Components

44/28 Chainrings Back in Stock

This is just a short note to say that our 12-speed compatible 44/28 chainrings are back in stock. 42/26 rings are in production, as well as other ring sizes that have been sold out for a while. You may wonder why we offer so many chainrings choices. With 11- or 12-speed...

Tune Quick Releases

If you've built a bike with quick release hubs lately, you probably noticed that elegant and lightweight quick releases are hard to find. I know, because that's a problem I've run into. I am embarrassed to admit it: My Rene Herse bikes for Paris-Brest-Paris, Oregon Outback and Unbound XL all...

The Ideal Tires For Paris-Roubaix?

Before there was gravel, there was Paris-Roubaix. The famous race used to be a relic from a past when many races of northern Europe went over cobblestones. While other races – especially the Tour de France – became 'sanitized,' the Queen of the Classics played up its image as the...

Introducing Hatcher Pass 700C x 48 mm

When we asked Lael Wilcox which tires she needed for bikepacking, the Fleecer and Oracle Ridge dual-purpose knobbies were the result: great traction on loose and muddy surfaces (and snow), but fast and grippy on pavement. Plus quiet thanks to our noise cancellation technology. These tires cover the multitude of...

How Tough are Rene Herse Extralight Tires?

We just received another tire shipment, this one mostly with Extralight models that had been out of stock for a while. For me, the Extralight casing is one of the things that defines our Rene Herse tires. It's the most supple casing you'll find anywhere, matched only by the finest...

More Umtanum 650Bs and a New 26″ Tire

Let's start with the new tire: We're excited to expand our 26" offerings with the 26" x 1.8" Naches Pass Endurance. The Naches Pass is the 26" equivalent of our iconic 650B Babyshoe Pass – the tires we ride on our own bikes more than any others. In fact, Natsuko runs...

650B x 55 Umtanum Ridge Back in Stock

The response to the new 650B x 55 mm Umtanum Ridge surprised everybody: The Endurance casing was sold out within 4 hours, and the Extralights lasted only a little less than a day. We just received another shipment, so both models are back in stock. The Standard casing will follow...

Umtanum Ridge Tires Are Here!

The new 650B x 55 mm Umtanum Ridge tires have landed! Now our widest knobbies are available in the three most popular wheel sizes: The award-winning 700C/29" Fleecer Ridge is perfect for the latest drop-bar mountain bikes. The 26" Humptulips Ridge has made classic mountain bikes fun again. And now...

Bikepacking.com: Best Tires for the Great Divide

With the 2021 Tour Divide happening this year – on a shortened course, since the Canadian border is still closed – Neil Beltchenko from bikepacking.com looked at what he considers the best tire for this challenging 2,745-mile (4,418 km) course. Neil has more experience than most: He has ridden and raced...

Why narrow tires FEEL faster

All our research shows that wide tires roll as fast or faster than narrow tires (if they use the same casing). How come that generations of cyclists believed that narrow tires are faster? The answer is simple: Narrow tires feel faster. They simulate the sensation of higher speed – without...

Tire Test Results

Last week, we talked about how real-road tire tests have revolutionized our understanding of how bicycles work. We've looked at different ways of testing tires, and why it's so important to perform tests carefully and under realistic conditions. Today, let's look at some results of our testing. Are Wider Tires Slower?...

Umtanum Ridge 650B x 55 / 27.5 x 2.2

Ever since we've worked with Lael Wilcox to develop the 29" / 700C Fleecer Ridge dual-purpose knobbies, we've been deluged with requests for 26" and 650B versions with the same noise-cancelling tread pattern. We launched the 26" Humptulips Ridge late last year. Now we're excited to announce the 650B /...

How We Test Tires

One of the secrets behind the performance of Rene Herse tires lies in our R&D. We run our tests under real-world conditions, so we can optimize our tires for what matters: riding on real roads. When we started our research 15 years ago, high-performance tires were narrow and designed for...

Rene Herse Cable Hangers

Cable hangers aren't a very exciting topic. We love to talk about derailleurs or brakes, because they are complicated parts with many intricacies. But cable hangers...? And yet they're as important for the performance of your bike. It's small parts like these that can make a big difference when it...

Why Light Weight?

Recently, a reader asked: "Why are you so focused on saving a gram here or there? For the 99.999% of us who are not professionally racing, but just wanting to get out there and ride, shouldn't the focus be on function and longevity?" Of course, the reader is right – some...

New Products: Technomic Stems, Tire Bead Jack…

We're excited to add a few new products to our program. The Technomic stem is the workhorse among Nitto's stems. Like the top-of-the-line NP, it’s forged from aluminum for ultimate strength. Functionally, the two stems are almost identical. Most of the differences are aesthetic: The NP is polished to an...

Design & Innovation Award for Fleecer Ridge

We're excited that our Fleecer Ridge tires won the 2021 Design & Innovation Award in the Category Off-Road Components. This prestigious European prize is based on real-world testing. The 30-strong, international jury consists of journalists, test riders and engineers who are amongst the most renowned experts in their respective fields....

Optimizing the Cantilever Brake

Cantilever brakes have traditionally been the way to make brakes for bikes with wide tires. Invented by Nicola Barra in 1936, they were the first direct-mount brakes with pivots that attached to the fork blades and seatstays. This eliminated the flex that is inevitable with long brake calipers that reach...

Humptulips Ridge Tires Are Here

The new Humptulips Ridge 26" x 2.3" knobbies have arrived! Usually, we airship just a few tires for photography, but with so many riders eagerly awaiting these tires, we sent over a few more. We have a small quantity with Standard and Extralight casings (tan sidewalls), as well as the...

Gear of the Year Award for Fleecer Ridge

We usually don't expect to get 'Gear of the Year' awards – we don't advertise, since we prefer to spend our resources on R&D and high-end materials rather than marketing. And our products are expensive to make, so we can't send out a lot of review samples, either. We're especially...

Introducing the Humptulips Ridge 26″ Knobbies

It's been a long time coming – the latest of our dual-purpose knobbies, the Humptulips Ridge 26" x 2.3", is in production now. The tires renew our commitment to the 26" wheel size, whether it's for modern all-road bikes like my Firefly or classic mountain bikes that can be a...

My PBP Bike: Lights

Nothing else has changed our riding as much as modern generator hubs and LED lights. When I first started riding the almost-mythical (and now long-defunct) cross-state races in Washington – Cannonball and S2S – I ran a Nightsun battery light. These races started just after midnight in Seattle, so you...

Introducing Rene Herse One-By Cranks

After months of R&D and testing, we're now offering Rene Herse cranks with a 40-tooth one-by chainring. One-by is a great idea: Get rid of the front shifts that always break your rhythm, and you end up with 11 or 12 consecutive gears. For most riders, that's enough for all...

Gran Fondo Tests the Steilacoom

It's all nice and well when we talk about our tires – why we design and manufacture them a certain way, how we think they perform, etc. The real proof is when others test them. Especially independent testers who've ridden dozens or hundreds of tires. And if the review comes...

My PBP Bike: Fenders

Until 1991, all bikes in Paris-Brest-Paris had to be equipped with fenders. Traditionally, this had been a way to distinguish randonneur events from races – the randonneurs were expected to ride bikes that were equipped for real-world riding. However, by the 1980s, there simply weren't many performance bikes with fenders...

Handlebar Width Matters

When I got my new C. S. Hirose, I was excited to have a bike with wide tires for the gravel roads of the Cascade Mountains. I love my other Hirose, and so I asked the builder to make the new one as similar as possible. Some parts we brought...

Why Pros Ride Handmade Tires

In France, the Tour is one of the rituals of summer. I can't count how many times during my research I've interviewed somebody while the colorful images were playing on TV in the background. Racers, randonneurs, cyclotourists – all enjoy the grand landscapes, the beautiful form of the riders, the drama...

Oracle Ridge Tires in Stock

Lael Wilcox has been enjoying her Oracle Ridge prototypes all summer in Alaska. Now you can get a set for your bike, too. The new tires are now in stock with Standard, Extralight and Endurance casings. (more…)

Bikepacking.com reviews the Fleecer Ridge

When we introduced the our Fleecer Ridge 700C x 55 mm dual-purpose knobbies, we sent two sets to Neil and Logan at Bikepacking.com. Since the Fleecers are our first tires specifically intended for bikepacking and the Tour Divide, we were eager to get their feedback. That was a few months...

Introducing the Oracle Ridge 700Cx48mm

When bikepacking legend Lael Wilcox talked about the tires she wanted for her bikepacking adventures, she mentioned a 48 mm-wide knobby in addition to the Fleecer Ridge 700C x 55: Ideal for many modern gravel bikes like her Specialized Diverge. Lael suggested a great name for the new tire: One...

Why 700C wheels DON’T roll faster

These days, it's widely accepted that 700C wheels roll faster than smaller hoops. It's a bit like the old belief that narrower tires are more efficient – so self-evident that it doesn't even need explaining. After all, simple physics tells you: A bigger wheel rolls faster, because it hits bumps...

New, Small and Useful

Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference. Things that we need or want, but that nobody makes because they are, well, small and not so profitable, since they'll sell only in small numbers. But we need them for our own rides, and so we're making them. We've...

My PBP Bike: The Wheels

When I asked which part of my bike for last summer’s Paris-Brest-Paris our readers wanted to hear more about, the answer was: “Everything.” So I'm writing a series of posts about the parts of the bike. I’ve already talked about the frame and the centerpull brakes. Today let’s look at...

How to Select Your Rene Herse Tires

Selecting Rene Herse tires for your bike is easy, because our program is logical and simple. It's all based on performance. We started making tires because we wanted to ride high-performance tires on the gravel roads of the Cascade Mountains. We came from a decade of racing on hand-made tubulars...

Tubeless Tire FAQ

Car and motorcycle tires have been tubeless for decades, but bicycle tires have continued to use tubes. That changed during the 2010s, when first mountain bikers and then the riders of all-road and gravel bikes started to experiment with tubeless technology. They reason was simple: If you could run your...

Fleecer Ridge and Noise Cancellation

We've got the new Fleecer Ridge 700C x 55 bikepacking/gravel/all-round tires in stock now. They come in the Standard, Extralight, Endurance and Endurance Plus casings. This means you can get the volume and groundbreaking tread pattern – more of that in a moment – with a full range of casings....

Back in Stock and New Fenders

Let's start with the most exciting part first: We've got new 75 mm-wide fenders, both in 650B and 26" versions to fit comfortably over our widest tires. They're made from a thicker aluminum for extra strength, so it's well-suited for bikes with knobby tires which can pick up sticks and...

FMB Tubulars

Even in these troubled times, most of us continue to ride our bikes, at least here in North America. We've been encouraged that even during the 'shelter-in-place' in the San Francisco Bay Area, solo bike rides continue to be permitted. Over the last year, we've worked on re-introducing FMB tubulars to...

New RH Endurance Tires in 700C and 650B

Many of you asked for more tires with Endurance casings... The 700C x 35 has long been a favorite of gravel racers and all-road riders. Now you can choose between the versatile Standard casing, the superfast Extralight and the tough (but still lightning-fast) Endurance. (more…)

My PBP Bike: The Frame

When I asked readers which part of my bike for last summer's Paris-Brest-Paris they wanted to hear more about, the answer was: "Everything." So we'll make a series of short posts about the parts of the bike. I've already talked about the centerpull brakes here. Today, let's look at the...

12-Speed Rene Herse Cranks

We're excited to announce that our ramped-and-pinned chainrings are 12-speed compatible. We knew that 12-speed was coming when we developed our 11-speed rings, so we tried to anticipate the requirements, so that our chainrings would be compatible with 12-speed as well. Now we've completed our testing, and we're happy to report...

UD Racks for (almost) every bike

Handlebar bags are one of the best places to carry luggage on your bike. Right in front of you, the contents are easy to reach. A handlebar bag doesn't increase your frontal area, so it's aero, and it doesn't get caught on obstacles when you ride through tight spaces. Handlebar...

How durable are leather saddles?

How durable are leather saddles? It's a question we often get with respect to the Berthoud saddles we distribute in North America. Especially now that it's winter here, and often raining. Will a leather saddle be ruined if it's ridden in the rain? The answer is a reassuring 'No.' There is only...

Are gravel bikes slower than road bikes?

The euphoria about gravel bikes is hitting a snag: Many riders feel that their gravel bikes are slower than their road bikes. For example, James Huang, the technical expert from CyclingTips.com, posted: "I've been spending too much time on gravel and mountain bikes lately. Good to be reminded what real speed...

Endurance Casings for 700C x 38 and 700C x 55

You asked for it... Many customers requested our Barlow Pass with the Endurance casing. It makes sense – 700C x 38 is a versatile size. If your rides are littered with glass, steel wires or goatheads, the Endurance casing is going to be your friend. You get a tire with...

Designing the Rene Herse Taillight

If you've been to the Philly Bike Expo last weekend (or looked at the photo feeds), you've seen many custom bikes with our Rene Herse taillights. (Above is Brian Chapman's.) The taillight has been one of our more popular products. (more…)

Road.cc Reviews the Juniper Ridge 650B x 48

We like Road.cc, the British web site, because they really ride the products they test. They've got a number of testers, and their opinions are refreshingly unbiased and honest. At the end of each test, they ask their reviewers "Would you buy this product?" and "Would you recommend this product to...

Why I Choose Centerpull Brakes

When I spec'd my new bike for this year's Paris-Brest-Paris (and for our adventures in the Cascade Mountains), I opted for centerpull brakes. I didn't choose centerpulls out of nostalgia. For the riding I do, they are the best choice. Why not disc brakes? It's undeniable that the best hydraulic disc brakes...

Why Only Black Tread?

Autumn means colder temperatures and rainy weather, here in the Cascade Mountains and in many parts of the world. More than ever, the grip of our tires is on our minds. Why do all Rene Herse tires have black tread? Colorful treads can look nice, but black rubber offers the...

What Makes Rene Herse Fenders Special?

In the northern hemisphere, we are moving into the season where we need good fenders: They can make the difference between enjoying the ride and enduring it. The Pacific Northwest, where we live and ride, is known for its long rainy season. We cycle year-round, so it's natural that we...

How Fast are Rene Herse Tires?

How fast are our tires? We know that the casing, and not the width, determines a tire's speed. When I rode Paris-Brest-Paris on 42 mm-wide tires (above), I knew that I wasn't giving up any speed over narrower rubber. But in absolute terms, how fast are our Rene Herse tires? Manufacturers'...

Contact Points Matter: Saddles

When I built my new bike for this year's Paris-Brest-Paris, I was reminded of professional racers in the old days, who brought their favorite saddle and handlebars to the builder of their new bike. I've talked about handlebars here; today, I'll cover saddles as the second contact point between us and...

New Sealant for Rene Herse Tires

Tubeless tires have changed what we can do on a bike. When the terrain is really rough, not having to worry about pinch flats allows us to run lower tire pressure for more comfort, more traction and more speed. (The speed comes from the lower pressure on rough surfaces, not...

Rene Herse 700C x 44 with Endurance Casing

We developed the Endurance casings for our Rene Herse tires based on requests from gravel racers like Ted King (above), who need tires for truly harsh conditions. A race like Dirty Kanza traverses 200 miles of sharp stones in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The lead racers travel at high...

Back in Stock: SON Generator Hubs and Lights

With the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris coming up, demand for generator hubs and lights has been high. We've just received another shipment, and now all products are back in stock, plus there are some new items as well. By far our most popular generator hub is the SONdelux Wide-Body. In addition to all the...

Why Square Taper Bottom Brackets?

Square taper bottom brackets may seem like anachronisms dating from the last century, and yet they remain the best option for metal cranks. Here is why our Rene Herse cranks use square tapers and will continue to do so in the future. Modern bottom brackets have larger spindles, so they can...

Rene Herse Handlebar Bag Stiffener

Small things can make a big difference, especially on long rides. With handlebar bags, it's important that they don't flop around as you ride. That is why they are supported by a rack at the bottom. At the top, keeping the bag from moving from side to side is helpful...

Tune Your Tires!

With wide tires, you can tune the ride of your bike to the terrain and to your personal preferences. This gives you options that simply did not exist in the past. Gone are the days when we inflated our narrow tires to the maximum pressure and rode on rock-hard rubber. Even...

Why Contact Points Matter: Handlebars

Riding long distances – especially on rough roads – puts different demands on your body and your bike than short and fast-paced races. The contact points with the bike become more important the longer you ride. These days, you don't hear much about them, especially the saddle and handlebars. If you...

New Tires: Hurricane Ridge and Endurance Casings

Working with Ted King, winner of last year's Dirty Kanza gravel race, has added a new perspective to our R&D. We've got a lot of experience riding gravel, even racing it, but today's mass-start races aren't the same as exploring the Cascade Mountains on forest roads, or even racing the...

What makes a tire corner well?

Like many cyclists, we love climbs, but we live for twisty downhills. The feeling of the bike leaning deep into a turn is something that is hard to explain, yet easy to enjoy. https://youtu.be/mvGv9IEiDzY This video clip was taken on a short descent toward Lake Washington. We know this road well, and...

The long road to dual-purpose knobbies

When Ted King recently won the Epic 150 gravel race in Missouri on our Rene Herse Steilacoom tires, many were surprised that he ran knobbies on a fast course. But there were a few muddy corners where the knobs would provide valuable grip, and Ted knew that on the smooth...

48/33 Rings for Rene Herse Cranks

We're offering a new chainring combination for our 11-speed compatible Rene Herse cranks. The 48/33 is a perfect size for fast-paced group rides – you won't get dropped even on downhills with a tailwind, yet the 48 is a bit smaller than the more common 50, allowing you to stay...

Juniper Ridge 650B x 48 is here!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmt02COlmb4?rel=0&w=640&h=360] The Juniper Ridge 650B x 48 mm dual-purpose knobbies have arrived. Unlike any other all-road tire, they combine excellent speed and cornering grip on pavement with unrivaled traction in mud and snow. At 450 g (Extralight) and 510 g (Standard), they are among the lightest tires in this popular...

Ted King: Gravel Racing on Rene Herse Tires

They call Ted King the 'King of Gravel': Winner of both the Dirty Kanza and Grinduro in 2018, he's the man to beat. With 'gravel' being the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle market, even professional teams are lining up to challenge Ted. So what does a champion do when others...

Longer cranks should be stronger

Our Rene Herse cranks are available in three length: 165, 171 and 177 mm. We chose 3.5% increments, because that is the smallest difference you'll notice as you ride. That part is just common sense. What makes our cranks unique among small-production cranks is that we use different forging dies for...

How to set up tubeless tires

Tubeless tires have eliminated the risk of pinch flats. For riding in really rough terrain, they are a game changer. But like all new technologies, it's taken some trial-and-error until we figured out how to run bicycle tires tubeless. Of course, tubeless tires are nothing new. Car tires have been tubeless...

Bon Jon Pass Review: "An Exceptional Tyre"

"An exceptional tyre that will make you faster and happier." That was the verdict when the British web site www.road.cc tested our Bon Jon Pass tires recently. When we hear positive feedback, whether it's from a professional tester or a customer, it makes our day. I smiled when I read the calculation...

What Makes a Good Winter Tire?

Winter riding is fun. The crisp air, the clear skies and the beautiful views. Getting out and breathing fresh air. There are many reasons to enjoy it. Winter riding requires preparation. The most obvious is clothing – which we'll leave for another post. Today, let's talk about what makes a good...

Compass becomes Rene Herse Cycles

Starting in early 2019, Rene Herse Cycles will be the sole brand for all tires and components made now by Compass Cycles. This streamlines our two brands and clarifies the philosophy that guides us. Since Lyli Herse asked us to become custodians of the Rene Herse name more than a decade...

Why Supple Tires Run at Higher Pressures

One of the benefits of wide tires is that they run at lower pressures. Yet the supple casings of our Rene Herse tires require higher pressure to corner well and not bottom out on big bumps. Doesn't the higher pressure negate the benefits of wider tires? Think of the tire casing...

New Parts from SON

SON has introduced a few useful products that have us quite excited. First, there is the 12 mm Thru-Axle Adapter. You may know the dilemma: As the days get shorter, you really want to equip your bike with generator lights, but you don't want to invest in a hub that soon...

Rene Herse 11-speed Chainrings in New Sizes

Chainrings choice. It's one of the main attractions of our Rene Herse cranks – together with light weight, supreme reliability and, dare we say it, good looks. So when we presented our first 11-speed chainrings, it was only a matter of time until the program was expanded. Now we are...

Disc Brakes in the Tour de France

This year's Tour de France has had its share of drama, and the winner won't be the one most observers predicted. Among the sporting achievements, the technological innovation was easy to overlook: Finally, the UCI approved disc brakes, and the Tour is the first big stage race where they've been used. Reading the...