|Posted||8 hours ago|
Challenge Grifo 32 Pro Cross clincher tyres - 1pair
The Challenge Grifo 32 Pro Cross is a really good all-round cyclo-cross tyre, versatile enough to cope with a range of conditions from hardpack to muddy fields, making it a good fit-and-forget tyre whether you're racing or riding cyclo-cross for fun.
Tyre choice is important in cyclo-cross. Top racers will have a shedload of tyres designed to excel in specific conditions, but if you want just one tyre that copes well with the usual range of conditions you can expect to encounter in the UK, the Grifo is a really good choice. Away from racing and riding cyclo-cross for fun, the tyre also strikes the right balance between speed on firmer trails and roads, with enough grip for all but the very muddiest conditions.
The tread pattern is key to the tyres performance. A directional low profile tread comprising a row of wide central paddles interrupted by small arrow-shaped blocks, and flanked by half circle and smaller circle blocks. This tread design produces a tyre with good rolling resistance. On the road and other hard-packed surfaces the tyre has a decent turn of speed. Away from the road the tyre finds good grip on grass, dirt and gravel, and isn't bad in the mud. Straight line speed is excellent, and there's good grip in the corners when you bank the bike over.
It provides a nice supple ride quality at a range of tyre pressures, and does well to absorb a lot of bumps and shocks, especially on rough hard surfaces. At 330g it's not the lightest cyclo-cross tyre for a 32mm width but unless you're taking your racing extremely seriously (in which case you're probably only riding tubulars) it's not enough to worry about. It's been a robust tyre - even at low pressures the sidewalls stand up well and cope with impacts.
Since moving to the countryside, I've been out on the cyclo-cross bike a lot more, and have been riding these tyres on a multitude of surfaces. From mud-covered roads to around the edges of fields, muddy bridleways and dirty singletrack, they've proved to be excellent tyres that offer few compromises. It's possible to overcome the tyres' ability to find traction on muddy slopes over a certain gradient. They do clear quickly however so don't clog up too badly when the mud is a consistency approaching clay.
With a decent pressure they fly along the road with little speed penalty over a race slick, yet the moment the surface gets muddy and slippery the tread finds bags of traction. If you're into cyclo-cross for adventure and to mix up your winter riding, and aren't happy with the stock tyres on your bike, the Grifo is a well-priced upgrade.
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