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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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Off The Beaten Path
10. Januar, 11:47 Uhr

How do you make an ultralight bag? That was the first question when the Concours de Machines announced that the weight of the bikes included the bag. Peter Weigle worked very hard to get his fully equipped bike down to just 20.0 lb (9.07 kg), and we wanted to make sure the bag was also as light as possible. Gilles Berthoud bags already are among the lightest bags available today. Even so, we...

Off The Beaten Path
17. Januar, 13:22 Uhr

“An exceptional tyre that will make you faster and happier.” That was the verdict when the British web site http://www.road.cc tested our Bon Jon Pass tires recently. When we hear positive feedback, whether it’s from a professional tester or a customer, it makes our day. I smiled when I read the calculation of the weight savings. It appears that, on average, spending a British pound ($1.28)...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Januar, 13:55 Uhr

Today would have been Lyli Herse’s 91st birthday. And last Friday has been a year from her passing… … and the 111th birthday of her father, René Herse. They continue to inspire us in so many ways. Today, we just want to remember their smiles and their passion for cycling in all its forms. Lyli was a friend for so long that it’s hard to believe she’s gone. Until the very end, she rode her home...

Off The Beaten Path
03. Januar, 09:05 Uhr

This used to be one of the first things you learned as a cyclist: If you want to go fast, make sure your tires are pumped up to the maximum pressure. The harder your tires are inflated, the faster they roll. We now know that this isn’t true. The realization that tire pressure does not affect performance is the key to the revolution that has swept through the cycling world in recent years....

Off The Beaten Path
14. Dezember, 12:25 Uhr

How wide a tire can I fit on my bike? It’s a common question, and yet it’s difficult to figure out, especially when you plan to change wheel sizes. Hahn Rossman has developed a simple tire fit gauge that allows checking tire clearances on your bike. Put the disc for the tire width in the slot for the wheel size. Place the gauge on a dummy axle (any old hub axle will work). Rotate the gauge...

Off The Beaten Path
17. Dezember, 11:34 Uhr

What to give a cyclist? And as a cyclist, what to answer when somebody asks you to make a wish? Here are a few gift ideas that are certain to bring a cyclist joy for a long time. You can’t go wrong with Bicycle Quarterly. Each edition covers a variety of topics and perspective, with well-written articles that are illustrated with beautiful photos and original artwork. Give a gift subscription...

Off The Beaten Path
19. Dezember, 13:51 Uhr

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s fun to look back on the great rides we’ve done. For me, it’s been a wonderful year full of exciting adventures. It started with the annual New Year’s Cycling of Tokyo’s Yama Saiken (Mountain Cycling Club), the famous passhunters. Jikkoku Pass is a great destination at any time, but climbing it in the snow was doubly fun, especially with such a great crew. It was...

Off The Beaten Path
27. Dezember, 13:12 Uhr

Winter riding is fun. The crisp air, the clear skies and the beautiful views. Getting out and breathing fresh air. There are many reasons to enjoy it. Winter riding requires preparation. The most obvious is clothing – which we’ll leave for another post. Today, let’s talk about what makes a good winter tire. Cold temperatures make rubber less grippy. There is no way around this. In theory, it...

Off The Beaten Path
01. Januar, 08:01 Uhr

We are looking forward to another great year! We wish all our readers joy, happiness and many great rides in 2019. See you on the road! —The BQ and Compass/Rene Herse team Photo credit: Ryan Francesconi

Off The Beaten Path
18. Juli, 10:39 Uhr

The votes are in! Giovanni Calcagno’s photo on the Via del Sale won the Compass Swift Campout photo contest! The Via del Sale criss-crosses the Italian-French border as it connects Limone Piemonte with Ventimiglia via the Maritime Alps. To me, the photo embodies everything I love about cyclotouring off the beaten path: beautiful scenery, interesting and challenging roads, and the romance of...

Off The Beaten Path
12. Dezember, 12:45 Uhr

Our knickers are back in stock. They are sewn right here in Seattle in small batches, which can make it difficult to keep them in stock. Now all sizes are back. Inspired by the clothes worn by the stylish Japanese cyclotourists, and refined for even greater performance, the knickers all but disappear when you ride. When you get off the bike, you are dressed to look sporting without pushing the...

Off The Beaten Path
16. Juli, 07:43 Uhr

Road.cc tested another Compass tire. After the Barlow Pass and the Steilacoom dual-purpose knobbies, they had a go with the Switchback Hill 650B x 48 Extralights. This time, they used a different tester, Dave Atkinson. He liked the tires just as much… His conclusion echoes ours: “At a time when people are doing roll-down tests to see if it’s worth switching to 28mm tyres from 25s, my advice...

Off The Beaten Path
12. Juli, 12:40 Uhr

To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly‘s 15th anniversary, we are looking at myths in cycling: things we used to believe, but which we’ve since found not to be true. Disc brakes have become popular on allroad bikes for a variety of reasons. One of them is that they are perceived as offering superior braking. It seems to make sense – after all, disc brakes on cars and motorbikes revolutionized braking...

Off The Beaten Path
10. Juli, 08:46 Uhr

The Compass Swift Campout photo contest has been a huge success with almost 500 entries! With so many amazing photos, it was impossible to select just 8 finalists, so we finally settled on 10. We selected photos that show different aspects of the contest theme ‘Cyclotouring off the beaten path.’ Now it’s up to you, our readers, to select the winner among the finalists below. We present the...

Off The Beaten Path
10. Dezember, 12:34 Uhr

Starting in early 2019, Rene Herse Cycles will be the sole brand for all tires and components made now by Compass Cycles. This streamlines our two brands and clarifies the philosophy that guides us. Since Lyli Herse asked us to become custodians of the Rene Herse name more than a decade ago – above I’m riding with Lyli to celebrate her 85th birthday – we’ve introduced a number of products...

Off The Beaten Path
07. Dezember, 13:04 Uhr

The cover of our Winter edition is one of my favorites. It illustrates the story of Natsuko buying her first bike, when she was a college student. Read how she struggled to figure out what it meant when bike magazines listed the price for “frame+fork only,” and how she finally decided to buy a custom-made Alps cyclotouring bike. To bring Natsuko’s story to life, MIYOSHI, who went to art school...

Off The Beaten Path
03. Juli, 14:53 Uhr

High-performance bicycles have changed tremendously in recent years. As one manufacturer said at last year’s Interbike: “In the past, everybody asked how much your bike weighed. Now all they want to know is how wide a tire it fits.” Wide tires have revolutionized how we view performance bikes. In the past, you knew a rider was serious about going fast if his or her tires were narrow. Now it’s...

Off The Beaten Path
24. Dezember, 22:19 Uhr

All of us at Compass Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly wish you Happy Holidays!

Off The Beaten Path
06. Dezember, 13:00 Uhr

The popularity of Gilles Berthoud’s new mirrors surprised us. We expected them to be popular, but we didn’t expect to sell out within days. It’s easy to understand why customers like them, though: They are beautifully made from the best materials, and they work well with all road handlebars. They are available as simple aluminum mirrors (top), or with a leather insert that matches Berthoud’s...

Off The Beaten Path
06. Dezember, 10:43 Uhr

I’ve been racing my Alan cyclocross bike since I bought it second-hand, many years ago, when I was still in college. Back then, it was simply a used ‘cross bike. Now it may seem like a relic from another era. And yet the Alan continues to hold its own in the Pacific Northwest’s cross races. I like the way it accelerates out of corners. Alan’s aren’t as flexible as legend has it – Bicycle...

Off The Beaten Path
27. Juni, 09:31 Uhr

The Summer 2018 Bicycle Quarterly is off the press and will be mailed to subscribers soon. To cap our 15th anniversary year, we’ve put together a 112-page edition filled with truly remarkable stories. In our biggest adventure yet, we traversed the breathtaking Copper Canyons of northern Mexico. It was an amazing ride in every way – if you haven’t seen our video yet, click here to get right...

Off The Beaten Path
04. Dezember, 12:15 Uhr

How do you test a bike like Mitch Pryor’s latest MAP All-Road? With its 48 mm-wide tires, fenders, racks and full lights, this is a bike designed for epic rides. How about taking it on a 30-hour, non-stop ride that traverses four mountain passes and crosses the crest of the Cascade Mountains twice? Enjoy our little movie about this adventure! (Make sure to click on the ‘full-screen’ icon.) Read...

Off The Beaten Path
01. Dezember, 17:19 Uhr

We are glad that the HED Belgium+ rims are available again – they are the best modern rims we have found. They build up straight, they remain true, and tire mounting is a snap, even tubeless. They come in disc brake (top) and rim brake (above) versions, in 650B and 700C (disc brake only). With a width of 25 mm (ouside), they are a perfect complement for our wide all-road tires. They have a...

Off The Beaten Path
20. Juni, 10:40 Uhr

At Compass, we see little point in replicating what you already can buy from others. When we made our first knobby tires, we wanted true dual-purpose tires. Could the new knobbies match the on-pavement of good road tires, yet grip as well in mud as true cyclocross tires. Impossible? You’ll never find out unless you try… After a few seasons of cyclocross, there is no doubt that the Compass...

Off The Beaten Path
29. November, 11:10 Uhr

To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly’s 15th anniversary last year, we increased the size of the magazine and put together a number of truly outstanding editions. We now offer them in a special 4-pack. We kicked off our anniversary year with our biggest edition ever. More book than magazine, this hefty volume counts 124 pages. Inside, Peter Weigle takes you through the building of his superlight...

Off The Beaten Path
19. Juni, 10:22 Uhr

Entries for the photo contest keep pouring in – so far more than 250 photos have been submitted. Check them out on Instagram under #swiftcompasscontest! It’s not too late to enter: Upload your best shots that show ‘cyclotouring off the beaten path’ to Instagram, add the hashtag, and you’re all set. On June 30, we’ll look at all the entries and select 8 finalists. They’ll appear here on the...

Off The Beaten Path
27. November, 11:46 Uhr

One of the benefits of wide tires is that they run at lower pressures. Yet the supple casings of our Compass tires require higher pressure to corner well and not bottom out on big bumps. Doesn’t the higher pressure negate the benefits of wider tires? Think of the tire casing and the air inside as two separate springs. Let’s call them the rubber spring and the air spring. Both work together to...

Off The Beaten Path
14. Juni, 11:43 Uhr

The Summer 2018 Bicycle Quarterly caps our 15th anniversary year, and so we’ve put together a very special issue. In our most epic adventure yet, we headed south to the incredible Copper Canyons of Mexico. The video above takes you right into the action. Make sure to enjoy it in full-screen mode! Click here to subscribe to Bicycle Quarterly and read the full story of this adventure, plus the...

Off The Beaten Path
23. November, 09:33 Uhr

We are excited to add a few great products from Gilles Berthoud to the Compass program. The Small Universal Bag (above) is really neat: It holds a lightweight rain jacket, wallet, inner tube and a few other things. It’s incredibly versatile: Use it as a saddlebag (above) or hang it from your handlebars. Tandem stokers love this bag, because it fits neatly on a tandem’s rear handlebars, too. Or...

Off The Beaten Path
13. Juni, 20:55 Uhr

Some new products are much more popular than we anticipate. Even though we try to keep everything in stock at all times, production can take a while to catch up to the increased demand. Recently, that has affected a few products. The first batch of our 11-speed Rene Herse chainrings sold out quickly. They’ve received rave reviews from customers. These riders enjoy shifting on par with the very...

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