Parigi- Roubaix. The name alone stirs images of dust and mud-covered cyclists and bikes, snippets of colorful kit and paint flashing by as the incredible skills of the riders are tested by the cobbles of the Arenberg… One of the main pre-race stories every year is the selection of tires by the teams. Every racer dreams of a supple tire that can negotiate the cobbles without flats, yet can fly swiftly over the kilometers of pavement that link the famed cobblestone sections. Over the 200+ km distance the riders may face hot, dry and dusty conditions, only to find themselves moments later covered in mud and heavy rain. Thousands and thousands of dollars are invested in the bikes and wheels that transport these hardy souls, but less than 30mm of tire actually connect the rider and bike to the road.
The alternating file tread of the Challenge Parigi-Roubaix tubular tire covers much more of the tire's rounded crown than usual. This coverage, and the pattern itself, give the tire excellent adherence when cornering and navigating the various edges and surfaces of the cobbles. The Super-Poly casing allows the 27mm tire to grip and conform, but with low resistance due to its 300 threads per inch. The rider enjoys an extraordinary amount of effective surface area to work with. These technologies maintain speed, control, and confidence while reducing the likelihood of puncture. A tire built for Roubaix, indeed. These same features and capabilities have graced the wheels of many Boulder riders as they live, race, and train on the combination of pavement, dirt, and gravel roads of the surrounding area. In the Classics, or here at home, Challenge supplies tires that allow cyclists to maximize the terrain and extend their range.
Yes, as others have mentioned, they are very hard to mount the first time. Just work slowly, inflate the tubes more than usual, and be patient. They stretch out and become easier with time. That being said, these are my favorite all-around tires for mixed rides (pavement, gravel, etc), and those are my favorite type of rides, so they are my favorite tires. Folks with tight tolerances on their frames may not be able to use them, but that means (to me) that the bike was poorly designed, since they fit between the short-reach brakes and frames on which I have used them. Also superb when riding a cross bike on pavement. On a Mavic Open Pro, they run 29mm wide, but they are more round (less tall and pointy) than most tires. Great cornering, great feel, good durability, good traction in the wet and on gravel. Excellent tires.
Pros: Ride quality, durability, traction
Cons: Tough to mount the first time or two
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