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Volsung

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And the results aren't great but also not terrible since he has nothing to compare it to.  Yes I know people don't generally ride on a textured steel drum.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews/compass-bon-jon-pass-2018

 

 

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thumper88

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Reply with quote  #2 
Given that they scored pretty much the worst of any tire he has ever tested in puncture resistance -- and it wasn't even the light version of the casing ! -- these can't really be called gravel tires. I mean, even the fastest, flimsiest road racing tires did better.

There is something about them that is so aesthetically compelling I've wanted a set ever since the first time I saw them. But I really struggle to understand what they're good for.
The rolling resistance is ok, but not great, and gets worse when you get the pressure down to get some comfort out of it. 
It's too prone to puncture to take on most rough surfaces.
Maybe relatively smooth hardpack on terrain where there are no puncture hazards is the one surface it would have an edge over others? Everywhere else, it seems like a mediocre to bad choice.

I do hope this means he's going to start testing gravel tires. His tests are much less useful for gravel than road, because it would be really hard to simulate serious gravel and the effects on rolling resistance. But it would be nice to have a sense of how they stack up against each other in the objective puncture test...and also for rough-drum rolling resistance -- not a perfect data point, but.... at least a data point.



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Jim_H

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've got two sets of them on gravel bikes for two full seasons now, and I love them.  I probably wouldn't choose them for a hardcore gravel ride where there was a lot of chunky, sharp rocks, but for the forest service and fire roads I do most of my miles on, they are fantastic.

I run them tubeless and have never had a flat on either set (Bon Jon's and Snoqualmies) after thousands of miles.   

I also never had the problem with sealant oozing through the sidewalls that some have reported. I used Stans initially, and switched to Orange Seal this season.   

I had the same first impression that many others have had, that they seemed fragile, but honestly, they have proven to be fine in real world use.   I probably run mine at a slightly higher pressure than some, but I'm a big, heavy guy, and I'm protecting against pinches and rim hits.    I can't attest to rolling resistance, but they are definitely faster rolling than the other tires I've run (Gravel King SK's, WTB ByWay's and variosu Clement/Donnelly USH and MSO's), and it's not close.

I currently have a set of wheels with Gravel King SK's and a set of Boyd Jocassee's with WTB ByWays on my Search XR.  These tires are heavier and probably more durable, but honestly, the Compass tires have proven to be durable enough for what I'm using them for.  And for whatever it's worth, there are quite a few people racing and winning gravel races on them, so I can't imagine that durability can be all that bad.

My only real complaint with them is the last set I bought for my girlfriends Norco had a bit of a green tinge to the sidewall color.  It was a bit off-putting (aesthetically).  I emailed them and was told the tires are fine.  They were working with their manufacturing partners to refine the compounds and the color was skewed a bit in the process.  They said that future production runs should be better.
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owly

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Reply with quote  #4 
My experience with them (I use black extralight models setup tubeless with Orangeseal Endurance) pretty much mirrors Jim's. 

I'll perhaps try a slick Panaracer model someday as they're much cheaper, but for the time being I'm a convert.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #5 
I loved my Barlows back before they were tubeless.  2 of my 4 Snoqualmies were defective though and one failed at sealing a small cut so I moved on.  Maybe in a few years I'll revisit Compass.  They are the most comfortable tire regardless of durability.
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Barrettscv

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have the Compass 700x32 Stampede Pass on a vintage Cyclocross bike. This bike gets used on chipseal and limestone paths and the tire is reliable. I'll be the first to admit, it's on this bike for aesthetics. It's natural tan sidewall is perfect on a lugged Italian bike with Campagnolo. But it's not a rugged tire for any kind of gravel and my vintage Cyclocross bike doesn't get abused.

I have several tires that are faster rolling on chipseal & gravel that are more rugged than the Compass tires. The Vittoria Hyper is a great all-around tire for 50/50 road/gravel. Like the Hyper, the slick Panaracer Gravelking is both rugged and fast rolling. I also use the 700x28 Continental 4000 S II, this tire measures 32mm wide on a 24mm wide rim. The 4000 S II is more rugged than the Compass tire, but like the Compass tire, it's not ideal for challenging gravel. It has incredibly low rolling resistance, however.

The 700x38 Hutchinson Override is fast rolling and is rugged enough for almost any gravel. You can have it all, if your willing to use a tubeless tire that is nearly a slick.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #7 
My $.02, based on 2 pairs of 35 mm Bon Jon's extra light casing - one pair installed with Challenge latex tubes, the other tubeless with Orangeseal sealant.
The argument given by Jan Heine of Compass is that looking at only rolling resistance on a steel roller - even one with a corrugated surface- ignores the real world loss of energy due to suspension loss which occurs when a stiffer, higher pressure tire fails to absorb bumps in the road surface. According to J H, this is the reason that wider, more supple tires, at lower pressure, perform better on real road surfaces. He argues that ironically, due to the fact that there is less buzz coming from the wider softer tires, the tire actually feels slower to the rider. It is very hard to verify J H's argument scientifically, as it would require very sophisticated testing of identical bikes being ridden in real world conditions. Compass has published some of their own tests -- but they are less than scientific IMHO. We are left then with a lot of very subjective and anecdotal evidence. My own anecdotal experience is that the Bon Jon's are indeed very fast and comfortable; but the improved comfort and performance comes at a cost -- difficult tubeless installation and reduced reliability and durability.
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dangle

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh
My $.02, based on 2 pairs of 35 mm Bon Jon's extra light casing - one pair installed with Challenge latex tubes, the other tubeless with Orangeseal sealant.
The argument given by Jan Heine of Compass is that looking at only rolling resistance on a steel roller - even one with a corrugated surface- ignores the real world loss of energy due to suspension loss which occurs when a stiffer, higher pressure tire fails to absorb bumps in the road surface. According to J H, this is the reason that wider, more supple tires, at lower pressure, perform better on real road surfaces. He argues that ironically, due to the fact that there is less buzz coming from the wider softer tires, the tire actually feels slower to the rider. It is very hard to verify J H's argument scientifically, as it would require very sophisticated testing of identical bikes being ridden in real world conditions. Compass has published some of their own tests -- but they are less than scientific IMHO. We are left then with a lot of very subjective and anecdotal evidence. My own anecdotal experience is that the Bon Jon's are indeed very fast and comfortable; but the improved comfort and performance comes at a cost -- difficult tubeless installation and reduced reliability and durability.


Good points. Not all rollers are equal though. The smaller ones require quite a bit of tire deformation which may give insight to how tires would perform in real-world situations with less than perfect road surfaces. I think you're spot on though.

One of the best write-ups I have seen came from Silca (who is not trying to sell us tires).

https://silca.cc/blogs/journal/part-4b-rolling-resistance-and-impedance
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangle


Good points. Not all rollers are equal though. The smaller ones require quite a bit of tire deformation which may give insight to how tires would perform in real-world situations with less than perfect road surfaces. I think you're spot on though.

One of the best write-ups I have seen came from Silca (who is not trying to sell us tires).

https://silca.cc/blogs/journal/part-4b-rolling-resistance-and-impedance

Thanks for this great posting. I think Jan Heine would be smiling about the last sentence in the test which states that more supple tires are less dependent on tire pressure for their performance. This means that you can run supple tires at lower pressure, with all the benefits of improved traction for cornering and softer surfaces, without any loss of rolling resistance. Of course, even these tests involve very small samples under very unique conditions that will be hard to duplicate by other testers. My scientifically trained brain still classifies this report as anecdotal. But, it's nice to see some independent confirmation of some of J H's beliefs and assertions.
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DADZSUN

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Reply with quote  #10 
My experience with Compass Bon Jon (Extralight tubeless-compatible) is that it's 1-2 kph quicker than my G-One (35, more like 37mm) and Hutchinson Override (~34.5mm). 

The ride, when at similar pressure to others, is also quite a bit better.

Having said that I don't run them because:

1) They are a PITA to keep inflated tubeless (2oz Stans)
2) I have punctured a tire - yet to do that on any other
3) I've had one tire delaminate from the bead (returned for a full warranty replacement). Given the paper-thin sidewall, I lack confidence to push it on sketchy roads/bends (paved or gravel).  

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plohnes

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Reply with quote  #11 
I am running the Panaracer Gravel King slick 650x42..Somewhat of a close comparison. Supple, Light, feels really fast, sets up tubeless like a dream....and CHEAP. Total winner. This is for gravel/trail/off road use. 
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #12 

Compass made a social media post saying that bicycle rolling resistance is wrong (even though they test all the tires the same way so there's uniformity) because rolling drums are more curved than the planet.

 

I immediately unfollowed them.

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nalax

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung

Compass made a social media post saying that bicycle rolling resistance is wrong (even though they test all the tires the same way so there's uniformity) because rolling drums are more curved than the planet.


So JH just needs to come up with a drum that's about 7900mi in diameter.[rolleyes]
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #14 
I like J H , BQ, and Compass tires and components. They are a refreshing contrarian voice in the chorus of me-too corporate hype. But having purchased a number of their tires and other products, I would have to say that not everything they sell or produce is ideal for me, or for the broad spectrum of gravel riding represented in this forum. I liked the 2 sets of Bon Jon extra light tires I've owned and ridden extensively. For my rural dirt roads, they are good most of the time, but when things get rough, which they often do, then I want a sturdier tire , with some tread designed specifically for more challenging surfaces. As far as the Bon Jon's specifically, I would recommend the standard casing for increased durability; and to look elsewhere if you plan to run tubeless. I did have very good results running my BJ's with Challenge latex tubes, and Schwalbe extra light tubes. Very good performance, with no pinch flats or punctures. Maybe I was just lucky; but with the BJ's, tubeless isn't worth the hassle.
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jruhlen1980

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh
I like J H , BQ, and Compass tires and components. They are a refreshing contrarian voice in the chorus of me-too corporate hype. But having purchased a number of their tires and other products, I would have to say that not everything they sell or produce is ideal for me, or for the broad spectrum of gravel riding represented in this forum. I liked the 2 sets of Bon Jon extra light tires I've owned and ridden extensively. For my rural dirt roads, they are good most of the time, but when things get rough, which they often do, then I want a sturdier tire , with some tread designed specifically for more challenging surfaces. As far as the Bon Jon's specifically, I would recommend the standard casing for increased durability; and to look elsewhere if you plan to run tubeless. I did have very good results running my BJ's with Challenge latex tubes, and Schwalbe extra light tubes. Very good performance, with no pinch flats or punctures. Maybe I was just lucky; but with the BJ's, tubeless isn't worth the hassle.


Yeah I'm of a similar mindset. I really appreciate the experimentation they've been doing with wider tires and lower pressures and their field testing, imperfect though it is, seems to support that you don't lose speed and have a better ride with fatter tires on the road. It's really made my road riding more enjoyable. It's also helped people realize that rolling resistance only tells part of the story re: how a tire performs.

But J.H. does not seem to be able to separate quantifiable results from his personal pet theories. Hence, his stubborn insistence that a) gravel tires don't need tread and b) anyone who has punctures just isn't riding carefully enough.

That might be true of Seattle gravel (I don't know, I've never ridden there) but it's def. not true in the midwest. The refusal to acknowledge that other people have different riding conditions that place different demands on their tires comes across as patronizing.

Everyone I know who has tried Compass tires a) loves them and b) won't use them on gravel because they puncture easily.

I'd love to try them but not at $75/tire when there are plenty of perfectly serviceable options at $50/tire and below.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #16 

Agreed.  He is a nice counter point to what the industry has been telling/selling us and has been instrumental into bigger tires (and possibly the whole gravel bike thing by extrapolation).  Although his views work well for him and his type of riding – they don’t work for everyone.

The tread thing for instance.  I understand what he is saying, but in my experience slick tires let go fast ad hard.  Treaded tires give way slower and are possible for me to catch or even drift.  While the ultimate traction may be similar, the breakaway characteristics are very different.

I did challenge him on the “stiff is not faster” debate.  In a 1000 watt sprint over 30mph, I just can’t get a steel framed bike to hang like I can with a stiff carbon or Aluminum bike.  He basically conceded that his argument does not work at high power levels.  Certainly I’m fine riding steel all day long at 15-18mph average speeds, but I can’t keep up with a raced paced sprint unless I have a bike that responds like the guy in front of me.

 

And of course, if I (or people like me) am/are not doing licensed UCI racing (or similar), a lot of what the industry was selling us for the last couple of decades is BS. 

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clarksonxc

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhlen1980



That might be true of Seattle gravel (I don't know, I've never ridden there) but it's def. not true in the midwest. The refusal to acknowledge that other people have different riding conditions that place different demands on their tires comes across as patronizing.

Everyone I know who has tried Compass tires a) loves them and b) won't use them on gravel because they puncture easily.



You guys are hitting on some very good points. I'd just like to say that a lot of the "arguments" I see regarding tires, pressures, etc. boils down to "gravel" not having the same definition across the entire county.
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