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Wide Tires: Breaking the Limits

Riding in the Cascade Mountains, we discovered the joys of gravel riding. We realized that our narrow racing tires were reaching their limits on rough surfaces. We started dreaming of wide high-performance tires that would float over the gravel, rather than grind through it.

Would it be possible to combine the speed of racing tires with the go-anywhere ability of wide tires? Our revolutionary tire testing showed that wide tires could be as fast as narrow ones, and that high pressures weren’t needed for optimum tire performance.

To develop the tires we wanted for our adventures, we worked with Panaracer, one of the world’s best makers of bicycle tires. No suitable tire molds existed, so we used the tooling for a mountain bike tire to make prototype tires to our specifications. Then we asked framebuilder Peter Weigle to shave off the knobs. Now we had ultra-wide, ultra-supple tires that we could test.

Nobody had ever ridden high-performance tires this wide. Would these tires work in the real world, or would they bounce like basketballs? Through our testing, we discovered that they performed far better on gravel than the narrow tires we had been riding, but also that they gripped far better on pavement.

After having revolutionized the tires for allroad and gravel bikes, we’ve developed all-purpose knobbies that roll faster and corner better than most ‘road’ tires, yet offer much better traction in mud and snow. With Compass tires, your imagination is the only limit for your adventures!

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