Longtime fan of open-tubular type tires, back with the old Vittoria Open Corsas and Torelli's offerings. What they lack in rubber compound technology from the big guys, they more than make up for in grippiness from the soft casing. In terms of ride feel, they're well a step above premium tires like the Conti GPs or Michelin Pros.
First time riding Challenge tires but very familiar with the manufacturer from the 'cross world. They ride just like the old Open Corsasï¿½soft and cushy for their size, and feel well planted in corners. I don't anticipate them to last as long as conventional clinchers, but expect to get a summer out of them. Already put 100 miles in, riding through urban and industrial streets with nary a puncture. You can get away with a slightly lower pressure with these, and that helps with avoiding flats. You're not going to snake-bite unless you ride sort of recklessly or go extremely low.
I purchased 25s with the anticipation that, like most open tubulars, they'll grow a little bit once worn in. They measured 24mm when I first mounted them and now measure 26mm. Running them at 85psi.
I'll also admit that I read many of the poor reviews from circa 2016 involving catastrophic blowoffs with this tire at higher pressures, and was very nervous on the first ride. First, it seems the common denominator is running very wide (like 25c) rims or carbon rims with non-standard hooks. Challenge has updated their compatibility chart, and my 18c alloy rims are within the suggested range. Second, Challenge appears to have added a vulcanized reinforcement along the bead that aids in tire retention. The bead is a bit beefier than before, search for recent images of the folded tires from other sites and you'll see a black strip on the outer edges. So far I've had no problems. Mounting the tire wasn't as much as an ordeal as I remember with past open tubulars.
Highly recommend this tire, or better yet, if you have the clearance, the Paris-Roubaix or Strada Bianca. Same tire but wider. Best $xxx you'll spend on your bike. Comfort=Speed.
probably the narrowest 25C tires I've used. Looks like a 23 once mounted, and speaking of mounting these tires, hope you have good to exceptional thumb strength and and infinite patients. not an easy task AT ALL.
very soft, wear faster than most tires of this type, and not puncture proof at all. so, now I know and won't be purchasing them again.
I really wanted to like these tires. There's so much variability in the production that some you can mount with your hands others you need to pry on with tire levers. I guess the final straw was finding quarter inch slits in front and rear tires without any real wear on them yet. They're just too soft of a tread and too much variability in production to be confident on any sort of ride. I've had more flats with these than I've had mirrors, probably 5 to 6 in one season. when they were mounted on my bike they rolled grade and fell super. I just can't get over how few miles I've been able to put on them confidently.
Life is too short to ride on cheap, stiff tires! But if you're uninterested in gluing and otherwise fooling around with tubulars, these are the next-best-thing, especially when-if you get a flat - just pop in a new tube and you're on your way. These are right up there with the much more popular-famous V brand when it comes to ride quality. Swap 'em front to rear as soon as the rear shows signs of wear and you'll get a lot of life out of these, though they're not the tires for those who crash over potholes or won't ride around glass and other road debris. Enjoy cycling! Ride on high-quality tires!
My first few rides on these tires were fantastic. The roll so smoothly and I could corner with more confidence than I've felt on the old Vittoria Open Corsa's. However after about a few rides I started hearing a thudding noise coming from the back tire. Upon inspection I noticed that the sidewall had bulged and was hitting the brake pads. I took them back to the shop and was able to do a return but then the next tire did the same thing. The shop owner told the Challenge rep about this and the rep mentioned something along the lines of yes, this is known to happen when using these tires on carbon rims. I think this is a bit ridiculous given the near ubiquity of carbon rims these days.
If Challenge can address this particular issue, then I'll be back on these tires in a heartbeat. Until then, I'm sticking to the tried and true Vredestein Tri-comps.
I've put these tires through the ringer now and absolutely love them. Completed an 82 mile ride yesterday at the Hell of Hunterdon with about 15 miles on wet, variable condition gravel/dirt roads. People were flatting all-over. Not me. These tires are a beast and still look like new after yesterday's hell. I was waiting for a flat...never happened. And some spots on the course were nasty. My new favorite tires. Hope you get them back in stock so people can purchase these. Highly recommend. So far since I've installed them I logged 500 miles and no punctures.
This thing is the best feeling tire I've ridden since sew-ups. They seem average for durability with only minor cuts from debris in the tread. On my first ride I managed to put a 16 pinney nail through the sidewall. Over 900 miles later they are still going strong. I figured the casing would come apart from that nail but so far it hasn't. They are tight when you first install them but I didn't need tire irons to get them on the rim. It looks like they should last over 2000 miles but I don't think they will make it to 3000?
Open tubular Challenge tires live up to their name when first mounting. Install without a tube and let the bead stretch for a week, afterwards they'll be fine! These tires roll as well as any, are tough yet smooth, and super sticky. Keep inflation to a minimum in order to appreciate how good they are. I have measured these at 27 and 28 mm though labeled 25. The Challenge Roubaix, labeled 27 mm, comes in more toward 30 and makes a really nice front tire. Sadly, it won't fit between my chainstays. Our roads are rough, we do gravel, moss and grass also.