Compass is a tire brand that specializes in "supple tires" that ride like high-end tubular tires but come with the ease of use of clincher tires. Over the past couple of years, I've received an incredible amount of messages from readers asking me to test Compass tires. Compass claims their tires offer superior comfort and are some of the fastest rolling tires thanks to the suppleness of the casing.
I've tested the Compass Bon Jon Pass which is the 35 mm wide version of their all-round tire that is available in a large range of sizes. Unlike most manufacturers that just sell several sizes of a single tire, Compass sells basically the same tire with a different name with the only obvious difference being a different size.
I've opted to test the Bon Jon Pass with the regular tan colored casing. Compass also sells this tire with an extra light casing that saves 50 grams of weight but has an even higher price tag. As my experience has been that the casing thickness doesn't make a huge difference in the rolling resistance tests and the 35 mm Bon Jon Pass fits the Touring bike category, I feel the regular casing is the best fit here.
|Model||Bon Jon Pass|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||355 grams|
|Available Sizes||35-622 (700x35c)|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 60 psi / 4 bar)|
|Specified Weight||355 grams|
|Measured Weight||346 grams|
|Measured Width||35 mm|
|Measured Height||33 mm|
|Tread Depth||0.3 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Center||2.9 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Sidewall||0.60 mm|
Weight. The 700x35c rated Bon Jon Pass with the regular casing has a specified weight of 355 grams. My sample comes in a bit lighter at 346 grams which is always a nice bonus when buying an expensive tire.
Size. On my 17C rim, inflated to an air pressure of 60 psi / 4.1 bars, the Bon Jon Pass measured exactly 35 mm wide. The measured height is 33 mm.
Tread Depth. Tread depth is virtually non-existent at 0.3 mm.
Tire Thickness. An important part of any tire is the total tire thickness of both the tread and sidewalls as it gives us a good indication of how it's built and what the design choices were. The Bon Jon Pass is a very thin tire with a tread thickness of 2.9 mm and a sidewall thickness of just 0.6 mm.
Although I've placed the 35 mm wide Bon Jon Pass in the touring bike category, it has become obvious to me that this is more of a big road bike tire than a true touring bike tire after taking these measurements.
Rolling Resistance Test Results
|Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Conti Tour 28 (170 gr butyl)|
|Rolling Resistance 90 psi / 6 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 75 psi / 5 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 60 psi / 4 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 45 psi / 3 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 30 psi / 2 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
Most people that asked me to test this tire really wanted to know how it performs in the rolling resistance tests. Compass claims their tires are some of the fastest rolling tires in real-life thanks to the supple casing. In our lab tests, the Bon Jon Pass performs well although maybe not as good as expected from such a thin and light tire. Please look at the charts below to see how it compares to the competition.
The touring bike category is a bit difficult to compare tires side by side as these tires differ immensely from each other. While the Bon Jon Pass is basically a big (thin) road bike tire, the Schwalbe Marathon Almotion (read review) is a true touring bike tire with a total tread thickness of 6.6 mm (Bon Jon Pass = 2.9 mm). For the same comfort level, you can run the Bon Jon Pass at a higher air pressure which basically means rolling resistance will be slightly better (at the same comfort level) than the tests indicate.
Sometimes I get comments from readers telling me I'm still living in the 70's because my graphs show rolling resistance to be lower at higher air pressures and people now run lower pressures. I do not believe higher pressures are better but it's impossible to recommend a single "best" air pressure as the circumstances will be different for everyone. Why do you think I run these tests from 30 psi to 90 psi? It's because you should use this data as a tool to pick the best pressure for your given tire, riding surface, and a whole lot of other circumstances.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||8|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||3|
|Puncture Factor Tread *||23|
|Puncture Factor Sidewall *||2|
|* Puncture Factor = Puncture Resistance * Total Tire Thickness
Puncture Factor provides a more realistic puncture resistance score for touring tires
In the puncture resistance tests, the Bon Jon Pass waves a white flag as it performs terribly here. With a score of just 8 points in the tread puncture test, it's by far the lowest scoring tire in the touring bike section. Even in the road bike section, the Bon Jon Pass would put up a terrible performance. In the sidewall puncture test, it performs awfully as well with a score of just 3 points (basically the lowest possible score).
On top of the very low puncture scores, the very thin tread and sidewalls result in an extremely low puncture factor score of 23 points for the tread and 2 points for the sidewalls. When we compare this to the fastest rolling tire in the touring bike category, the difference is immense as the Schwalbe Marathon Almotion (read review) scores 86 points for the tread and 5 points for the sidewalls.
From the puncture tests, it appears obvious that Compass, in their quest for a supple tire, doesn't use an anti-puncture belt under the tread and uses a very easy to puncture casing. I'm surprised by the low scores of the "regular" casing, the extra light should score even lower.
When we compare the Bon Jon Pass to other tires in the touring bike category, it will be one of the fastest rolling tires when air pressures have been adjusted to provide the same comfort level. The reality though is that the Bon Jon Pass isn't a true touring bike tire as the tread and sidewalls are thin and very easy to puncture. When we compare the Bon Jon Pass to other thin tires in the road bike category it can't compete against the fastest rolling tires.
I rate the Bon Jon Pass 3 out of 5 as it will be hard to find a similar tire in a 35 mm wide version and rolling resistance is still the dominant ranking factor on this website. Can be a good tire if you don't care about puncture resistance.