Volsung Show full post »
Volsung
I bought a second pair of SVs for spring, this time in terracotta color and the EX/extended wear version. They're considerably thicker in the tread but the sidewalls are the same. I haven't had a chance to weigh them.

My SLs aren't worn out yet (1500ish miles). I just like to replace early while the old tires still have some resale value.
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bobknh
Quick update on my tubeless Bon Jons Extra-light casing. As I may have mentioned elsewhere -- it took 2 oz. of Orange Seal endurance in both wheels, and several days of TLC before the tires sealed reliably. After that, their day to day tubeless performance was on par with other tubeless tires I have been using. Recently, I hit some road debris riding on pavement. When I got back from my ride, I noticed a section of the casing had been damaged; and that some Orange seal had seeped through, effectively sealing the tire. The tire is holding air again with no apparent difficulty. None the less I've decided to replace the tire, rather than take a chance with it failing on the road. I should say, that after several thousand miles on my Bon Jon's - riding both paved and unpaved roads, this is the first time I've experienced any sidewall damage. Based on other replies here, it is possible that I've just been lucky. Here are my recommendations on Compass tires:
- For unpaved roads, or dubious paved roads, definitely chose the standard casing rather than the extra light option. Especially for tubeless mounting. 
- If most of your riding is on roads that put tire sidewalls at risk, then Compass tires may not be your best choice.
- Finally, I feel that Compass tires rating their products as "Tubeles Compatible" is bit misleading. Based on my experience, and other postings, you can expect to have much more difficulty with tubeless installation, than with a tire which is rated "Tubeless Ready". A tubeless ready tire will most likely have a airtight lining of some sort, which will allow you to mount the tires tubeless - even without sealant. For example the tubeless ready Schwalbe G-One.
For myself, I've decided that the risk of sidewall failure, and difficulty with tubeless installation isn't worth the marginal improvement in performance that Compass tires offer. I've switched to 28mm Schwalbe Pro-one for rides mostly on pavement and to 38 mm G-one for mostly unpaved roads.
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Zurichman
bobknh wrote:

I installed (had installed professionally) a pair of Bon Jon 35's- extra light on HED Belgium + rims. My installer told me that he didn't have too much trouble installing them and used 2 oz. of Orange Seal endurance in both wheels. But, after receiving the wheels, the tires required several weeks of TLC, before they would hold air reliably. After about a month, or about 400 miles of regular riding, they now hold air as well as any other tubeless tires. I guess these tires are problematic for tubeless application. A lot depends on the rim, and on your patience. In all honesty, while I love the performance of these tires for the type of riding I do, I can't recommend them for everyone. 


bobknh I read a couple of times people with these what you want to call supple tires that the tires had pin holes in them. That sounds crazy to me but probably why it took so long to get your tires broken in as the sealant sealed those little pin holes. Do you think it is a mfg. flaw or due to the tires being called supple that the thickness of the tire isn't there that are in heavier tires?

Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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dangle
Zurichman wrote:
......due to the tires being called supple that the thickness of the tire isn't there that are in heavier tires?

Zman


That's exactly it. The sidewalls for the extralight version are very, very thin. The few flats I have seen on those tires (in groups) are the sidewalls every time. Over on Slowtwitch, a well known rolling resistance tester said, "... the EL version is worth only ~1-1.5W per tire between 20-30 kph." when testing the Snoqualmie Pass (44) tires.

That's probably a touch higher than average gravel rolling speed for us mortals, so I would think 1 watt per tire is more like it. That's way too much of a trade-off in durability for me.

Edit: Link to Slowtwitch post is here.
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Volsung
Bob, you're rather light weight, right?  If so that probably helps with durability (although I had no problems with my Barlow Passes tubed in 2k miles, so maybe there's a bit of luck involved)

I saw on the Compass website that their latest shipment of Barlow Passes were a bit burlier than expected.  That sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.

Zman- you can almost read through the sidewall of the extralight compasses
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Volsung
The EXs are 420g and 407g (claimed 410). That's 48-62g heavier than the SLs.
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Zurichman
Volsung wrote:
Bob, you're rather light weight, right?  If so that probably helps with durability (although I had no problems with my Barlow Passes tubed in 2k miles, so maybe there's a bit of luck involved)

I saw on the Compass website that their latest shipment of Barlow Passes were a bit burlier than expected.  That sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.

Zman- you can almost read through the sidewall of the extralight compasses


Volsung if that is the case why would anybody even consider them for a gravel tire. At my end 5-20 mph on a bike is faster than 0 mph. So yeah maybe I might be a little bit slower on my Kenda Flintridge Pro or whatever I am riding but at least I am not stopping losing time changing trying to fix a flat.

Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Volsung
Zurichman wrote:


Volsung if that is the case why would anybody even consider them for a gravel tire. At my end 5-20 mph on a bike is faster than 0 mph. So yeah maybe I might be a little bit slower on my Kenda Flintridge Pro or whatever I am riding but at least I am not stopping losing time changing trying to fix a flat.

Zman


There's different gravel everywhere. If it's hard packed and not sharp, Compasses are great. A guy in MN constantly gets top 10s in Almanzo and others on his Compasses.

They're not for me though. I bet there's parts of the flint hills that would shred them instantly.
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Zurichman
Volsung wrote:
There's different gravel everywhere. If it's hard packed and not sharp, Compasses are great. A guy in MN constantly gets top 10s in Almanzo and others on his Compasses. They're not for me though. I bet there's parts of the flint hills that would shred them instantly.


I fully understand that thinking of a racer as they wanted the fastest thing going for them and probably willing to sacrifice for the possibility of a flat. I also remember reading on one of these tire threads about a regular rider that he was willing to take a chance on a flat with the thoughts of what a faster tire would give him. I don't think that is the average rider though. When I did the Pony Express ride in Marysville Kansas all the people that I saw with flats were running the skinny tires and probably will never forget this image in my mind. One dude was carrying his bike with the front tire just hanging off his rim and said he had something like 4-5 flats already and was out of the ride. The kicker was he was 2-3 miles from the rest stop and had to hoof it out carrying his bike. Not for me for sure.


Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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LewisQC
On Soma website the Supple Vitesse 48c are tubeless ready but no mention for smaller sizes... I want a light medium size (35-38c) tire for 90% road use. I'll get something beefier tread wise when I get a second wheelset. I'm down to Bon Jon 35c reg casing, Supple Vitesse (SL or EX) or GK 38c. I really want to run them tubeless... I was sold on Soma's tire but now I'm not so sure if I can't run them tubeless (38c)
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Volsung
Yeah the others aren't officially tubeless yet. Between those choices I'd go with the GKs.
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drwelby
drwelby wrote:
I just mounted up a pair of these, in the EX version. On DT R460s with two layers of tape I could mount them without tire irons. The rear pumped up with just a floor pump, the beads snapped in place with two little pings at around 30psi and it even held air overnight with no sealant. The front wouldn't quite get there with a floor pump, but locked up pretty good with a CO2 cartridge. A few more strokes with a pump got it up to working pressure and there were a few more pings of the bead snapping into place. 


Six month review: these tires were performing flawlessly. But then last week I noticed the rear tire was soft. There were two thorn holes that had weeped out sealant blisters so I figured the holes were on top while the bike was in the rack so they were slowly exuding sealant. If anything, it looked like a sign that there was still sealant in the tire.

I pumped it up and went for a ride, and after about 15 minutes my tire started getting soft. So I pumped it up again and it was flat within 5 minutes. I thought maybe I hit something big so I stopped and sprayed some water on the tread to look for a hole. Nothing showed up, so I tried on the sidewall and to my surprise there about a dozen little leaks on the sidewalls.

I pulled off the wheel, deflated the tire, and the bead popped off really easy and the tire practically fell off the rim. Inside the tire there was still some liquid sealant but not enough to splash around and cover the sidewalls. I mounted a tube and rode home.

When I tried to set it back up tubeless the bead seemed really floppy. I went through 3 CO2 cartridges trying to get it to mount but the bead just wouldn't seal enough to seat the tire. I had to go to the shop to borrow their compressor.

I have two bikes with Compass Rat Trap Passes and I think they've been better overall. But maybe this is just manufacturing variability. I still like the SV tire for a big fat slick but it doesn't seem immune from the quirks of the Compass tires. 


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pushstart
Just adding my $0.02 experience here w/ Compass.

On the whole, I love these tires.  The ride is incredible.  They are as fast as road tires, but super comfy and reasonably capable off-road.  I've ridden a fair bit of "light gravel" on standard-casing Barlow Pass and no flats -- probably a total of around 3000 miles on BPs and maybe 200-300 of those on gravel.  (I wouldn't use them for unmaintained gravel roads where sidewall cuts would be more likely; I don't use them on gravel races, since the ones around me tend to revel in including gnarly roads)   I also rode for 1500-2000 miles on Snoqualmie Pass (also tubeless), with no flats, but that was almost all pavement.

But tubeless setup has been a mixed bag.

- These are very loose fitting tires as others have noted.  Why, Compass!!??  On one hand, if you have a rim that's typically impossible to mount tires on, these might work just fine.  On the other hand, I have some carbon rims that are a little undersized and so are not difficult to mount most tubeless tires on (e.g. Schwalbe), but Compass fit very loose.  Initially I ran the BPs on a Kinlin XR31T and that was a good match.  But later I switched to testing out some hookless carbon wheels (Yishun rims), and it's been a disaster (more below).
- Also/relatedly, the behavior of mounting a Compass tire with a few miles on it is very different from mounting a tire with a few thousand miles.  To me this suggests that the beads stretch.  Compass claims that they stretch a little and then they stop stretching.  Maybe "a little" is too much.  But on the carbon rims, it became impossible to reseat my SP tires after I'd swapped them out for a race.  I tried all the tricks, used a compressor, tried CO2s and finally gave up.  They were just way too loose on the rims.
- I had issue with Stans sealant not sealing the porous sidewalls very well -- tires would keep losing half their pressure while the bike sat at work during the day.  I switched to Orange Seal, which has seemed to work much better. (Actually I did about 50/50 Orange Seal and Stans -- more for economy than anything else.)
- I have had a few small cuts in the tread that sealant helped seal, so in general I'm a firm believer in running these tubeless.

But ... riding to work this AM with a front Barlow Pass (standard sidewall) pumped up to 43psi, it blew right off my hookless carbon rim.  I'd been riding these for probably 500 miles on those rims without issue.  This was just riding on flat ground (at least not down a hill!),  but that is always a terrifying experience.

I'm going to switch tires (I assume that one is not safe to reuse tubeless) and switch to using these on another wheelset with tighter rims.  But be careful with assuming that the "TC" labeling actually means they'll work with your tubeless-ready rims without (1) being a huge pain in the butt to setup and (2) potentially being extremely dangerous to ride at risk of tire blowing off rim.

In the end, it's probably telling that I'm willing to switch around my wheelsets because I like these tires so much.  I wish there was more competition in the 38-40mm (tubeless) sizing.  (e.g. I wish the smaller Soma tires were tubeless-compatible.)  For gravel races I love the G-One 38mm, but the Compass are in a completely different league.

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Volsung

EX version update-

They have about 2k miles and I've rotated once.  Since rotating I've added 16 oz of Orange Seal.  I'm not sure if it's the heat opening up pores in the sidewalls, but the sealant dries out fast.  Without fresh sealant they don't hold air well.  It's kind of annoying for commuting, but they still ride nicely and I haven't gotten any flats.

 

has anyone compared black wall Compasses to tan walls?  Are the blacks less porous and have better air retention?

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owly
Volsung wrote:

EX version update-

They have about 2k miles and I've rotated once.  Since rotating I've added 16 oz of Orange Seal.  I'm not sure if it's the heat opening up pores in the sidewalls, but the sealant dries out fast.  Without fresh sealant they don't hold air well.  It's kind of annoying for commuting, but they still ride nicely and I haven't gotten any flats.

 

has anyone compared black wall Compasses to tan walls?  Are the blacks less porous and have better air retention?

 

When I was first looking at getting Compass tyres I read online a comment somewhere mentioning the tan walls were more porous for some reason. Whether or not that's true, I don't know but it pushed me toward the black options from day one. 

I've been using 650b x 48 extralight for a year and the extralight 42mm TC since it came out. 
Always used OrangeSeal Endurance. 

The 48 does lose a little bit of air if sitting for a couple of weeks. My 42 sealed up very quickly from the beginning; has held air very well.

I'm very happy with these tyres overall.
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Volsung

Thanks.  I may try the new 55mm Compasses next year.  I think the Somas will last long enough before the studs need to go back on.

 

Definitely going to have someone else mount them while I wait outside with my fingers in my ears though.

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widerisfaster
Volsung wrote:

EX version update-

has anyone compared black wall Compasses to tan walls?  Are the blacks less porous and have better air retention?



I have the Black Extralight Bon Jon Pass 35C set up tubeless with Stans sealant. The sidewalls weeped a little when initially set up by the LBS, there were tiny dots of white sealant in a diamond pattern on the sidewalls. One tyre blew off the Giant wheel rim overnight on the first day. I had the LBS rotate and re-mount it and they were good for 1500km. I then upgraded to a new bike with new Light Bicycle hookless wheels and the LBS mounted the tyres. I was concerned they may have stretched from unmount and remount, but today I ticked over 1000km on the new bike and I've had no issues. 

So I have 2500km on the tyres, there is some centre wear on one, while the other still has some file tread in the middle. I did 7000km on my Compass 28C on my road bike, and these BJP tyres look like lasting that long too. I weigh 80kg.
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imwjl
They're all light tires and as said, made or likely made by same factories. I don't have faith in any tires with light weight construction when reliability is the goal or at least very important.
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bobknh
No science here, but several thousand miles on Compass Bon Jon's both tubed and tubeless. My riding is mostly on paved and unpaved town roads in southern NH where the unpaved town roads are regularly graded and repaired. At the beginning of this season I switched to Schwalbe G-one Allrounds. I also use GK's on my backup gravel bike. While our unpaved roads are maintained, their condition is often unpredictable. Particularly with the increased rain this summer. Washboard, erosion, chunky gravel patches, sections of lose sand and dirt or freshly graded dirt and mud. 
I've already commented earlier about the difficulty in tubeless mounting of Compass tires. If you want to go tubeless, then I would recommend a "Tubeless Ready" tire like the GK or G-ones. I'll confess however, after mastering tubeless tech., I've decided to use switch back to tubes. I found that the hassle of tubeless maintenance just wasn't worth it for the type of riding I do. 
One factor about Compass tires, is their smooth tread pattern. Both by GK's and G-Ones have small stud patterns. The GK's have more aggressive studs on the edges for cornering. Despite J H's claims that wide supple smooth tires are equally effective on soft slippery surfaces, I have found that I get much better bite and traction with both my GK's and G-ones. Every time I hit some lose dirt or freshly graded road, I'm very glad I replaced my Compass tires.
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pushstart
I definitely agree with @bobknh on the traction.  I've ridden some gravel on the BPs -- fairly good quality, but a few loose sections -- and the Compass tires always slide around noticeably more than the G-One tires even running at pretty low gravel pressures.  The G-One tires respond well to lowering pressure -- traction is greatly increased.  While they're not mud tires, I've found that with low pressures they work as well as most other general-purpose tires in slick conditions.

I had a bad-luck experience with GKs getting a huge puncture on the rear the first time I rode them.  Spooked me off them and back to G-One tires, where I have yet to get a puncture (knock on wood).

I've still found tubeless to be worth it, but can appreciate -- especially w/ Compass tires -- that tubes may be a more practical choice.  Maybe latex tubes if you want to eek every bit of performance out of those supple sidewalls.  The Compass tires have really changed my view of wide tires and expectations of speed & comfort, though, so despite their annoyances, I'll ride them every chance I get.

In related news, I rebuilt my commuter wheels using "hooked" (non-hookless) LB rims.  The BP extralight mounted with a desired amount of difficulty and seated up immediately with a floor pump, so I feel pretty good about this setup.  Switching from my other wheelset with the standard casing BPs, the difference between the standard casing and the extralight casing is definitely something I can feel (or certainly think that I can); these feel significantly faster rolling.
IMG_20180917_074204670.jpg 
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Volsung

Since we're posting in this again, my Somas held air for a long time, then it got into the 90s again and they lost some pressure again.  I also added some Stan's in addition to the Orange Seal Endurance and haven't had to add sealant in about a month.

 

 

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sgtrobo
has anyone had the opportunity to try the 38c Steilacooms?
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widerisfaster
pushstart wrote:


I've still found tubeless to be worth it, but can appreciate -- especially w/ Compass tires -- that tubes may be a more practical choice.  Maybe latex tubes if you want to eek every bit of performance out of those supple sidewalls.  The Compass tires have really changed my view of wide tires and expectations of speed & comfort, though, so despite their annoyances, I'll ride them every chance I get.

In related news, I rebuilt my commuter wheels using "hooked" (non-hookless) LB rims.  The BP extralight mounted with a desired amount of difficulty and seated up immediately with a floor pump, so I feel pretty good about this setup.  Switching from my other wheelset with the standard casing BPs, the difference between the standard casing and the extralight casing is definitely something I can feel (or certainly think that I can); these feel significantly faster rolling.
IMG_20180917_074204670.jpg 


Side note - Previously you have run the 44mm Snoqualmie pass, and you have 2 sets of 38mm Barlow Pass. I have the clearance to go from 35mm BJP 38mm BP or 44mm SP when replacement time comes. What's your thinking on settling on the 38mm size?
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pushstart
widerisfaster wrote:


Side note - Previously you have run the 44mm Snoqualmie pass, and you have 2 sets of 38mm Barlow Pass. I have the clearance to go from 35mm BJP 38mm BP or 44mm SP when replacement time comes. What's your thinking on settling on the 38mm size?


This is true, though when you say it like that I feel like I should join a support group 😉

The reasoning behind getting a set of the extralights in 38mm size is that they fit a bit better under my fenders and because I feel like this is sort of the "right" size for my frame (78mm bb drop), whereas 44mm do make the wheels feel a little big (whatever that means exactly).  But honestly the extralights ride really nice on both of them.  The 44mm were really nice tires -- and they're actually lighter than the BPs (apparently this is due to a difference in thickness of the tread in latest run of BP tires, according to sales rep at Compass).  They both are very fast tires.  If fenders weren't a factor for me (it's been a wet summer!), I'd probably just as likely stick with the larger tires.
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widerisfaster
sgtrobo wrote:
has anyone had the opportunity to try the 38c Steilacooms?

No, but I may. I think they would be good for digging into mud rather than floating and slipping over the top of it. For hard dirt or loose gravel I think smaller, tighter knobs must surely have less rolling resistance?
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