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Old 08-01-16, 12:41 PM
Calamari Marionette Ph.D
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Compass Tire Hype: Warning

I hate when a product develops a hive-minded hyperbolic praise gushing following. It makes me very suspicious. I start thinking "Label Lovers" and brand loyalists, which make no sense to me whatsoever. Like a $20K Rolex is going to tell me what time it is better than a $100 Seiko will. That kinda cult **** irks me.

Well, Compass tires are swarmed by exactly that. A following of "Praise Fountains" spewing sugary adjectives and analogies about the tire's unearthly performance and ride qualities has developed.

I've read all the user reviews I came across.

"Floats over chip seal like it's on a cloud."

"I had to change cogs on my fixed bike because of the increased speed."

"They eliminated the numbness that I was experiencing in my hands."

And on and on and on and on and on and on.

Whatever man. Puke.


I had some tires on one of my bikes that were just too heavy. My mistake for buying them. Originally they fit the bill. Large volume, gum walls, and 100% slick. But I found myself avoiding riding that bike because of the tires. That was bumming me out. After a while I admitted it to myself, they had to go.

I started shopping for lighter replacements. I couldn't find any 100% slick tires with gum/tan walls in 700c x 35mm. Black wall, yes. Or gum wall with tread, yes. Dammit. More research and shopping. I finally reached the much loathed conclusion that the Compass tire was the closest I could get to what I wanted. It has tread, but it's almost nonexistent. Dread set in. The prices are ridiculous. Stupid prices.

After mulling it over I decided to bite the bullet and buy a pair. I figured if they were half as good as the hype, I'd have a lighter and better rolling tire and enjoy the bike again.

I received them. Yep. Just rubber rings. They mounted easily and fully seated themselves without needing any manual manipulation. Fine. Whatever.

Still feeling like a knucklehead for spending nine mortgage payments on two bike tires I ventured out for a twenty mile ride.

I didn't have to ride very far to realize I had made a big mistake. A BIG one.

I had judged the tires and formed an opinion without riding them.

The hype is true.

I've ridden thirty seven million different tires (yes, 37M ) in my time on bikes and motorcycles and these tires are freaks.

They ride so well it messes with my head. I'd be riding along on perfect pavement for a mile and then come to a place where it transitions to junk pavement and I'd feel no difference. My eyes are receiving data that conflicts with what my hands, butt and feet are experiencing. I started looking for rough patches to ride over so I could "double check" WTF was going on?

Yeah they roll great, but that's to be expected since they have a high TPI count and are light weight. Yeah they handle great, but that's to be expected since they have supple side walls. But it's the vibration elimination that is freakish. And I mean freakish.

There is a park near me with a huge concrete promenade area as part of a Veteran's memorial. The concrete has a decorative pattern stamped in it. The ridges are the exactly perfect depth and distance from one another to induce teeth rattling vibration. You know, like rattle the fillings out of your teeth. I rolled over that stuff, and, nothing. NOTHING. I couldn't feel or hear anything. It was actually very very eerie.

The other thing that is weird is that the PSI sweet spot is huge. When the pressure drops they don't become "slow".

Now I am faced with a huge dilemma. Compass makes a (dead sexy) 26" x 2.3" black wall and my Klunker needs new tires. I'd save 202 grams each by replacing my Ritchey tires. But those cost even more than the 700 x 35s I bought.

But expensive tires on a Klunker? Really?

Am I that stupid?


Last edited by SquidPuppet; 08-01-16 at 12:48 PM.
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