Challenge Paris Roubaix Tire - Clincher $75.99
Smoothing out the ride.
Although the sturdy aluminum box-sectioned wheels that were once synonymous with the Spring Classics have become nearly extinct in the age of composites, we still see riders opting for reliable, wide tires when the roads get rough. It's no secret why these bigger tires are the preferred choice for gravel, cobbles, and dirt -- they provide better cornering and traction, are less prone to pinch flats, and most importantly, they provide a more comfortable ride over narrower options. This is why Challenge continues to produce its Paris Roubaix Clincher with a 27mm-wide profile. Its moderately wide design and gripp'y tread pattern make it the best choice for riders who need a supple tire that grips well on rough terrain, yet is still plenty fast.
With a name that represents the pinnacle of the classics races, Challenge's Paris Roubaix was built to provide a compliant ride, regardless of road surfaces. Challenge accomplished this by using its handmade, highly puncture-resistant, and lightweight Super Poly casing. With 260 threads per inch (TPI), you receive a remarkably supple ride -- and it's a difference that you'll feel the first time out. On top of the casing, Challenge added a belt of corespun polyester. Essentially, this means that the casing fibers are made by twisting staple polyester fibers around a central filament core, creating one yarn from multiple fibers. As a result, the material is between 40 and 50% stronger than typically spun materials, while retaining a similar, if not lower, overall weight. This second layer is what Challenge calls its PPS (Puncture Protection System), and it's specifically made from the tightly woven polyester material in order to preserve the casing's supple feel.
For the tread, Challenge used its file-like herringbone pattern. This low-profile pattern perfectly blends speed and grip. The tread was applied using Challenge's proven hand-glued method, which involves mounting and then inflating the casing on a wheel. Only then does Challenge carefully glue on the tread layer. As a result, the tread isn't put under tension when you inflate the tire on your wheel, and that lack of tension leads to lower rolling-resistance, added grip, and increased comfort.
At the bead of the tire, the Super Poly casing is wrapped around Aramid fibers. Essentially, Aramid is a strong material, which is why it's commonly used in bulletproof vests. For the Paris Roubaix tire, this equates to added cumulative strength and durability.
The Challenge Paris Roubaix is available as a 700c x 27mm open tubular tire and in the colors Black/black and Black/tan. Each tire weighs in around 260g without tubes.