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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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Favicon Off The Beaten Path
20. September, 12:12 Uhr

As the days get shorter, many cyclists are thinking about lights. How do you measure the quality of a headlight? It’s tempting to look at how many lumens the light puts out. After all, brighter is better, isn’t it? On the road, what matters is not lumens, but lux. What is the difference? Lumens looks at the source: how much light does the headlight emit? Lux looks at the result: how much light...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
17. September, 13:21 Uhr

The Autumn Bicycle Quarterly take you on a trip across the Sawtooth Range. Long-term BQ readers know that it’s been a bit of a holy grail for us to find a passage across this mountain range, with our first attempts ending in washouts and snow. This time we take the affordable Masi Speciale Randonneur and the Frances Farfarer trailer on the search for a route that crosses these beautiful...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
10. September, 07:43 Uhr

The 2018 Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting brought together a great crew of old and new friends. We want to thank all for making this a great weekend! On Saturday morning, about 60 riders met at the Seattle Ferry Terminal to catch the boat to Bremerton. As always, the crowd was varied – all kinds of riders on all types of bikes. Some were BQ readers, some follow this blog, and others had heard...

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

The history of cycling has brought us many useful things. If old randonneurs hadn’t talked so fondly about the supple, wide, handmade clinchers of the 1940s, we might never have developed our Compass tires along the same lines. Without photos of mid-century riders scaling unpaved passes in the Alps, we might never have been inspired to seek out remote gravel roads ourselves. These are important...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
05. September, 11:32 Uhr

SON has introduced a few useful products that have us quite excited. First, there is the 12 mm Thru-Axle Adapter. You may know the dilemma: As the days get shorter, you really want to equip your bike with generator lights, but you don’t want to invest in a hub that soon may be obsolete. Your current fork has quick release dropouts – with or without a disc brake – but your next bike probably...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
13. August, 13:27 Uhr

Glancing at the photo above, you might think that I am turning right (seen from the rider’s view). Actually, I am beginning a left turn. What you see is countersteering – literally the only way we can lean a bike into a corner. This post is part of our ‘Myths in Cycling’ series to celebrate Bicycle Quarterly’s 15th anniversary. In these posts, we examine things we used to believe, but which...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
29. August, 22:59 Uhr

After last weekend’s ‘pre-ride,’ we’ve finalized the routes for the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting. What is the Un-Meeting? It’s simply a great weekend of riding off the beaten path: Everybody is welcome to join us. We publish a time and a destination. Beyond that, there are no services provided. No registration, no entry fee, no sag wagon, no rest stops. Just a ride with old and new friends....

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
28. August, 12:50 Uhr

With the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting approaching – Sept. 8 and 9 – I wanted to double-check the course. I had never ridden the new route out of Bremerton that by-passes the busy highway. And in the Tahuya Hills, landslides and floods can wipe out roads entirely. Better to check that our routes are still rideable! Most of all, I wanted to go for a long ride. Rather than head out for an all-day...

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
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
20. August, 12:39 Uhr

Chainrings choice. It’s one of the main attractions of our Rene Herse cranks – together with light weight, supreme reliability and, dare we say it, good looks. So when we presented our first 11-speed chainrings, it was only a matter of time until the program was expanded. Now we are introducing our 42/26 and 44/28 chainrings, which complement the 46/30 rings already available in our...

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
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...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
02. März, 07:36 Uhr

To put our Caletti Monstercross test bike through its paces, we took it passhunting in the middle of winter. Watch the video for a sneak preview, and enjoy the full adventure and bike test in the Spring 2018 Bicycle Quarterly. Make sure to view in ‘full-screen’ mode! Subscribe today to get your copy of the Spring Bicycle Quarterly without delay!

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
28. Februar, 12:46 Uhr

Bottom brackets are almost invisible, and you only notice them when something goes wrong. When the bottom bracket in my Firefly started to bind after just a few hundred miles, I put in an SKF, and that was the last I thought about it. When the bike was overhauled, the BB was spinning as smoothly as ever. That is how it should be! How does the SKF last so much longer than other bottom brackets?...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
07. August, 11:27 Uhr

The Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting is just a month away! The Un-Meeting is our annual get-together with those who share our joy of riding off the beaten path. It’s not an organized event – we just publish a date and time, and everybody is welcome to join. There are no fees, no registrations, and no services are provided. When: Sept. 8-9, 2018 (Sat. & Sun.) Meeting point: Bremerton Ferry...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
02. August, 11:37 Uhr

With Bicycle Quarterly celebrating its 15th year, it’s been fun to look back over the decade-and-a-half of publishing the magazine. A lot has changed, most of all the size: The first issue was a slim 20 pages, the latest one is more than five times as large! As BQ grew and resources became available to hire professionals, black & white photos that charitably might have been described as...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
22. Februar, 13:13 Uhr

To celebrate 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, we are examining 12 myths in cycling – things that we (and most others) used to believe, but which we have found to be not true. Today, let’s look at tire tread. “Bicycles don’t hydroplane,” declared some experts many years ago. “Hence, tire tread patterns don’t matter on the road.” The first part is true – even wide bicycle tires are too narrow to...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
10. August, 11:30 Uhr

We just received our first shipment of Gilles Berthoud “Open” saddles. In the past, I’ve tried many saddles with cutouts, but none were comfortable. While they relieved pressure in the center, the sharp edges of the opening were uncomfortable. So I was skeptical when I received a sample of the Gilles Berthoud Aspin Open. I was surprised to find that I could not feel the edges of the cutout at...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
25. Dezember, 08:01 Uhr

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

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
16. Januar, 12:26 Uhr

To celebrate 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, we are looking at ‘12 Myths in Cycling’ – things that aren’t quite what we (and most other cyclists) used to believe. Part 3 of the series is about fenders. Many cyclists here in Seattle install fenders when the rainy season starts, and remove them for the dry summer months. British time trialists even had quick-release fenders that they used on the...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
13. September, 11:39 Uhr

Open made a video to introduce their facelifted U.P. wide-tire racing bike. They went for a beautiful ride in the Alsace Mountains of France, coincidentally the same region where the first post-war Concours de Machines was held in 1946. A few months ago, we sent Open’s Andy Kessler a set of Compass 650B x 48 mm Switchback Hill tires for testing. He put them on the new bike and featured them in...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
12. Februar, 11:08 Uhr

“Raise your handlebars, and you’ll be more comfortable.” It’s one of those almost self-evident ‘truths’ of cycling. And yet the reality is not that simple… To celebrate 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, we are examining 12 myths in cycling – things that we (and most others) used to believe, but which we have found to be not true. This post is about optimizing your riding position for comfort and...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path
31. Januar, 12:12 Uhr

Recently, the German magazine TOUR published a table showing the ‘five fastest tires in the world.’ We are excited to see our Compass Bon Jon Pass 700C x 35 mm tires on this list, in the company of the fastest racing tires. A 35 mm-wide tire on a list that otherwise includes only tires between 23 and 26 mm wide! That by itself is already cause for celebration. It means that our casings really...

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
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
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
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
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
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...

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