Challenge Strada Bianca 700C 30mm tyres  £48.00

9/10

Big, comfy all-conditions tyre that rolls like race rubber

Weight 358g   Contact  www.paligap.cc

by Dave Atkinson   April 28, 2014  

Challenge Strada Bianca tyre

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You'll never guess what this Challenge Strada Bianca tyre is designed for. The Strade Bianche race uses the white gravel roads of Tuscany and this 30mm racing tyre is just what you need for that kind of thing. It's a brilliant all-rounder that's fast enough for nearly any road use, but with hugely improved comfort.

You'll need a particular kind of frame to fit the Strada Bianca. Most endurance road bikes top out at 28mm tyres so you're really looking at gravel racers, 'cross bikes and their ilk. Ours went on our on-test Kinesis Tripster ATR which will handle tyres up to 40mm, so there was plenty of room.

Like all Challenge tyres they're lovingly made by hand. These tyres use a slightly lower thread count (260TPI) than the 300TPI racing tubulars but it's still high-quality stuff; most road tyres are 60-120TPI. The herringbone tread is hand-glued to the carcass and the whole thing arrives flat-packed.

Getting them on the rim for the first time is a fairly sweary experience as they're not tyre-shaped like a moulded machine-made tyre. I managed to blow out a tube by not getting them seated properly. The longer they're fitted for, the more shape they get.

Out on the road they're fantastic. You can run them at hitherto-untried low pressures with little or no danger of flatting them on the potholes. I'm over 100kg and I was running them at 70-80psi a lot of the time. They roll extremely well and at 358g they're not heavyweights. It's not like sticking a set of Marathons on. These feel like race tyres, they really do, except loads more comfortable. If you want comfort on long rides but still want to go fairly fast, there are not many better tyres I can name.

Grip from the herringbone tread is good, especially on loose climbs where the suppleness of the casing and the extra width means there's more rubber in contact with the ground at any one time.

I've also tested Challenge's Paris-Roubaix tyre, which was decent but suffered from punctures. This Strada Bianca has a beefed-up puncture strip and I haven't flatted them once. Running at a lower pressure tends to result in fewer flats from thorns and flints penetrating the tyre carcass anyway, and you can go pretty low with these. That and the extra protection make these a much better all-round choice than the narrower Paris-Roubaix rubber, if your frame will take them.

They're about 90g heavier per wheel but it's a weight penalty worth paying. They don't have the all-out protection of a full winter tyre but they're hardy enough for more than the summer. They're certainly not cheap at £48 a pop, but that's the only downside, really.

Verdict

Big, comfy all-conditions tyre that rolls like race rubber.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Challenge Strada Bianca 700x30c tyre

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Designed for Gravel racing. Proven Paris-Roubaix tread pattern. New formula, lower wearing tread. PPS-2 double puncture protection strip. Low rolling resistance with increased casing volume, achieving a new level of control, puncture resistance and comfort.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Use: Road & gravel racing / touring

Size: 28"

Width: 30 mm

Weight: 390 gr

TPI: 260

Bead: -

Casing: SuperPoly

Flat

protection: Double PPS

BAR: 4-10

PSI: 60-150

Inner tube: latex

Color: Black-Tan

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Lovingly hand-made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

They're just great. Comfy and fast.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Wearing pretty well, good puncture resistance.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

For a big tyre, very light.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

About as comfy as a slick tyre gets.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

They're not cheap but they're decent value for the performance.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Excellently.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Feel, weight, speed.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Hard to intially fit.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium 853

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

14 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I use schwalbe marathon plus 32 mm on my Boardman. I like the comfort and haven't found them to be drag on my speed. I use them because I don't want to have punctures. In several thousand miles on various MP tyres
I haven't had one puncture.

Once I have worn down these and my pair of 28mm then I might consider trying these, by then there will be plenty of reviews to their longevity and puncture resistance.

posted by CXR94Di2 [60 posts]
28th April 2014 - 8:25

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These look great, but £48 an end is pretty punchy.

A group-test of big-ish tyres would be a Very Useful Thing.

posted by BigDummy [280 posts]
29th April 2014 - 10:12

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the latest Challenge Paris Roubaix tyre has the same double PPS as this one and is now 300tpi, so probably a better allrounder for UK roads as it is also 70g lighter per tyre.

posted by Metjas [274 posts]
29th April 2014 - 16:36

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BigDummy wrote:
These look great, but £48 an end is pretty punchy.

True, but that is just the RRP. The similar Eroica (30mm) has the same RRP but can be had for under £ 40, as can the Parigi-Roubaix (27mm). Still not cheap mind, even Open Paves can be had for 70 quid or so a pair.

BigDummy wrote:
A group-test of big-ish tyres would be a Very Useful Thing.

I'd love to see that too - any chance gents ?

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [297 posts]
29th April 2014 - 19:19

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A power to speed comparison test is what I would like to see between the widths please.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [490 posts]
29th April 2014 - 22:25

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Flying Scot wrote:
A power to speed comparison test is what I would like to see between the widths please.

Here is some information.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/rolling_resistance#which

Google will find more.

posted by felixcat [204 posts]
29th April 2014 - 22:36

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I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [172 posts]
29th April 2014 - 23:18

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+1. That was the article that first got me interested in the Michelin Pro4s (and introduced me to Serfas, never heard of them before). Still be nice to have a big ol'test with some of the more current/readily available fat tyres.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [297 posts]
30th April 2014 - 9:53

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Metjas wrote:
the latest Challenge Paris Roubaix tyre has the same double PPS as this one and is now 300tpi, so probably a better allrounder for UK roads as it is also 70g lighter per tyre.

the paris-roubaix tyre certainly doesn't have the same PPS as the strada bianca, as i received both at the same time and currently have them fitted to different bikes.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7261 posts]
30th April 2014 - 12:45

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
Metjas wrote:
the latest Challenge Paris Roubaix tyre has the same double PPS as this one and is now 300tpi, so probably a better allrounder for UK roads as it is also 70g lighter per tyre.

the paris-roubaix tyre certainly doesn't have the same PPS as the strada bianca, as i received both at the same time and currently have them fitted to different bikes.


that's interesting - my understanding and the details on the Challenge website indicate that for 2014 the Paris Roubaix tyre has been upgraded to the same double puncture protection layer that the Strada Bianca has, and now also 300tpi. I know paligap is trying to shift the previous 260tpi, single PPS tyres first - any chance you got one of these instead?

posted by Metjas [274 posts]
30th April 2014 - 13:16

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Metjas wrote:
Dave Atkinson wrote:
Metjas wrote:
the latest Challenge Paris Roubaix tyre has the same double PPS as this one and is now 300tpi, so probably a better allrounder for UK roads as it is also 70g lighter per tyre.

the paris-roubaix tyre certainly doesn't have the same PPS as the strada bianca, as i received both at the same time and currently have them fitted to different bikes.


that's interesting - my understanding and the details on the Challenge website indicate that for 2014 the Paris Roubaix tyre has been upgraded to the same double puncture protection layer that the Strada Bianca has, and now also 300tpi. I know paligap is trying to shift the previous 260tpi, single PPS tyres first - any chance you got one of these instead?

maybe, although that wouldn't be the greatest idea on their part Wink

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7261 posts]
1st May 2014 - 16:32

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Mine are on. It was a sweary experience. Hopefully they'll take shape now. Test ride tomorrow. Hope they roll well and are resistant. Really don't fancy roadside repairs!

posted by bendertherobot [253 posts]
1st May 2014 - 18:44

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So, with archetypes and 28-35c tyres they don't work. Impossible to seat properly and squirmy when cornering. Double blowout on way home so back to randonneur pro

posted by bendertherobot [253 posts]
6th May 2014 - 18:12

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Should read 28-35c tubes! Apparently, in the link above, they used 25c tubes

posted by bendertherobot [253 posts]
6th May 2014 - 18:13

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