Category Archives: Components

To grease or not to grease?

Should one grease the tapers of bottom bracket spindles before installing the cranks? Few topics spur as much controversy among bike mechanics as this question. In the old days, Campagnolo not only recommended mounting the cranks dry, they even suggested … Continue reading

Posted in Bottom brackets, Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 27 Comments

April 1: Taking Off Fenders

Spring is here at last, and so this weekend we took the fenders off our car. While we were at it, we also removed the lights. We don’t use the car much in the rain or after dark, and we … Continue reading

Posted in Fenders, Testing and Tech | 59 Comments

Wiring a Light for a SON Generator Hub

Before I explain how to connect your light to a SON generator hub, I’d like to summarize the advantages of quality generator-powered lights. They simply allow you to ride more safely and enjoyably: Light when you need it, at the … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting | 28 Comments

René Herse Cranks are Here!

Customers who pre-ordered their René Herse cranks before February 1 should receive a box in the next few days. Inside… …is the new René Herse crank. It is delivered with our custom crank bolts and pedal washers. We are ramping … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks | 22 Comments

Pivots for Centerpull Brakes

We now have braze-on pivots for centerpull brakes in stock. Small parts like these are easily overlooked. They aren’t exciting, and there is little profit in them. But when you need them, you appreciate them. Centerpull brakes have seen a … Continue reading

Posted in Framebuilding supplies, Product News | 10 Comments

Waterproof Edelux lights?

Few bicycle headlights are actually waterproof. The Planet Bike headlight in our test wicked water past the headlight lens, and the standlight function stopped working. Busch & Müller’s lights are open at the bottom, so moisture can drain out. This … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting, Testing and Tech | 11 Comments

The Downsides of Wide Tires

Since we have published a post about “The Dangers of Narrow Tires,” it is only fair that we look at the other side of the coin. What are the disadvantages (or even dangers?) of wider tires? I can think of … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 72 Comments

Inserting a Handlebar into a Stem

Inserting a handlebar into a classic stem requires a few simple tricks. Grand Bois stems are based on classic stems, and are not equipped with removable faceplates that can make installation easier. Classic stems have a number of advantages that … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Product News, Stems, Testing and Tech | 8 Comments

Edelux Headlights for Hanging Attachments

Edelux headlights for a hanging attachment are now available. The hanging  attachment allows mounting them more securely underneath a front rack. Most German bikes mount their lights above the fork crown (below). That is how most headlights are designed, including … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting, Product News | 31 Comments

Wide-Body SON Delux Generator Hub

I am excited about the new Wide-Body SON Delux generator hub. It allows you to enjoy a super-strong wheel, yet roll along with the less resistance than other generator hubs. It is available now in limited quantities with 32 or … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting, Product News | 24 Comments

Pre-Orders for René Herse Cranks

Developing an excellent product takes time and care. The first run of our new René Herse cranks has been forged. Above, you see a raw forging being removed from the forging die. Above are the raw forgings for the crankarms … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks | 9 Comments

New LED Taillight Solutions

Taillights can be very elegant and beautiful. Some are shaped like raindrops, others emerge from the fender like a submarine parting the waves. There are minimalist taillights like the beautiful JOS lights that René Herse mounted on the seat tubes … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting, Product News | 29 Comments

Bottle Cages

When I knew Ernest Cuska, the long-time owner of Cycles Alex Singer, he did not have bottle cages on his bikes. After riding with him a few times, I realized why: He did not drink anything while riding. Imagine my … Continue reading

Posted in Bottle cages, Product News | 13 Comments

Net-Shape Forging and Crank Length

Net-Shape Forging The new René Herse cranks will be offered in one length only, 171 mm, which allows us to have the cranks forged to their final shape. (The photo above shows the raw forging.) The process is called “net-shape … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 52 Comments

SON Generator Hubs and Lights

Compass Bicycles has added SON generator hubs and Edelux lights to our program. We are excited to carry the best bicycle lighting systems ever made. A few years ago, a reporter asked me what I considered the most important innovation … Continue reading

Posted in Lighting, Product News | 37 Comments

Stem Length and Frame Size

We recently received our first shipment of 110 mm-long Grand Bois stems. The fillet-brazed stems are available in 10 mm increments from 60 to 110 mm. Now riders of all sizes can use these beautifully crafted, super-strong stems and decaleurs. … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Stems, Testing and Tech | 12 Comments

René Herse Cranks: Prices and Availability

The new René Herse cranks have entered production. The arms are being forged, the chainrings are being machined, and the crank bolts are being made, each by specialist manufacturers who are among the best in their trade. The photo above … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks | 22 Comments

History of Aluminum Cranks

During the development of our new René Herse cranks over the last two years, I have been thinking a lot about crank design. Modern cranks are an interesting story of standards that evolved until nobody remembers why they were adopted … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 42 Comments

The Dangers of Narrow Tires

It is unfortunate that most “road” and even “hybrid” bikes are sold with tires so narrow that you cannot cross streetcar tracks at an oblique angle without risking a fall. The Seattle Times reported recently about a rail line that … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides, Testing and Tech, Tires | 27 Comments

Compass Tires in 26″ x 1.75″

Compass Bicycles is introducing our new Compass 26″ x 1.75″ tires (42 – 559 mm). Many readers and customers have asked for a 26″ version of the much-loved Grand Bois Hetre 650B tires. This would allow riders of mountain bikes, … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Tires | 24 Comments