Jordan Rapp tests the Compass Snoqualmie Pass 700C x 44 Extralights


We’re always excited to get feedback on our tires, and when it comes from someone like Jordan Rapp, it’s especially valuable. The names of semi-professional gravel racers aren’t yet household names – Jordan used to be a pro triathlete before becoming a gravel racer. This year, he came 6th in the grueling Dirty Kanza 200-mile gravel race (above). So he knows how to ride, and he isn’t babying his equipment.

We sent him a set of 700C x 44 mm Snoqualmie Pass Extralights, and here is what he had to say:
“On dirt fire roads, the tire has admirable grip and is just screaming fast. Plus, at 35 psi, it just rolls over everything, on road and off.”

The tire made him explore great roads that he was avoiding before:
“Yerba Buena is one of the nicest climbs in the Santa Monica Mountains, but I find it generally unrideable because the pavement is so bad. But with the Snoqualmie, I rode it regularly and loved it, especially because that same bad pavement keeps cars and motorcycles off of it. If you can steer clear of pointy and sharp objects, it’s pretty close to the perfect tire.”

He confirmed what we’ve discovered:
“Riding the Compass Snoqualmie, I was shocked at the fundamental impact of contact patch. These are totally slick tires. The tread is no different, really, than what you’d find on any standard road race tire. The tires are just massive. And that massiveness – and the accompanying ability to run extremely low pressures – just gives you a ton of grip on most terrain. Loose sand is pretty sketchy, but it’s always sketchy. Overall, I was astounded at how well a tire that rolled fast on the roads performed off-road over very technical terrain.”

He pushed his Snoqualmies to the limit, and he was surprised:
“I took a fully-rigid bike with drop-bars on trails that I would previously have only considered riding on a full-suspension MTB. And I never felt that my tires were holding me back.”
I guess we should add: “Don’t do this at home!” But really, that’s just the kind of stuff you tend to do with these tires. It’s remarkable how your riding changes when places that used to be ‘barely doable’ become fun to ride. Thank you, Jordan, for the feedback!
Click here to read Jordan’s entire review on Slowtwitch.com, or head to www.compasscycle.com to learn more about our tires.

10 Responses to Jordan Rapp tests the Compass Snoqualmie Pass 700C x 44 Extralights

  1. JerryW November 19, 2018 at 7:53 am #

    Was Jordan running his tires with tubes or tubeless? Thank you.

  2. Bradley Hawkins November 19, 2018 at 10:57 am #

    I like them too. They ride like marshmallows.

  3. Tony November 20, 2018 at 6:09 pm #

    Pretty interesting to read Jordan’s full article on Slowtwitch immediately after reading this. It is illustrative to see how the comments on Compass tires are selectively filtered to be positive here.

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly November 21, 2018 at 10:37 pm #

      If we really wanted to change the tone of Jordan’s conclusions, we probably wouldn’t have included a link to the original. 😉 Seriously, all the paragraphs were quoted verbatim, so there was no change in the tone or meaning of what Jordan said.

      • Virgil Lynskey Walker November 22, 2018 at 7:32 pm #

        I’ve no intention to start a war here, but must say that though I sometimes have quibbles with some things in this blog, I don’t think Jan has altered the tone of the original test at all. The writer tested another set of tyres with the Compass ones and “found both of these tires to be excellent”, distinguishing the. Compass tyres as “all *road*” and the others as “*all* road”. No ambiguity about it, and no selective quoting.

  4. marmotte27 November 21, 2018 at 9:27 am #

    I’m getting convinced of having found maybe the only drawback of wide supple tires. Something that I have remarked early on since riding my (standard casing) LoupLoupPass tires seems to be getting stronger now that the tire tread becomes rather thinner. When riding into a shallow longitudinal groove in the road, such as a joint between two slabs of tarmac where the road has been repaired or along the edge of a chipseal overlay (grooves that will maybe be 5 mm deep if that), the tire (pumped to about 3 bars in my case) will somehow twist itself to adapt to the road surface, and you’ll feel that quite disconcertingly through the handlebars, as if your bike were starting to be dragged off course. That doesn’t happen, as the groove is to small, but it’s enough to make me change my trajectory to avoid it. Sometimes, depending on where the groove is located in relation to the edge of the road, that will make you place yourself a bit further in or out on the road than you’d like. I don’t recall that happening on 23mm tires pumped to 7 bars.
    Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly November 21, 2018 at 10:40 pm #

      You are right, supple tires deflect more – especially the largest ones, since they run at such low pressures. It’s especially noticeable if you ride in a tire track made in the asphalt by heavy truck traffic. When you get to the edge of that track, the tire deflects, and it feels a bit strange.
      There is a way to make the tire stiffer – increase the tire pressure. Then that behavior will be much reduced, while the performance won’t be any worse. It goes to show that the ‘optimal’ tire pressure depends on many factors…

  5. scott g. November 21, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Question the 44mm standards weight 378g, but the 38mm standards weigh 430g ?
    35mm standards come in at 355g, seems an odd weight progession. Is that correct.
    I have a set of 38s the weigh 450g

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly November 21, 2018 at 10:43 pm #

      Compass tires are largely made by hand. The rubber coating of the casing, but also the tread thickness, vary a bit from one production run to the next. The last batch of Barlow Pass tires turned out a tad heavy (which means they set up very easily tubeless), while recent Snoqualmies have been at the light end of the spectrum. They all ride great, and you’ll be hard-pressed to notice the difference on the road.