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I'm making the move to tubulars. I saw on cyclocrossworld that Challenge Grifo 32's are on sale for $69. Anyone have any feedback on these? Would I be better off spending the extra coin on Tufo Flexus'? Input appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Tubies

I have not ridden the flexus so I won't try and compare them. I have used the red tufo (middle level) and the challenge a fair amount.

The challenge is a softer feeling tire than either the lower or middle level tufo. It has cotton sidewalls and a latex tube. It grips well and feels good. The downside is that as a consequence they are not as durable as the Tufo's. I don't think I have ever worn the tread down on a challenge before it tore a sidewall or otherwise went flat. I did recently send one off for a retubing and new base tape ($20 bucks) so a flat is not the end of the world. As a pure race tire I think they are superior to the Tufo's I have tried. Factoring in cost and overall durability it becomes a harder choice (the Tufo sealant works well although it sealed tires don't feel [could be in my mind] as fast [I only use sealant after a flat and then turn the tire into a spare/training tire]).

You might also look at the Victorria Cross tubular. I just got a set (haven't used them) and they look just as supple as the Champion and seem to be priced a bit less.

hope this helps you decide.

jhr
 

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crossbishop said:
I'm making the move to tubulars. I saw on cyclocrossworld that Challenge Grifo 32's are on sale for $69. Anyone have any feedback on these? Would I be better off spending the extra coin on Tufo Flexus'? Input appreciated. Thanks.
If your thinking of buying those tires there are a few things you need to consider. First and formost where do you live and what is the cross like in your region. If you live in the Rocky mountains or any where that is prone to thorns/has really rocky courses stay clear of that tire and get tufo's. But if you live in some place where the courses are more manicured and european style (eastcoast, northwest) then go with the challenge. To be honest the challenge is a far suppirior tire. Cross has more to do with tire pressure and suppleness than with tread. The tread is not large enough to make a huge difference. That said the challenge is far more supple and rides better than any tufo. I would highly recomend them if you are doing any seriouse racing. I just got back from 7 weeks in europe and lots of the pros even run the challenge, although not as many as those running dugasts.

For the price cyclocross world has them go for it, you will like them and they will improve your racing experiance. But if you live in a rocky place stick with the tufos as they are bomb proof and have decent ride quality.
 

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I've posted on this many times

what makes a real good tubie is less the tread and more the sidewall. really nice,really supple sidewalls allow the tread to conform with the terrain and hook up nicer. Granted Tufo's have a more minimal tread (part of the owners mindset) as they side to the mud shedding over tractionside of the equation. Now supple sidewalls are great, they are light and make a really great feeling tire. The problem is, they are highly succeptible to tears and cuts. Nothing more depressing than putting a 1" sidewall tear in a brand new $70 tub.
So Grifos are great, one of my fave tires, but save them for 'nice' courses. keep them away from rocks,sticks, etc...
best bet in these situations are the Tufo T models. the more expensive Tufos (Prestige, Elite and Flexus will all have similar weaker sidewalls)
 

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maybe wunlap can chime in here. This year Grifos went to a different 'finish' on their sidewalls. It looks like a superthin layer of latex. Did that help sidewall durability? I had good luck with the older type, hopefully these are even better. I'm due for new rubber.
 

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Griffo -v-Flexus

I have the Challenge Griffo's mounted on my Reynolds and the Tufo Flexus' mounted on my Velocity Deep-V's. They are both very nice and supple tires...not up to Dugast standards apparently, but both essentially equal to one another in terms of suppleness. The tread on the Flexus is much more aggressive than the Griffo and the compound is much softer and tackier. I think I can tell a significant difference in cornering on wet grass and in the mud.

In comparing the rubber on Tufo Elites/Prestige, Tufo Flexus and the Challenge Griffo, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the softest and grippiest I would rate the Elite/Prestige at 5, the Griffo at 8 and the Flexus as a 9. On the suppleness scale, I would rate the Tufo Prestige at 4, the Elite at 6 and the Challenge Griffo and Tufo Flexus at 9. On side wall durability I would rate the Tufo Prestige at 8, the Elite at 7, the Flexus at 6 and the Griffo at 5.

One additional factor to consider is that Tufo's can be sealed if there is a small puncture, but as they are tubeless they cannot be rebuilt with a new tube.

The Flexus is much lighter - maybe 100 grams per tire.

Where I have raced rocks and sidewall cuts are not a big problem. I have decided to use the Challenges on the carbon wheels as my dry-fast course tire and have the Flexus on the aluminum rims for muddier and slicker conditions. I will probably opt for Dugasts on the carbon wheels when the Challenges are used up.

BTW, I train on Tufo Prestige clincher-tubulars and hve found these to be a very dependable alternative to clincers.

John
 

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euro-trash said:
maybe wunlap can chime in here. This year Grifos went to a different 'finish' on their sidewalls. It looks like a superthin layer of latex. Did that help sidewall durability? I had good luck with the older type, hopefully these are even better. I'm due for new rubber.
Sorry, haven't used the new grifo except once at nats (day 2) and can't comment on their durability. The new ones have additional side knobs which is a big improvement. I've had great luck for the most part with older grifos and particularly with Dugasts this year, Barb and I basically shared 3 pairs this year and had zero flats (that probably comes to 20 or so races per pair!).
 
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