Challenge Strada Open Pro tyres
Challenge Strada Open Pro tyres
Review of the Challenge Strada Open Pro clincher tyres
I haven’t had a puncture; not one in the 6 months that I have been using these Challenge Strada Open Pro tyres. Despite a few weeks off the bike here and there due to injury, I haven’t exactly been lazy and these tyres have seen me through local road races, commuting, general training and mucking about.
I’ve put these tyres through quite a lot and they are still performing. Given the state of the roads, and some of the byways, I have pointed the bike down, this is a reassuring surprise.
You’ll get a range of opinion on tyre choice if you ever wanted to wade into a debate, and given some negative feedback I had heard about Challenge Open Pro tyres, through various on-line forums, I was concerned that they may very well start falling apart.
Not the case and, despite the nude tyre wall being slightly stained (a bit more on that in a moment), the tyres are in nearly new condition, without a split or a crack to be found. I put this down to one of two things, or both. One, the suppleness of the 300TPI casing and/or two, the non-vulcanised natural rubber tyre tread.
The absence of a puncture these last 6-months may well be down to the PPS system (Puncture Protection Strip), or just good luck – even during hedge cutting season I managed to get away with it.
The interesting thing about the PPS system is that it is a lightweight and densely woven material that sits between the rubber and the casing, designed to resist punctures, not puncture proof and therefore not entirely fallible, but in this case it seems to have worked well.
The construction of these tyres, the process of bonding the various materials together and manufacturing them, leaves the finished tyre feeling incredibly supple. The act of trying to fit them to the rim in the first place is almost funny, but a frustrating business and therefore, not funny.
Compared to your standard folding clincher, these tyres are supplied folded completely flat and not in that recognisable, slightly bent up, ‘tyre shape’, when you pull them out of the packaging.
By dextrous means and a bit of trickery you’ll eventually get the tyres on. I think it must have taken me at least an hour to get both tyres in place. Once you’ve got the aramid bead settled comfortably in the rim it is well worth the faff in the end.
Again, compared to your usual folding clincher tyres, the ride quality of the Challenge Strada Open Pro, I feel, is a cut above, comparable, almost but not quite, to high quality tubular tyres.
The quality of the ride, the rolling resistance, cornering, the responsive traction and shock absorption qualities of the tyres all perform as claimed by Challenge, which is as refreshing as it is remarkable.
One downside though, and as mentioned, the nude sidewalls have become stained and look a bit shoddy. Maybe there’s a better cleaning method available out there than my usual soap and water, or perhaps I need to scrub a bit harder, I don’t know; but the look of the tyre is part of the appeal with the Challenge Strada Open Pro, and it is a little disappointing. It ceryainly doesn’t affect the ride quality, but does have an impact on the look of the bike. Any cleaning suggestions welcome…
In conclusion these are a great set of tyres and £92 well spent I reckon.
Challenge Strada Pro Open Tubular Tyre – £46 each
Challenge UK (Paligap)
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