During the R&D of the Compass tires, I was surprised how much difference tire treads can make. I rode three sets of tires with the same casing, same tread rubber and same width, but different tread patterns:
- standard Grand Bois Hetres with large longitudinal ribs throughout the tire tread
- “shaved” Hetres where all tread had been removed to make “slicks”
- prototype Compass Babyshoe Pass tires with our optimized tread pattern
I crashed on the shaved Grand Bois Hetres when the roads got wet. I made the mistake of leaning over as far as I would have on the standard tires, and found that they offered much less traction in the wet.
During my first ride on the Compass Babyshoe Pass tires with their small angled ribs, I almost hit the inside curb. The extra grip of the new tread pattern made the tires corner on a much tighter radius, for the same…
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