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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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Favicon Off The Beaten Path
03. Mai, 02:20 Uhr

In the 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, one of our discoveries has been that testing bicycle performance isn’t easy, and that taking shortcuts often has led to erroneous conclusions. Carefully designed tests that replicate what happens when real cyclists ride on real roads have allowed Bicycle Quarterly to debunk several myths. Certainly, the biggest change in our understanding of bicycles has...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
06. Mai, 08:26 Uhr

Recently, The Pedaler interviewed me for the blog of Quoc Pham’s eponymous cycling shoe company. We chatted about the origins of allroad bikes, the inspiration of the mid-century randonneurs, and what makes Compass Cycles different from other companies. Click here to enjoy the full story.

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
30. April, 14:51 Uhr

During the last week, Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles have been mentioned in several news stories. The popular web site http://www.bikepacking.com featured an article about converting a 700C bike to 650B. They wrote: “The benefits are fairly obvious. Wider tires offer more floatation, a more supple ride, and are all around better suited to dirt and gravel surfaces. They can also be just as...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
10. Mai, 14:00 Uhr

At Compass Cycles, we try to keep our entire program in stock all the time, but some items are so popular that it can be difficult to keep up. Our cyclotouring knickers continue to be one of our best-sellers, as riders appreciate their comfort and light weight. One reviewer wrote: “I am practically living in them.” The knickers are sewn right here in Seattle. We just received a new batch, and...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
14. Mai, 14:51 Uhr

If you have visited the Compass Cycles web site in the last few days, you’ll have noticed that it has a new look. On the home page, you’ll see a slide show with the three parts of the Compass story. The first slide links to the story of the ‘Wide Tire Revolution’ – how we realized that wide tires could be as fast as narrow ones, and how we developed our pioneering allroad tires. The second...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
17. Mai, 07:03 Uhr

When we first started talking about shock absorption and fork blades, it was commonly believed that fork blades didn’t flex significantly. Experts told us: “All the flex in a fork is in the steerer tube, where the lever arm is longest.” And yet, when we rode bikes with flexible fork blades, they clearly took the edge of bumps. Was this another myth in need of debunking? We designed a simple...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
18. Mai, 10:59 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 out not to be true. This week, we have a ‘double feature’ that looks at fork blades. In the first post, we looked at whether they flex enough to improve comfort. Here we examine the belief that stiffer fork blades make the bike steer better. Looking at...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
26. April, 12:41 Uhr

In the history of derailleurs, Huret is an often-overlooked. The French company cannot lay claim to big innovations like Campagnolo (first parallelogram racing derailleur), Simplex (first spring-loaded upper pivot to compensate for front shifts) or SunTour (slant parallelogram). And yet Huret’s derailleurs were innovative in their own ways. Hideki Sasaki has added a new books on Huret to...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
16. November, 12:46 Uhr

Compass Cycles is introducing the first-ever 11-speed-compatible René Herse cranks and chainrings. And the first-ever René Herse chainrings with ramps and pins. These are not just any ramps and pins: They’re carefully engineered to shift as well as the best cranks from the big manufacturers. We are proud to offer this performance with useful chainring sizes – plus the beauty and light weight of...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
24. April, 12:40 Uhr

Last weekend, we headed to Jikkoku Pass to work on the old road that has featured in several Bicycle Quarterly adventures. Tokyo’s Yama Sai Ken, or Mountain Cycling Club, has ‘adopted’ the road and goes there twice a year to maintain it. For us, this was a remarkable trip into the Japan of tales and movies. The melancholy as we passed through vestiges of the past was balanced by the joyful...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
09. November, 13:00 Uhr

In addition to individual Kaisei tubes, Compass Cycles offers three tubesets: Superlight, “Mule” and Oversize. Each tubeset is based on bikes that we have found to work extremely well. After describing the Superlight set, today we’ll look at the Mule. Named after my most versatile bike, it features an unusual configuration: an oversized down tube (31.8 mm diameter) for added stiffness, and a...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
17. April, 11:45 Uhr

One of the hardest parts of bike fit is the width of the handlebars. There are many recommendations, but not all make sense. For decades, racers have been told that handlebars should match the width of their shoulders – but nobody seems to agree how to measure shoulder width! Let’s look at what we know about handlebar width. Historically, handlebar width has matched the handling of racing...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
02. November, 08:31 Uhr

We aren’t models! Anybody who has looked at our photos will have noticed this… but what I really want to say is that every photo you see in Bicycle Quarterly, on this blog and on the Compass web site is totally authentic. It’s not a posed shot with – yes – a model gazing wistfully over a mountain landscape, where you instinctively feel that they’ve come up here in a van and there is a second...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
10. April, 11:41 Uhr

Compass Cycles is the exclusive North American distributor for Gilles Berthoud. We are especially excited about their saddles, which combine amazing comfort with modern design and superior durability. All Berthoud saddle tops are cut in the grain direction of the leather, which means that they won’t sag or become lopsided. Unfortunately, most other saddle makers try instead to get as may...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
28. Oktober, 09:09 Uhr

During a recent visit to Kyoto, we rented bikes for a day. Cycling is a great way to get around this beautiful old city, and it also presented an opportunity to experience Japanese city bikes. Our guest house offered bike rentals for the equivalent of $ 5 per day. In Kyoto, bicycles are one of the main means of transportation. We saw them everywhere, ridden by everybody: men and women of all...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
29. März, 11:05 Uhr

In addition to individual Kaisei frame tubes, Compass Cycles offers three complete tubesets: Superlight, ‘Mule’ and Oversize. Each tubeset is based on bikes that we have found to work extremely well. The Superlight set is the lightest steel tubeset available today, great for riders who prefer a flexible frame. The ‘Mule’ set uses an oversized down tube for a little firmer feel. It’s also better...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
05. April, 11:50 Uhr

To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly‘s 15th anniversary, we are looking at myths in cycling – things we all used to believe, but which we’ve since found out not to be true. During these 15 years we’ve learned a lot, and perhaps the most intriguing discovery is that modern parts aren’t as light as some classics. In some cases, there are functional reasons why modern parts are heavier. At other times,...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
25. Oktober, 11:39 Uhr

In addition to individual Kaisei frame tubes, Compass Cycles offers three tubesets. Each tubeset is based on bikes that we have found to work extremely well. These bikes have distinct characters that I’ll describe in a series of blog posts. The Superlight tubeset is just that – the lightest, thinnest-wall tubeset you can buy today. In the unbutted center sections (“bellies”), the tube walls...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
03. April, 08:43 Uhr

At Compass Cycles, we are excited to sponsor the 2018 Swift Campout, a global call to go bike camping. On the weekend of the summer solstice (June 23 & 24), take your bike on an overnight trip – alone, with friends, or with one of the groups organized as part of the Campout. There are no rules and no fees; just go! We love riding our bikes to the end of the road, pitching a tent and...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
01. April, 07:02 Uhr

Seattle, April 1, 2018: Compass Cycles is proud to introduce the new René Herse quadruple and quintuple cranks. We are one of the few manufacturers of triple cranks with a wide selection of chainrings, and we’ve received requests for even more choices. There is a historic precedent for this: Alex Singer showed a bike with quadruple cranks at the 1973 Salon de Cycle in Paris (above). The idea...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
18. Oktober, 07:02 Uhr

The Autumn Bicycle Quarterly marks the 15th anniversary of the magazine. To celebrate, we assembled a very special selection of articles into our largest issue yet. Many readers have written to voice their excitement about the latest edition. Here are a few examples: “Issue no. 61 is absolutely the greatest I have seen: so packed with well-written and interesting feature articles, pictures and...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
23. März, 11:49 Uhr

In this guest post, Bicycle Quarterly editor Natsuko Hirose takes you on a cyclotouring reunion in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Translated from Natsuko’s blog Touge to Onsen: I like bicycles and cyclotouring, but I especially like traveling. When I think about where I want to go next, my heart skips a beat with excitement. Passhunting, visiting Onsen hot springs, eating good meals…...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
11. Oktober, 12:15 Uhr

It’s been fun to see our Compass tires on some great trips recently. It’s one of the great things about social media – we can enjoy adventures from all over the world and be inspired by them.   Julien Verlyy seems to be riding all the time. His photos from the Pyrenees are especially inspirational. Steep climbs, small roads and verdant landscapes – a dream for cycling. You can follow him on...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
21. März, 07:02 Uhr

I love the unscripted spontaneity of live interviews, where neither side knows the questions and answers in advance. When I sat down down with Russ Roca of Path Less Pedaled, we talked about how Bicycle Quarterly got started, what inspires Compass products, and how the bikes we ride have changed dramatically in recent years. Click on the image above to watch the interview. Enjoy!

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
15. März, 11:35 Uhr

When tubeless tires first became popular on mountain bikes, it was their resistance to pinch flats (above) that made them popular. Off-road, there are few nails or broken bottles that can cause punctures (and even those usually will be pushed into the soft ground rather than puncture the tire), but rims can bottom out on sharp rocks and other obstacles. So much so, in fact, that top mountain...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
03. Oktober, 11:50 Uhr

Sometimes, we get questions about why our René Herse cranks aren’t anodized. Some even wondered if this was a cost-saving measure. Rest assured, Compass never will choose a cheaper process over a better one. There is a reason why our cranks aren’t anodized: When I was racing, I bought a beautiful used Campagnolo Croce d’Aune crankset (above). Named after the pass on which Tullio Campagnolo...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
13. März, 11:58 Uhr

“A supremely grippy, comfortable, fast tubeless tyre with no downsides” is the verdict of the popular British web site www.road.cc. Tester Mike Stead goes on to explain how he used the Barlow Pass tires: “After months of trying, I smashed a 1km Strava sprint segment, knocking five seconds off my previous best and setting a KOM benchmark that the previous holder is going to be hurting to...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
08. März, 12:42 Uhr

The Spring 2018 Bicycle Quarterly celebrates how past, present and future have come together to enrich our cycling enjoyment. As we venture off the beaten path into amazing landscapes and toward memorable adventures, we take inspiration from the past, benefit from current technical developments, and shape the future of cycling. Take the Torino-Nice Rally, which straddles the crest of the Alps...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
27. September, 11:16 Uhr

Now that it’s officially autumn in the northern hemisphere, the temperatures are getting colder, the days are shorter, and there’s often a chance of rain in the forecast. For me, that makes riding my bike all the more important. I enjoy breathing fresh air, feeling the wind in my face, and seeing the landscape change with the season. I come home invigorated. Speaking to my riding companions,...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
06. März, 08:21 Uhr

From time to time, a customer will ask us: “How are Compass tires different from Panaracers?” It’s no secret that Panaracer makes our tires – we benefit from the research and technology of one of the best tire makers in the world. Panaracer’s engineers know more about casings and tread rubber than almost anybody, and they translate our ideas into tires that outperform all others in their...

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