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EB17: Challenge glues up road & cross SETA silk tubulars, adds brown walls & more

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Last year at Eurobike Challenge Tire debuted a whole swath of premium performance handmade cotton race tubulars with a unique coating that makes them last longer than pretty much any other cotton tires on the market. They also more quietly showed just one silk tubular each for track, road & cyclocross racing use. Apparently those silk tires were a hit and at about 140€ a piece they are back for 2018 with five more tire designs getting the premium ~1000tpi silk treatment. Challenge is also adding a bit of a new look at the other end of the spectrum with a new natural rubber brown wall look to some of their affordable and popular gravel & cyclocross vulcanized clinchers.

Silk SETA extra handmade tubulars

Of course as #crossiscoming, we’ll start with those silk SETA extra cross tires. Now the silk cross tubulars are available in 33mm Baby Limus & Dune treads to join last year’s 33mm Grifo.

Challenge silk tubulars silk SETA extra tubulars gravel all-road tire lineup Strada-Bianca

On the gravel side of things silk comes to the 30mm wide Strada Bianca handmade tubulars. Silk really excels at these two rough off-road disciplines as the natural silk fibers are both incredibly strong and more resistant than polyester or cotton. That lets Challenge hand make tires with a thread density more than 3x the best cotton tires, making them more supple at the same tire pressures for improved grip and lower rolling resistance. They are also naturally more resistant to rot from racing in wet conditions.

Challenge silk tubulars silk SETA extra tubulars road TT Tri Track tire lineup Pista Strada Paris-Roubaix

For road, TT & track racing the 22mm silk Pista is now joined by a 25mm Strada and 27mm Paris-Roubaix where improvements in grip & rolling resistance reduction also comes into play.

If you are looking for a more affordable tubular options, especially with cross on the horizon, the white Team Edition S sealed cotton tubulars will still set you back just about ~100€ a piece (with new narrow 30mm wide Grifo & Limus options), or say ~90€ for the gum wall SuperPoly sealed polyester tubulars.

Vulcanized Brown wall clinchers

Back down at more affordable every day tire levels (<45€), Challenge has a new natural rubber brown wall look for the vulcanized clinchers that see a lot of OEM spec, especially on affordable gravel bikes. For gravel brown wall versions of the vulcanized Strada Bianca are available in a 33mm width and in the 38mm Gravel Grinder tread.

For cross there is now a brown wall vulcanized version of the popular all-conditions/wet 33mm wide Baby Limus, while standard black wall versions of those all carry over as well.


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Xaver von Treyer
6 years ago

Silk, carbon and titanium. Only the best for our bikes.

6 years ago

My wife and I both loved challenge cx tubulars for years, but in the last 3 seasons or so, the quality has gone downhill dramatically. From tread just ungluing from the sidewalls after one ride, to the massively uneven shapes of the tires (perfectly centered yet having such diameter differences that it hops up and down).. we’ve both basically all but switched to the Clement tires. They are more the machine-perfect, high tech tires over the hand made exotic stuff that challenge is selling.

I still use the limus when I can’t find the FMB super muds, because it’s a great mud tire, but other than that, for my average race stuff we’ve both since switched to clement.

Challenge – if you’re listening – we both love your tread patterns, the super supple casings, but you’ve just got to get your quality and accuracy up if you want to keep us high dollar willing customers your price points are targeting.

6 years ago

What ever happened to the tubeless tubular cx and road tires that both Challenge and Dugast were teasing 2 years ago?

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