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Tires

Instructions

Click on the links to see instructions.

More Information

What tire is best for me?

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend using the widest tire you can fit with safe clearances. Not sure how wide you can go? Check out our blog post on measuring clearances on your bike: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/how-wide-a-tire-can-i-run/

For the ultimate in performance, we recommend our Extralight casing, available in tan or black. The Standard casing, available in tan, provides better protection against sidewall cuts. It’s also a good choice if you’re on a tighter budget, but still want to optimize your bike’s performance and comfort. This blog post goes into more detail about the two casings: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/compass-tires-standard-vs-extralight/

For paved roads and gravel, our ‘road’ tread tires are the best choice. For muddy conditions, cyclocross and snow, check out our dual-purpose knobby tires. They are also a great choice for riders who prefer a more aggressive tread on loose surfaces.

Rim Width?

With supple Compass tires, it doesn’t matter how wide the rim is, as long as it’s no wider than the tire (outside width). If the rim is too wide, the tire can blow off, because it doesn’t properly engage with the hook on the rim’s sidewall. Compass tires up to 44 mm wide can be run on rims as narrow as 20 mm. For wider Compass tires, we recommend a minimum rim width of 23 mm.

You may have heard that matched rim and tire widths make the tire sidewalls more vertical, so they bear more of the bike and rider’s weight. This works with stiff sidewalls and allows running a lower tire pressure, but also decreases shock absorption and comfort.

With supple tires, almost the entire weight is supported by the air pressure of the tires. Whether the sidewalls are vertical or bulge makes very little difference. The most extreme case is a tubular tire, which touches the rim only in a very narrow spot, yet offers great handling and comfort.

Tubeless or tubes?

Many Compass tires are tubeless-compatible. This means they can be set up tubeless (with a sealant) or used with tubes.

Tubeless setup reduces the risk of pinch flats, which can be useful when riding at high speeds across rough terrain. Fortunately, the wider tires found on most bikes today have made pinch flats less of a problem than in the past. Disadvantages of tubeless mounting are higher rolling resistance due to the liquid sealant inside the tire, more difficult setup, and closer rim tolerances required to prevent blow-offs.

If you are concerned about punctures, you can use sealant inside your inner tube. (The tubes we sell have removable valve cores.)

Hard to mount

Push the tire bead into the ‘well’ in the center of the rim all around the tire, and make sure it’s not caught on the ‘shelf’ near the edge of the tire. The tire bead does not stretch much, so it needs to be in ’well’ to give you enough slack to lift it over the rim sidewall. Also check out our tire instructions above.

Tubeless tire blew off

When a tire blows off the rim, it’s usually because the rim is slightly undersize. Even if the rim worked with your previous tires, supple tires require tighter rim tolerances than tires with stiff sidewalls. In most cases, the problem can be solved by building up the rim bed with extra rim tape. Some mechanics use thicker Gorilla Tape to build up the rim bed. The tire should be a slightly tight fit on the rim.

If huge bursts of air from a compressor are required to seat the tire, air is escaping between tire and rim bed – a clear sign that the rim is undersize. Don’t mount the tire like this: Build up the rim bed with extra tape to reduce the risk of the tire blowing off the rim.

Leaking through sidewalls (tubeless)

We have found that Orange Seal greatly reduces the risk of tires leaking through their sidewalls. Other sealants often don’t have enough solids to seal the thin and supple sidewalls of Compass tires. Shake the sealant vigorously for 60 seconds to distribute the solids before you put it into the tire. If you follow these instructions, and bubbles still appear on the sidewalls, contact our customer service at the link below.

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for?

Write to and we’ll answer your question, usually within 2–3 days.