Category Archives: Testing and Tech

Tires: How Wide is too Wide?

How wide a tire is too wide for optimum performance? Our research shows that wider tires don’t give up anything on smooth roads, and gain a significant advantage on rough roads. This has been shown for tires up to 31 … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 48 Comments

Experiencing Suspension Losses

Suspension losses cause a significant resistance when riding your bike. We knew this from our testing, but it was illustrated in a powerful way during a 300 km brevet a few years ago. My friend Ryan and I rode in … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 47 Comments

The Price of Performance

Why do high-end bikes and components cost so much more than budget offerings? Both racing bikes in the photo above are made from carbon fiber. Both are equipped with multi-speed drivetrains and Shimano STI shifters. Both have narrow 700C tires. … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech | 99 Comments

How to Brake on a Bicycle

Whether you ride fast or slow, being able to stop quickly is an important skill. Your ability to stop also depends on how well your brakes perform. In Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1, we tested brake performance to determine: … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues, Cycling Safety, Testing and Tech | 84 Comments

Walking Your Bike

When the terrain is incredibly steep or rough, cyclists tend to crank it out instead of walking. Walking might feel like defeat – they didn’t “clear” that section. I have gotten to the point where I don’t mind walking when … Continue reading

Posted in Rides, Testing and Tech | 78 Comments

It’s Not Easy to Be Honest

I used to wonder why manufacturers offer things that are popular, even though they don’t work well. I recently read an interview with a BMW engineer, who complained about the huge wheels that the company now puts on their cars. … Continue reading

Posted in Rene Herse cranks, Testing and Tech | 89 Comments

Tire Width: how much difference do a few millimeters make?

At Compass Bicycles, we often get the question: “I am riding 23 mm tires right now, and I wonder whether a 25 mm-wide tire would make a noticeable difference.” The graph below, taken from the Spring 2013 issue of Bicycle … Continue reading

Posted in Testing and Tech, Tires | 72 Comments