Gravel Grinder News: Challenge Tires Debuts Getaway 700c X 40mm Tire – Guitar Ted
One of the earliest purveyors of a true gravel tire was Challenge Tires. They had a tire called the ‘Gravel Grinder‘ as far back as 2013. The Almanzo tire is another model that they introduced at about the same time. However; since that time Challenge has been pretty quiet and have lived on the backs of those two gravel models (along with the Strada Bianca) since. That is until today. Challenge Tire now introduces the Getaway tire in a 700c X 40mm.
What It Is: Challenge Tire is probably best known as a cyclo-cross tire maker and many of their tires are handmade, using a technique that very few other companies use. The construction techniques used in Challenge Tires, along with their high thread count casings, insure a supple ride with great low rolling resistance traits. Here’s what Challenge has to say about the Getaway tires:
“Challenge Tires introduces the GETAWAY, a new all-around gravel tire built with the latest gravel-specific construction and a gravel tread designed to take you beyond where the pavement ends to where the terrain is less maintained. Its tread includes a tightly packed, fast rolling center for straight line control and speed, open transition knobs for either sandy or wet terrain, and more aggressive shoulder knobs for controlled cornering and stability in loose conditions.“
Some new features of the Getaway tires includes the following:
- CORAZZA ARMOR- A double layer 260TPI SuperPoly casing that delivers maximum sidewall protection while retaining a very supple and comfortable ride. As an additional touch, a bead-to-bead latex-based inner coating further improves puncture protection while greatly reducing air pressure dissipation.
- GANZO PPS – Puncture Protection System: The all new GANZO PPS puncture protection system is a highly flexible, tighter weave, multi-component puncture protection fabric placed between the tread and the casing. This new PPS structure is lighter, more puncture resistant, and retains Challenge’s supple ride.
- SMARTplus COMPOUND: This is a special high durometer, natural rubber SMARTplus compound. This new compound reduces wear, enhances durability and the SMARTplus rubber compound still retains all of the natural rubber properties like shock-absorption, better control and reduced rolling resistance, a handy combination when riding on varying terrain.
- CHAFER ARAMID BEAD PROTECTION STRIP: A bead protection strip to enhance longevity by reducing the effects of chafing, or rubbing, that can occur with a rim’s carbon bead hooks.
As of this writing, the Challenge tires Getaway is only offered in the 700c X 40mm size with a tan sidewall. Pricing is set at $85.99 / €77.90 each. Availability is set for late this month, so very soon.
First Impressions; It has been several years ago now, but when “Gravel Grinder News” was its own stand alone site, we tested several Challenge Tire models. The handmade versions of the Almanzo being one of those. We also tested the vulcanized version of the Gravel Grinder. Challenge handmade tires are unique in that they appear as a very flat, layered loop when you purchase them, and these Getaway handmade TLR tires are similar in appearance. Also, Challenge Tires have a very distinct smell, and these Getaway tires also have this aroma. (Not that this is going to affect anything with riding, just making a note here) So, there were some familiar things which were immediately apparent with the Getaway.
The tread pattern is interesting. Challenge told me that they were interested in a fast rolling tire but that they wanted to allow for traction and cornering prowess. These are things their sponsored athletes were giving them feedback on with regard to the previous gravel models offered by Challenge. The riders felt that their previous efforts maybe weren’t everything they could be in regards to volume, traction, and speed. So, the Getaway features a tread design and casing which addresses those concerns.
I think the Getaway’s center tread looks vaguely similar to a Donnelly USH in that we have a tightly spaced tread in the center, good for fast rolling and long wear characteristics. Then the tread blocks get more spaced out in the shoulder area ending with larger blocks on the edges, presumably for cornering traction and stability. I’d say the Getaway looks a bit more aggressive, but not by much, then something like a Gravel King. Challenge mentioned that the speed characteristics were enhanced by placing the tread pattern over a more rounded casing which was the preferred set up of their testers.
Our test set of tires were shipped to Riding Gravel directly from the factory so we do not have any of the point-of-sale packaging, but you can see from the images here that the tread blocks are not all that deep or prominent. This keeps weight low, for one thing. Challenge Tires claims each Getaway tire should be about 460gms. Our test pair came in at 458/469gms, so right in the ballpark.
Tubeless Performance; The Challenge Tires handmade series can be a , well……..challenge to mount! The Getaway is no different. This wasn’t my first rodeo with the flat casing of a Challenge tire, but the tubeless ready factor was making the installation a bit more difficult. Thankfully Challenge Tires sent along their handy Smart Bead Seating Tool with which I was able to use to make short work of the installation. Without it this would have been a curse-inducing affair, no doubt.
Challenge also sent along a bottle of their Smart Tubeless Sealant specified for their tires. It is ammonia free and won’t harm rims or tires. With this sealant and the tires mounted I was able to pump up the Getaway tires with a floor pump rather easily. After inflating to 40psi, a measurement was taken. The tires measured at 40.8mm on the Spinergy GXX rims which is spot on. We will have to watch and see if the Getaway tires stretch any during the test period.
So Far…The Challenge Tire Getaway model is a welcomed addition to the range of fast, light, 38-42mm range of tires for gravel. It seems that this type and size range of gravel tires is not seeing a lot of new development lately with many companies focusing on larger tires not really focused on speed. The Getaway is an unusually made tire with some unique characteristics. It is difficult to mount but airs up easily, is the stated size upon installation, and upon first impressions seems to be a fast rolling and comfortable tire.
I’ll have more upcoming in my “Checkpoint” post after I have put some gravel miles on the Getaway tires. This may be delayed somewhat by weather related issues, but stay tuned and I will be back as soon as I can.
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.