Category Archives: Components

A full line of Extra Leger tires

The Grand Bois Extra Léger tires have been available for the better part of a year now, and the feedback has been entirely positive. Compared to the standard Grand Bois tires, the Extra Léger (Extralight) models use an even lighter … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 39 Comments

700C x 29 mm Extra Léger Tires

We asked Grand Bois for Extra Léger tires in other sizes than those already available. As a result, we now have a limited quantity of 700C x 29 mm (28 mm nominal width) Grand Bois Extra-Léger tires available. They are … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 15 Comments

Extra-Leger Tires in Stock

Many of our customers have been waiting patiently for the Grand Bois Extra Léger tires. These tires are made in small quantities, so they are hard to keep in stock. We just received another shipment. The latest batch has tan … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 34 Comments

It’s Not Easy to Be Honest

I used to wonder why manufacturers offer things that are popular, even though they don’t work well. I recently read an interview with a BMW engineer, who complained about the huge wheels that the company now puts on their cars. … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 89 Comments

Tire Width: how much difference do a few millimeters make?

At Compass Bicycles, we often get the question: “I am riding 23 mm tires right now, and I wonder whether a 25 mm-wide tire would make a noticeable difference.” The graph below, taken from the Spring 2013 issue of Bicycle … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 72 Comments

Tire Wipers

Many cyclists are tempted by the performance and comfort of supple tires, but they are afraid that they might get too many flats without puncture-resistant belts and reinforced sidewalls. Tire Wipers improve the flat resistance of your tires without detracting … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 30 Comments

Berthoud Handlebar Bags without Side Pockets

On my own bikes, I use Gilles Berthoud handlebar bags without side pockets. The side pockets tend to get in the way of my hands when I ride bikes with narrow handlebars. Furthermore, the pockets probably increase the wind resistance … Continue reading

Posted in Racks/Bags | 39 Comments

Spring Bicycle Inspection

The beginning of the season is a good time to check our bikes carefully. The last thing we need the evening before a ride is to find out that our chainrings are too worn to work with a new chain, … Continue reading

Posted in Components, Our Bikes | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

SKF Bottom Brackets with French Threads

Many wonderful bikes have been made in France in past decades. Not just the great machines from small constructeurs like René Herse and Alex Singer (above), but also more common bikes like the Peugeot PX-10, the nicer Gitanes and many … Continue reading

Posted in Bottom brackets, Product News | Tagged | 23 Comments

Grand Bois Leather Handlebar Tape

I’ve been on the fence about leather handlebar tape. It’s expensive, and the leather-wrapped handlebars of the 1980s were slippery when wet. However, my friend Hahn has used Brooks leather bar tape and found that he liked it. (Except the … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Product News | 17 Comments

Trouble with STI Triples

Triple cranks are a good choice for some riders. The most common shifting system for triple cranks, Shimano’s STI, only works with Shimano chainrings. Unfortunately, Shimano’s chainring combinations are of limited use to most riders. If you want to customize … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 61 Comments

How Wide a Tire Can I Run?

Many cyclists want to ride on wider tires, but are limited by the clearances of their bikes. So they want to use the widest tires their bike can fit. How do you determine your bike’s maximum tire width? You need … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 27 Comments

Fake Metal vs. Honest Plastic

Few taillights available today complement the aesthetics of a classic randonneur bike, where you want to see finely detailed components, typically in metal. Most modern lights are chunky black plastic, but one succeeds in being more understated: Busch & Müller’s … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting | 50 Comments

Grand Bois Extra Leger in All-Black

The black Cyprès Extra Léger 700C x 32 mm tires are in stock now. Our first run of 700C x 32 mm Grand Bois Cyprès Extra Léger tires sold out within a month. The reason is not just higher-than-anticipated demand, but … Continue reading

Posted in Tires | 37 Comments

Winter Projects

At this time of year, we plan our rides for the summer. There are so many places we want to explore! We pore over roads and look at event calendars. And we think about changes to our bikes. Some of … Continue reading

Posted in Components, Our Bikes, PBP Preparation | 16 Comments

Does My Bike Take Fenders?

We often extol the virtues of aluminum fenders over plastic ones: They keep rider and bike drier and cleaner, they last longer, they don’t make noise on rough roads, and they are lighter. (I also think they look better.) Metal … Continue reading

Posted in Fenders | 46 Comments

Passing the Test

When we designed the new René Herse cranks, our goal was to create a crank that was as reliable and safe as any on the market. After all, we ride these cranks ourselves. We are especially proud that these cranks … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks | 16 Comments

Bottom Brackets Demystified

Replacing a square taper bottom brackets can seem a bit daunting. What threading do I need? How long should the spindle be? Which taper? It’s really quite simple, and here is how to figure it out. Threading The bottom bracket … Continue reading

Posted in Bottom brackets | 27 Comments

Will I be able to get chainrings?

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks | 22 Comments

Overview of SON Generator Hubs

When “Schmidt’s Originaler Nabendynamo” (SON) was introduced more than a decade ago, the choice was easy: There was only one model. Today, Schmidt offers three models of their revolutionary generator hubs. Here is what distinguishes them: SON Delux: Weight: 386 … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting | 18 Comments