Jan Heine on Compass Tyres


Good article on the tread design used for Compass tyres.

I wouldn’t normally believe stories about running off the road due to differences in tread - but given it’s Jan Heine I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

So it’s just a marketing article for his own products?

Why would you do that? He compared his wizz-bang tyre with one other tyre, and SHOCK! HORROR! his tyre is better! Here’s my anecdata: I have slick tyres that are incredibly competent on dry roads, in the wet, and on dirt and gravel.


I can’t stand the way he blatantly shoots down other brands that make similar products (not in this particular post) by simply saying “they break,” or “they’re not as good” with no justification.

heiny is slouching towards a Bethlehem of artisanal axes

Considering that he held Hetres up as the gold standard until he came up with his own unbeatable tread pattern, his rubbishing of them comes across as quite disingenuous.

I like Jan’s writing and his championing of all things beardo, but it’s like him and his sycophantic comments section haven’t seen daytime TV: like bro, advertorials are everywhere now, we know them when we see them.

That’s Grant, and he’s already there. Grant sez:

New for 2013! We have a shining new showroom at 1601 N. Main Street, Suite 101. It’s right downtown, next door to RadioShack and surrounded by hair salons, restaurants, and shopping. Called Rivendell Bike, Book & Hatchet

I realise he’s selling the tyres, and I don’t really mind. I actually like it when someone has a decent technical explanation for why they think their product is the best - even if you have to read between the bias. It’s a change from the meaningless fluff usually thrown around in bike marketing.

Meanwhile there are other options around with the same tread pattern to choose from. I have some Clement Strada that work well, I think for the reasons he describes.

It became clear that slick tires provide relatively poor grip, especially on slippery road surfaces.

It’s all opinion and conjecture though. He passes his opinions off as gospel, and that really shits me. He should just say “I reckon these are best for all the reasons outlined, but I haven’t done any actual empirical testing. Buy my stuff!” As it is it’s no different from “laterally stiff and vertically compliant, please buy this Trek from our sponsor”.

I have a set of Challenge Paris Roubaixs with the same tread pattern he jizzes about in the article. Sure, they’re nice: supple, grip well, blablabla. But the slick Schwalbe Ones I also have are better in all respects: they grip better in wet and dry, feel nicer at the same pressures, and they don’t puncture every 5 minutes like the PRs. But Jan would have a million reasons why my observations are incorrect, because they don’t agree with the running narrative on BQ. Jan’s conclusions always favour the product he happens to be pushing this week, you just have to read how he treats dissenters on his blog.

As I’ve said, I like his stuff and generally how he writes, but there’s better ways to go about selling your products.

Yep, there was no actual evidence for what he said. It’s pretty much pseudo-science.


You could write the exact same thing about slick tyres, giving the exact same reasons but substituting “interlocking” with “deforming to contact surface”.

Good tyres though eh.

It’d be good to see more beardo writers around too, but it’d be scary putting yourself in that classification when he’s the messiah already.


Must be karma for my earlier comment.

Scored my first flat in over 1000kms on my Compass Barlow Pass tires today. Double whammy plant thorn and rusted metal sliver, 5cm from each other. No puncture protection makes them supple, but you’ve got to pay the piper eventually.

Also noticed the centre ribs on my rear are almost gone, so they’re wearing quicker than I expected.

I got to a point (maybe 2000kms) on my Grand Bois tire where I was getting a flat every other day. Once twice in a day, it was pretty annoying.

definition: jan-bombing.

These just look like fat veloflex/vittoria corsa evo tyres??

Or am I missing something?

Not missing anything. Same sort of deal: super supple sidewalls, high thread count, chevron tread pattern for maximum interlocking with road surface.
Heiney saw a gap in the market and jumped at it with both hands.

Edit: they’re also quite similar to the Challenge Paris Roubaix/Eroica and others.

I really want to get my hands on the 650bx48mm jobbies, but have to wear out a set of Hetres first.

Would like something in 700C bigger than 38mm, just cos.