I’ll make a start since I put a new tire on my bike today, the latest version of the Compass Cycles Babyshoe Pass Extralight. It’s a 650B x 42 mm tire. Unlike the version it replaced, it’s officially tubeless compatible.
I installed the previous generation BSP EL on my NFE 2 years ago. After a puncture in April 2016 I switched to a tubeless setup using the regular BSP (not Extralight) for about 6 months, but then went back to the BSP EL with Schwalbe tubes. Altogether I put about 12,000 km on the BSP EL and about 4,000 km on the BSP.
Yesterday I had a puncture while shopping in the rain. I installed a spare tube and rode home. This afternoon I went to Above Bike Store in Kawasaki as they had the BSP EL in stock. As it turned out they have them cheaper here (JPY 8,000 + tax) than Compass sells them for in the US (USD 84.00). Perhaps Compass has them supplied directly by Panaracer in Japan who make the tires for Compass. They have the complete range of Compass tires in stock.
When I had my first puncture and had to swap the tube, it was a real struggle to get the tire off and afterwards back on again. I think this was partly because of my tubeless-ready Velocity Blunt SL rims. I had to learn the right technique. When I reinstalled the BSP EL after my tubeless intermezzo, I had no big problems. Same when I fixed my puncture yesterday, it wasn’t a big deal either. I did use two plastic levers, but mostly I was just using my hands and made sure I squeezed the beads towards the center of the rim all around to create enough slack to lift the bead over the edge of the rim.
I’m happy to report the brand new tubeless compatible tire was just as trouble-free during installation. I installed it without tire levers, just with my hands and a floor pump. I am not using it tubeless to keep things simple. Not having to worry about topping up sealant makes things easy. It probably outweighs the benefit of self-sealing punctures, given that I have only had two punctures in two years (doing 8,000-9,000 km per year). Most likely I would spend more time checking and topping up sealant than I would spend fixing punctures. Still, it’s nice to have the option with this tire.
The TC version of the BSP EL is supposed to run a tiny bit wider than the older version (about 42 mm vs 40 mm).
I’m quite happy with the distance I got out of the BSP. I could have used it even further, except for a Y-shaped cut of about 3-4 mm that went through the center of the tread in one spot. Quite possibly this cut started from the spot where I had first punctured 21 months ago. Sometimes a stone chip or glass will get lodged in an existing cut and work its way through. I could have tried mending the cut in the tire with a patch, but I probably already got my money’s worth out of that tire.
On Saturday I’ll be riding my first brevet of the year (200 km Machida-Kawasaki-Miura-Machida) on the new tire. The night before I will ride out to Machida where I’ll be staying overnight, as the pre-ride briefing already starts at 05:30 in the morning for a 06:00 start.