Category Archives: Components

René Herse Crank Weight

In our original announcement of the new René Herse cranks, we wrote that they were lighter than Campagnolo Record Carbon cranks. A few readers asked us to substantiate this. We weighed the cranks on Bicycle Quarterly’s precision scale (above). We … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 19 Comments

Grand Bois Stems and Decaleurs

Grand Bois recently introduced their new stems. The stems are fillet-brazed from steel tubing, then polished and triple-plated (copper, nickel, chrome) for a brilliant and durable finish. The special clamp bolts and the expander bolt are chrome-plated as well. The … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Product News, Stems | 33 Comments

René Herse Cranks – Strong Enough?

When we presented the new René Herse cranks last week, a number of people wondered whether they would be strong enough. After all, most cranks have four or five spider arms, whereas the Herse cranks use only three. And what … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 27 Comments

René Herse Cranks

Compass Bicycles and René Herse Bicycles are proud to introduce a modern version of the classic René Herse crank. The new crank will be available this fall. Some products are hard to improve; they make you wonder why all components … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Rene Herse cranks | 82 Comments

A Visit to Nitto

Our friends from Tokyo Fixed in London visited Nitto and took this neat video. In addition to their own products, Nitto makes Grand Bois handlebars and racks. Enjoy!

Posted in Handlebars, Racks/Bags, Stems, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Preventing Flat Tires

Every cyclist knows the sensation: You ride along, feeling at one with your bike and the world. Suddenly you notice your tire going soft, often accompanied by a hissing sound. Like Icarus, who flew too high and got singed by … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 13 Comments

How Durable are Grand Bois Tires?

Tires are the most important component of your bike. Supple high-end tires roll faster and are more comfortable. A set of great tires transforms your bike’s feel. The down side is that high-end tires can be more fragile than sturdy … Continue reading

Posted in Our Bikes, Product News, Testing and Tech, Tires | 23 Comments

Bottle Cages, Bike Stands and Leather Washers

At Compass Bicycles, we carry products we value, even if we don’t expect them to be very profitable. The Iribe bottle cage is a case in point. On the face of it, $ 150 for a bottle cage is a … Continue reading

Posted in Bottle cages, Product News | 22 Comments

SKF Bottom Brackets: World Exclusive

Compass Bicycles is proud to be the sole distributor of SKF bottom brackets world-wide. Svenska Kugellagerfabriken (SKF) has been the leader in bearing technology since 1907. Today, SKF is the largest bearing manufacturer in the world, and their bearings are … Continue reading

Posted in Bottom brackets, Product News, Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Tire Sizes

Making tire molds continues to be an inexact art. For decades, riders have complained that many tires, especially wider ones, do not run “true to size.” In most cases, tires were narrower than their stated width, which caused Sheldon Brown … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Testing and Tech, Tires | 10 Comments

Grand Bois Lierre 650B x 38 mm Tires

We received our first shipment of the new Grand Bois Lierre (Ivy) 38 – 584 mm (650B x 38 mm) tires. I put a set on my Grand Bois Urban Bike and went for a ride. With the shallow “negative” … Continue reading

Posted in Product News, Tires

Handlebar Width

A few people have asked about handlebar width in our handlebar discussion. Grand Bois handlebars come in widths between 41 and 43 cm, which may appear narrow by today’s standards. Many riders, even very tall ones, prefer relatively narrow handlebars. … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Testing and Tech | 10 Comments

Racks, 700C Fork Crowns and 650B Tires

We are proud to announce a few new products: The elegant Grand Bois/Nitto M-13 racks are designed for Grand Bois 650B bikes. They feature a slightly smaller platform than the popular Nitto M-12. Where the Nitto M-12 was designed for … Continue reading

Posted in Framebuilding supplies, Product News, Racks/Bags | 14 Comments

Avoiding Numb Hands

Hand numbness can spoil the most wonderful long distance ride. A cyclist’s hands can get numb from vibration and pressure. The first step is to eliminate as much vibration as possible near the source (road surface). Supple, wide tires, run … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, PBP Preparation, Uncategorized | 21 Comments

More on Handlebars: Randonneur Model

My all-time favorite handlebar shape is the old AVA Randonneur: The Randonneur shape makes the “behind the hoods” position even more comfortable than the Philippe Professionel. When you look at your hand as you hold the bars, your palm forms … Continue reading

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

Handlebars Old and New

The Philippe Professionel used to be one of the favorite handlebars of racers and randonneurs alike. In 1951, Hugo Koblet won the Tour de France with these handlebars. René Herse’s catalogue of the same year shows these handlebars on the … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Product News, Testing and Tech | 13 Comments

Science and Bicycles 1: Tires and Pressure

Most cyclists are interested in improving their bike’s performance, because rolling along at considerable speed while expending relatively little effort is one of the great appeals of cycling. Before you can improve your bike’s performance, you need to know what … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 8 Comments

Carbon Fiber Handlebar 911

Emergency Roadside Repair in 3 Easy Steps Materials required: • wooden stick • steel strap • big rock • 5 mm Allen wrench (optional) Time required: 25 minutes. On a spring-time ride in the Cascades, we took a side road … Continue reading

Posted in Handlebars, Our Bikes | 5 Comments