Testing the Compass Elk Pass TiresJan Heine
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 Extralight tires on a tour of the Cascades, roughly following the first part of the Volcano High Pass Super Randonnée.
How would the 32 mm-wide superlight tires fare on a ride that encompasses some of the most challenging roads, whether gravel or paved, that the Cascades have to offer?
The roads were indeed rough, but the tires fared fine. In four days of riding, she had one pinch-flat, and no other problems. She noticed (and liked) the improved comfort, both on gravel and on pavement, compared to the Panaracer Paselas she usually rides.
I was glad to hear that, because these are some of my favorite roads, and the landscape is spectacular. But if you are continuously “underbiking” or suffering from multiple flats, it’ll take the fun out of the most scenic ride.
The new tires, despite their ultra-light weight and minimalist construction, not only handled the challenging ride just fine, but also, thanks to their suppleness, made it more enjoyable.
She reported that the tires were sure-footed on pavement – which is their main intended use. Under heavier riders, the 32 mm width is a bit marginal for really rough gravel, but if you are looking for the fastest, lightest 26″ tire ever made, this probably is it. Not only does it weigh just 178 g, but it uses the Compass Extralight casing and our ultra-sticky tread rubber for the ultimate in suppleness and cornering grip.
Now she has Rinko’d her bike and headed back to Tokyo. We look forward to hearing how the Elk Pass tires fare on the roads of the Japanese Alps where she usually rides.
Meanwhile, the main shipment of our new tires will soon head the other way across the Pacific, and we should have all models in stock by the end of the month (August 2015). We’ll announce them here and in our customer newsletter when they arrive.