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Challenge Eroica tires and others

Old 09-06-13, 03:06 AM
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Challenge Eroica tires and others

I've just looked at my current tires and realized they are very close to retirement. I need to get some replacements on the way ASAP!

I'm currently riding on Maxxis Re-fuse 700x28 tires. I bought them for their flat protection and they have been perfect. I routinely pick large chucks of glass out of the treads.... and I use an exacto knife to do it. The treads are completely gouged and scarred, yet I have had zero flats. I would happily buy the same tire, but i'd like to find something larger than 28 if it's available. I noticed that Challenge now has the Eroica, which apparently has some flat protection. Has anyone put these tires to the test? I'd like to know how durable they are compared to their Paris-Roubaix tires. I've owned the Challenge Paris-Roubaix at one point, and got 14 or more flats over a few months (not exaggerating).

For that matter, is there any other tires that you would highly recommend? My ideal budget maxes out at 80 dollars, but less is always better.
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Old 09-06-13, 06:45 AM
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I've never rode a Challenge tire, so I can't speak to the quality. On my Norman Rapide, I'm riding the Grand Bois Cyprès and my Jack Taylor tandem rides on a set of Grand Bois Cerf, Green Labels. The Cyprès measure 31mm on my Velocity Synergy rims and the Cerfs measure 29mm mounted to Sun Chinook rims. The Norman has been ridden over 500 miles since they were installed without any flats to date, while the JT has been ridden only about 100 miles since I put the tires on the bike, also without any flats so far. From my perspective, the Grand Bois tires are the best riding clincher I have used to date.

Oh, one other thing: If you are digging chunks of glass out of your tires on a regular basis, you might just consider springing for a pair or tire savers. Rootboy makes them, so shoot him a line and he can hook you up.

Since a thread is mostly useless without pictures, here's some of the bikes mentioned with the tires mounted on them.


Norman Rapide on a Sunny Sunday - 5 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr


Middletown Rundown - 3 by Sallad Rialb, on Flickr

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Old 09-06-13, 06:47 AM
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Didn't I ever send you a pair MK? Be glad to, as I owe you one.
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Old 09-06-13, 07:49 AM
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I don't commute, so the idea of changing a flat isn't a deal breaker for me. That said, I don't get many flats. I choose light, supple tires every time over heavy, rigid tires with super-duper flat protection and I'm happier for it.

Yes, the new Challenge 30mm tire (now called the Strada Bianca) has an orange strip under the tread for increased flat protection. I haven't ridden them. I've ridden several of the Grand Bois tires and I believe they're probably the best clinchers out there for a fast, light and comfortable combo. The 32mm Cypres are pretty damned awesome. But, they won't fit in your budget. Same for the Challenge offerings.

You might consider the Soma New Xpress tires. They're within your budget, are reasonably light with low rolling resistance and offer great flat protection.

The Panaracer Jack Browns are very nice tires if your bike can handle 35s. I will say the difference between the Kevlar lined model (blue label) and the one without (green label) is like the difference between bricks and pillows. Like the Grand Bois tires, they last a good while. Consider this when setting your budget.

The Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires (now called the Voyageur Hyper) has a lot of fans as well. I have not tried them, but I'd consider them if I needed a tire like that for the right bike.

I'm also a user of Scott's Tire Savers. I think they probably offer me some extra protection and they're a great conversation starter on group rides.
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Old 09-06-13, 08:30 AM
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We have two off road bikes with Eroicas.

My Croll and a La Cruz.

A little over 875 combined miles this season, all off road.

No flats, great all around performance.

They roll forever on class 5 and hard packed gravel.

Surprisingly good in wet stuff like slurry/muck, but not so hot in sand/loose gravel.
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Old 09-06-13, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
?.......and they're a great conversation starter on group rides.
You mean like, "Hey dorkus!.....I think you ran over a coat hanger!" ?

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Old 09-06-13, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Didn't I ever send you a pair MK? Be glad to, as I owe you one.
Id be happy to buy a pair of tire savers from you. Work that nice deserves to be paid for!
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Old 09-07-13, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
I don't commute, so the idea of changing a flat isn't a deal breaker for me. That said, I don't get many flats. I choose light, supple tires every time over heavy, rigid tires with super-duper flat protection and I'm happier for it.

Yes, the new Challenge 30mm tire (now called the Strada Bianca) has an orange strip under the tread for increased flat protection. I haven't ridden them. I've ridden several of the Grand Bois tires and I believe they're probably the best clinchers out there for a fast, light and comfortable combo. The 32mm Cypres are pretty damned awesome. But, they won't fit in your budget. Same for the Challenge offerings.

You might consider the Soma New Xpress tires. They're within your budget, are reasonably light with low rolling resistance and offer great flat protection.

The Panaracer Jack Browns are very nice tires if your bike can handle 35s. I will say the difference between the Kevlar lined model (blue label) and the one without (green label) is like the difference between bricks and pillows. Like the Grand Bois tires, they last a good while. Consider this when setting your budget.

The Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires (now called the Voyageur Hyper) has a lot of fans as well. I have not tried them, but I'd consider them if I needed a tire like that for the right bike.

I'm also a user of Scott's Tire Savers. I think they probably offer me some extra protection and they're a great conversation starter on group rides.
Did challenges prices go up? It's been a while, but I thought I paid much less last time.
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Old 09-07-13, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Did challenges prices go up? It's been a while, but I thought I paid much less last time.
Way up.

Much more difficult to find a deal on Strada Biancas and Almanzos.

Running near list, with the occasional 10% off sale.
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Old 09-07-13, 08:27 AM
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Hmm... well, thats a bummer. I want to say that I spent 75 dollars on a pair of Paris Roubaix tires, so did they double in price??? That's insane!
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Old 09-07-13, 08:38 AM
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I'm using a Vittoria tire you might consider for urban and fitness use that is within your $80.00 budget. The Rubino Pro Tech tires are a very high quality with 150 tpi construction and an ideal compromise between ride quality, flat resistance and durability. It's a fast rolling tire with good wet weather traction. See: https://www.probikekit.com/bicycle-ty...FZBAMgodwnMAKg


In addition to the Rubino Pro Tech, I have a set of Challenge Paris Roubaix tires, but I consider them to be to fragile for everyday use. I'll ride about 400 miles a month during the warmer half of the year, and I need a tire that has sufficiently tough and durability for my usage.

I also use the Vittoria Hyper in both the 700x32 and 700x40. It's a great all around tire, very light and it feels faster than any other tire this size I've used. However, it is more money than the Rubino Pro Tech and it has a reflective sidewall, which might not provide the appearance you are seeking.
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Old 09-07-13, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Hmm... well, thats a bummer. I want to say that I spent 75 dollars on a pair of Paris Roubaix tires, so did they double in price??? That's insane!
I'm not sure what happened to their pricing.

Definitely a pain, as I prefer their tires.

I am also trying Schwalbes and Kendas on gravel.

I guess this opens the door to try other brands at a little lower price point.....
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Old 09-07-13, 09:58 PM
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I have no inside info, but I suspect they instituted a Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) requirement for their authorized dealers. One random day pricing on ebay went from incredibly discounted ($100/pr) to regular retail/MAP ($150-$180/pr), overnight. Prices haven't come back down, so it smells like MAP to me. I don't want to have to sell a bike to buy tires, so that puts me in the "search for a cheaper alternative" camp. It's a darn shame, though, since I've grown addicted to the sweet hum those tires make on pavement... it's less a "hhhmmmmmm" sound and more like a sweet buzz "zzzzzzzzzz." Worse than crack cocaine!

Originally Posted by gomango View Post
I'm not sure what happened to their pricing.

Definitely a pain, as I prefer their tires.

I am also trying Schwalbes and Kendas on gravel.

I guess this opens the door to try other brands at a little lower price point.....
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Old 09-08-13, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'm using a Vittoria tire you might consider for urban and fitness use that is within your $80.00 budget. The Rubino Pro Tech tires are a very high quality with 150 tpi construction and an ideal compromise between ride quality, flat resistance and durability. It's a fast rolling tire with good wet weather traction. See: https://www.probikekit.com/bicycle-ty...FZBAMgodwnMAKg


In addition to the Rubino Pro Tech, I have a set of Challenge Paris Roubaix tires, but I consider them to be to fragile for everyday use. I'll ride about 400 miles a month during the warmer half of the year, and I need a tire that has sufficiently tough and durability for my usage.

I also use the Vittoria Hyper in both the 700x32 and 700x40. It's a great all around tire, very light and it feels faster than any other tire this size I've used. However, it is more money than the Rubino Pro Tech and it has a reflective sidewall, which might not provide the appearance you are seeking.
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll probably try one of those. For the record, I like the all black tires on a bike that I commute on. Reflective sidewalks would be awesome.
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Old 09-08-13, 01:36 PM
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I'd go in a somewhat different direction than the other posters. I grew up and did a ton of riding in a city (New Orleans) where glass was everywhere. On a commuter, I'd ride a reasonably priced tire and use a tire liner. Expensive tires are not better than cheaper tires in resisting glass cuts in my experience. But they cost a heck of a lot more to replace. There are plenty of inexpensive tires that ride fine and I didn't feel bad about throwing them out long before they were worn because of excessive glass cuts.
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Old 09-08-13, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll probably try one of those. For the record, I like the all black tires on a bike that I commute on. Reflective sidewalks would be awesome.
Yes, reflective tires like the Vittoria Hyper are great to have during the darker hours before and after work. They don't always look bad, IMO.
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Old 09-08-13, 01:56 PM
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My Rivendell w/ 35mm Hyper Randos. Great all round tire.

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Old 09-08-13, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Way up.

Much more difficult to find a deal on Strada Biancas and Almanzos.

Running near list, with the occasional 10% off sale.
WOW...they have gone up. I bought Challenge PR clinchers not long ago for right at $100 shipped. Now the same vendor has them at $151.
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Old 09-08-13, 04:04 PM
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I'd like to try the PR or Strada B, but I hate to pay full retail for tires. I'm spoiled by Ribble and PBK.
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Old 09-08-13, 05:08 PM
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By way of direct comparison, the Riv above has the Vittoria Hyper Rando's and my Ritchey touring bike has a set of Challenge Parigi Roubaix installed. On a Saturday morning ride earlier this spring, forum member iluvnoise was riding the Ritchey and I was on my Riv. We were descending on a tight, two lane road w/ not much shoulder and were forced by car traffic to ride through a big field of broken glass on the road. It looked like someone had lost a glass block off the back of a truck or something of that sort.

I was first through, no problem and was able to get to a safe spot to pull off about 40 yards ahead. I could here the glass slapping against the road as the tires went around. It did not puncture a tube.

iluvnoise was not so fortunate. BOTH tires flatted as soon as he hit the glass and the rear tire started to come off the rim. Thankfully, he was able to stop and was not injured. We patched both tubes in a gravel, restaurant parking lot. Both of us were so focused on removing the glass from his tires (there was a lot) we did not notice that the local stray cat population was using the parking lot as a litter box. Our shoes and eventually our gloves had a good amount of cat crap squished in. It made for an interesting remainder of the ride.
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Old 09-08-13, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
By way of direct comparison, the Riv above has the Vittoria Hyper Rando's and my Ritchey touring bike has a set of Challenge Parigi Roubaix installed. On a Saturday morning ride earlier this spring, forum member iluvnoise was riding the Ritchey and I was on my Riv. We were descending on a tight, two lane road w/ not much shoulder and were forced by car traffic to ride through a big field of broken glass on the road. It looked like someone had lost a glass block off the back of a truck or something of that sort.

I was first through, no problem and was able to get to a safe spot to pull off about 40 yards ahead. I could here the glass slapping against the road as the tires went around. It did not puncture a tube.

iluvnoise was not so fortunate. BOTH tires flatted as soon as he hit the glass and the rear tire started to come off the rim. Thankfully, he was able to stop and was not injured. We patched both tubes in a gravel, restaurant parking lot. Both of us were so focused on removing the glass from his tires (there was a lot) we did not notice that the local stray cat population was using the parking lot as a litter box. Our shoes and eventually our gloves had a good amount of cat crap squished in. It made for an interesting remainder of the ride.
Challenge should not hire you for testimonials.

Nice Riv btw. Rode one this summer and it was tops!
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Old 09-08-13, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Challenge should not hire you for testimonials.

Nice Riv btw. Rode one this summer and it was tops!
Thanks! Yeah I have had my issues but they still ride really nice. I have them on this bike (the OP's Raleigh Pro) and they are fantastic!

[IMG]
[/IMG]

I would not use them on the commuter (the Riv) because they are a bit to delicate to rely on for getting to work.
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Old 09-10-13, 07:27 AM
  #23  
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I also like the Vittoria Hypers and am running them on 3 bikes at this time.
2 sets of 38's and one set of 32's. I have had a few flats, mostly the cursed goat head type stickers.

It would take a tough tire indeed to run over one of those straight on and not flat.

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