When most folks think of Italy, deep blue Mediterranean Sea, pasta, beautiful women and the Amalfi Coast might come to mind. One thing you would never consider is the dirty and worn cobbles of the Paris Roubaix. For some reason, Italians have always had a love affair with the Hell of the North and have produced both many winners and products for the event. These Challenge tires are a prime example of an Italian Paris Roubaix product.
The Parigi Roubaix tire produced by Challenge is an open tubular. This term means it is officially a clincher tire, but has a high thread count cotton casing and softer (but durable) rubber compound. These qualities make the ride so subtle it rides like a tubular, but it is fact a clincher. Hence, the term open tubular. The width is a wide 27mm to help float in rough and inconsistent terrain. Poly strip under the tread aids in puncture resistance. This is an exceptional value for a hand-made tire.
The are hard to install the first time, but easy after that.. They stretch nicely. Not sold on the durability yet (about 400 miles so far) but they ride wonderfully.
Cons: Initial mounting
I just purchased these for my fixed gear that I use for commuting on pavement, dirt bike path and occaisional trail. I've ridden them abot 6 hours thus far. The ride is excellent- much better than some of the durable road tires I've ridden such as panaracer ribmo. I was (and maybe still am) skeptical about their durability, but nasty dirt roads and even a bit of rocky singletrack have been no problem. They handle beautifully and roll fast at 70 psi. Others have mentioned that they were difficult to mount. I agree, although I had them both on in about 40 minutes. For the second, I used some baby powder to help the tube slide inside the tire. Specifically, what I found is that it was really easy to pinch the ube between the bead and the rim- more so that other tires- so after taking care to check, things went fine. I did put sealant in the tubes as I wouldnt want to wrestle w a flat on my commute and my aforementioned concern for durability.
Pros: fantastic ride
Cons: a bit tough to mount. will they hold up?
I run these on my cross bike for winter riding and riding rough roads here in TN. These tires are very comfortable and have been extremely durable for me. The only caveat is the mounting issue that the other review mention. These were a ROYAL PAIN to get onto my Easton EA70 wheels. I haven't tried taking them off and remounting them, but I am hoping that they have stretched out and are easier to work with now. If you can make it through the initial mounting process, you will be very happy with these tires.
Pros: Comfy ride. Great road tires for cross bike.
Cons: Mounting is VERY difficult
These tires look great and ride quite well...that is however, if you are able to get them mounted. It took almost an hour to mount each tire on my DT rims. After finally getting them mounted, I took them for a test ride and liked them, but decided to take them off because I can't imagine trying to repair a flat on the road. I tried to mount them on some Mavic rims and ran into the same issue. Too bad since I like the tires but not worth the effort.
Pros: Great looking, nice ride
Cons: Next to impossible to mount.
The tires work well on pavement and dirt/gravel paths. However, one major caveat: the actual width of the tires on HED Belgium C2 series rims is 31.25 mm and the width on Mavic Ksyrium SL Premium rims is 30 mm. While the tires work on my BMC Granfondo, I doubt that they will work on most other road frames.
Pros: Excellent handling on dirt/gravel paths
Cons: Probably too wide for most road frames