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Off The Beaten Path

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11.01.2016
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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
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
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
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
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
22. November, 06:21 Uhr

We just received another shipment of our Steilacoom 700C x 38 mm dual-purpose knobbies. We appreciate your patience while these popular tires were out of stock. Originally designed for cyclocross, the Steilacoom has become a popular dual-purpose tire: As you’d expect from a tire with widely-spaced knobs, it excels in mud and snow. What surprises most riders is that it rolls and corners better...

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
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
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
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
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
22. November, 08:31 Uhr

Happy Thanksgiving to all readers, customers and cyclists! We’re grateful for the joys and friendships that cycling have brought us.

Off The Beaten Path
11. Juni, 07:20 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. Today, we explain why your bike’s weight distribution does not directly translate into your tire pressures. We are partly responsible for the myth that front tires should run at significantly lower pressures. When we first started...

Off The Beaten Path
19. November, 10:17 Uhr

We’re always excited to get feedback on our tires, and when it comes from someone like Jordan Rapp, it’s especially valuable. The names of semi-professional gravel racers aren’t yet household names – Jordan used to be a pro triathlete before becoming a gravel racer. This year, he came 6th in the grueling Dirty Kanza 200-mile gravel race (above). So he knows how to ride, and he isn’t babying his...

Off The Beaten Path
16. November, 08:52 Uhr

Alistair Spence and Mitch Pryor have been my friends for a long time. They both live in Paradise, CA, which was devastated by fire last week. Both are OK; they got out just in time. Their homes literally were burnt to the ground, but what counts right now is that they are OK. I’ve spoken with them, and while shaken, they are moving forward to rebuild their lives. Mitch Pryor doesn’t need an...

Off The Beaten Path
08. November, 10:32 Uhr

Fitting wide tires and/or fenders between road cranks can be a challenge. René Herse was a master of frame design, who curved his chainstays ‘just so’ to create the room he needed. On the tandem above, not a single millimeter is wasted, and the result are perfect clearances for 42 mm-wide tires, fenders and cranks with a narrow Q-factor. The first step toward replicating Herse’s mastery in...

Off The Beaten Path
05. Juni, 14:41 Uhr

We are proud to introduce our biggest tire yet, the much-anticipated 700C x 55 mm Antelope Hill. The new tires have arrived with the latest shipment and are now in stock. Antelope Hill is the unofficial name of the last great climb of the iconic Oregon Outback, the 360-mile gravel race that traversed Oregon from the south to the north. Like many gravel rides, almost a third of the Outback route...

Off The Beaten Path
05. November, 11:19 Uhr

Mount Rishiri-Dake (1721 m) is a popular hiking destination. In this guest post, Bicycle Quarterly editor Natsuko Hirose takes you to Rishiri Island, off Hokkaido’s coast in northern Japan. Translated from Natsuko’s blog Touge to Onsen: From the northernmost town in Hokkaido, Wakkanai, there is a ferry that goes to Rishiri and Rebun Islands. These small islands are the northernmost inhabited...

Off The Beaten Path
30. Mai, 11:37 Uhr

  Calling for the most evocative, inspirational, and just plain amazing photos that show ‘cyclotouring off the beaten path’! Share your adventures and win a $ 200 gift certificate and other prizes! Simply post a photo – or several! – on Instagram by June 30 and add the hashtag #swiftcompasscontest. Anybody can enter – no need to register or become a customer. Just post your photos with the...

Off The Beaten Path
25. Oktober, 11:30 Uhr

Many years ago, a big magazine published a note about Honjo fenders, which were just starting to trickle into the United States, and noted: “We are charmed by the idea that there actually are fender snobs.” Those days are long over: Today fenders are recognized as an integral part of many performance bikes. Those of us who ride year-round need fenders that not only keep us and our bikes dry and...

Off The Beaten Path
23. Oktober, 12:11 Uhr

One of the less-noticed results of the ‘Wide Tire Revolution’: Our tires last a lot longer these days. When I rode 20 mm-wide tires, I rarely got more than 1300 km (800 miles) out of a set of performance tires. For long-distance races, I put on new tires for every event. Now it’s rare that my tires need replacing. Even for challenging events like the 360-mile Oregon Outback (above), I only put...

Off The Beaten Path
26. Mai, 15:21 Uhr

During my recent trip to Japan, I found myself with a free day in Tokyo. With no time to plan, I decided to head to Yabitsu Pass. Yabitsu Pass is popular with cyclists, because it’s close to the capital, and yet it traverses a mountain range that is far off the beaten path. You could ride there from central Tokyo, but I decided to take the train for the first leg of the ride. Not only does...

Off The Beaten Path
16. Oktober, 11:22 Uhr

Most of us remember when we learned to ride a bike. The incredible feel of balancing on two wheels – it felt like flying. Over the following days, months and years, our skills improved. First we learned to ride without wobbling. Then – in my case – to start without anybody holding onto my saddle… And yet there is always more to learn. Some skills are useful, like being able to stop without...

Off The Beaten Path
10. Oktober, 11:54 Uhr

‘Marginal gains’ are the latest buzzword in cycling. The idea is that many tiny improvements can add up to make a meaningful difference. Make 10 changes that each save 3 Watts, and you’ll have gained 30 Watts… Think of Greg LeMond winning the 1989 Tour de France by eight seconds… If the second-placed rider, Laurent Fignon, had used ceramic bearings, he might have won that year. Chasing these...

Off The Beaten Path
02. Oktober, 12:24 Uhr

The Autumn 2018 Bicycle Quarterly is at the printer and will be mailed soon. It’s another action-packed edition that will bring many hours of reading enjoyment. What better way to test the Masi Speciale Randonneur and the Frances Farfarer trailer than to take them on a real adventure? For our third attempt to cross the Sawtooth Range, will a new route bring success? Is the affordable Masi bike...

Off The Beaten Path
31. Oktober, 11:31 Uhr

The MKS Allways pedals are back in stock. The video above shows how the super-smooth cartridge bearings make these spin almost forever. The slightly concave platform allows optimum pedaling efficiency without the need for foot retention. Made in Japan, these may be the best platform pedals ever made. Click here for more info or to order. We also offer the MKS Rinko Adapters separately, so you...

Off The Beaten Path
27. September, 12:50 Uhr

Our Rene Herse cranks are available with chainrings from 24 to 52 teeth, in single, double and triple configurations, including 11-speed compatible versions. We even offer tandem cranks. That way, riders can benefit from customized gearing, but it also means that we stock a lot of chainrings. We try to keep all ring sizes in stock, but sometimes, demand outpaces supply. We’ve just received a...

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...

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...

Off The Beaten Path
24. September, 13:19 Uhr

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could buy a complete bike that is already equipped with Compass tires? Take a bike like the Masi Speciale Randonneur (above), roll out of the bike shop and into the hills, your tires gently humming as they roll over the rough pavement. When the road turns to gravel, the feel of the bike changes on the loose surface, but its speed and comfort remain the same. We get...

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