Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

René Herse was a French bicycle builder who became famous for producing bicycles designed for long-distance touring, randonneuring, and racing.

Herse started building bicycles in the 1930s and used lightweight steel tubing, making his frames lighter and more responsive than other bicycles of the time. He also incorporated innovations such as low-trail geometry, cantilever brakes, and custom-designed racks and bags.

Herse passed away in 1976, but his legacy lives on through the René Herse brand. This brand is owned by Jan Heine, the publisher of Bicycle Quarterly magazine and founder of Compass Cycles. Heine changed his company name in early 2019, explaining that the move “streamlines the branding and clarifies the company’s philosophy.”

Now based in the Cascade Mountains, Rene Herse Cycles offers high-performance tires, cranks with custom gearing, handlebars designed for long-distance comfort, and a variety of other components.

René Herse Commuter

Recreating the magic of a classic René Herse

If you’re a reader of the exceptionally fine publication titled Bicycle Quarterly, you may have come across a review of this machine. It’s a modern recreation of the original by René Herse Bicycles, of Boulder, Colorado. It may not be an original, but the soul and passion that René had for creating beautiful bicycles still…

1969 Rene Herse Racer

1969 René Herse Racer

It’s interesting to compare the bikes exhibited at the 2011 NAHBS with this machine, there’s many similarities and it’s easy to see where many of the artisans at Austin got their inspiration. With good reason; the name of René Herse is spoken of in awe and hushed tones by those who appreciate the fine art…

Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

John Ferguson’s 1964 René Herse

There’s little grander than watching multi-mile bicycle races on the telly, they’re the stuff legends are made of, those feats of endurance are what makes…