Off The Beaten Path

Back in Stock and New Products

For us, cycling is part of our lives. Our bikes are the most important tools we own. We use them for transportation, and we use them for enjoyment, often combining the two. That means our bikes need to be ready at a moment’s notice. If we can’t get a part, it leaves us stranded. The same applies to most of our customers, who consider the components we sell essential.

That is why we work hard to keep our parts in stock. Usually we are successful, but sometimes an item runs out before a new shipment arrives. It might be that demand is greater than we anticipated. Or there could be a delay at the manufacturer – often because a supplier is running behind schedule. Or a shipment can be held up somewhere. We’ve encountered all these issues in recent months, but we are glad that 98% of Compass parts are back in stock as we prepare our bikes for the next cycling season. Here are a few things that just arrived:

As one of the key contact points, good handlebars are key to a comfortable ride. Many modern bars are very shallow and short, leaving your hands cramped and uncomfortable during long hours in the saddle. The classic handlebars we offer were designed for long days on rough roads, where comfort is paramount. The Maes Parallel (above) give you lots of room to roam, and the Randonneur provides a super-comfortable position on the ramps.

All Compass handlebars are available with 25.4 and 31.8 mm clamp diameters. If you have a 26.0 mm stem, we offer a shim to reduce the diameter to 25.4 mm. We have added wider models, so all our bars now come in widths between 400 and 460 mm.

Saddles are the other important contact point with your bike. We’ve found Berthoud saddles to offer superior comfort and quality. The composite frame is lightweight and flexes a bit to improve the comfort of a traditional leather saddle even further.

Berthoud’s leather quality is second to none. We carry the medium-width touring and the narrow racing saddle, plus a shorter women’s model (above). They are available in different colors, with titanium or steel rails, and also in an ‘open’ version to alleviate pressure. All models are in stock again.

Handlebar tape is a matter of personal taste. Riders with a light touch on the bars often prefer thin bar tape, but most modern tape is heavily padded and too thick for our liking. Maware’s beautiful leather tape is made in Japan from pigskin, so it’s thinner than the others we’ve tried. It’s also superlight, so we used it on the J. P. Weigle for the Concours de Machines technical trials last summer.

Compass now distributes Maware’s bar tape and their leather frame protectors in North America, but the small company was overwhelmed by the demand. Now they’ve caught up, and all products are in stock again.

And if you prefer thicker handlebar tape, we also stock Berthoud’s excellent cowhide tape.

Tires change the feel of your bike more than any other component, and tires are why we got into the component business in the first place: There were no wide tires that offered the ride and performance we wanted. We offer tires in many sizes and models, and a few of them have been in short supply lately. We always make sure that at least one or two models in every size are in stock, so your bike won’t be left immobilized for lack of tires. In time for the new season, all models are on hand again.

We developed the new René Herse cantilever brakes for the Concours de Machines, where the prototypes helped J. P. Weigle’s bike win the prize for the lightest bike. We began to offer the production version last autumn. These are made in small numbers, and sometimes, demand overwhelms supply. They are back in stock, but since they are assembled to order, allow a few extra days for delivery.

We appreciate your patience while some of these components were in short supply. Most parts are back in stock now, and we’ll work on keeping it that way, so you can enjoy your cycling season without worrying about spare parts. Click on the links above for more information, or click here to go directly to www.compasscycle.com.