especially for the columns My Favorite Bike, Projects, Builders Speak and Destinations. We cannot return contributions unless prior written arrangements are made.
Your sister company Compass Bicycles sells tires, handlebars and other parts. Doesn't that constitute a conflict of interest when you test these and other components for Bicycle Quarterly?
That is a real concern, and we are very aware of it. Our rule is simple: If a product is extraordinary, we sell it. So we usually first test components, and then decide whether to sell them. If we find new extraordinary products, we sell them as well. That way, we have no incentive to criticize components that compete with the ones we offer - we just offer them all. In many cases, the components we sell would not be available in North America otherwise, because the profit margins are too small.
We feel that our readers are better served by having these components available, than if we told you about these fabulous parts that you cannot get. We disclose all potential conflicts of interest with each article. Our readers then can make up their own minds.
With everything we test, we try hard to be objective. If anything, we are more critical of the products we sell. In our test of the Grand Bois "Ourson" tires, we said they weren't worth the extra money over Panaracer tires, because unlike other Grand Bois tires, they use an older tire mold with a less-than-optimal tread pattern.
Conflicts of interest are unavoidable, because the cycling world is small. Most makers of "real-world" bicycles know each other, and many are good friends of ours. This close collaboration improves the quality of the bicycles they offer, so it is a good thing. But it means that conflicts of interest are unavoidable. It's actually a lot easier to criticize a component that we sell than one sold by a friend!
Is Bicycle Quarterly related to Vintage Bicycle Quarterly ?
Yes. In 2006, Vintage Bicycle Quarterly changed its name to Bicycle Quarterly to reflect its focus on the all aspects of cycling.
Is my subscription still current?
Your last issue is mailed in a special envelope stating "Your Last Issue." Also, on your address label is a number behind your name, which indicates the last issue you will receive. If we have your e-mail address, we will also send you a reminder when your subscription expires. If you are still in doubt about the status of your subscription, please contact us.
Has the latest issue been sent out? Why have I not received mine?
The postal service can take up to 5 weeks to deliver periodical mail. For the current issue and the date it should have reached you, see our Current Issue page. If your issue has not arrived by that date, please contact us.
Are back issues available?
Yes, all issues are available. For more information see our Back Issues page.
Is your book The Competition Bicycle available in bookstores? How about Amazon.com?
Our books are available in many quality bookstores and bicycle shops listed on our Shops page. We like to support these stores. However, our books are not available at discount internet sites. The price Amazon.com would pay for our books is less than the production cost! Most publishers get around this problem increasing their mark-up, but we wanted our book to be affordable for all customers. So in effect, everybody gets a discounted price.
How is the "Limited Edition" of The Competition Bicycle different from your standard edition?
The Limited Edition is signed and numbered. It includes 8x10" ready-to-frame reprints of two of the most stunning photographs from the book, made by a professional photo lab directly from the original medium-format positives. There will be only 75 copies of the Limited Edition. The book itself is the same for both editions. All our books are made to the highest standards, with sewn hardcover binding and archival paper. The Limited Edition is sold out.
I have a bike from a French constructeur like René Herse, Alex Singer, Jo Routens, Reyhand, Charrel or similar. Can you help me identify it?
Please contact our editor. He may be able to help you with information.
I have an old bike. Can you tell me its value?
As a matter of policy, Bicycle Quarterly does not comment on bicycle values. These values fluctuate with time and other factors. In the end, each bicycle is worth as much as somebody is willing to pay for it.
I have an old bike. I could not find any information on it on your site. Where might I find help?
A good source of information is the Classic Rendezvous web-site (classicrendezvous.com), which also includes an e-mail list where you can ask questions (or search the archives).
What is the relationship between Compass Bicycles Ltd. and Bicycle Quarterly?
Compass Bicycles Ltd. is a sister company to Bicycle Quarterly Press. For years, we were frustrated about great components that either were no longer available or were not sold in North America. We finally decided to take things into our own hands and offer these components through Compass Bicycles. Also read our blog entry on this subject.