Compass Bicycles Ltd. introduces a full line of high-performance tires in both 700C and 650B sizes. The narrower 700C tires are a great way to transform the performance and comfort of a racing bike. The wider 700C tires, especially the 38 mm-wide “Barlow Pass”, will allow riders of 700C bikes to enjoy the benefits of supple, fast and wide tires. The wide 650B models provide more performance and better cornering grip than existing models, thanks to their optimized tread pattern and thickness.
Eight years ago we started the first systematic real-world tests of tire performance in recent memory. We conducted both roll-down tests and track tests with a power meter. What was revolutionary about these tests was that they were performed with a rider on board. As it turns out, the rider is an integral system of the bike, and suspension losses in the rider’s body are one of the main components of the resistance that tires create.
We tested dozens of different tires. We tested the same tires at different pressures. We tested the same tire models in different widths. We tested different tire treads. We even had prototype tires made with different casings and tested those.
In addition to that, we rode dozens of different tire models over challenging terrain to test things like wet- and dry-weather grip, cornering and road feel. We’ve ridden them on gravel and on pavement.
We’ve published the results in Bicycle Quarterly, and they have informed the design of the tires that we have developed with Grand Bois and Challenge. Those tires were far superior to any wide tire that had been available before, but we wanted to optimize the tread pattern even further and offer additional sizes, so we decided to make our own line of tires under the Compass brand.
The Compass line of tires is designed to offer optimum performance above all. Their supple casing is key, and these tires roll faster than most. The supple casing also absorbs vibrations and shocks better, making these tires supremely comfortable. The tire tread was designed to offer optimum cornering adhesion and precision, both in wet and dry conditions.
Despite this focus on performance, we designed these tires to be sensible everyday tires. The tread is 3 mm thick to last many miles, unlike thinner high-performance tires which are best treated as “event” tires. The new tires are available with “standard” casings and brown sidewalls, as well as “extralight” casings with brown sidewalls or in all-black. The “extralight” casing not only reduces the tire’s weight, but is also more supple, thus increasing the tire’s speed and comfort even further.
The new tires are available in six sizes, named after some of our favorite mountain passes in the Cascade Range:
- Cayuse Pass 700C x 26 mm
- Chinook Pass 700C x 28 mm
- Stampede Pass 700C x 32 mm
- Barlow Pass 700C x 38 mm
- Loup Loup Pass 650B x 38 mm
- Babyshoe Pass 650B x 42 mm
All tires have the same optimized casings and tread patterns.
With their focus on ultimate performance and handling, the new Compass tires will complement the existing Grand Bois tires, which will remain in the Compass Bicycles program. The Compass 26” tires remain unchanged as well. The tires are available right now. Click here for more information.