Compass Bicycle Tires Tubeless – Part 1

Light and supple tubeless road tires...

Light and supple tubeless road tires…

I’ve been running tubeless tires happily on my mountain bikes for a few years now. I’ve heard bits and bites about folks setting up road tires tubeless, but had not tried to convert any of my street tires to tubeless. I’m working on replacing my Surly LHT with a lighter more enjoyable commuter bike. I built up a set of 700c Velocity Blunt SL wheels with Hope hubs and ordered a set of Compass Bicycle Stampede Pass 32mm tires in the extra light flavour.

Velocity rims are not the easiest to setup tubeless – at least without using a rubber rim strip – and for this lightweight build I didn’t want to go that route. The Compass Bicycle tires are also not designed to be run tubeless so I was a bit worried this experiment might not work so well, but figured I had nothing to lose. If the setup failed I could just clean out the rims/tires and use tubes.

I went with a pretty basic methodology:

  • 1 wrap Stan’s yellow tape
  • Stan’s presta valve stem
  • 1.5 scoops of Stan’s sealant
  • 1 CO2 cartridge to seat beads
  • shake wheels for a few minutes to distribute sealant

The tires seated well on the rims and although there were a few holes in them that needed sealing that resolved itself quickly. So far the tires are holding air with no noticeable lose after a few days. All in all it was fairly easy to set these tires up tubeless.

Surprisingly easy to setup...

Surprisingly easy to setup…

I’ve got to finish the bike build this weekend and then I’ll test out the wheels to see how they perform on the road and report back in Part 2 of this post.

17 thoughts on “Compass Bicycle Tires Tubeless – Part 1

  1. Nice work Vik,

    What pressures are you running with that tire/rim combo? I have thought that the EL Compass tires would be perfect for a tubeless setup.

    Glad you took the leap!

    • 60 psi +/- 5 psi. I won’t have a final pressure for a few days until I can get some road testing in. Bike is not quite built yet.

  2. Thanks, can’t wait to see what you think once you get it on the road.

  3. I ran Hutchinson Secteur 28 tires on some tubeless ready rims last summer (both Stans aluminum & Roval carbon). It was a nice, fast tire that handled the occasional gravel road or dirt path with no issues.

  4. When are we getting part 2? This is something I have been thinking of doing myself.

    • @Michael – well in brief I’ve been riding the Straggler as my only bike since I can’t MTB at the moment and the tubeless has been 100%. I’m adding air about 1/week which is normal. Other than that working perfectly.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences Vik!

    And Michael, be sure to let us know how your own experiment works out!

    I myself am going to try running the cypres 30c and barlow pass 38c tubeless. Will be using them with a UST rim (easton EA70 XCT) and a tubeless-ready rim (pacenti sl23). Just waiting for the tires to arrive…

    Meanwhile as a test I tried mounting the cypres 30c tubeless on a shimano 6800 wheel, just to see if it’s possible; it worked but it wasn’t easy. Won’t ride that wheel though since its braking system is incompatible with my bike’s.

    I’ll get back to you when I’ve installed and ridden both tires. 🙂

  6. Well, I installed the barlow pass…. so far so good. Will test ride it sometime next week if I can.

    Are yours still spinning well, Vik? No hiccups, no complaints?

    At this point I’m a liiiiiiittle worried about the possibility of the tire unexpectedly popping off the rim mid-ride. For instance in a hard turn or down a steep hill or something… I was advised to (at my weight) run these at roughly 40 psi; at that pressure, though, I can still fairly easily cause an air burp by pushing in the sidewalls… Pumping it up some more to about 45 psi helps, but I wouldn’t want to go much (if any) higher than that.

  7. @Gino – no air leaks and no issues. I’ve got a relatively wide rim for the tire width which helps with sidewall support.

    You could build up the rim bed with tape or use a split tube to get a better seal.

    Also the longer you leave the tire setup with Stan’s the more stuck to the rim it will get.

    If you are not confident of the tire staying on the rim/keeping air take it real easy. A crash would be bad.:(

  8. Hey. Yea I thought of building up the rim too. The rim is UST already, but for non-tubeless tires like these a little more support/sealing may be useful. So I ordered a rubber rim strip to try out. Hope it makes a difference. Certainly don’t want to crash.

    Your rim is nicely wide indeed! Mine is 19 mm internal diameter, which is good for my normal tires (28 mm schwalbe ones) but for this 38 mm tire it’s only ‘so-so’… A wider rim would have been better. Maybe try that next year; right now I’m totally broke lol, too many cycling purchases.

  9. Vik, Any updates on how this set up is working out for you?

    • Zero Problems. Holds air for long periods without adding air – about equivalent to tubes. So I add air once per week or two. No flats. No burping. Trouble free.

      I can’t see ever having tubes on any new road bikes I buy.

  10. Vik,
    what is the internal width of your rim, and what is the true width of the tire mounted?

    • Internal width is ~21mm. I’m not near my bike at the moment so I can’t measure the width of the tire. I’ll try and remember to do that.

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