René Herse Performance and Build Philosophy





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It is not about the bike and its not about the rider.  It is about the interaction of the rider and the bike.  When you decide to purchase an Herse bicycle, you are buying a process. We spend extensive time determining fit, intended purpose, and the rider's frame flex preferences.  This is a time-intensive process, but proper design of the machine is vital if the bicycle is to perform as intended.  An Herse bicycle while beautiful, is not intended to be wall art.  It is designed for use; to be ridden hard and to provide countless miles of cycling enjoyment. 

The “typical” cycling enthusiast enjoys shorter daily rides and the occasional longer excursion; perhaps several century rides per year.  A René Herse bicycle is the perfect machine for this cycling lifestyle.  A light responsive frame enables the cyclist to “mix it up” with the fast folks during the week, while provision for wider tires and a front rack to accommodate a handlebar bag makes century ride jaunts a pleasure.  In rainy areas, the use of fenders allows the rider to stay drier and more comfortable.  It is now finally being “re-learned” that all else the same, wider tires actually have less rolling resistance than skinnier tires.  That means that riders can use top quality wide tires that give them the performance they need to ride with the “fast set” yet enjoy wonderful comfort that is vital to the enjoyable (and fast) completion of longer event rides such as centuries. 

Many riders would like to take advantage of riding on rougher roads (or even dirt and smooth packed trails).  The 650b wheel size enables riders to roll very fast on the smooth pavement (with amazing comfort) and to subsequently take a pleasurable turn onto dirt roads to explore areas less traveled.  If someone wished to only own one bicycle, a light 650b machine is the perfect choice.  René Herse Bicycles is committed to this size in additional to the more popular 700c.

The centerpiece of our product line is the Randonneur Bike, a bicycle intended for use on 100 plus mile rides with the integration of lighting, fenders, racks, and bags.  Experience Brevet riders know that both physical and mental fatigue are the enemy.  A bicycle must be optimized for efficiency, and also provide the features that allow the rider to participate in the event with minimal thought.  Lighting must be easily accessible for easy changes according to changing conditions with a power supply that is at the ready with minimal rider thought.  The bicycle must have a geometry that is sure and stable so that a rider can stay safely on route as the rider's energy becomes taxed.    

(René Herse Bicycles Inc. is pleased that nearly 50% of our current orders are for machines earmarked for PBP in 2011; Lyli Desbois (Herse) at our recent meeting was especially pleased to learn that the Herse name will continue on at this storied event.)

While Randonneur Bicycles are a specialty, there is something called the HERSE PARADOX; one reason for the Herse legend is the tremendous variety of bicycles that Herse always offered - from a svelte track racing bicycle to a stout world tourer intended to carry heavy loads, the purchaser has always been able to order a bicycle designed precisely for a specific use.  One can imagine owning 5 or more Herse Bicycles, each designed for a specific purpose.  Yet at the same time, Herse offerings include machines that are amazingly versatile in their ability to work exceedingly well in a variety of conditions.   A 650b lightweight Randonneur will work beautifully on fast club rides, yet can take the rider to many places folks only go to on mountain bikes.  For many riders, such a machine is the only bicycle they may ever need!