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is everything a specialty?

Old 09-13-23, 08:54 AM
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is everything a specialty?

whenever i start to reconsider my 3 year re-up to Bicycle Quarterly, the chip they've planted in my head activates something in their editing department and the next issue becomes the best one ever. this usually happens once a year (4 issues per) and the most recent one tickles all my buttons. or whatever the phase is.

so now i am hampered by my randonneuring lust only to have it surpassed by 'Japanese camper bikes' and vintage riding togs.

Q: does this cycle ever end, or is it a cause - effect biproduct of subscribing to a special interest publication?

a three year sign up is over 100$ US, and i can buy a lot of other things (like food) with that money. what to do???
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Old 09-13-23, 10:50 AM
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If your trying to decide between feeding yourself and a magazine subscription, definitely go with food.
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Old 09-13-23, 11:19 AM
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Four per year? So THAT's why they call it Bicycle Quarterly! Mystery solved.

In any event....If $$8.33 a quarter for a three-year period is financially troubling, you should: (a) get a higher paying job, or (b) drop the subscription. Taht would not even come close to getting you a Love to the Rescue blanket from Shriner's Hospital for Children.

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Old 09-13-23, 11:46 AM
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In Vaudeville, everything was a specialty: "I'm doing a sister act specialty at the Rialto!"

Oh, man---I just put it together that the title of the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Sister Act" was a double pun!
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Old 09-13-23, 11:50 AM
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The guy certainly has a gift for creating and maintaining his niche.
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Old 09-13-23, 12:53 PM
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Bicycle Quarterly is one of the premier presentations of selling snake oil I've ever seen. Entertaining for a while, then you start questioning, and after a while you get to the big question: is procuring and maintaining the collection of non-standard stuff worth the hassle? Examples: 650B wheels and tires; new (and more expensive) tires; new/old/non-standard desmodronic (demonic?) derailleur; custom front bag with custom-to-the-bike bag/rack attachment; Rene's own cranks with custom rings. I developed a twitch every time I saw non-standard or custom in BQ.

Some of his attempts to introduce real-world effects into analysis were laudable, although to be honest, who didn't expect wider tires to give a smoother ride on almost-unrideable roads?

I subscribed for a while, and then decided the "ex-racer riding non-racing brevets like a racer" wasn't a specialty I was that interested in. Nor was the focus on fire roads (most fire roads in my part of the world make rough hiking trails) or touring abandoned roads in the Japanese mountains. But I'm still mildly curious. What's the good issue out of the last year's production?
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Old 09-14-23, 08:44 AM
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No question Jan appeals to the esoteric amongst us, however the level of writing in this quarterly publication is way up there. It is not written by people who are barely able to type out a sentence beyond 100 characters. The articles are full length, not USA Today length. Bicycling! it is not, thankfully! The photography is excellent and the location of the rides is excellent. Will I go for the desmo derailleur? No, as it does not present any benefits that I can see, its just a different way to fillet the fish. The cranks are gorgeous, and I could be talked into them if I were in need of such. I subscribe to Continental tires, the Compass tires don't interest me.
BQ is not for everyone, but it is indeed for me. Been a subscriber for years and I plan on a few more at least. Yes, I do the 3 year plan.
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Old 09-14-23, 03:16 PM
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BQ is not for me, either, and I’ve never subscribed, but I do get my interest in the esoteric sated at the fringes, running into BQ/Heine content indirectly in various places around the web. I’m not retrograde, regressive, nor retrogrouchy, but neither do I ascribe to the mainstream hook-line-and-sinker, so I appreciate Heine’s subcultural analysis.
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Old 09-14-23, 03:58 PM
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"I’m not retrograde, regressive, nor retrogrouchy, but neither do I ascribe to the mainstream hook-line-and-sinker, so I appreciate Heine’s subcultural analysis."

Well said. The publication is well done and a real oasis in cycling journalism.
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Old 09-14-23, 06:54 PM
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my eye twitches every time i see the front derailleur mounted on the seat tube.

am i wrong to want that?
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Old 09-14-23, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
. . . who didn't expect wider tires to give a smoother ride on almost-unrideable roads?. . .
we refer to that as 'planing'.
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Old 09-15-23, 07:55 AM
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the editorial quality at BQ is of very high quality in my opinion and I have a lot of respect for Jan and his contribution to the sport and the industry.

the RH tires are really nice, cushy ride and very durable.

I don't subscribe any more however, as the articles seen to trend into a corner of the sport that did not appeal to me at least.

I'm going to avoid the insinuation that BQ is a thinly veiled marketing rag. It isn't. There's real content in the magazine, especially when compared to the once great mags like say Road and Track which is now just a medium for ad delivery.

BQ is a high end offering and to me at least, very worthwhile, even tho I am no longer a subscriber.

/markp
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Old 09-15-23, 08:07 AM
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So you pay $100 to read (effective) advertising to buy overly specialized bikes?

I'm in the wrong career.

(same as paying to advertise on my clothes, I just don't get it)
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Old 09-16-23, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
…overly specialized bikes?
Is that an accurate take on BQ bikes? I thought the main point of BQ was to highlight bikes and gear which are extremely versatile; bikes able to go fast or slow, deliver comfort, that have tire clearance for knobbies, can fit racks and fenders, generate their own electricity, and be ridden in any kind of clothing…all in the name of versatility.
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Old 09-16-23, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
So you pay $100 to read (effective) advertising to buy overly specialized bikes?

I'm in the wrong career.

(same as paying to advertise on my clothes, I just don't get it)
That price is for three years (12 issues.) People pay a helluva lot more to watch TV which is full of specialty ads. “Adventure Cyclist” has what you would probably dub “specialty ads.” I still subscribe though my membership in the publishing organization because I like aspects on the magazine. And I certainly have no problem with things like the small logo on my Rapha jerseys and the branding of my super fly, custom ti frame built by a local, sole proprietor.

The “You’re a walking billboard!” mantra is trite.

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Old 09-16-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
In Vaudeville, everything was a specialty: "I'm doing a sister act specialty at the Rialto!"

Oh, man---I just put it together that the title of the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Sister Act" was a double pun!
i did that once. actually it was mother- daughter act, but one was only 15 years older than the other, and they were the same size, so it was just like sisters.

and i even screamed "oh Lord, i'm coming" - so a good time was had by all.
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Old 09-16-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Is that an accurate take on BQ bikes? I thought the main point of BQ was to highlight bikes and gear which are extremely versatile; bikes able to go fast or slow, deliver comfort, that have tire clearance for knobbies, can fit racks and fenders, generate their own electricity, and be ridden in any kind of clothing…all in the name of versatility.
you may be confusing BQ with Grant's Blug. August.Long one. Bike stuff mixed in with other stuff. – Rivendell Bicycle Works (rivbike.com)

the Rivendell Reader is one of the things which brought me back from the Dark Side. i had the memory stick with all entries which i would print and read at odd moments of my day.

Grant Peterson is my cycling guru. i would not buy one of the bikes because they are a little too hip for me, but his attitude carries me when nothing else works.

he has never taken me down Sheldon's* rabbit hole.

*whom i also adore, but in a different manner.
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Old 09-16-23, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
The guy certainly has a gift for creating and maintaining his niche.
obviously "less is more"
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Old 09-16-23, 09:24 AM
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sorry if my real conundrum got swallowed by flotsam & jetsam . . . . to wit:

"... so now i am hampered by my randonneuring lust only to have it surpassed by 'Japanese camper bikes' ... "

what is the difference in this style of bike? geometry, gearing? i view the activities pretty much the same. my own
naivete?

serious question.
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Old 09-16-23, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
That price is for three years (12 issues.) People pay a helluva lot more to watch TV which is full of specialty ads. “Adventure Cyclist” has what you would probably dub “specialty ads.” I still subscribe though my membership in the publishing organization because I like aspects on the magazine. And I certainly have no problem with things like the small logo on my Rapha jerseys and the branding of my super fly, custom ti frame built by a local, sole proprietor.

The “You’re a walking billboard!” mantra is trite.
If facts are mantras, then yes.
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Old 09-17-23, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
So you pay $100 to read (effective) advertising to buy overly specialized bikes?

I'm in the wrong career.

(same as paying to advertise on my clothes, I just don't get it)
i used to pay 3.50 to "read" the articles . . .

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Old 09-17-23, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by southpier
whenever i start to reconsider my 3 year re-up to Bicycle Quarterly, the chip they've planted in my head activates something in their editing department and the next issue becomes the best one ever. this usually happens once a year (4 issues per) and the most recent one tickles all my buttons. or whatever the phase is.
I held editorial positions at several national bicycle magazines. Eventually I realized that the only thing that changed was the widgets, but not the experience. Since I didn't write about widgets (i.e. AD SALES), but about the experience, I found that I was repeating myself on about a three year interval.

So I quit and did something else.
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Old 09-17-23, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Repack Rider
. . . . I quit and did something else.
i heard about you. you're the guy that invented mountain biking.

good job!
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