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Technical Articles


Each bike test is accompanied with detailed measurements of frame geometry.


Double-blind test of frame stiffness. Can riders feel small differences in frame tubing?

Color Rumble

Measuring energy loss on rough surfaces for different tires and suspension.

Wind Tunnel

Wind tunnel measurements of riding positions, fenders, bags and clothing.

Brake Test lifting

Testing how to brake most efficiently.

We do our own testing before we write technical articles, which makes us stand out among bike magazines. Over the years, we have examined many technical issues that are relevant to everyday riding. We bring you cutting-edge research, presented in clear, well-written articles that do not require graduate coursework in engineering to understand. Here are some of the questions addressed in Bicycle Quarterly:

Frame Geometry
How does a load affect the handling of a bike? Should the bike’s geometry compensate for wider tires? How do you make a bike that is stable, yet turns with precision? How can you make a tandem handle like a single bike? What makes a bike veer off course in crosswinds? Through detailed tests, we have found the answers to these and many other questions.

Frame Stiffness
Does frame stiffness matter? We had four bikes built to determine whether riders can distinguish small differences in a frame’s tubes. Are stiffer bikes better? Our double-blind test brought some surprising results.

Rolling Resistance
We were among the first to test tires on real roads. Once again, we found surprising results. Higher pressures reduce the hysteretic losses as the tire deforms, but increase the suspension losses as the bike vibrates. Which is the optimal tire pressure for your bike? Read the full article here (pdf)

We tested suspension losses of tires, suspension forks and padded handlebars to determine the most effective strategy to increase a bike’s comfort.

We spent two days in the wind tunnel to test the aerodynamics of fenders, bags and jackets. Do fenders act as fairings? Are front bags more aerodynamic than rear ones? How much does your wind resistance increase when you wear a jacket? How different are the aerodynamics in the various handlebar positions? What happens when you raise you stem by 20 mm? When two riders draft, does the rear one push the front one? In Bicycle Quarterly, you find the answers to these questions.

Resistance of Generator Hubs
We tested the resistance of generator hubs. Which generator hub has the lowest resistance? How much do these hubs slow you down at various speeds, with the lights on or off? Which is the optimal tire pressure for your bike? Read the full article here (pdf)

Carrying Loads
Find our why a front load is easier to balance than a rear load. Learn how a handlebar bag is best integrated into a custom bicycle. Find out how a bike’s geometry can be adapted to compensate for a load.

For an index of Bicycle Quarterly articles by topic, click here.

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