New Compass Tires: Naches and Snoqualmie PassJan Heine
Compass Cycles is introducing two new models to its tire line. We’ve had many requests for 700C and 26″ versions of our iconic 650B Babyshoe Pass tires. Here they are!
We’ve added 2 mm to the width, because we found that 44 mm-wide tires will fit most bikes designed for wide 700C and 26″ tires. As with all our tires, we named them after the places that inspired them.
Most cyclists cross Snoqualmie Pass on the “Iron Horse Trail” that uses an old railroad right-of-way. Back in the day, the Milwaukee Railroad’s Olympian Hiawatha raced across the Cascades here. Today, it’s a trail that is covered with loose gravel in places. High-volume tires are key to an enjoyable ride here. Traversing the 2.3-mile tunnel right on the pass is an exciting part of the adventure.
The original Hiawatha trains were the fastest in the world – their streamlined locomotives were easily capable of 124 mph (200 km/h).* As befits a train named after an Indian legend “so fleet of foot” that he could outrun an arrow shot from his own bow. It’s nice to think of our tires in these terms: They are among the fastest in the world.
Our tires are not just “fleet of foot”, but also intended for some pretty rough “roads”. Naches Pass is one of the “secret passes” that cross the Cascades. The new Compass Naches Pass tires measure 26″ x 1.8″ (44 – 559 mm), making them perfect for many touring bikes with 26″ tires. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to chart an alternative cross-country route using only little-known byways, starting with Naches Pass. I am tempted…
The Naches Pass also is a great tire for small bikes, where 650B wheels make it difficult to avoid toe overlap and other design compromises. The nice thing is that you all the parts designed for 650B bikes fit 26″ tires as well: Compass centerpull brakes and rack, fork crown, etc. It’s a great way to go on a smaller frame.
The new tires are tubeless-compatabile. As with most of our tires, they come in several versions:
- Standard casing: a supple casing that offers excellent durability and cut resistance. Available with tan sidewalls.
- Extralight casing: an extra-supple casing usually reserved for hand-made tubulars. Compass Extralight tires offer the ultimate in performance and shock absorption. Available with tan or black sidewalls.
Click here for more information about Compass tires.
* Note: The Olympian Hiawatha apparently did not use the streamlined locomotives, and it certainly never reached 200 km/h. Those speeds were achieved on flatter routes in the Midwest.