|From the Compass Bicycles website.|
I like how they look. No uber-bling graphics, no weird coloration. Just black on black with a small decal, the color of which changes depending on the tire size.
|Chinook Pass tire mounted on the new wheel on the Salsa.|
And the 28mm Chinook Pass tires perform extremely well. My first ride on them that I remember was on Ascension, the silly-hilly ridge hopping endeavor Damon created in Gambrill State Park. Descents on Ascension are steep and technical. I found myself laying the Focus over in the turns with a degree of confidence I have not frequently enjoyed on a bike. A ski, maybe, but not frequently a bike. The tires, wheels, and frame worked together to make a particularly excellent and stable ride.
I have since ridden the Chinook Pass tires on the Flèche, a likewise hilly and occasionally technical route through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia; the Big Savage SR600K, crossing many of the major mountain ridges in eastern West Virginia; and most recently, for commuting purposes on pot-holed streets in Indianapolis. (Crime, yes, but if I had a Ferrari, I like to think I'd drive that too.) The tires roll like a dream in every use.
A note: I broke at least one plastic tire iron mounting these. Then I learned that mounting tires on rims that are tubeless compatible is a unique process. Heine describes it here. Note, in particular, the instruction to place the bead "in the curved well in the center" of the rim rather than on the shelf next to the rim wall. On old rims that wasn't an issue. On tubeless compatible rims it is. Having figured this out, I'm golden.
|Screenshot from the article linked in the prior paragraph.|
I don't know of tests running these three tires against each other, but the Vittorias and the Specializeds land in the top 5 in most of the tests of major-manufacturer rubber. They outweigh the Compass Chinook Pass by a few grams. But just a few.
If, however, you can work out the Compass Chinook Pass as a gift -- well, you can be sure they are well worth the thank-you card.
In sum: number 3 on the list of my favorite new gear for 2015.