Challenge Tires Getaway: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
At the end of 2020 Challenge Tires released a new gravel tire called the Getaway. We received a pair for evaluation and our first impressions of this brand new tire can be found here. In this post I have impressions from running the Getaway in various conditions and on surfaces ranging from pavement, single track, and several types of gravel. I’ll also let you in on how the Getaway does with different air pressures and how it is holding up as a tubeless tire.
Tubeless Performance: As mentioned in the introduction, the Getaway is a difficult tire to mount and the Challenge Tires mounting tool is definitely recommended for this tire. Once you get beyond that, and bag a few miles on the Getaway, the tubeless performance is outstanding. I noted that the air retention on the Getaway tires is above average. The stretch has been minimal as well. The latest measurement at 40psi is 41.5mm. That’s a little less than a millimeter over our first measurements at 40psi of 40.8mm. This is better than I expected, to be honest.
Ride Performance; I know that the handmade construction and high thread count casings Challenge employs for many of their tires, including these Getaways, makes for a smoother, more comfortable ride. The one thing I had forgotten about a more supple casing is that you typically have to run higher pressures than you normally do. That nicer casing is going to ‘give’ a bit more easily over the rough stuff, so at speed, you need to have a bit more air in there to prevent rim strikes. I noted that I could bottom out the tire against the rim at moderate speeds using an air pressure in the lower 30’s, which I can easily get away with using most any other puncture protected tire. not so much with the Getaway.
So, I have settled on pumping these up indoors to right at 40psi and whatever the cold air does after that is where I am riding at for pressures. So, somewhat less than that, obviously. The supple casings do work well over rougher roads, and on dirt single track, I had plenty of grip, even with a slightly greasy surface. I was a bit surprised by that, but honestly, I shouldn’t have been, given Challenge Tires’ pedigree on dirt in cyclo cross racing.
Another characteristic of the Getaway that I was skeptical of was the very rounded casing profile. Challenge says that their testers preferred this rounded crown over flatter ones during testing for the development of the Getaway. Generally speaking, very peaked, rounded casings such as the Getaway’s result in poor handling on loose, crushed rock.
But the Getaway’s supple casing won me over by making the tire casing work over the looser rock I rode. I went over and did not plow through it, as I would have with a more typically constructed casing with a very rounded crown. This also resulted in a very stable ride over loose gravel, which was very surprising to me. Not only that, but the obvious was also apparent- A very smooth ride quality.
As you also may guess, the Getaway has a very fast roll due to its lower rolling resistance and peaked profile which leaves less of a contact patch on harder surfaces. This was very much noticed on all of my test rides versus anything else I have mounted up for tires currently.
So Far… The Challenge Tires Getaway is looking to be one of the better choices for anyone who wants a fast tire for racing purposes, or for anyone looking for a very smooth riding tire in the 40mm range. I’m impressed by the Getaway’s stability in looser crushed rock, and the tubeless performance is top notch, once you get past the very difficult mounting process.
This is one of the more expensive tires for gravel bikes you can buy currently. So, the question of durability and longevity would be nice to have answered since some tires are close to the performance levels of the Getaway but cost a good twenty less per tire. I’ll be running these as much as I can over the remainder of Winter into Spring. Hopefully I can form an opinion on this by the time I file my final verdict on the Getaway. But beyond that, I am very impressed so far by these Getaway tires.
Stay tuned for the final installment on this review, likely to be posted in March 2021.
For more information on Challenge Tires see their website here: https://www.challengetires.com/
Note: Challenge Tires sent over the Getaway tires, Smart Bead Seating Tool, and Smart Sealant for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.