Beautiful tire that is impossible to mount on my HED Ardennes.
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.
...I'm on my second pair and this is the newer updated version and is different than what is pictured. What is pictured is the older Strada 25 (my previous pair) with the old graphic and 260 TPI. The newer version (and what will arrive when you order here) has a different graphic and is now 300 TPI. BTD needs to update their product image for this tire. They roll fantastic. Can run a bit lower pressure and run a bit wider than 25mm. Currently mounted on my 23mm wide hoops they are pushing 27mm. They are softer and wear quicker than the GP4000's I previously used, but the ride quality is night and day. I got an entire season out of my previous pair (just shy of 4000 miles and the front still looked great, the rear was bald down the center). I'm anxious to put the new 300 TPI version to work. Flat protection is on par with other tires I've ridden, but that is neither here nor there depending on the road conditions. I'll go weeks and weeks without flatting, then flat 3 times in a week. Yes, mounting can be hard, but it's not tricky. Just gotta man handle them onto the rim, seat your tube very well to avoid pinching, and fill'er up and enjoy the bliss. They will stretch and subsequent tube repairs will be easier.
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.
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?