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2nd July 2019 / Comments (4)

Rene Herse Pumpkin Ridge 650b x 42c

Compass / Rene Herse 650B x 42 Pumpkin Ridge TC

Rene Herse Cycles (formally Compass Cycles) are a well known brand in the States if not in the UK. The Pumpkin Ridge is their all-purpose tyre.

Although the chunky, equally spaced, square knobs roll smoothly enough on paved roads, the profile seemed better suited to dirt trails.

What’s in a name?

Pumpkin Ridge is a quiet, paved, road near Portland, Oregon. It has a number of trails leading off toward the Tualatin Mountains. The tyre is named after the area. So now you know.

Compass / Rene Herse 650B x 42 Pumpkin Ridge TC

Does skinny equal fast?

Size matters!

As soon as you fit them you can see that the 650b x 42 claimed size is a bit generous. On a pair of Mason x Hunt 650b Adventure Sport wheels they came up at 39mm.

The whole idea of running a 650b wheel is to benefit from the extra volume afforded by a wider tyre. You cannot help but feel short changed with these tyres particularly if you compare them to something like the 650b x 42 WTB Resolute.

Weight weenies will be pleased with the weight as the Pumpkin Ridge comes in at 455g. There has to be some payback for having a smaller tyre!

Fitting and tubeless set-up was painless. They mounted easily enough using thumb pressure alone. Inflation was a cinch as they went up first time with a Beto inflator. I set the pressures at 40psi (rear) and 38psi (front) then it was time to hit the trails.

Compass / Rene Herse 650B x 42 Pumpkin Ridge TC

Pumpkin Ridge tries its best to look big for the camera.

Hitting the trails

First ride out and I warmed up a couple of miles of tarmac before I hit the good stuff. The tyres felt smooth and rolled easily, ideal for normal gravel mashup rides. After such a promising start, I was somewhat disappointed when I hit the trails.

Most of the testing took place in the Lakes. As soon as I hit a series of stony and rocky trails, I lost all confidence in the tyre. The sidewalls are just too soft when you run lower pressures and I was constantly in fear of flatting or dinging  a rim. Although I was spared a flat, I managed to dent a rim which was annoying. If you are going to be riding truly gnarly trails, I would avoid the supple sidewall version! Bear this in mind if you are heading out to Kielder or somewhere similar. You have been warned!

Plenty of clearnace

Ample clearance on this Rondo Ruut AL.

Although it may not be ideal for the harsh trails found in the north of England, it excels in forest singletrack. The rooty, twisty stuff, the type of riding that puts a stupid grin on your face. The supple sidewalls and open tread hook up well in soft, loamy surfaces, and grip surprisingly well on damp roots. That open tread also clears easily, allowing the tyre to continue gripping in soft conditions. Ride a smooth trail and the tyres roll quickly, allowing you to maintain a good turn of speed. Another area where it grips well is soft, dry sand. Riding in deep sand is a skill. If you are not used to it, the Pumpkin Ridge will give you plenty of help in getting through.

Compass / Rene Herse 650B x 42 Pumpkin Ridge TC

Conclusion

The Pumpkin Ridge is best suited to graded trails, or soft surfaces. The lack of volume is  a bonus for muddy rides or frames with limited clearance. On the right trails it is a great tyre, but as gravel or adventure riding is not strictly limited to ideal trail surfaces, its uses are limited.

One final thing to note. You will struggle to find the Pumpkin Ridge in your local bike shop. The UK importer, Sven Cycles is your one and only point of call.

And they’re not cheap at £58 each.

Compass / Rene Herse 650B x 42 Pumpkin Ridge TC

£58
6.5

A mud friendly 650b option for frames with little clearance

6.5/10

Pros

  • Rolls well on tarmac
  • Clears mud well
  • Good traction in soft terrain

Cons

  • Narrow width
  • Feel fragile
  • Limited availability

Last modified: 2nd July 2019

4 Responses to :
Rene Herse Pumpkin Ridge 650b x 42c

  1. Avatar Nick says:

    thanks for doing a review of these, i had seen these and thought the tread looked great for muddy conditions.
    sizing can very quite a bit, i am 700c rather than 650b and 40c Nano come up at 38 and 42 resolute come up at 40. Out of interest, what does one of the WTB 47 tyres come up at, on a similar rim. Regardless of the discrepancy, it does seem 650×42 is a bit small, you would think it would target the 47 WTB tyres. a review of the 48 juniper ridge would be interesting, that has 3 different casings.
    would love to see a review of the 700c hurricane ridge which is a pretty similar tread pattern

  2. Avatar Nelson says:

    Could you compare it with the Resolute?

    1. Avatar James Deane says:

      Hey Nelson,

      Our only experience with the Resolute has been with the 700c size, which proved very popular with everyone on the ADVNTR team.

      Pumpkin Ridge would perhaps have the edge on the Resolute for rolling resistance.

  3. Avatar Glenn Hutchison says:

    I have just fitted the Resolutes after running the Pumpkin Ridge’s last winter. The Pumpkin Ridge’s were awesome on all South East England surfaces but the price for a new pair made me look elsewhere. I’ve just ridden the Resolutes for the first time on a gravel ride in Belgium that had a real mixture of surfaces and couple of muddy sections, on the gravel and forest tracks they were good, but in the mud they were horrible, the front tyre was all over the place at 30psi tubeless, zero confidence and I was unable to hold speed and my mates wheel.
    Needless to say I’ll be ordering another pair of Pumpkin Ridge and chucking my Resolutes in the bin!

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