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Product Reviews - New Product Introductions

New Product Introductions

Challenge Grifo 32mm Tubular
Challenge is a young company manufacturing hand made cyclocross tubulars and open tubulars (clinchers to you and I) in the tradition of former industry leader Clement. A family-owned company for many years, Clement was purchased several years ago by the Pirelli Group, who licensed the brand to companies such as Vittoria before dropping it completely. They sold the factory molds to Brewo, an established Italian trading company who retained many of Clement’s former employees thus preserving the tradition and art of manufacturing high quality, “fatti a mano” (hand made) tires. Since that time, Challenge rubber has been appearing on the bikes of a number of pro riders, most notebly the Belgian Team Fidea riding them to a Cyclocross World Championship by Erwin Vervecken.

Challenge Grifo XS Tubular
Challenge started small and originally just offered the classic Clement pattern in the Grifo with 3 tubular sizes; 30mm, 32mm, and 34mm.  Over time they have expanded their cross offerings.  First by adding the 32mm Grifo XS tubular, a fast rolling file pattern dry conditions tire.  This tire is designed for all out speed on dry courses.

Challenge Grifo 34mm Tubular
They then updated the 32mm and 34mm Grifos by adding an extra knob on the outer edges of the tread pattern to even further improve their already excellent cornering characteristics.

After that they developed clincher, or "Open Tubular" as the Euros call them, versions of the 32mm Grifo and Grifo XS.  These tires have the exact same tread and handmade casing as their tubular cousins.  With these tires you are as close as you can get to the feel of a cross tubular in a clincher.  These are fantastic to race on if you don't want to drop the cash on tubular wheels.  They are also great if you race on Grifo tubulars and want to train on the same tire without risk of damaging your tubular tires and wheels.

Challenge Grifo XS White Tubular
For the 2008 season Grifo has added more tires to their cross lineup than in any other year.  Since white is the new black they produced a limited number of white tread / black sidewall Grifo XS in both the tubular and clincher versions.  I will be honest I was a little skeptical about these when I first heard about them but when I saw them in person I have to say they look pretty cool.  They are eye catchers for sure.

Challenge Grifo Seta Tubular
Challenge tubulars are known as "affordable" handmade tubulars, typically running upwards of $100 less per pair than the similarly handmade Dugast.  This is why I was a bit perplexed when I saw Challenge was offering a "Seta" or silk casing version of the 32mm Grifo for 2008.  A silk casing is the pinnacle of suppleness but it does come with a hefty price tag.  They are almost double the price of the standard polyester casing and that certainly took my breath away.  After some thought though it is only a little more expensive than a standard casing Dugast.  So if you had a dollar to suppleness ratio the Challenge Seta would certainly win out.  If you could find a silk casing Dugast for sale I am sure you would agree.

Last but not least, the newest addtion in 2008 is the Challenge Fango.  There has been a lot of buzz about this tire since news of it first popped up on the internet a few months ago.  It is the first new tread design from Challenge in a long time.  It is billed as a wet conditions tire with even more traction and cornering grip than the Grifo.  I don't know that I would go so far as to say it will be a "mud specific" tire like in the mountain bike tire world but the intent is that it is designed to excel in the worst conditions.  It will be avaialble in 32mm and 34mm tubular versions as well as a 32mm clincher version.  Unfortunately that is all the information we have about it right now.  We don't even have a photo to show you what the tread looks like.  Rest assured as soon as we know you will know.  I have pretty solid intel that we should have the clincher versions of the Fango available to ship by the end of September.  We are expecting tubular versions of the Fango will be available to ship mid-October.

All of the Challenge cross tires with the exception of the aformentioned Fango are in stock and available to ship now.               
  

Challenge Grifo Seta
 $159.95
Challenge Grifo Seta: 700x32c, Black/Tan, Tubular. The Grifo is Challenge's most versatile cyclocross tubular; it performs consi...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4620

Challenge Grifo
 $79.95
Challenge Grifo: 700x30c, Black/Brown, Tubular. The Grifo is Challenge's most versatile cyclocross tubular; it performs consiste...
Bikeman Product Code: HAW-TIRE84241

Challenge Grifo
 $79.95
Challenge Grifo: 700x32c, Black/Brown, Tubular. The Grifo is Challenge's most versatile cyclocross tubular; it performs consiste...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4622

Challenge Grifo XS
 $79.95
Challenge Grifo XS: 700x32c, Black/Brown, Tubular. Challenge Grifo XS tires are fast, period. A minimal tread yields minimal rol...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4624

Challenge Grifo
 $79.95
Challenge Grifo: 700x34c, Black/Brown, Tubular. The Grifo is Challenge's most versatile cyclocross tubular; it performs consiste...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4623

Challenge Grifo XS White/Black
 $79.95
Challenge Grifo XS: 700x32c, White/Black, Tubular. Challenge Grifo XS tires are fast, period. A minimal tread yields minimal rol...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4626

Challenge Grifo
 $64.95
Challenge Grifo: 700x32c, Black/Brown, Clincher. The Challenge Grifo clincher is a steadfast performer in various 'cross conditi...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4422

Challenge Grifo XS
 $64.95
Challenge Grifo XS: 700x32c, Black/Brown, Clincher. The Challenge Grifo XS clincher was created to give clincher users the same...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4424
Challenge Grifo XS
 $64.95
Challenge Grifo XS: 700x32c, White/Black, Clincher. The Challenge Grifo XS clincher was created to give clincher users the same...
Bikeman Product Code: TR4426
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