Challenge Criterium RS handmade tubeless tyre
Disclaimer: the product in this review was bought from a store and NOT funded by the brands and manufacturers who are critiqued.
I don't like standing on the side of the road fixing flats. I never had to do that again with tubeless and I have been riding only tubeless for 5 years at this point.
These are not my first tyres from Challenge. Previously I've been rolling on the Strada Pro handmade tubeless tyres. Previously I was using Continental GP 5000 TL tyres. The Strada Pros were a huge upgrade. Could not tell the difference if they rolled better or if they had better grip, but the ride quality has improved alot, the rubber deformed better to small road imperfections and absorbed road buzz better. My hands were not getting tired because of vibrations, and nothing has changed with the bike setup.
I tought to myself, I found the perfect setup and I can ride all day long without any discomfort.
My old Strada Pros were wearing out, they were full off holes and the sealant was slowly but constantly leaking out and not sealing. It was time to change them, or event better, upgrade them?
I discovered that Challenge has launched the Criterium RS tubeless tyre. They were advertised as "providing refined control and shock absorption capabilities". Could my ride get more comfortable? I had to get a pair. My ordered Criterium RS tyres have arrived.
I removed the old tyres, washed out the sealant, replaced the rim tape. I wrestled the new tires on. At this point I got used to the idea that all tubeless tyres are like this. Was trying to seat the beads so I can add the sealant and not make a mess. Could not seat the bead with a floor pump and pressure tank, either with CO2 cartiges. At this point it is getting annoying. Eventually I decide to add the sealant in and try it again. To my relief this worked. Never had this with previous installs.
When out for a short ride. I could tell immediately that something was different. After riding 30km over not so great roads I was still smiling. I could not believe that my ride can get more comfortable. The Strada Pro resolved the issue with road buzz, the Criterium RS improved on that by reducing shock from hitting bumps, holes or when going over asphalt cracks or tram lines.
There are 2 things I don't like about them, they could cost less and it is a hassle to install them. But as soon as you go out and ride, you forget about the struggles and enjoy the comfortable ride.
*Technical specifications and marketing jargons are available on the manufacturer's page.
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