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Challenge Grifo Seta 32 Tire - Tubular $0.00
There is no two ways about it. If you're going to race cyclocross, you owe it to yourself to race on tubulars. Not only are the tires and tubes lighter, but so are the rims. And because you have little worry about pinch flats, you can run lower pressure than you do with clinchers, which is great on hard or bumpy courses. And because the rims don't have unsupported walls, the chance of dinging them is slight.
And if you're going to do tubulars, you should seriously consider Challenge's Grifo 32 Setas. Have you heard of Dugast? Do you know why people talk about them in reverent tones? It's because the tires have hand-stitched casings and the treads are hand-glued to those casings. Challenge offers the same, only at a much better price.
The silk casing is finer and more supple than cotton or polyester. It could almost be considered 900 threads per inch (TPI), but the casing is really constructed in the same way, so the count isn't quite accurate. A fine casing is a great thing for 'cross because it means more of the tread can contact the ground, offering good grip when the going gets precarious.
Challenge is the recreation of the old Clement tire brand. Clement was moved out of Italy to Thailand by their parent company, Pirelli, and abandoned. The people who imported the tires in Italy and the people who ran the factory in Thailand got together to offer the legendary Clement quality in a modern package.
They still make the silk casing on the same machines used by Clement -- very labor intensive -- then glue on a belt of corespun polyester casing to the area where the tread goes to give two plies for greater protection. On top of that second ply is hand-glued a knobby tread.
The tread is good for all-conditions. Some like specific-condition treads, like one for muddy slow courses and one for dry fast courses. However most of us don't travel with a passel of wheels, each set with a different tire for different conditions. Even those who travel this way are using and winning on Challenge tires. Erwin Vervecken has won the worlds on these tires. Daphny Van Den Brand has taken the World Cup on Challenge, and Katie Compton ripped up the US circuit riding them. If even the pros are winning on an all-condition tread, you can make the sacrifice to do the same.
The Challenge Grifo 32 Seta Tubular Tire has a 700c diameter and 32mm width. The casing is made of silk. There is a seamless latex tube inside, and it has Challenge's Puncture Protection System (PPS). Recommended tire pressure is anywhere between 20 and 35 psi. They have a Black tread with a Black casing.
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Community & Reviews
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have been racing cross for many years now and I know a good tire when I ride one. Challenge has stepped it up and is now making the best tires in the World. The silk casing on this tire had made a noticeable difference. It's incredibly supple and therefore better on the cross courses. The classic tread pattern is great for most any circuit so if you are looking for just 1 set of tires, these are your best bet. I have tested these on circuits around Europe and the USA and they have never disappointed me. These are great tires.