Question: Coach Fred, regarding your July 2015 review of the Compass Barlow Pass tires: You mentioned the tires felt a bit squirmy at 50 psi. What rim width were you using? I have the narrower Stampede Pass on 19C rims and they feel fine at 65 psi. I’m considering the Barlow Pass on a new bike with 21C rims and I’ve been assured by Compass that combination will work well. – Stuart Fogg
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: I was using a set of Mavic Open Pros. I’m not sure of their width, but they’re traditional rims that are 10+ years old so are probably pretty narrow.
I’m guessing that Compass is correct and that the 21C/Barlow Pass tires combo will work fine. They have a lot of experience with different rims and their tires!
On a side note, I was on the 6-mile descent from Black Canyon NP this morning with a strong side wind riding my Compass Stampede Pass (32s) on Velocity A23 rims at about 60 psi. Again I felt the slight squirm on two fast corners.
I like pressures a bit higher than Compass now recommends although I’m not sure exactly why. I weigh only 150 so there isn’t a lot of side pressure on the tires.
I suspect that each rider needs to fine-tune tire pressures to his or her comfort level. A bit of experimentation is good!
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