Technology - Upgrade Bikes


Challenge handmade tyres combine attributes to create the most comfortable and low rolling resistance tyres.
Combining soft, supple casings, special compound natural rubber treads and flexible puncture protection systems, Challenge tyres will improve your enjoyment of riding.

Why Natural Rubber treads are better

Natural rubber delivers more grip, more comfort and more speed from the tyre.
Challenge select specific compounds to increase durability and reduce punctures. The treads are hand bonded to flexible casings for each specific design by experts in the Challenge factory.
For performance, comfort and control, natural rubber treads are superior. Unlike synthetically produced petroleum-based rubber, the natural rubber used by Challenge is not cooked and hardened. Whilst this means Challenge treads wear on average 15% quicker, this is outweighed by the gains in enjoyment and grip. Smart, Smart Plus and Soft are the three tread compounds used, depending on the tyre. For example, Smart Plus compound was developed to be tougher for the gravel specific tyres and the Elite XP endurance training tyre. The Challenge factory is based in Thailand, right where the rubber trees are. Rubber experts are on hand for every compound creation making the best tread materials each time.

The benefits of flexible casings

Challenge handmade tyres have flexible casings. The sidewalls remain supple and can react to small bumps when riding because they are not impregnated with rubber like regular vulcanised/moulded tyres.
The handmade tyre is a flat form construction. When inflated it assumes a rounded profile, more than with vulcanised tyres. The round shape affords best cornering grip and is best at absorbing small bumps.

Casing Materials / Tyre Series

There are four types of material used in Challenge casings, Silk, Cotton, Polyester and Nylon. They are chosen depending on the ride quality intended for each tyre. For the handmade tyres think of the Silk, Cotton, Polyester similar to shirt you might wear, made of the same material. Nylon is only used on the vulcanised/moulded tyres.

Silk is a strong, very soft, natural fibre material. Amazing for performance tyre casings but expensive and the difficult construction means they are kept almost exclusively for the highest level of competition.
ULTRA series tyres use sealed silk (SETA) casings with 1000tpi (threads per inch) which that allows the tyre to perform at the ultimate level. The sealing is the same "S" treatment as used on the TE and SC series tyres.

Cotton is naturally soft and supple material compared to Nylon. Challenge's Corespun Cotton thread delivers the ideal balance of high performance and price.
TE and SC series tyres have a high 320tpi thread count. TE (Team Edition - cyclocross) and SC (Service Course - road, tri, time trial and track) are Challenge "S" treated, a waterproof sealant to protect the casings, extend life. No additional sealants are required on the casings.

SuperPoly polyester is a synthetic fibre stronger and softer than nylon and resistant to water. Challenge's SuperPoly casings are the more affordable handmade tyres.
PRO series tyres are 220/260/300tpi depending on model. They are almost as supple as the Corespun Cotton but far softer than Nylon. The casing is impervious to water and so make the best value handmade tyres.

Nylon and Nylon Superlight is affordable and good for the construction of vulcanised/moulded tyres.
RACE series are vulcanised/moulded tyres (not handmade) so more affordable. 120tpi is still a higher than normal thread count. Nylon Superlight is used on the vulcanised Tubeless Ready tyres to improve compliance and performance over the regular RACE tyres.

Technical Features

PPS - Puncture Protection Strip is a special fabric placed between the tread and casing to protect against punctures but not hinder the flexibility or performance of the tyre.
PPS Ganzo - A higher level of puncture protection utilising a multi-component fabric strip with a tighter weave that still remains flexible.

PPS2 - In addition to PPS, an second layer of protection placed in the inner surface of the casing. Typically on tyres intended for rough surfaces or gravel.

Corazza Armor - Reinforced casing for gravel specific tyres utilising double layer 220/260TPI SuperPoly for durability and stability.

Chafer bead protection strip and seating line. Additional protection at the tyre bead on handmade clinchers and handmade TLR tyres. Should the rim have sharper edges, it protects against chaffing during the supple movement of the tyre. Also acts as a useful guide that the tyre is seated evenly on the rim, especially useful on handmade tubeless tyres.

Latex Inner Tube - Used in Challenge tubular and tubeless tubular tyres. Available as accessory inner tubes for clincher tyres. Challenge's own latex formula delivers higher resistance to punctures due to elasticity. Unique seamless construction, no bumps for smooth ride. Lightweight, supple performance for less rolling resistance than rubber butyl tubes. Will require more regular inflation.

Tubeless Tubular - Construction type on certain models only. All the benefits of handmade tubulars but in a tyre that can be "plugged" in an emergency. The construction carefully fuses the seamless latex inner tube to the casing.

Vulcanized Clinchers - To make a standard Vulcanized Clincher (V-CL), nylon mesh is dipped in a bath of butyl rubber and then squeezed between large steel rollers to create the casing. Due to a lower thread count there are larger spaces between threads and these fill with “bouncy” butyl rubber. The final casing is about 50-70% nylon and 30-50% butyl rubber (higher thread count, less rubber). The casing is combined with the butyl tread rubber and vulcanized (heat moulded) into the clincher shape. VCL is a durable tyre but not as comfortable or as high performance as handmade tyres.

Vulcanized Tubeless Ready - Challenge introduced Vulcanized Tubeless Ready (V-TLR) tyres when the ISO and ETRTO standards were completed. These standards ensure your safety and the ability to fit and service the tyres with hand tools. By eliminating the inner tube it is possible to lower the weight and lower the tyre pressure safely when used in conjunction with a sealant. This helps create a softer, more comfortable ride with lower rolling resistance and so V-TLR offers convenience when used with sealants. However, the extra rubber needed to seal the air in V-TLR tyres will compromise performance, so handmade tubeless tyres (H-TLR) are better for high performance riding.

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