Question from a potential customer: “If I purchase a Rene Herse crankset with its non-standard bolt-circle diameter, what guarantee do I have that Compass Bicycles will continue production of the chainrings for 5, 10 or 15 years?”
Compass Bicycles makes products that we expect to last for decades. We have taken every care in the design and manufacture to ensure that you can enjoy them for a long time. In this context, being able to get replacement parts is important.
Will you be able to get chainrings when your first set wears out?
The good news is that you won’t need new chainrings for a long time. Our chainrings are precision-machined from 7075 aluminum, which is very hard and long-wearing. Expect to get about 5-8 times as many miles out of these rings than you get out of less expensive rings that are made from 6000-series aluminum. (I used to get about 50,000 km / 30,000 miles out of a set of Campagnolo chainrings of similar quality.)
It may take a while, but eventually your chainrings will wear out. Anybody who has tried to replace or repair a 9-speed brake-shift lever just a decade after it was “state-of-the-art” knows how quickly big manufacturers declare a product obsolete. In fact, Campagnolo apparently is about to end their support for 10-speed components.
Compass Bicycles is different, because we are committed to our designs. We won’t change them for the sake of offering something “new.” René Herse cranks have been around since 1938. (The photo shows a tandem from 1947.) It’s hard to see how they could be improved. For you, this means that future chainrings will fit onto the cranks you buy today.
In fact, today’s René Herse chainrings fit on all Herse cranks made after 1960, and earlier cranks can be adapted to fit the current chainrings. So even riders who bought their René Herses more than 70 years ago can get chainrings for their bikes again! As long as Compass Bicycles is around, you should be able to get chainrings.
What if Compass Bicycles goes out of business? We promise that we will do our utmost to avoid this eventuality!