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Item # CNG0023

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Item # CNG0023


Built for hardpack cyclocross courses.

Depending on your geographical location, when the smell of beer and waffles hits the air, cyclocross courses with hardpack and sand might be more common than the traditional mud courses synonymous with 'cross. And though we dream of mud-stained faces and bikes, the reality of cross is of dry, fast courses and the need for tires that are able to handle it. For these races, we rely on the file-shaped tread of the Challenge Grifo XS Cross Clincher tires to help us zip across pavement sections and grip on sharp turns.

The file tread that you see down the middle of the Grifo tire is better suited for dry climates where the early season is filled with hard, sandy courses, and the late season is marked by hard snow and ice. Though the file tread keeps the tires rolling fast, dry courses still require a tire with superb grip for cornering. Evenly spaced knobs lining the sides of the tire add traction where you need it, so you're able to hold your speed as you maneuver through turns.

For durability, the Grifo was constructed from a highly puncture-resistant and lightweight Super Poly casing. The bead of the tire uses an open tubular design. We know that it sounds like an oxymoron -- a tubular clincher. However, the benefits of Challenge Grifo XS Cross Clincher tires are astounding. They use the same hand-made construction techniques tubular. Basically, Challenge glues the tread on the casing while it's inflated on a wheel in order to prevent uneven tension when inflated on your wheel. The only difference is that instead of being sewn, beads are actually formed by folding the casing around Aramid fibers. What's Aramid? Aramid is used for the tire beads for the same reason that it's used for bullet-proof vests -- its lightweight, compact strength.

The Challenger Grifo XS Cross Clincher tire is available in a 700c x 33mm size in the color Black/tan. Please note that he Grifo's tread pattern is intended to be mounted in either direction. Should you require heavy traction, say in slightly wet conditions, Challenge recommends that you mount the tire with the tread orientation facing backwards. For 'normal' race conditions, mount with the tread rolling forward. Regardless, you'll be rolling fast.

Tech Specs

open tubular
[casing ] super poly
700 c x 33 mm
Claimed Weight:
340 g
Recommended Use:
Manufacturer Warranty:

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Challenge Grifo XS 33 Cross Tire - Clincher

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

My Favorite Race/Train Tire in Dry!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This tire is truly amazing, just keep in mind that they are hand built race tires hence the premium price. Bearing that in mind they are the fastest I have ever ridden, while still holding up very well with tough casing and good puncture resistance at a very low weight. They have fairly minimal type cornering knobs at edge of tire, I kind of prefer this on dry and hard, but if there is any slick I prefer the Chicane Model with same center tread but nastier side knobs! These have amazing float due to their incredible casing design, and roll like no others I have ever ridden! For training on a lesser budget, I would use my second favorite tire either the Clement Las with a larger casing 36mm for a great training tire, or the soon to come out Challenge Gravel Grinder Pro 120TPI Vulcanized Version in 38mm, as these will have the same tread as the Chicane Open Tubular, also they are releasing right now the Gravel Grinder in Open Tubular in a 36mm casing as well but that is the high end model which I cannot weight to try out!