Challenge has developed a new Team Edition S tubular tire line that is claimed to have improved traction, cornering, casing protection, and speed. They also have a new tread pattern dubbed the Dune, which as you’ve surely guessed is designed to excel in sandy conditions.
Changes to the new Team Edition S tire line includes a proprietary softer rubber compound in the tread that’s designed to improve traction, providing more grip on climbs and descents, while increasing confidence in corners. The new softer compound also allows Challenge to tune the tread’s base rubber to both reduce weight and further improve tread flexibility. Combined with an ultra supple 320TPI corespun cotton casing and a seamless latex inner tube, the tire deforms to create a larger contact patch to better absorb trail imperfections. This helps boost traction and lessen bounce to reduce rolling resistance.
The tires also utilize tread-to-base tape sidewall coating that is applied in a thin coat that improves casing flexibility, reduces water absorption, and maintains a brighter appearance. The factory-applied sealant binds and seals each cotton thread to keep the entire casing clean and dry, maintaining low weight and a shiny white appearance. That means less time hand-treating sidewalls with messy, unhealthy, solvent-based sealant.
All that said, cotton tubulars still require additional care, as their casings are more delicate than other materials. Though Challenge Team Edition tires come pre-sealed, it is important to pay careful attention to wear and re-seal as raw fibers begin to show. Also, avoid heavy scrubbing, direct power washing, and cleaning with chemicals or solvents as these can damage the cotton casing. Store them lightly inflated and round in a dry, dark, room-temperature place.
For more information visit www.challengetech.it.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview’s coverage of the 2016 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.