anybody out there uses them?
I have been using them since they came out practically. I love them. Only had one flat and it was sealed with a Vittoria fast air cannister. Still going strong 4 months later. I get about 1800 miles or so out of the rear, a lot more out of the front. I weigh in at about 170 now and I usually pump them to 80-85psi. Super comfy ride, no squishy feeling, been very durable for me and I tend to ride on rough roads, off-road, gravel, etc. I do try to avoid glass though.
I also have some Vittoria CX 25 and 23s. The Strada casings and tread feel thinner, but I have had more flats with the 23 cx's.
I've had two pairs. They are good but I like Vittorias slightly better for fast riding/racing as they feel a little better turning at speed.
One pair I had the tread literally came off. I don't know why. I still need to contact Challenge and see what they say about it.
Overall they are great feeling tire for general road riding, nice and smooth!
I've gone through about 5 of them over a couple of years. Like most sew ups either you get a brief time or a long time on them. Had one go flat on the first ride, valve stem base (I know the difference between the air making it around to the stem and a stem bonding issue). Had another get a tear about the size on my pinky finger nail (not the tire's falt but it was also almost new and actually straight, damn). They're not as round and straight as the price would make you want. After riding sew ups for 38 years, exclusively on my Sunday bikes and often on the back up bike, this experience made me choose wired ons (oh, do I mean clincher?) for my new Sunday bike. Still tried the Challenes though. Got a few through the tread flats with REALLY small bits so now run Michelin Pros. I found i'm a lot faster with out a flat then with... Andy.
I bought a set of them last year. I mounted them and got about 3 miles down the road before I decided that the tire was so lumpy and out of round that the bike was virtually uncontrollable.
I turned around, and half way home the tire blew.
A grand total of 5.5 miles on the tire.
My opinion, a piece of crap I am sorry I ever spent money on.
I have to say I am a little suprised by the consensus here. I initially tried out the Stradas after having 3 Vittoria Paves bad straight out of the box. Valve stem issues on 2 and lumpy on the other. I have mounted up about 20 Stradas over the past few years (for myself and others), and have had only one that was unacceptable. The tread was peeling off of that one. It was one of the first 5 or so that I mounted, and every one after that was a good tire. Round and the tread was on pretty straight. The first flat (only) I had was a piece of glass. That tire is still going strong with sealant.
The Parigi-Roubaix I had were pretty much crap (both tubie and clincher), and the Criteriums and Fortes I looked at (dry mounted) were skinnier than advertised and a little lumpy.
The 'cross tires (Grifo XS and Fango) have held up well under a few customers (and myself for a shortened season this year).
Wonder if I have gotten lucky, or if the others have been unlucky?
All that said, the Vittoria CX tires are pretty darn good tires, and have been better this past year than the Paves few years ago.
I would like to hear more data points on this too. I've sold a lot of the clincher (open tubular) road tires, to pretty much uniform acclaim from customers. Very similar to Veloflex in execution and road feel, but similarly not that puncture resistant.
Tons of cross tubulars (and a few clinchers) which, as mentioned elsewhere, are great.
Oddly enough, the only Challenge road tubulars I've dealt with in any numbers are the Parigi and the budget Vulcano. The former is just straight up fragile. The latter is really not a bad tire insofar as they're straight and pretty durable, but still ride nicely at 70-85psi.
The higher end road tubulars are showing up at a lot of distributors, but I've yet to really find a fair number of folks using them.
I've spent a fair amount of miles on the Criterium, Forte and Triathlon models. I have found them to be nice riding/handling tires. Compared to a Veloflex the quality control is lower and you are more likely to encounter a slightly irregular tire. This has improved greatly in the past couple of years, though. Their puncture resistance is somewhat lower, it seems and the wear is about the equivalent. If the tires get wet, they are likely to suffer from some base tape seperation. On the plus side, you are likely to find these tires at roughly half the cost of a Veloflex so it is definitely a case of getting what you pay for. I should note that I particularly like the Triathlon..It shares the 22mm casing with the Forte and Criterium, but has a great fine file tread. It reminds me of the old Clement Strada 66...and that is a good thing. I like to say that the Challenge tubulars are 90% of a Veloflex at 50% of the cost
I mounted the criteriums on my nemesis and they went on easy and straight. Rode pretty nice too until they flatted after 5 rides(well, one did). No puncture that I can see but going to inspect more tomorrow. I had descent hopes for these. They were really cheap though so I can't complain too much. Maybe I'll repair it.
Auk's words to live by:
Blow up and pin a picture of M. Bartoli on your wall. When you achieve that position, stop. Until then, stretch, ride, stretch, ride, eat less, and ride more.
Since somebody mentioned how vulnerable the Challenge Paris Roubaix tubulars were to flats, I thought I would make a few comments. Back in the last century when tubulars were the ONLY high performance tires, the Clement Campionato Del Mondo and paris Roubaix tubulars were often held up as great examples of extremely supple, high mileage tires. I aspired to a pair and eventually mowed enough lawns to get a pair of Del mondos which I thought would be the perfect tire for long rides, training, etc....I think I got about 80 miles out of the rear before I punctured. I thought it was certainly a fluke and bought another.....I got about 100 miles out of that one before a puncture. Meanwhile, my "race" wheels shod with Strada 66's just lasted and lasted with bulletproof dependability. There is something about the combination of a soft gummy tread, soft supple casing, light weight and large cross section that makes a tire very vulnerable to punctures. They ride like nothing else and can take incredible punishment....but a small shard of glass will bring it all to an unhappy end. So the flat vulnerability of the Challenge Paris Roubaixs is nothing new...and the same thing was experienced with the old Clements...and the modern day Dugasts and FMBs.
got 5 miles out of the Strada's night before Battenkill last year, hit a pot-hole outside of Albany on a training ride. Mavic support to the rescue the next day, THANKS!
Replaced with new Paris Rubaix for the Valley Circuit race, got maybe 6 miles, spent alot of $ and heartache on those tires. Not anymore!
no matter where ya go...there you are
ummm welcome to the monkey house