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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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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 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 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 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 16. Mai, 11:53 Uhr

The new Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer. It’s our biggest issue yet – well over 100 pages filled with exciting adventures. Here are a few of them: Renowned framebuilder and constructeur Peter Weigle joins us on a trip to Japan. Read his experiences with Rinko-ing his bike, riding the incredible Japanese mountain roads, and visiting the great constructeurs Toei and C.S. Hirose. Peter sees...

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 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 11. Mai, 12:33 Uhr

The container with Compass tires has arrived, and all sizes are now available again. We thank you for your patience as we continue to work hard to keep all our products in stock. Enjoy the little video of our Elk Pass 26″ x 1.25″ Extralight tires in action! Click here for more information about our tires.

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 05. Mai, 11:49 Uhr

We try to keep our products in stock. For us, bicycles are necessities, and their parts should be available at all times. So we are really sorry that some of our tires have been out of stock. We simply hadn’t planned on demand in Europe taking off as it has. And making tires by hand takes time, so we couldn’t just ask Panaracer in Japan to make more at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, our most...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 03. Mai, 11:31 Uhr

7 Questions with Jan Heine, of Bicycle Quarterly We always enjoy to learn how others see Compass Cycles and Bicycle Quarterly. Paul Component Engineering has been making CNC-machined bike components in Chico, California for over 25 years. Like Compass, Paul focuses on quality, craftsmanship and making parts that last a lifetime. Paul’s monthly email newsletters show how their components are...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 30. April, 05:11 Uhr

Spacers with a flat surface on the inner diameter can help prevent your headset from loosening. Just to clarify: If your headset stays put as it is, then don’t change it! It’s just that my headsets kept loosening on two different bikes, and so I was looking for a solution. Classic headsets use a locknut at the top to maintain the headset’s adjustment. It’s essential to prevent the upper headset...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 26. April, 11:28 Uhr

Bikepacking is popular because it allows you to go places where bikes with panniers face difficulties. Bikepacking bags are inside the outline of the bike, so you can go anywhere an “empty” bike can go. Pushing the bike is easier, too, when there are no bags hanging off the sides. The only problem with bikepacking bags is that their carrying capacity is limited. Frame bags must fit between...

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 23. April, 05:55 Uhr

Guest post by Natsuko Hirose, Bicycle Quarterly. On a rainy Sunday, I visited a farmers’ market in Seattle, instead of going cyclotouring. I saw many tulips for sale. Often, I forget about the seasons, because I am so busy. I wondered why there were so many tulips. Jan explained: “It’s the season of tulips.” Later that day, I researched places to go cyclotouring near Seattle. I asked Jan:...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 18. April, 11:54 Uhr

I really like our cyclotouring knickers. They are based on a design I discovered in Japan. The ones we offer are a development from that, a little lighter and even better for spirited riding. I’ve been wearing mine on almost every ride since we introduced them. So it’s no surprise that I like them – I developed them! That is why it’s important to get independent feedback. The ideal reviewer...

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 13. April, 11:42 Uhr

Drew Wilson won the Ragnarok 105-mile gravel race on Compass tires recently, so we used the opportunity to ask him about his race and gravel riding in general. JH: Congratulations on your win at the Ragnarok 105. It’s a tough event – tell us a bit about it. DW:  The Ragnarok is a traditional midwest gravel race, now in its tenth year. It is free with postcard entry and is self-supported. Many...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 22. September, 07:06 Uhr

Quite a few people were surprised at the 2017 Concours de Machines when Peter Weigle’s bike was the lightest by a big margin. With a steel frame and mostly metal components, the Weigle weighed just 9.1 kg (20.0 lb) fully equipped with wide tires, fenders, lights, a rack, even a pump and a bell. To date, no carbon or titanium bike has been as light, while being similarly outfitted for real...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 10. April, 06:42 Uhr

Bicycle Quarterly took the Open U.P. to Odarumi, one of the highest passes in Japan. How does a carbon bike for wide tires handle the 2000 m (6600 ft) paved climb? And how does it do on the challenging gravel descent? We made a little video to take you right into the action. Join Bicycle Quarterly in this amazing adventure! Click on the image above or watch at this link. Make sure you watch it...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 18. September, 11:37 Uhr

The updated Compass Babyshoe Pass TC 650B x 42 mm tires are now in stock in all models. What’s new? We took our most popular 650B tire, and made it tubeless compatible. When you are riding fast on rough gravel, tubeless really makes sense – as I found out when I had dual pinch flats on a Bicycle Quarterly test bike on the original Babyshoe Pass tires (below). You may wonder how I pinch-flatted...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 07. April, 10:24 Uhr

Compass Cycles is proud to sponsor the Swift Campout for the second year. The Swift Campout is a global event, allowing riders to participate where and as they choose: On Saturday, June 24, cyclists will head out for camping trips to a destination they select, then return on Sunday. It’s fun to be part of this and knowing that, all over the world, riders are sharing similar experiences. For...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 06. April, 11:17 Uhr

First, I want to apologize that several Compass tire models are out of stock. Orders from our distributors in Europe and Japan have exceeded our expectations, and tire production has to be scheduled long in advance… The tires now are on a boat to Seattle. We should have all models back in stock toward the end of the month. Until then, we appreciate your patience. We’ll put up an announcement...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 15. September, 12:10 Uhr

Last weekend was the first cyclocross race in Seattle. Almost every year, the first race catches me by surprise. Summer is over? It’s ‘cross season already? Usually, I oil the chain on my trusty Alan ‘cross bike and head to the races. This year, the Alan’s tubular tires needed regluing. The glue must cure for 24 hours, and the race was too close for that. What to do? I looked at my Firefly,...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 04. April, 07:49 Uhr

Compass Cycles and Branford Bikes are excited to announce the Volcano High Pass Challenge as part of a Labor Day weekend filled with great rides. Part race, part scenic ride with friends, this unsanctioned event challenges riders of all abilities. The one-day route goes from Packwood, at the foot of Mount Rainier, to Carson, on the Columbia River. When: Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, 5 a.m. Where:...

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 11. September, 11:46 Uhr

It’s no secret that we love steel bikes. Steel allows us to build the bikes we need for our adventures – bikes where every detail is optimized to the nth degree. You can imagine our concern when True Temper, one of the most important suppliers of steel tubing, decided to leave the bicycle market. Without steel tubes, especially the superlight ones that True Temper was specializing in, there...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 01. April, 03:36 Uhr

The other rider passed us at great speed. Getting passed by “hobby racers” while cyclotouring with my Japanese friends isn’t unusual, especially on valley-bottom roads that see many cyclists. From behind, the rider looked odd. His position was very low. He was turning a large gear. All this sounds like a novice rider, but there was something about his cyclist that piqued my interest. I decided...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 27. März, 12:20 Uhr

“Don’t do this on knobby tires!” would be most cyclists’ advice when looking at the photo above. Everybody knows that cornering hard on pavement and knobby tires don’t go together. And yet, the photo shows me on Compass Steilacoom knobby tires. And I didn’t take any undue risks. It was a cold winter day, and the pavement was still moist from a recent snowfall, so I didn’t push the limits,...

Favicon Off The Beaten Path 06. September, 18:50 Uhr

The results are coming in for the Volcano High Pass Challenge. As the name implies, it was a challenging ride with much elevation gain, much gravel, and much scenic beauty. Fifteen intrepid riders set out from the Packwood Library shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday. The long gravel climb up to Walupt Lake – more than 3000 ft up – separated the pack into small groups. Even the race leaders...

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