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cdresden

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've been toying with the idea of trying the Compass Barlow (700/38). Currently using the Clement X'Plor USH (35) and considering switching to the X'Plor MSO (700/40). The Clements have the center ridge so they do well on pavement. The Compass tires are a complete switch to no aggressive tread but they argue that knobs are not helpful in gravel. Anyone tried the switch?

Chris
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Barrettscv

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have the Clement MSO and USH. I also have the 700x32 Compass Stampede Pass.

Slick, and nearly slick, tires do very well on flat routes on gravel. Firm gravel routes that are not too hilly are ideal for a tire like the Barlow Pass. Most rails-to-trails routes really don't require a knobby tire. These trails lack steep sections and tight corners. A slick tire will be faster than a knobby tire on pavement or on very well maintained gravel. The size of the tire, combined with moderate air pressure will provide moderate and sufficient traction on most surfaces.

Knobby tires are needed on steeper routes if the gravel is soft. Braking and cornering is much stronger if the tire has knobs along the shoulder.

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RoverAl

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Reply with quote  #3 
Give a look at the Clement MSo 36, I have the 36 & 40 and like the 36 better. Nice ride a little faster than the 40's  and tubeless. I am thinking about the Clement Strada ush in 32 for my summer tire. I also used the USH in 35 which is a pretty good tire overall.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #4 
I personally would not run Compass tires for gravel, but mainly because the casings are so thin (they say supple).  They claim that the low pressures you run with larger tires prevents flats, but lots of people flat with much tougher tires riding gravel.  I think if you ride mostly road with occasional gravel they would be great tires, but I just don't see them as dedicated gravel tires.
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cjdaking

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Reply with quote  #5 
I've generally run smooth-ish tires (Specialized Trigger, Hutchinson Mamba, Clement USH) and only had grip problems when I encounter hardpack dirt roads, usually with a thin coat of dust and small gravel. Full CX-ready knobs make a difference in steep sections where a smoother tire breaks traction or at speed around turns. The MSO 36 has been probably the most versatile tire that offers near-knobby grip uphill and decent road handling. Their cornering in dirt at speed leaves a little to be desired, but there are a number of really nice tires out or coming that have better cornering grip but good road manners. Get a big bottle of Orange Seal, a compressor or a flash pump, and start playing with different combos. I found that I'm swapping tires 3-4 times a year playing with different combinations. Panaracer Gravelking SK, MSOs or Maxxis Ramblers are great 80/20 rule tires and the new WTB Riddler looks like it has a lot of promise. The great thing is that even if you try a tire and it's not exactly what you're looking for at the moment or for a specific event, you'll likely run into conditions that are idea for that tire later!

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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #6 
I run Compass Rat Trap Pass tires and haven't had any problems with them. Before that I was using Resist Nomad 45s. I haven't missed the knobs and prefer the faster tire. For a given width I'd rather have more volume and floatation with less knob.

The RTPs have seen a lot of snow and slush lately. This summer they were great at Odin's Revenge and at the Robidoux Quick and Dirty I was riding sandy sections that had everyone on MSOs pushing their bikes.

5 years ago I wouldn't have believed myself. But as they say, YMMV.


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El Train

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Reply with quote  #7 
Like many things with cycling, I think this is regionally specific question. Where do you live? Moisture is the issue here I feel. If you ever hit wet dirt, you are toast with slicks. If you live where it's always dry, this may not be an issue. I also find that tires with knobs flat MUCH less than those without, due to the knobs holding the casing off the ground. Glass etc doesn't contact the casing as much. My personal feeling on the Compass tires is that they work well in the Pacific NW where they are designed, because all the rain there cleans the roads of debris. Where I live it is dry and the roads hardly ever get enough rain to wash the roads clean. Tiny bits of glass are everywhere on the roadside and I wouldn't last a 1/4 mile with those thin tires. I would love to run faster smoother tires but every time I have tried, even with file treads, I just get tons of flats. It is 2-5 miles of pavement to get to the dirt roads for me no matter what. 
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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #8 
Tubeless all things. It's goathead thorn city around here from the corn fields, and the Compass tires have been just fine. They are quite porous though and my standard homebrew sealant was drying out pretty quickly in them. Switching to Orange Seal seemed to fix that problem.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #9 
I use smooth tires (most of the time).

The drawbacks are wet grass, wet dirt, sand.   If you don't have those, or just slow down when things get wet/deep, they work fine.  

I'm fine running smooth round tires and slowing down for 1% of the ride where they are  not optimum.  If I'm doing a rough ride closer to a mountain bike trail, I'll use fatter tires with more tread.  Mostly I'm going to adjust the tire pressure rather than the tread to maintain traction.  

Those compass tires look great, but with only the threads of the casing protecting the side wall, I would be nervous taking them on anything with rocks or sharp objects.  Just seeing pictures of people run them tubeless and having the latex seep out through the sidewalls shows how thin they are.  I think they would be great tires if you aren't worried about gravel slicing the sidewall.
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #10 
On my roads...I can tell a difference when I switched from WTB Nanos to Gravel Kings. Not huge but I can tell. Not enough to switch back unless I know I'll be doing 75%+ gravel or some really knarly stuff.
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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #11 
I am all ears. I got into gravel riding about a year ago. With my crazy busy schedule I do not get to ride on a regular basis so I am just now about due for some new tires. I have been running the same tires as I started with. When I built my first bike my LBS ordered all the small parts for me (brakes, shifters, tires, etc). He sold me some 700x32 Bontrager CX3 knobbies that he had in stock. I run them tubeless on Stans Grail rims with Orange seal. These tires have little tiny knobs all over them similar to miniature mountain bike tires. They have served me well on probably 3-4 hundred miles of Southwest Iowa gravel as well as RAGBRAI 2016 and on a few paved rides. I have been looking at new tires and cannot decide myself if I want to go with a semi slick center with side knobs, something that has a file pattern across the face, or another set similar to what I am running now. I also have been contemplating going with something bigger than the 32s I have now. I like how they roll but this southern Iowa gravel is large white rock and it beats the hell out of you. By the way this is my first post. Interesting thread!
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #12 
If you can fit them...I wouldn't run smaller than 35c on gravel and after riding 40c....it's hard to go back to 35c. I have 40c on one bike and 35c on the other and I hate riding the 35c now.
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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster
If you can fit them...I wouldn't run smaller than 35c on gravel and after riding 40c....it's hard to go back to 35c. I have 40c on one bike and 35c on the other and I hate riding the 35c now.


I'm riding a Soma Wolverine so I can fit some rather large tires in there.
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