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Verdict: 
A supremely grippy, comfortable, fast tubeless tyre with no downsides
Weight: 
450g
Compass Barlow Pass TC tyre
9 10

The Compass Cycles Barlow Pass tyre is a tubeless-compatible (TC), ultra-supple tyre that delivers an astonishingly smooth and grippy ride. If your bike can't fit them, maybe you need a new bike. They're that good.

  • Pros: Comfort, speed, grip, puncture resistance – all in abundance
  • Cons: Cost, setup requires attention, needs latex-based sealant for tubeless

Compass Cycles grew out of the magazine Bicycle Quarterly, founded in 2002 by Jan Heine, a Seattle-based long-distance cyclist and journalist. I've referred to their seminal work on optimal tyre pressure for years, the chart by Frank Berto showing the best guide pressure for tyre size permanently taped to my workshop wall. Once was the time I ran 23mm tyres, just like everyone else, pumped up to 100psi, with the commensurate need to have either a full CO2 canister or a top-spec mini-pump and arms like a gorilla always in your mind.

> Buy this online here

Fast forward to 2010 and 28mm tyres were becoming commonplace, pressures dropping as the volume increased, affording more comfort and more grip alongside improved puncture resistance. The 28mm bandwagon rolled on as firms such as Continental with its excellent GP 4Seasons and GP 4000S II made their tyres readily available in the 28mm size. Then Schwalbe pushed past 30mm with the frankly stunning S-One 30mm tubeless tyre and it was game on as everyone went fatter.

Taking the Barlow Pass tyres out on a 40-mile loop mixing gravel with tarmac in equal proportions, it is obvious the benefits that large, supple tyres at low pressures bring. At the end of the loop, after months of trying, I smashed a 1km Strava sprint segment, knocking five seconds off my previous best and setting a KOM benchmark for summer that the previous holder is going to be hurting to regain. This is my personal validation of the German Tour magazine results discussed below, that fat tyres are every bit as fast as skinny. The fact that you remain supremely comfortable and have prodigious amounts of grip on hand for cornering and braking adds to the rationale for going wide.

Going properly off-road into rooted and rocky singletrack, the Barlow Pass was only defeated by 15%-or-more slopes mixed with slick clay or rocks. Otherwise, the super-supple casing deformed around and gripped to trail irregularities with amazing ease.

Go wide

Wider is better, there is simply no argument. Outside of a velodrome, in the real world, there is now a ton of data both empirical and anecdotal on rolling resistance, puncture resistance, aerodynamics, hysteresis loss due to vibration, grip and pretty much every other tyre-related metric you can think of, that proves going wider on the right rim will make you faster and more comfortable.

Fundamentally, a fatter tyre is free suspension. Every vibration you don't feel is energy saved – anything that bumps you and your bike up and down is sapping energy that could be propelling you forward; anyone who's ever ridden a bike along a farm track where a tractor has left its tyre marks knows this all too well. But that's only part of the picture.

Trend spotting: Why you need to switch to wider tyres

You could argue that if you live in the Swiss Alps or parts of Belgium, the roads are so smooth you don't need anything to save you from vibration. But you still have the matter of tyre footprint, and the sidewalls flexing every time the tyre rolls forward. This is the 'rolling resistance' that German cycling magazine Tour is famous for testing, and in early 2018 they confirmed that the Compass Bon Jon Pass, a 35mm version of the Barlow Pass, is one of the five fastest tyres in the world.

This is stunning news because at 35mm wide, the Bon Jon Pass is far larger than the rest on test, at 23-26mm. Tour's test protocol also ignores the main reason for riding a wider tyre – comfort – because they test on a rolling road with no rider aboard the wheel. Another factor is that the other tyres on test are significantly thinner: the winning Vittoria's tread was just 0.8mm thick compared with the 3mm on the Bon Jon Pass.

Set your Compass

Compass makes model selection easy, as there are only three variables: width, casing weight and tubeless compatibility. The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless with a latex-based sealant. Latex-based matters, because there's no butyl liner to keep non-latex sealant inside. All tyres use the same handmade vulcanised construction method and fine herringbone tread, apart from the 38mm Steilacoom which has a cyclo-cross/mud-friendly knobbly tread.

All models come with an 'Extralight' casing option for £15 more – on the Barlow Pass you get a more-supple casing that's 44g lighter per tyre. You'd expect that a lighter, more supple casing would be more prone to punctures, but remember, it's the sidewall that is flexing and that's not in contact with the road. So with the same tread as the standard casing, the Extralight version simply ups the comfort while lowering the weight – you get what you pay for. The Extralight is also available in all-black, if you don't rock the tan sidewall look.

Compass tyres are made exclusively in Japan at the Panaracer factory. Panaracer is famed for its Smoke and Dart mountain bike tyres, still in production after 20 years. Compass worked with Panaracer to develop its line of tyres, and the relationship is close, with staff visiting and getting deeply involved in the design process.

The setup

Compass is strident in advising that its tyres should not be run beyond 60psi tubeless, although on the casing it says 75psi, so there's an amount of nous required. At 60psi each tyre can carry 60kg for 15% tyre drop (the amount the tyre depresses), using the Berto chart of recommended pressure, making the Barlow Pass a tyre that a fairly hefty bike-and-rider all-up weight could run tubeless.

There's a good guide that Compass provides on tyre fitting on the rim, with a guideline around the bead that you have to check is evenly seated.

As mentioned above, you need a latex-based sealant because of there being no butyl liner in the sidewalls so as not to impact suppleness. Compass 'strongly' recommends using Orange Seal because of its thicker nature quickly sealing any holes. I didn't have enough Orange Seal to hand, and managed to get a good seal with Caffélatex.

As with anything high-end, it pays to read the literature to get the best performance. Compass is unashamedly designing for the performance-orientated aficionado, not the mass market.

My initial setup was on the trusty Merida Ride 5000, the tyres measuring 37mm on 17mm internal width rims. The frame/fork clearance afforded was paper-thin – to the point that any pressure above about 30psi had the tyres rubbing. On this rim combination I had to let the tyres set up for a day with inner tubes inside. Once they were nicely shaped they inflated tubeless with no hassles, with a reassuringly loud amount of popping bead onto rim.

> Buyer's Guide: Tubeless tyres, all your options

Extrapolating the go-to Berto chart of tyre width vs. optimal pressure for 15% drop, the target was around 35psi – but going 5psi lower felt no different.

On my first ride out around a fast loop, I noticed bouncing at high cadence halfway through. A quick stop and pressure check indicated my rear tyre was down to a frankly ridiculous 20psi on account of the sealant having yet to find all the tiny sidewall holes and plug them. I hadn't noticed a change in handling or ability to soak up road surface irregularities. Unless I sell this bike on, I'll be getting a set of the 35mm Bon Jon Pass tubeless-compatible tyres as soon as possible.

Fortunately at the same time I had the Marin Cortina AX1 cyclo-cross/gravel bike on review, so was able to fit the Barlow Pass to the 20.5mm internal width rims and inflate to 60psi with no clearance issues. At 35psi the Barlow Pass measured at 40.5mm – affording a massive amount of cushioning and grip on or off-road.

Jan Heine, Compass founder, is arguably the world's foremost expert on tyre pressure in a mixed road-gravel scenario, and has written some excellent advice on how to get the optimal setup. After a decade of following and passing on this advice, I can personally vouch for every word. Wider is better, and if in doubt, let air out.

Weighty matters

Yes, there's a weight penalty for that much rubber – nearly 400g heavier than the Continental GP 4000S for a pair, should you be looking for an excuse not to go past 28mm. However, this does not factor in how much more grip/comfort/volume and therefore speed/reduced fatigue/puncture resistance you will benefit from. Let's face it – if 400g is going to make or break your day out riding, you probably have a support car behind you.

The closest logical competition to the Barlow Pass has to be the Schwalbe G-One 700C 38mm, at an RRP of £58.99 (often cheaper). The major difference is that the G-One features a butyl liner in the sidewall, so you can run a non-latex sealant (yay) but there's a compromise in rolling resistance (boo). The G-One is an excellent tyre, no doubt, but the Barlow Pass is in a different league, rolling resistance-wise.

The subject of puncture resistance is probably the most contentious topic in cycling circles, as it's almost impossible to quantify in a replicable manner. Suffice to say the anecdotal evidence of people riding 300km gravel races on Compass tyres without flatting is reason to consider. Add in the new tubeless compatibility, even more so.

Better tyres are the easiest and most-frequently made upgrade to a bike. The Compass Barlow Pass (and narrower siblings) are highly recommended for pretty much any kind of road or gravel riding. The science is in – wider is better.

Verdict

A supremely grippy, comfortable, fast tubeless tyre with no downsides

road.cc test report

Make and model: Compass Barlow Pass tyre

Size tested: 700Cx38

Tell us what the product is for

These are for people who value speed and comfort, on and off-road. A connoisseur's tyre.

Compass says:

"The Barlow Pass tires is named after a pass on the Mountain Loop Highway, a scenic gravel road through the central Cascades. The road leads past the ghost town of Monte Cristo before ascending the pass. On the long straights and sweeping turns of this gravel road, the extra stability of a large-wheeled bike can provide an advantage as you descend at high speed.

The Barlow Pass is a great road tire for 700C bikes with moderately large clearances. If you prefer a true dual-purpose knobby in the same the 700C x 38 mm size, check out the Compass Steilacoom.

The Barlow Pass is tubeless-compatible.

When used with tubes, we recommend the SV17 or SV18 tubes."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Compass:

Standard model

Clincher, folding bead

Tubeless-compatible

Tan sidewalls

Low rolling resistance

Excellent grip

Superior comfort

Light weight

Classic appearance

Clincher tires with the ride of a good tubular

461 g

Maximum pressure with tubes: 75 psi (5.2 bar)

Maximum recommended pressure – tubeless: 60 psi (4 bar)

Extralight model

As "Standard" model, but with:

Ultra-light, ultra-supple casing

Choice of black or tan sidewalls

Further improved comfort and traction

Ultra-low rolling resistance

417 g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Flawless.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Speechless.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

No nicks or cuts evident after hundreds of fast miles on and off-road.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
5/10

Its 461g is at the heavier end, but you make it all back in comfort and speed.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

Amazing. Just amazing.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

They're £4 cheaper at RRP than the nearest equivalent Schwalbe offering. Whether they're worth shelling out for depends on how much you value comfort and speed. If you're happy being bounced around and don't want to go fast, cheaper options are available. Other large-volume tubeless tyres are available, from the likes of Schwalbe in particular, but Compass wins the sidewall compliance shootout, with no Schwalbe tyres appearing in the likes of the Tour tests for rolling resistance.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Amazingly well. They stick like glue and are so comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The supple ride. Miles seem to evaporate under the Barlow Pass.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I can only mark the Barlow Pass down on price – £54 is a lot of cast per end. That said, compared with the logical competition from the Schwalbe G-One Tubeless 700C 38mm at an RRP of £59, it's excellent.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

29 comments

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jterrier [200 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Brilliant piece with some good factual info, I learned a lot from reading this.

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Marin [3 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

The width is a red herring, you can get basically the same ride feel from any size extralight Panaracer-made Compass, Pacenti or Grand Bois tires - I'm running 23, 28, 35 and 42mm, some with latex tubes, some tubeless. 

 

So put a set on your current bike and enjoy. I'd only recommend anything over 32mm if most of your rides include *rough* gravel. The 28mm version come out to 30+ on 18c rims are excellent allrounders allready.

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2old2mould [78 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
Marin wrote:

The width is a red herring...

 

That's a very narrow herring, and I'm not sure that having a fish on your tyres is going to help the handling much.

Avatar
rix [226 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
2old2mould wrote:
Marin wrote:

The width is a red herring...

That's a very narrow herring, and I'm not sure that having a fish on your tyres is going to help the handling much.

Handling is going to be very fishy...

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bobinski [292 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

slippery as an Eel

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bob_c [57 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

There's a new panaracer gravelking that is 38mm, herringbone pattern and tubeless. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in stock in the UK yet but it would hopefully be a cheaper alternative to these. Also they would be around 100g per tyre lighter.

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kil0ran [924 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
bob_c wrote:

There's a new panaracer gravelking that is 38mm, herringbone pattern and tubeless. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in stock in the UK yet but it would hopefully be a cheaper alternative to these. Also they would be around 100g per tyre lighter.

I find my Gravelking SKs in 32mm very supple and comfy. Likely to get a set in 26mm for my new bike - or I was until this review popped up. Given they're almost half the price I'm not sure I can justify the expense - they're more expensive than a set of tyres for my Passat! (then again, Rule 25...)

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reippuert [92 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Have pair of 1st batch tubless John Bon's Extralight.

In terms of subtleness and  rolling resistance you need to compare with the very best handmade tubulars out there. And at 290g + sealent for a huge 35mm airchamber their are in a class of their own.

Tested tires here is not Extralights. Extralights is also not what Tour tested, they are seriouly expensive but even lighter, subtler and faster.

I also have a pair of 32mm Gravelking slicks - they are a lot easier to seat and reaset tubless than Compass, not quite as subtle and fast but i'd say they are very close to non extraligths and way cheaper.

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [2038 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

"with no  downsides" ... oh really?

60psi max, some of us are 100kg and more, add in machine plus even a small load and you're already beyond that 120kg loading rating for running tubeless. 

You have to use specific sealant

 it leaks straight from the off

You need to leave it a day before using it with a tube inside in some instances

It comes up short width wise on anything except a really wide rim, a rim that is either much heavier than a narrower rim (so not just the 400g at the wheel is it) or are only available as a disc wheel.

It's really expensive

Did I miss anything?

Meanwhile I have a pair of Corratec '40mm' tyres that are coming up at 37.5mm on a 17c rim, are 57g lighter than the 'ultralight' and even with a latex tube will only be 28g heavier, oh and they cost £32/pair (I paid £25 from a retailer)

As for rolling resistance, well off road they are clearly going to be better than a 28mm road tyre like the Conti 4000SII, on roads other than really badly rutted no they won't.

A 28mm tyre on a 17c rim is much better aero than a 37mm tyre on even a 21mm rim, even for normal joe blogs averaging 16/17mph the aero loss is greater than the rolling resistance gain, this is why discs are such a drag compared to rim brakes, even on racing machines it's around 8watts (conservatively) continual loss over maybe a second or so gain in very, very particular conditions.

Are the Compass tyres excellent compared to most others, yup, are they brilliant off road and on rougher terrain, yup and indeed useful for other situations were a cushy ride is more preferable over outright speed.

But they are very spendy, in tubeless they are a faff (like most tubeless still), have a limited range for loading (which could have disastrous outcomes) and they are not faster on normal tarmac compared to a high end 23/25/28mm tyres and do take more energy at same speeds that most regular enthusiasts who would spend £55+ on a tyre would be going at.

At higher speed the aero loss is even greater, 25mph tyre dynamics are roughly 80% aero/20% Crr

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2038 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
reippuert wrote:

Have pair of 1st batch tubless John Bon's Extralight.

In terms of subtleness and  rolling resistance you need to compare with the very best handmade tubulars out there. And at 290g + sealent for a huge 35mm airchamber their are in a class of their own.

Tested tires here is not Extralights. Extralights is also not what Tour tested, they are seriouly expensive but even lighter, subtler and faster.

I also have a pair of 32mm Gravelking slicks - they are a lot easier to seat and reaset tubless than Compass, not quite as subtle and fast but i'd say they are very close to non extraligths and way cheaper.

Faster than what exactly and is that on tarmac or off-road? Off road the Compass tyres are going to be excellent over most in either guise. 

You say you have the extra lights, what are your tarmac roll down tests/watt numbers showing against a high end 23/25 or even 28mm tyre on an appropriate rim?

Avatar
reippuert [92 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
reippuert wrote:

Have pair of 1st batch tubless John Bon's Extralight.

In terms of subtleness and  rolling resistance you need to compare with the very best handmade tubulars out there. And at 290g + sealent for a huge 35mm airchamber their are in a class of their own.

Tested tires here is not Extralights. Extralights is also not what Tour tested, they are seriouly expensive but even lighter, subtler and faster.

I also have a pair of 32mm Gravelking slicks - they are a lot easier to seat and reaset tubless than Compass, not quite as subtle and fast but i'd say they are very close to non extraligths and way cheaper.

Faster than what exactly and is that on tarmac or off-road? Off road the Compass tyres are going to be excellent over most in either guise. 

You say you have the extra lights, what are your tarmac roll down tests/watt numbers showing against a high end 23/25 or even 28mm tyre on an appropriate rim?

Faster than non-extralights.

I can see that there is a lot of debate going on on slowtwich, bikeqauterly, tour etc.

Tours test has as few shortcommings:

Tour tested at 6bar only. IMHO i'd say that is way too much for Compass 35mm's (way too much for Pannaracer GK 32mm slicks as weel). that will be a bumpy ride.

Tour tested non-extralight

Tour tested with tubes, not tubeless.

Tour tested with load, not with a rider. Highly important if you are to utilize the supirior subtleness of a 35mm tire which will enable the rider to put down consistant power.

 

 

 

 

Avatar
KiwiMike [1368 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

"with no  downsides" ... oh really?

60psi max, some of us are 100kg and more, add in machine plus even a small load and you're already beyond that 120kg loading rating for running tubeless. 

That's assuming you go for 15% tyre drop. You can go a lot lower.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

You have to use specific sealant

Tomato-tomato. It's no big deal if you know about it up front.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

 it leaks straight from the off

For me, with Caffelatex. Others report it sealing first time. Again, it's not a biggie.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

You need to leave it a day before using it with a tube inside in some instances

So? It's a 10-minute bit of work to add then remove a tube, that then delivers years of super-smooth riding. 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

It comes up short width wise on anything except a really wide rim, a rim that is either much heavier than a narrower rim (so not just the 400g at the wheel is it) or are only available as a disc wheel.

You may want to define 'really wide rim'. If you want to run fat tyres, you need 'wide' rims. I'd now call them 'normal' rims - 19mm+ is the new 13mm.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

It's really expensive

If you assume these tyres are good for 10,000km, you average 20kph, and they cost say £10 more than a similarly-spec'd tyre, that's an extra £0.02 per hour. Really, you're whinging about paying that for one of the fastest, most comfortable tyres in the world?

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Did I miss anything?

Yes. Perspective.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Meanwhile I have a pair of Corratec '40mm' tyres that are coming up at 37.5mm on a 17c rim, are 57g lighter than the 'ultralight' and even with a latex tube will only be 28g heavier, oh and they cost £32/pair (I paid £25 from a retailer)

How thick is the tread? how puncture-resistant are they? Why aren't they on the Tour rolling resistance test of fame?

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

As for rolling resistance, well off road they are clearly going to be better than a 28mm road tyre like the Conti 4000SII, on roads other than really badly rutted no they won't.

The Tour RR tests are done on a smooth 'road' - and the Barlow Pass is still better than pretty much every 28mm tyre. so you're patently wrong.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

A 28mm tyre on a 17c rim ...

You have missed the point of the review, and indeed the product. Fatter is no longer a compromise. It enables you to do things and go places skinny doesn't with little to no penalty. If you want to ride in the Alps on glassy roads using high-quality 25mm tubs, great. These tyres, however, are for the real world. 

Avatar
Rider X [18 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
KiwiMike wrote:

You have missed the point of the review, and indeed the product. Fatter is no longer a compromise. It enables you to do things and go places skinny doesn't with little to no penalty. If you want to ride in the Alps on glassy roads using high-quality 25mm tubs, great. These tyres, however, are for the real world. 

Having used the Barlow Pass for a few years now (tubed version), I am thankful high quality, supple high volume tires. That said, there are still some nuances everyone is still missing in the thin vs fat tire debates.

There is still much confusion about optimal pressure and thinner tires. 15% drop is simply a rule of thumb.  An empirical goal is to avoid the rolling resistance break point, that is the pressure where if you go above it you start to get noticeable suspension losses. (Its a "break point" as this is where real world rolling resistance measurements make a noticeable break from smooth drum roller data.).

If your roads are in decent conditions thinner tires (e.g., 25 mm) can be fine  long as you can set the pressure low enough so that  you don't encounter the rolling resistance break point and you don't impact handling and you don't bottom out the rim.

If the roads you ride are in worse conditions or you are riding mixed terrain (e.g., gravel) then it is unlikely a thinner tire can be safely run at a sufficiently low pressure. You have the wrong tire volume for the job.

Thinner tires are still useful, especially on good roads.  They don't have to be glass smooth Alp roads, just not too rough that a thinner tire has insufficient volume to deal with the conditions.  Trial and error is needed to determine where the cut-off actually lies.  That said, in road riding such as fast pace club rides, criteriums, road races, thinner tires are lighter and spin up easier during quick bursts of accelerations often encountered in this  type of riding.  Thinner will also have a less of an  frontal  area (i.e., aero) and most aero rims were designed for thinner tires so fatter tires on an aero rim will suffer from a bigger frontal area and a worse laminar flow.

The point is that none of this is as simple as Fat Good, Thin Bad that everyone seems to want to make it out to be.

 

Avatar
gunswick [131 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Quote:

The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless.

This is a shame, I was well up for getting them, but why are the 26, 28, 32 not tubeless tyres? I want a 28 fast tubeless tyre (like a Schwalbe Pro-one), why did they not make them all tubeless?

PS. Tubeless is piss easy and awesome. Use the Milkit kit for easy maintenance (checking levels and top-ups and changing tyres etc).

Avatar
Rider X [18 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
gunswick wrote:
Quote:

The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless.

This is a shame, I was well up for getting them, but why are the 26, 28, 32 not tubeless tyres? I want a 28 fast tubeless tyre (like a Schwalbe Pro-one), why did they not make them all tubeless? PS. Tubeless is piss easy and awesome. Use the Milkit kit for easy maintenance (checking levels and top-ups and changing tyres etc).

 

Small company, they have been slowly updating their line to be tubeless. First they need to recoup costs on a particular tire mold before they can purchase a new tire mold that include a tubeless beed. The 700 x 26, 28 and 32mm were not as popular tire size as the larger volume, so the larger volume tires were the first to get the tubeless upgrade.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1368 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
gunswick wrote:
Quote:

The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless.

This is a shame, I was well up for getting them, but why are the 26, 28, 32 not tubeless tyres? I want a 28 fast tubeless tyre (like a Schwalbe Pro-one), why did they not make them all tubeless? PS. Tubeless is piss easy and awesome. Use the Milkit kit for easy maintenance (checking levels and top-ups and changing tyres etc).

 

As Jan covers in this article https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-trouble-with-road-tubeless/ they don't approve of inflating *any* tubeless tyre beyond 60PSI. 

The reality is that whilst you *can* do so if you know what you are doing, with the right rim, but as general guidance for the public it's not a good idea because people are stupid. Personally I've run many dozens of combinations of rim and tyre tubeless over the last 5 years, and never had one blow off a rim. That said I'm 75kg soaking wet, so have never felt the need to inflate a 28mm+ tyre harder than about 60psi anyway, and often run even 28mm rubber sub-50.

The tubeless-compatible Compass tyres have a stronger bead. But even a bead with zero stretch might still allow a tyre to blow off a rim where the diameter was appreciably smaller than the spec. So tyre manufacturers are in a pickle - do they stick to making their tyres exactly right and risk harming an inept consumer with smaller-spec rims, or do they go slightly smaller to ensure their tyres can't blow off, but then get a reputation for being a complete bastard to fit / repair roadside?

Compass recommend over-inflating by 20% for a day, to ensure your tyre-rim fit is safe. That's a sensible option for any setup. 

The good news is that the likes of the Schwalbe One are very good, so until Compass make smaller TC versions, that's where you are at.

Avatar
gunswick [131 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I have Schwalbe S-ones and never run them above 60psi as they are slower and skittery on tarmac. Road riding is not at 90+ psi in the real world. 60psi is much faster because it absorbs bumps and gives "suspension" instead of bouncing the bike off the ground (and the rider off the bike) which means power is more consistently applied etc.

I understand although don't like the economic argument of recouping mould costs etc, but the psi point is obsolete in 2018, they should make them tubeless for all sizes.

Avatar
reippuert [92 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
gunswick wrote:
Quote:

The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless.

This is a shame, I was well up for getting them, but why are the 26, 28, 32 not tubeless tyres? I want a 28 fast tubeless tyre (like a Schwalbe Pro-one), why did they not make them all tubeless? PS. Tubeless is piss easy and awesome. Use the Milkit kit for easy maintenance (checking levels and top-ups and changing tyres etc).

 

tyre pressure, neather Compass or Pannaracers  GK in  narrow versions  does support suffiennt high pressure for such small aircambers - they will pop off the rim..

pretty sure those 26 or 28mm  compass extralights with a latex tube will be a swet sweet ride though. 30TPI  paperthin extralight casing is super subtle with  a 3mm of modern pannaracer rubber compund

Avatar
reippuert [92 posts] 4 months ago
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gunswick wrote:

I have Schwalbe S-ones and never run them above 60psi as they are slower and skittery on tarmac. Road riding is not at 90+ psi in the real world. 60psi is much faster because it absorbs bumps and gives "suspension" instead of bouncing the bike off the ground (and the rider off the bike) which means power is more consistently applied etc. I understand although don't like the economic argument of recouping mould costs etc, but the psi point is obsolete in 2018, they should make them tubeless for all sizes.

 

i never go above 5bars on my 28mm corsa graphene tubulars.

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CXR94Di2 [2118 posts] 4 months ago
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My method to inflating tyres is go to max recommended, and lower 3 psi until they feel comfy without being squirmish under cornering.  I weigh 100kg kitted out more like 110kg with saddle bag

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BehindTheBikesheds [2038 posts] 4 months ago
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KiwiMike wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

"with no  downsides" ... oh really?

60psi max, some of us are 100kg and more, add in machine plus even a small load and you're already beyond that 120kg loading rating for running tubeless. 

That's assuming you go for 15% tyre drop. You can go a lot lower.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

You have to use specific sealant

Tomato-tomato. It's no big deal if you know about it up front.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

 it leaks straight from the off

For me, with Caffelatex. Others report it sealing first time. Again, it's not a biggie.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

You need to leave it a day before using it with a tube inside in some instances

So? It's a 10-minute bit of work to add then remove a tube, that then delivers years of super-smooth riding. 

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

It comes up short width wise on anything except a really wide rim, a rim that is either much heavier than a narrower rim (so not just the 400g at the wheel is it) or are only available as a disc wheel.

You may want to define 'really wide rim'. If you want to run fat tyres, you need 'wide' rims. I'd now call them 'normal' rims - 19mm+ is the new 13mm.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

It's really expensive

If you assume these tyres are good for 10,000km, you average 20kph, and they cost say £10 more than a similarly-spec'd tyre, that's an extra £0.02 per hour. Really, you're whinging about paying that for one of the fastest, most comfortable tyres in the world?

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Did I miss anything?

Yes. Perspective.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Meanwhile I have a pair of Corratec '40mm' tyres that are coming up at 37.5mm on a 17c rim, are 57g lighter than the 'ultralight' and even with a latex tube will only be 28g heavier, oh and they cost £32/pair (I paid £25 from a retailer)

How thick is the tread? how puncture-resistant are they? Why aren't they on the Tour rolling resistance test of fame?

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

As for rolling resistance, well off road they are clearly going to be better than a 28mm road tyre like the Conti 4000SII, on roads other than really badly rutted no they won't.

The Tour RR tests are done on a smooth 'road' - and the Barlow Pass is still better than pretty much every 28mm tyre. so you're patently wrong.

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

A 28mm tyre on a 17c rim ...

You have missed the point of the review, and indeed the product. Fatter is no longer a compromise. It enables you to do things and go places skinny doesn't with little to no penalty. If you want to ride in the Alps on glassy roads using high-quality 25mm tubs, great. These tyres, however, are for the real world. 

I'm not against using fatter tyres, I use them myself, I'm against the nonsense that tubeless and indeed wider is faster in all scenarios, it isn't. Also how much comfort gain from running lower pressure in tubeless v tubed, people go to a wider/different tyre completely then state tubeless iscomfier/less exerting but haven't made a like for like comparison.
Even schwalbe have made avery low Crr wide tubed tyre that would according to Bicycle rolling resistance run 5% less Crr than it's tubeless cousin.
That was with a std 150g butyl tube too. Schwalbe promptly dropped the std tyre for the heavier tubeless variant which is crazy
As I clearly said off road a tubeless and/or wide tyre will very probably outperform and be less likely to flat. On road at enthusiastic speeds the aero loss of a wider tyre on a wider rim is more than the gain in Crr.
You missed the point of what I said and yes for some tyres/wheels tubeless can be relatively easy but for most it still isn't and even the eadiest tubeless is still more aggro than a tubed variant, significantly so.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2038 posts] 4 months ago
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reippuert wrote:
gunswick wrote:

I have Schwalbe S-ones and never run them above 60psi as they are slower and skittery on tarmac. Road riding is not at 90+ psi in the real world. 60psi is much faster because it absorbs bumps and gives "suspension" instead of bouncing the bike off the ground (and the rider off the bike) which means power is more consistently applied etc. I understand although don't like the economic argument of recouping mould costs etc, but the psi point is obsolete in 2018, they should make them tubeless for all sizes.

 

i never go above 5bars on my 28mm corsa graphene tubulars.

I wouldn't go below 90psi on my 27mm veloflex vlaanderan at the rear, see we are all different.
As for running tyres at lower pressure and saying they are faster on anything except really badly rutted roads.just lol

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photek [4 posts] 4 months ago
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gunswick wrote:
Quote:

The 26, 28 and 32mm models require inner tubes, while the wider versions can run tubeless.

PS. Tubeless is piss easy and awesome. Use the Milkit kit for easy maintenance (checking levels and top-ups and changing tyres etc).

 

Careful googleing "Milkit kit"....unless you happen to be breastfeeding. 

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fukawitribe [2448 posts] 4 months ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

even the eadiest tubeless is still more aggro than a tubed variant, significantly so.

No, it's not.

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KiwiMike [1368 posts] 4 months ago
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bob_c wrote:

There's a new panaracer gravelking that is 38mm, herringbone pattern and tubeless. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in stock in the UK yet but it would hopefully be a cheaper alternative to these. Also they would be around 100g per tyre lighter.

Funnily enough, here's the latest blog post from Compass, where they cover in detail the difference between the Panaracer and Compass tyres. In short, Panaracers aren't a direct 'alternative', because *everything* is different: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/how-are-compass-tires-differen...

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ChetManley [95 posts] 4 months ago
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bob_c wrote:

There's a new panaracer gravelking that is 38mm, herringbone pattern and tubeless. Unfortunately I haven't seen it in stock in the UK yet but it would hopefully be a cheaper alternative to these. Also they would be around 100g per tyre lighter.

I'm still waiting on these, might just have to get them in from Germany.

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ChetManley [95 posts] 4 months ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
reippuert wrote:
gunswick wrote:

I have Schwalbe S-ones and never run them above 60psi as they are slower and skittery on tarmac. Road riding is not at 90+ psi in the real world. 60psi is much faster because it absorbs bumps and gives "suspension" instead of bouncing the bike off the ground (and the rider off the bike) which means power is more consistently applied etc. I understand although don't like the economic argument of recouping mould costs etc, but the psi point is obsolete in 2018, they should make them tubeless for all sizes.

 

i never go above 5bars on my 28mm corsa graphene tubulars.

I wouldn't go below 90psi on my 27mm veloflex vlaanderan at the rear, see we are all different.
As for running tyres at lower pressure and saying they are faster on anything except really badly rutted roads.just lol

You have roads that aren't badly rutted?

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jhwr [3 posts] 4 months ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
reippuert wrote:
gunswick wrote:

I have Schwalbe S-ones and never run them above 60psi as they are slower and skittery on tarmac. Road riding is not at 90+ psi in the real world. 60psi is much faster because it absorbs bumps and gives "suspension" instead of bouncing the bike off the ground (and the rider off the bike) which means power is more consistently applied etc. I understand although don't like the economic argument of recouping mould costs etc, but the psi point is obsolete in 2018, they should make them tubeless for all sizes.

 

i never go above 5bars on my 28mm corsa graphene tubulars.

I wouldn't go below 90psi on my 27mm veloflex vlaanderan at the rear, see we are all different. As for running tyres at lower pressure and saying they are faster on anything except really badly rutted roads.just lol

You are 100% right BehindTheBikesheds. I recently tested the 38mm Barlow Pass against the 25mm Corsa g+. In a 24km TT, a week apart, same bike, same wheels.  The Corsas were 2kmh faster between a range of 37-39kmh.

It's true I wasnt riding on a steel drum. I never have, and am not likely too.

I do not have an agenda. I wanted to see what the difference was. I love the fatter tires. Call me a nerd, its true. The difference was large, but not enough to stop me using the Barlow Pass tires over the Vittorias in the majority of my riding. My favourite tire is the Rat-trap pass. I use this tire the most. Its not always about speed.

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jhwr [3 posts] 3 months ago
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This is interesting, I guess you chose what you want to believe in. Doesnt stack up with the German  Bike Mag experience tho !  https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews/compass-bon-jon-pa...