CX/Gravel Tire Test: Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC

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  • Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)
Pro Members get 9-point radar charts

Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC is a nearly-slick gravel bike tire that is very popular in the "supple tires" scene. The Barlow Pass has been around for a very long time as the Compass Barlow Pass but for some reason, they changed this to Rene Herse somewhere around 2019. We're quite sure the only thing that changed was the name and the tires are essentially the same.


The Barlow Pass TC is only available in the 700c x 38 (38-622) size as, unlike other brands, Rene Herse uses a different name for the different sizes of their tires. A quick look at their tire line-up reveals that they essentially only offer 2 tires in a large range of sizes. They likely have a tire available in a size that suits your needs.


On top of the large range of sizes, Rene Herse also offers these tires in several different types of casings. This is a test of the Standard TC (Tubeless-Compatible) casing that probably is the right choice for most riders and also comes at the standard price. Slightly lighter ExtraLight casings or slightly heavier Endurance casings are available as well but these come at a price premium.


We already tested the Rene Herse Steilacoom TC (read our review) a couple of months back (knobby 38-622 version) and found it to be an average performer in our tests. Although the Rene Herse tires probably aren't designed to offer the absolute best performance in our tests, it's always nice to see how they stack up against the competition.


Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Rene Herse
Model Barlow Pass TC
Year 2021
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range Very High
Buy At
Manufacturer part number RF738TC-LX-CP
TPI -
Compound
Bead Folding
ETRTO 38-622
Specified Weight 385 grams
Max Air Pressure (psi) 75
Made In Members Only
Available Sizes 38-622 (700x38c)

Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC Test Results

Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


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Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 385 grams
Measured Weight 379 grams
Measured Width Casing 38 mm (un-round)
Measured Width Tread 37 mm
Measured Height 36 mm (un-round)
Measured Knob Height Center 0.2 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 0.1 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 2.70 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall Members Only
All size measurements are taken at low air pressure on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube Conti Cross28 (160 gr)
Measured Width 38 mm
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 66 psi/4.6 bar
33-35 = 60 psi/4.1 bar
36-38 = 54 psi/3.7 bar
39-42 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
High Air Pressure

(54 psi / 3.7 bar)
Members Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 55 psi/3.8 bar
33-35 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
36-38 = 45 psi/3.1 bar
39-42 = 42 psi/2.9 bar
Medium Air Pressure

(45 psi / 3.1 bar)
Members Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 44 psi/3.0 bar
33-35 = 40 psi/2.8 bar
36-38 = 36 psi/2.6 bar
39-42 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
Low Air Pressure

(36 psi / 2.6 bar)
24.2 Watts
CRR: 0.00725
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
33-35 = 30 psi/2.1 bar
36-38 = 27 psi/1.9 bar
39-42 = 25 psi/1.7 bar
Extra Low Air Pressure

(27 psi / 1.9 bar)
28.6 Watts
CRR: 0.00857
The CX/Gravel section is a multi tire size section, air pressures have been adjusted to the measured casing width.

All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Total Puncture Score Tread 31 Points
Total Puncture Score Sidewall Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Tread Total Tire Thickness 2.70 mm
Sidewall Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Sidewall Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Sidewall Total Tire Thickness Members Only

Conclusion


  • Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Pro Members get 9-point radar charts

As expected, the Rene Herse Barlow Pass TC isn't a stellar performer in our tests. When we compare this tire to other nearly-slick gravel bike tires like the Panaracer GravelKing TLC (read our review) and Challenge Strada Bianca Pro HTLR (read our review), both tires outperform the Barlow Pass in nearly all of our tests. We're not sure if those tires qualify as "supple tires" but they might be worth a look if you like the Barlow Pass.


The biggest weakness of the Barlow Pass seems to be the puncture resistance of the sidewalls that is just extremely low because of the soft sidewalls/casing. The soft casing material might very well be the secret behind the "supple tires" thing.


For those that wonder, the Rene Herse Steilacoom uses the same casing but scores much better in the sidewall puncture tests. We've looked into this and found the tread width of the Steilacoom to be much wider. The sidewall puncture test is done on the widest part of the tire and in the case of the Steilacoom, the widest part is covered by tread which results in a much higher puncture score.


RATING: 3.5 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
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