Challenge is best known for its handmade clincher and tubular tyres but, as most things handmade, they command a premium. That said, they also use the more common vulcanized manufacturing process (heat is used to cure the various elements of the tyre together) with a 120 TPI (threads per inch) casing and Aramid bead, which makes these tyres more affordable.
Installation requires a rim with a hooked bead, as specified on the tyre sidewall. They presented more of a challenge than other tyres I had on test to fit but, once inflated using a tubeless track pump, the tyres suffered minimal air loss.
Challenge advises a low tyre pressure range, which is welcome, and they performed well at 60 to 75psi.
The tyres coped well with broken roads, delivering a smooth feel. They will handle dirt and some gravel, too, with ample durability.
They’re not the most supple compared to the company’s handmade open tubulars or other tubeless tyres, such as the Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0, but the low pressures help in this department. You enjoy the same distinctive herringbone tread pattern as the top-end tyres, aimed at increasing traction on challenging surfaces.
These TLRs have a good turn of pace that will appeal to cyclists looking for a speedy wide tyre that’s good enough for racing as well as relaxed long-distance rides.
Puncture resistance is improved with the use of tubeless sealant backing up the puncture-resistance layer beneath the centre of the tread.
How we tested
We put 12 tubed and tubeless clincher 28mm road tyres head-to-head to see which you should spend your money on.
28mm is considered the sweet-spot width for rolling speed, comfort and weight, with wider tyres offering lower rolling resistance and more traction. Even though they’re heavier and less aero than 23mm tyres, for example, the positives can outweigh the negatives, especially over long-distance cyclists.
Tyres are an easy upgrade, too, and add more comfort to your ride with a greater volume of air between you and rough roads.
- Bontrager R3 Hard Case Lite TLR 28mm
- Cadex Race
- Continental Grand Prix 5000 clincher
- Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL 28mm
- Goodyear Eagle F1 Tubeless
- Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance 11Storm
- Michelin Power Road Clincher
- Pirelli P Zero Race TLR 28mm
- Schwalbe Pro One TLE
- Specialized S-Works Turbo
- Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0