Tubular - The highest performance tubulars begin with Challenge’s high thread count casings. These are sewn into a carcass with a seamless Latex inner tube inside. This structure is then mounted on tubular rims and inflated. Skilled craftsmen hand-glue natural (non-petroleum based) rubber treads onto the inflated carcass. This process allows the tread to take the shape of the inflated tire, preventing tension between the tread and carcass and retaining ideal flexibility.
The combination of this process with high thread-count casings and Latex tubes results in tires with lower rolling resistance and increased comfort offering a safer and more precise handling of the bike. These tires absorbs irregularities in the road surface with their subtle give and slight deformation, increasing surface contact and guaranteeing both shock absorption and great grip while cornering.
During this process, tubulars receive base tape, applied over the stitches to protect them from the glue used to attach these tires to tubular rims and some have a PPS (Puncture Protection Strip) between the treads and the casing in order to increase puncture resistance.
Latex - Challenge sources high-grade natural Latex to produce the only seamless Latex inner tube on the market. Due to the lack of seams, these tubes have no bumps or added weight that commonly cause a tire to feel out of round. This also improves the overall strength of the tubes as seams are commonly the weak point on an inner tube.
Latex inner tubes are also very elastic, allowing them to initially wrap around a foreign object, rather than immediately puncturing.
Warning: because of its elasticity, installation of a Latex tube requires the skills of an experienced hand. Latex tubes can be more prone to pinch flats if not installed properly.
Puncture Protection Strip (PPS) - The Puncture Protection Strip is a special aramid fabric placed between a tire’s tread and casing to increase resistance to punctures. Some tires designed for use on rough roads, cobbles and gravel receive PPS2, an additional layer of PPS between the casing and the inner tube.
Handmade - Every Challenge tubular and open tubular is produced by hand. This handmade process minimizes the use of heat treatments and specifically avoids the industry-standard extreme heat treatment called vulcanization. By resisting these common practices, Challenge is able to provide the ultimate quality standard in high-performance products.
Our handmade production allows our treads, casings and inner tubes to maintain their original suppleness and flexibility, achieving the best grip for controlled cornering, rapid accelerations and flat-out speed. A supple Challenge tire is able to absorb and reduce harmful vibrations passing from the road to the body, normally produced by riding stiffer vulcanized tires, ultimately reducing muscle stiffness, inflammation and fatigue.