Leading up to Roubaix, we often see riders training on a variety of wheel and tire combinations. Many factors go into their final race-day selection, but one thing is certain: tires will always be wider than their standard racing setups. It's no secret why these bigger tires are the preferred choice for gravel, cobbles, and dirt -- they provide better cornering and traction, are less prone to flats, and most importantly, they provide a more comfortable ride when compared to narrower options. These are reasons that Challenge designed its 27mm-wide, ultra-supple Paris Roubaix Tubular Tires.
With a name that represents the pinnacle of the classics races, Challenge's Paris Roubaix was built to provide a compliant ride, regardless of road surfaces. Challenge accomplished this using its hand-made, highly puncture-resistant and lightweight Super Poly casing. With 260 threads per inch (TPI), you receive a remarkably supple ride -- and it's a difference that you'll feel the first time out. On top of the casing, Challenge added a belt of corespun polyester. Essentially, this means that the casing fibers are made by twisting staple cotton fibers around a central filament core, creating one yarn from multiple fibers. As a result, the material is between 40 and 50% stronger than typically spun materials, while retaining a similar, if not lower, overall weight. This second layer is what Challenge calls its PPS (Puncture Protection System), and it's specifically made from the tightly woven polyester material to preserve the casing's supple feel.
For the tread, Challenge used its proven file-like herringbone pattern. This low-profile tread perfectly blends speed and grip. This final layer was applied using Challenge's proven hand-glued method, which involves mounting and then inflating the casing on a wheel. Only then does Challenge carefully glue on the tread layer. As a result, the tread isn't put under tension when you inflate the tire on your wheel, and that lack of tension leads to lower rolling-resistance, added grip, and increased comfort.
The Challenge Paris Roubaix Tubular Tire is available in a 700c x 27mm size and in the colors Black/black and Black/tan. Each tire weighs in around 325 grams. Please note that Challenge gave this tire a latex inner tube to save as much weight and roll as fast as possible. Because latex is more porous than butyl rubber, you'll have to pump up a bit before your rides.