Welcome to Rene Herse Cycles!

It’s official: Compass has become Rene Herse Cycles. It’s a big change, with a new name and new logo for a line of products that has a very strong following. Rest assured, our philosophy won’t change, and neither will our products.

We’ll continue to make the high-performance components that we need for rides that mix gravel and pavement with plenty of adventure. This is the same style of riding that René Herse (pronounced reNAY AIRS, above) enjoyed in the 1930s and 40s, when he pushed the envelope of what we’d call all-road bikes today. His bikes have inspired us as we developed our own. As Rene Herse Cycles is reborn in the Cascade Mountains, we’ll continue to challenge the accepted limitations of what bicycles can do.

Our first Rene Herse tire, the Juniper Ridge 650B x 48 mm, combines the speed and cornering of a good ‘racing’ tire with excellent performance in mud and snow. Impossible? That’s what they said when we introduced wide tires with the performance of narrow racing rubber, too…

As with our other tires, you’ll have to ride the Juniper Ridge and see for yourself.

You’ll find that they expand what we thought possible on a bike. Suddenly, we can combine fast-paced road rides with…

… rough gravel passes in the mountains…

… and even snow. As with all our products, you know that they’ve proven themselves before they are released. Prototypes of the Juniper Ridge have covered many hundreds of miles under the most demanding conditions. The Juniper Ridge tires are in production right now, and they’ll be available in March.

There are other exciting projects in the works as Rene Herse Cycles is reborn in the Cascade Mountains. Join us as we continue our exciting journey.

Our new web site is at www.renehersecycles.com.

Our Instagram is @reneherse with the hashtag #renehersetires joining #renehersecranks,  #renehersehandlebars, #reneherserack, #renehersetaillight, etc.

About Jan Heine

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Rene Herse Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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21 Responses to Welcome to Rene Herse Cycles!

  1. Well let me be the first(?) to say, congratulations Jan! Looking forward to more cycling revelations from Compass/Rene Herse! Is the Juniper Ridge a new tire?

  2. Will Morris says:

    Congrats on the rebranding. Logo looks great. Please make a 700×45 version of the Juniper Ridge. There’s a ton of monstercross riders pining for a tire like this.

  3. Dennis D Ketterling says:

    Technically pronounced “roo- (as in “book/look/took”) NAY AIRS, as opposed to rĕn-NAY.

    • Jan Heine says:

      Technically correct, but you’d have people rhyme the ‘roo’ with ‘roost’ or ‘boost,’ rather than ‘book.’ English pronunciation is not uniform, and thus it’s very difficult to transcribe foreign pronunciations into English. In the end, we aren’t concerned about it. Just think about how many people know how to pronounce ‘Porsche’ correctly!

      • milosz says:

        “technically” not at all correct. “technically” pronounced with an [ə] or [ø]. neither vowel is used in any pronounciation of “book/look/took” that i know of (usually it’s [ʊ])

    • Paul Birse says:

      The name isn’t pronounceable in English. The French “R” sound is made in the back of the throat – this consonant doesn’t exist in English, and most English speakers need a lot of practice to produce it. This sound also varies in context, so the R’s in Rene and Herse are pronounced subtly differently. Then, the leading “H” isn’t perfectly silent, it’s expressed as a slight “catch” in the voice between syllables. Again, this sound does not exist in English. (I’ve lived in France for 15 years but I’m a native English speaker.)

      So, given that you can’t reproduce the French name without probably days of practice and coaching, just pronounce it how you like! You’ll be anglicizing it no matter what. Nothing wrong with that at all! Personally I’m for total transpositions of words between languages – I just take the text on it’s face and say it as though it’s an English word.

      • Jan Heine says:

        Names are adaptable as people move. For example, Alex Singer was pronounced totally differently when he lived in Hungary, but now it’s pronounced the French way. And with global companies like BMW or Michelin, everybody pronounces the names as they want. I love the French pronunciation of Specialized: “Speshee-al-ee-zed-uh” So really, everybody can pronounce Rene Herse as they like.

  4. With hindsight, this development looks inevitable. But I’m sure it took much worry & work. Your componentry & commentary is always interesting. Congratulations. I hope it goes as well for you as it did for René, Lyli, et Jean.

  5. Ola says:

    Beautiful! I’m so glad that you take this beautiful brand and do something good with it!

  6. Rick Payne says:

    What the possibility of you all making a similar tire in 26”. We currently have both the Naches Pass and the Mcclure pass 9n our two tandems. Would love something like the Juniper in 26” for our off-road tandem.

    • singlespeedscott says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I think a knobbie 26” version is the most requested tyre I’ve seen on this blog. When’s it going to happen Jan?

      • Archer Sully says:

        Me three. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well my Rat Trap Pass tires have done this winter, but I’m ready for something that handles loose snow better.

  7. Derek Z says:

    Jan,
    Are the prototype JR’s running the same width as Switchback Hills? Thanks for continuing to introduce such excellent products!
    Looking forward!

    • Jan Heine says:

      They are the same size – a little bigger than 48 mm on most rims.

      • Beau says:

        Does that account for the knobbies? Meaning, is it a Switchback Hill with knobbies added, or a slightly smaller casing so that the outer edge of the knobbies measures approximately 48mm? My actual question is will I have to move my fenders?

      • Jan Heine says:

        That accounts for the knobs. Size-wise, the Juniper Ridge is like a Switchback Hill, with most of the tread removed, and then the knobs added. So it’s a bit taller, but not quite as much as the knob height, because there is less tread in between the knobs. (That part doesn’t wear on a knobby tire, so no need to have extra.) The knobby Juniper Ridge is no wider than the smooth Switchback Hill, because the knobs don’t extend down the sidewall, where the tire is widest. The biggest difference is on the shoulders, where the smooth tires don’t have much tread, but the Juniper Ridge has the full knobs.

  8. huges84 says:

    What are the differences between Juniper and Pumpkin Ridge? I see 48 vs 42mm and the new brand. What else is there? Are the knobs a different size, height or pattern?

    • Jan Heine says:

      The main difference is the width. At 42 mm, the Pumpkin Ridge is a great size for bikes that also run the Babyshoe Pass. Many current all-road bikes fit 650B x 48 mm tires, and the extra volume is very useful when riding rough or soft gravel or mud.

  9. Phillip Cowan says:

    Congrats! I look forward to my first set of tires with that historic name on them. I’m sure you have many irons in the fire (will there one day be a knobby 26in tire to complete the set?).

  10. Derek says:

    If I understand correctly, the new tire uses the same casing as the Switchback Hill, with a new tread. Then you have a better idea what the actual width of the tire will be (not 48 mm). Why not label the new tire more accurately?

    • Jan Heine says:

      The Juniper Ridge kobby is the same size as the smooth Switchback Hill. You are right, the Switchback Hill can run a bit wide, between 40 and 50 mm, depending on your rim width, whether you have the Standard of Extralight model, and whether you run them tubeless or not. There are so many variables that “accurate” tire labels are almost impossible. We decided to use the same size as the Switchback Hill to avoid confusion.

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