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The Hutchinson Challenger Tubeless tyre is one of the first in the durable training tubeless road tyre category – and Hutchison calls it the 'perfect all-season road tyre'. Unlike a lot of tubeless tyres that are aimed at competitive riders, these are targeted at those of us who want a fit-and-forget solution that you can use in winter, without the fear that they'll puncture easily.
As a fan of tubeless road tyres for racing, I've always hankered after a heavy-duty tubeless tyre for the hard months of winter – and with its new Challenger tubeless tyres Hutchinson has done exactly that.
With a claimed life of 10,000km, and high puncture resistance of forces up to 170 Newtons, this should be near the top of the list for those of us looking for the best winter tyres.
Installing these tyres was a breeze, and even with some older rim brake wheels they went up easily, so you shouldn't have any issues mounting them on newer, tubeless-specific rims. They don't come up particularly wide either, so you don't need to worry about clearance issues with an inflated tyre coming up wider than the stated size.
Hutchinson claims that these 'can be run without sealant', thanks to its air-tight 'AIRSHIELD'. This uses two high-performing sealing compounds on the inside of the tyre to keep everything airtight. That said, I wasn't prepared to go out on Britain's roads in winter without the extra security of having sealant for protection.
Both the 28mm and 32mm options are compatible with hookless rims, which is an added bonus, though as I don't use hookless I wasn't able to put this particular quality to the test.
Riding these has been an absolute joy – they have a very good ride quality, especially when compared with older all-season tyres such as Continental's Gatorskins. The Hutchinsons have much more grip in both wet and dry conditions and a less harsh ride. They are less comfortable than a super-supple race tyre though not by a great amount, which is an excellent achievement for what is a training-cum-endurance tyre.
I've put in over 1,000km on these so far and have found them comfortable regardless of the length of the ride, which is impressive considering the state of Britain's winter roads. I suffered no punctures or unexpected air loss, though I found I did need to top up the pressure every week or two.
The tyres use a 3x127 TPI [threads per inch] carcass, matched with a new Hutchinson Endurance Bi-Compound, with softer shoulders (53 ShA durometer rating) and a harder central tread (62 Sha). In practice this means the tyre is harder in the middle and softer on the edges, a combination designed to reduce rolling resistance while still retaining good cornering grip.
And the grip is impressive – this was effective to the extent that when I took a slightly off-camber corner a little faster than I'd intended to, I think I might have hit the floor if I'd been using some other winter tyres. No problems with the Challengers. They gave me sufficient grip to keep me upright in what could have been a very hairy moment...
Hutchinson is aiming these tyres at ultra riding and winter training, and while it's early days so far, the way they've held up leads me to believe these might be some of the best tyres out there for these applications. With the puncture-resistant, hard-wearing compound and decent comfort, I'd have no issues on using these for bikepacking adventures or through a winter of tough training on the worst roads Britain can throw at us.
At £54 per tyre these aren't cheap – but they're much less expensive than some of the tyres they're up against. Stu loved the GP5000 All Season TR tyres for their grip and rolling resistance but was less enamoured by their near-ninety quid price. This makes the Hutchinsons an attractive proposition, especially if you get anything like the claimed 10,000km.
A training tyre that comes in at a slightly dearer price than the Hutchinson is the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons tyre, at £64.99. Once again Stu was very impressed, praising them for their toughness and their performance in all conditions.
If you're looking to spend a fair bit less for a tough all-weather tyre the Specialized Roubaix Pro has an RRP of just £35 but you can usually find it for much less. But in spite of the modest price Chris praised it for its excellent all-weather grip. Oh, and the price...
A well-priced tyre with a performance that equals that of its more expensive competitors? Great grip whatever the conditions? Easy to set up as tubeless? Throw in these factors and add a claimed 10,000km lifespan, which my early experience suggests could be accurate, make these one of the top winter trainer-cum endurance tyre you can buy.
Ultra-long-lasting tyre with very high puncture resistance and decent comfort and grip
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hutchinson Challenger tyres
Size tested: 700x25
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?
Hutchinson says: 'Meet the Hutchinson Challenger TLR Road Tyre: the future of ultra-endurance cycling. Crafted meticulously for those who seek both durability and performance, this tyre offers unbeatable puncture protection and an impressive lifespan of up to 10,000km.
Unparalleled durability: Designed with a double tread reinforcement ensuring longevity through the most challenging terrains.
Expert puncture resistance: Features the revolutionary HARDSHIELD™ technology, offering protection levels never seen in a performance road tyre.
Superior comfort: Benefit from the AIRSHIELD™ anti-air loss technology that eliminates common tubeless issues and enhances ride smoothness.
All-season readiness: Developed with Hutchinson's legacy in tubeless technologies, the Challenger TLR ensures safe and confident handling in all weather conditions.
Trustworthy performance: Used in the world's toughest ultra-endurance road race, the Transcontinental Race, and proven to deliver.
Imagine cycling with a peace of mind, knowing that your tyre has undergone rigorous testing to withstand the harshest of terrains and conditions. The Hutchinson Challenger TLR provides not just that security, but also ensures that every ride, whether it's an everyday training session or an ultra-endurance adventure, is smooth and comfortable. It's not merely a tyre; it's a promise of longevity, performance, and unmatched protection.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Tubeless Ready version of the Challenger
Hookless compatible from 28
The tyre of the iconic Transcontinental Race
The toughest road tyre on the market thanks to its double tread reinforcement
Preventive fluid only protects the tyre in the event of damage
A dual compound for good grip and a 10,000km lifespan
Tubeless Ready (TR), fits tubeless rims with no inner tube and also standard rims with inner tube
HardShield (HSH), textile grid reinforcement
Weight: 385g approx.
A very nicely made tyre.
While not as snappy and quick feeling as a top-notch race tyre, for a training tyre these perform excellently.
With 1,000km under my belt so far without any signs of wear, the portents are good – so it looks likes Hutchinson's claims for 10,000km could be realistic, which would be quite an achievement.
At 385g per tyre these are no lightweight option, but low weight isn't supposed to be their raison d'etre – durability is.
I've been impressed with their comfort for what is quite a tough training tyre.
If these tyres last as long as Hutchinson says they will, then the price of £54 per tyre is pretty good in today's market.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These have held up very well as training tyres, coping with 1,000km on Britain's winter roads.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I love that they're such a long-lasting tyre designed for tubeless use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They don't feel as zingy as a race tyre.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are significantly cheaper than the Continental 5000 S All Season TR and a little less than the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons .
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – very much so
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are very impressive training tubeless tyres, with the credentials to be a fan favourite for winter, thanks to what appears to be impressive puncture resistance, and what an incredible claimed lifespan. Along with that, they are comfy to ride, and grip well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Storck Aerfast My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,