Challenge Criterium Open 320 tyres $81

Super-fast clincher option

BikeRadar score 4/5

Having been blown away by the blisteringly quick performance of Challenge tubs on a recent bike test, we grabbed a range of clincher tyres from the company – they’ve also proved exceptionally fast on both road and rollers, although they’re not cheap or totally trouble free.

The handmade, 320tpi carcass comes in retro skinwall or stealthy all black, and feels very buoyant despite a wide and flat (rather than tall/deep) profile. A mix of suppleness and compound mean they’re dazzlingly quick on the straights. 

You do need to back off slightly in wet corners compared with the grippiest tyres, but they rail well in the rough because of their suppleness. Fitted to a Powertap rear wheel on a turbo trainer, the average wattage needed to sustain 20mph was 122 watts.

The hefty price is compounded by an above-average puncture count, but these are ultra-fast tyres.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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