High performance racing bicycle technology and technique
Cyclocross - Challenge Grifo XS cyclocross tyre
Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Challenge Grifo XS cyclocross tyre


September 2013


Challenge are an Italian company that pride themselves on making handmade tyres. They have a great history of success in cyclocross and as such offer a wide range of tyres to suit all conditions. The Challenge Grifo XS is an open tubular that has a file tread with smallish, well spaced knobs on the shoulder for cornering grip.


Challenge Grifo XS cyclo-cross tyre

Challenge Grifo XS cyclo-cross tyre


They are a 33C tyre but look much wider thanks to the very round profile they adopt once inflated. Our version has the white rubber that is allegedly meant to offer improved grip, though we are not sure how white it will be after a winter’s racing in British mud.


Challenge Grifo XS file tread pattern

Challenge Grifo XS file tread pattern


The Grifo XS file tread is designed to give you more speed on hard, dry days and as such we had these in mind for summer cx races. Best laid plans and all meant that didn’t happen, but given the climate down here in the South-east of the UK, there may be a few dry races in autumn/winter that we turn up at, so they may still have their chance to shine in those conditions.


Other than that, Challenge also rate them for ice, so that may be an interesting test should we have such a day. Challenge also say they are good on grass but we are not sure if that means the wet, slippery grass we get here, which is soon replaced by muddy, tyre turned gloop in most races; still we’ll soon see. Riders whom we have talked to about these tyres really rate them, when its dry…


White Grifo XS look pimp on the bike

White Grifo XS look pimp on the bike


The Grifo XS is of 300TPI (threads per inch) construction, which should make it very supple indeed, and uses a ‘super poly’ (polyester) casing for added durability with an aramid bead, which all adds up to a reasonable 355g tyre weight. The tyre has Challenge’s PPS puncture protection which is an extra couple of layers of puncture resistant fabric that sits between the casing and the rubber tread. That rubber is sourced locally at Challenge’s own factory in Thailand.


Grifo XS is no longer quite as white as when we first got them...

Grifo XS tyres are no longer quite as white as when we first got them…


The suggested inflation of 30 – 90 psi seems reasonable, though we have already used them at 20 with no ill effects… We have dumped some tyre sealant into the tubes though to be safe. We’ll report back with a full test soon.


Challenge Grifo XS RRP. £52.00


Challenge Tyres Website


Challenge Tyres UK (Paligap)


Compare prices and buy cyclocross tyres and tubulars from:


Handsling CEXevoMotor Insurance for Cyclists
HSC Ceramics

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien