Tires

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

How to Choose Your Rene Herse Tires

Choosing 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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....

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,...

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...

The Drawbacks of Supple Tires

At Rene Herse Cycles, we love supple tires. More than anything else, they have come to define what we do: Bring you the highest performance and greatest joy as you ride your bike. Supple casings makes tires faster and more comfortable – what is not to like? This post's headline...

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...

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...

Tire Fit Gauge

How wide a tire can I fit on my bike? It's a common question, and yet it's difficult to figure out, especially when you plan to change wheel sizes. Hahn Rossman has developed a simple tire fit gauge that allows checking tire clearances on your bike. Put the disc for...

Why We Don't Do OEM

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could buy a complete bike that is already equipped with Compass tires? Take a bike like the Masi Speciale Randonneur (above), roll out of the bike shop and into the hills, your tires gently humming as they roll over the rough pavement. When...

How Wide is Right for Me?

Our ideas of what is a performance bike have changed a lot in recent years! One of the most exciting bikes of the moment is the Open U.P. – a carbon race bike that accepts 50 mm-wide tires! Not too long ago, every performance road bike had 700C x 23...

Supple Trumps Wide

High-performance bicycles have changed tremendously in recent years. As one manufacturer said at last year's Interbike: "In the past, everybody asked how much your bike weighed. Now all they want to know is how wide a tire it fits." Wide tires have revolutionized how we view performance bikes. In the...

How to Test Tire Performance

In the 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, one of our discoveries has been that testing bicycle performance isn't easy, and that taking shortcuts often has led to erroneous conclusions. Carefully designed tests that replicate what happens when real cyclists ride on real roads have allowed Bicycle Quarterly to debunk several myths....

Tubeless-Compatible 650B x 42 mm

The updated Compass Babyshoe Pass TC 650B x 42 mm tires are now in stock in all models. What's new? We took our most popular 650B tire, and made it tubeless compatible. When you are riding fast on rough gravel, tubeless really makes sense – as I found out...

New Tire: Pumpkin Ridge 650B x 42 mm

Many cyclists dream of a dual-purpose tire that rolls smoothly on paved roads, but has knobs that dig into the surface when it gets slippery. In the past, combining these two qualities in a single tire has been elusive. Usually, the knobs were too squirmy for good performance on...

Tubeless-Compatible 650B x 42 mm

If there is such a thing, Babyshoe Pass is our favorite tire here at Compass and Bicycle Quarterly. It's 42 mm width gives it great cornering grip, comfort and puncture resistance. The 650B wheel size offers nimble handling with wide tires. The Babyshoe Pass is named after an iconic...

Choosing Your Tires

We've experienced a profound revolution in road bikes in recent years: It used to be that to go fast, you rode narrow tires and pumped them up to the maximum pressure. If you wanted more comfort, you used wider tires and (maybe) lower pressures, but you knew that you'd...

A True Dual-Purpose Knobby

"Don't do this on knobby tires!" would be most cyclists' advice when looking at the photo above. Everybody knows that cornering hard on pavement and knobby tires don't go together. And yet, the photo shows me on Compass Steilacoom knobby tires. And I didn't take any undue risks. It was a cold winter...

Panaracer: Hand-Made Tires

A highlight of my visits to Japan is going to the Panaracer factory. It's a magical place, where some of the world's best tires are made largely by hand. It resembles a storybook factory: Huge machines emit hissing steam. Skilled hands assemble casing, beads and tread. Hot tires cool as they move along conveyors...

Why We Don’t Make "Gravel" Tires

At Compass Cycles, we love riding on gravel roads, so it may come as a surprise that we don't make "gravel" tires. Compass tires are road tires, perfected for use on paved roads. The rubber compound is optimized for grip on pavement, and the "chevron" tread pattern interlocks further with the...

Steilacoom Tire Testing

We thoroughly test every Compass product before we release it. We also seek unbiased evaluations from experienced riders who weren't involved in the development of the products. For the new Compass Steilacoom cyclocross tires, we gave them to a number of cyclocross and gravel racers. Two of them have...

Minimum Tire Pressure

Over the last few years, the idea that higher pressures don't make your bike faster finally has become accepted. Many cyclists now run lower pressures to improve comfort and traction, without giving up anything in speed. On gravel, lower pressures actually make you faster, since the bike bounces less. On...

Rat Trap Pass back in stock

This is just a quick note that our popular 26" x 2.3" Rat Trap Pass tires are back in stock in all versions. We've been surprised by the popularity of these tires... Many cyclists have a cherished old mountain bike, an expedition tourer or a tandem that is transformed with...

Gravel Racing on Compass Tires

When the Australian Matt Hayman won the European Paris-Roubaix race yesterday, it came as a huge surprise to everybody, including Hayman himself. However, nobody was surprised that Hayman rode on super-supple tires. With their tan sidewalls, Hayman's tires looked like FMBs or Dugasts, but first reports insist that they actually were...

Tire Pressure Take-Home

What is the 'correct' tire pressure for your bike? The simple answer is: Whatever feels right to you. Confused? Here is how it works: In the past, many riders inflated their tires to the maximum pressure rating. Now most cyclists now recognize that the optimum pressure often is much lower. But what is the right...

Visiting Panaracer

As a child, I used to think of Japan as a densely populated place full of skyscrapers and freeways. Of course, those big cities exist, but much of Japan is very rural. So when I travel from Tokyo to visit the Panaracer factory, I get to experience that transition from...

Why slick tires don't stick well

  During the R&D of the Compass tires, I was surprised how much difference tire treads can make. I rode three sets of tires with the same casing, same tread rubber and same width, but different tread patterns: standard Grand Bois Hetres with large longitudinal ribs throughout the tire tread "shaved" Hetres...

New Compass Tires in Stock

The four new Compass tires are in stock now! They are the Rat Trap Pass (26" x 54 mm), Switchback Hill (650B x 48 mm), Bon Jon Pass (700C x 35 mm), and Elk Pass (26" x 1.25"). The Rat Trap Pass (above) is the ultimate expression of our new Enduro Allroad tires....

Compass Tires and Tubeless

  I was trying to put a photo of the new Compass tires' bead here, but it's hard to photograph the difference... What is important is this: our upcoming Compass 26" x 2.3", 650B x 48 mm and 700C x 35 mm tires will be tubeless compatible! You'll just need to use...

Testing the Compass Elk Pass Tires

We recently received the first production samples of the new Compass tires. We've been testing the high-volume tires on our own bikes, but we don't have any bikes designed for the 26" x 1.25" Elk Pass tires. Fortunately, a Japanese friend was visiting, and she took the new Elk Pass...

Inner Tube Quality

Inner tubes often seem like generic commodities. One is as good as the next – so buy the cheapest one... I used to think that, too, until I started to see split seams, valves separating from the tube, and other mysterious flats that were not caused by "outside influences"....

Reviews of Compass Tires

When you design a product, develop it, test it and finally bring it to market, you wonder how it will be received. Of course, you are confident that others will like it as much as you do – you wouldn't have released it if it didn't meet your high...