Challenge Paris-Roubaix Pro Open Tubular tyres

Super-supple tyres worthy of the Hell of the North

Let’s face it, there’s nothing much better looking on a road bike than rubber with tan sidewalls. You’re also unlikely to find tyres with a better name than Paris-Roubaix Pro.

The tyres are made by Challenge, one of the most popular cobble-beating tyre manufacturers around, and in this format are ‘open tubulars’, which are constructed using much of the same manufacturing techniques as full sewn-in tubulars, but with the benefits of clincher-style mounting on the rim.

One of the chief benefits is the avoidance of the process of vulcanisation – when tyre rubber gets heat and pressure treated to fortify it and bind the compound layers together. Instead, like tubulars, these open tubulars have latex and rubber treads that are glued onto the carcass.

This gives much of the suppleness and ride feel of tubulars with the convenience of clinchers, ostensibly for people who aren’t being followed by a marauding armada of team cars and service vehicles. Certainly, the TPI rating of 300 backs this up – these are some of the plushest tyres out there.

They measure up at 27mm – a very Italian size – which allows pressure to be run lower than your standard racing 25c rubber for extra comfort; ideal given the cobble-focus of the tyre.

They also have a grippy close-cut serrated texture on the outer that wraps around the shoulders of the surface, so grip is very good – ideally whether riding cobbles or testing the limits on a fast descent.

Underneath there’s the obligatory double puncture protection layer, matched up with a ‘SuperPoly’ casing that Challenge claim should be able to provide a fair imitation of the natural, more expensive silk or cotton casings the pros ride on, but for much less cost.

Challenge Paris-Roubaix Pro

And, if you’re concerned about the effect of ‘only’ using a standard tube inside one of these open tubulars, fear not because Challenge will also sell you the same latex tubes that are usually sewn into the full tubulars for an even more authentic tubular ride quality.

Oh, and did we mention they have tan sidewalls?



Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

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