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Challenge Gravel Grinder Race Tire

ChallengeGravel Grinder Race Tire(Return to Product Page)

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(53 customer reviews)
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Not too impressed with durability
rating
by Anonymous
Competitive Racer
Seattle area
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

Rear tire got 2 punctures (both sealed with sealant) within the first month of use. One was on rounded fine gravel, second on rail trail. I liked the ease of mounting and sealing, but 2 punctures on what I'd consider easy gravel have me wondering about long term durability and getting stuck in the boonies.

Reviewed 7/26/2020
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Nice Tires - Love the knobbies, but the mid-flat area could use a little more grip
rating
by Brendan O.
Cycling Enthusiast
New England
2 of 2 customers found this review helpful.

Great tires, however, mine both came with a bulge from being so tightly folded and I could not work it out with or without tubes. The beads did seat nicely for tubeless use however. The side knobbies are awesome in deep mud and set these apart from some other gravel tires, but I think the mid section, while fast on super smooth dirt or pavement, are a little slick on sandy gravel. I think they need some grooves.

Reviewed 6/2/2020
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Durable, versatile tire for all season use
rating
by runningisfree
Cycling Enthusiast
Wayne, PA
1 of 2 customers found this review helpful.

I use on my cross frame which doubles as a commuter. I pump up tire to 65 psi and it gives a comfortable ride.

Reviewed 7/20/2017
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Sweet, tough tire for Hoosier gravel
rating
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
Louisville ky
2 of 3 customers found this review helpful.

Originally went w the 33s for tackling the (awesome!) Hoosier National Forest roads. Loved the tires but found them too narrow for some of the loose gravel. Bumped up to the 38s and they are perfect. Expertly manage the slime of sloppy lime dust but also do a better job of floating over loose gravel. Excellent on dry hard packed gravel and tough enough for the occasional bit of singletrack. Roll nicely over paved sections. About 1000 miles without a flat. Have tried them tubeless but the sidewalls leak too much - not sold as tubeless so that's fair. Great tire!

Reviewed 6/24/2017
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Near perfect for use with my CX bike on gravel & mixed surface rides.
rating
by Aaron
Cycling Enthusiast
Lincoln, ThereIsNoPlaceLikeNebraska
3 of 3 customers found this review helpful.

I live in the city with streets and paved bike paths, but I'm at the edge of town with gravel section roads stretching to the horizons through farmland. These tires have been a welcome upgrade over the stock 33mm tires that came on my Specialized CruX. Smoother rolling center tread, knobby on the edges to bite in the loose and chunky gravel, and enough volume to lower my pressures for a smoother ride. Near perfect.

Reviewed 6/6/2017
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Excellent tire for fast gravel riding in all but muddy conditions
rating
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
Lawrence, KS

Great, light gravel tire, rolls fast, stable in corners.

Reviewed 1/6/2017
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tis is a fast gravel tire
rating
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
iowa

many 100 mile rides no problems yet

Reviewed 12/26/2016
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Solid Gravel Tire
rating
by Gravel T
Seattle
7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.

I purchased these after experiencing reliability issues with another tire. I found myself riding hard-core gravel and wanted a tire that could withstand the punishment, but still provide good rolling resistance on pavement. For me, it was between these and the MSOs. I ran the Gravel Grinder Race for 8 months with acceptable results.

A few notes Tubeless performance was unsatisfactory. This was disappointing, but they were not sold as tubeless ready, so what can you do? This is the main reason I don't run these anymore, and why i gave only 4 stars. Another observation is those larger side knobbies. To me, they seemed like a distraction. I did not like the way they felt underneath when they engaged. It felt like the tire changed its characteristics whenever in a hard cornering situation (which is where I want it to be the most consistent). Get rid of the side knobbies, they're dumb.

The tire looks good, rolls well, and is reasonably tough. It's a good alternative to Clement MSO or even USH. Do not expect to run these tubeless. I found they wore a little faster than I'd hoped for.

Reviewed 12/4/2016
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Running this Tubeless - so far so good - DK will be the ultimate test
rating
by Carl
Cycling Enthusiast
Rochester, MN
1 of 2 customers found this review helpful.

I set these up tubeless with Stan's no-tube cyclocross kit on standard rims (Mavic Front, Powertap alloy rear), and have been playing with various pressures between 20 and 40 psi. Have done one long race (107 miles) in Minnesota, and lots of training. Will be riding this in the Chino Grinder (Arizona) this weekend, the AlmonzoRoyal 162 next week, and the DK in June. Hoping the lower pressure will allow all of these to run a bit better than with tubes and higher pressure. So far so good. I'll update if I have any problems.

Reviewed 5/3/2016
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Great all around tire
rating
by mike
Competitive Racer
Lenexa, Ks
7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.

I use my Specialized Crux as a cross-gravel-secondary road training bike and put a lot of miles on the bike. I wanted a good gravel tire that would be able to handle a wide range of terrain and still roll well on the road. This tire has been the perfect tire. No problems with punctures, easy to run low pressures for rough roads, good traction, and rolls well on pavement. The width is very nice and the key to this tire. On 25mm rims the tire measures around 40mm and that is key in its ability to maintain traction on really rough gravel roads. The side knobs are nice when you corner as you start to slip and then they kick in and you get the much needed traction. I have not used this tire tubeless.

Reviewed 8/25/2015
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Excellent for everything from rocky gravel to pavement!
rating
by Gravelmeister
Cycling Enthusiast
Tennessee
13 of 13 customers found this review helpful.

I trained on these for several months and several thousand miles - mostly on pavement - leading to this year's Dirty Kanza 200. Then, I mounted a new set for the race itself. On pavement, these tires run fast. I did group rides on pavement with my roadie friends and stayed in the lead group. No problems. In fact, I still hold an 8-mile paved Strava KOM with these tires and couldn't beat it last weekend on my 25mm road tires on my road bike. In the Dirty Kanza 200, I think these are the perfect tire. Excellent in all conditions, including loose gravel, big gravel, sandy dirt, and the rough, rocky descents of DK. Very stable. Excellent traction. Always lively. And NO FLATS! I weigh 170 and I used 5055 inflation pressures.

Reviewed 7/29/2015
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Seems like a great tire but questionable quality control
rating
by GravelK
Cycling Enthusiast
Syracuse, NY
8 of 9 customers found this review helpful.

Many people rave about this product but I had a disappointing experience. One of my tires had a bulge that was big enough to be noticeable from bike-mechanics' eyes, and annoying when riding on a paved road. Otherwise, they felt like a great choice for gravels with a very supple feeling and a good balance of low rolling resistance and traction (but I only rode 60miles with them). Thankfully, the customer service at BikeTriesDirect.com provided me with Clement MSOs as replacement (because these were already sold out) right away. I am very happy with MSO. If you choose these tires over MSO (and I can see there are a few reasons to do so - slightly narrower profile (better tire clearance), lighter weight, familiar tread patterns (for CX cyclists), etc, I would make sure the tires are perfectly round before riding.

Reviewed 6/1/2015
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Fast and dependable
rating
by Anonymous
Midwest
4 of 4 customers found this review helpful.

Put 400 miles of gravel under them so far and no flats. They are fast rolling and corner well with the large side knobs. Surprising grip while climbing on gravel. The sidewalls are supple and the tires feel great at the recommended 45psi

Reviewed 5/29/2015
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38 is a tire that rolls great on all surfaces
rating
by Rusty Cog
Competitive Racer
Norhwest Wi.
0 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

Corners well on loose gravel going 29mph on downhill corners and is fast rolling on both asphalt and gravel at40psi.

Reviewed 8/14/2020
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Terrific all-around tire
rating
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
Pennsylvania
4 of 4 customers found this review helpful.

These are the best tires I've found for riding gravel and dirt roads. They have a tall/narrow profile so they take a lot of the edge off the roads but still roll pretty fast. I can feel the weight when climbing but otherwise don't feel much slower on these than I do on my road bike running 23's. Not good in mud, but good enough on dry singletrack as well.

They do wear somewhat quickly on pavement, rotated after about 500 miles. But I haven't found a tire with any kind of tread that doesn't.

Reviewed 4/24/2015
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Great gravel race tire.
rating
by BG
Competitive Racer
Chicago, IL
5 of 7 customers found this review helpful.

Used these tires with Challenge latex tubes for two 62 mile gravel races, Barry Roubaix and Rough Road 100. Inflated them to 45. Very comfortable ride. They roll super fast on all surfaces. While others were flatting over a particularly rough section I was fine. These are my go to race tire. Of note, the rear tire is wearing very fast. I have done some, not a ton, training miles on the road but am still a little surprised how fast the center tread is wearing. I have a set of the Clement LAS tires that have way more road miles and show little signs of wear. Lastly, while advertised at 38 I'm not sure they measure out that wide and I'm using the Industry Nine i25 wheelset which has a bit rider rim.

Reviewed 4/13/2015
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The name reflects the ability.
rating
by 38South
Cycling Enthusiast
Geelong, Australia
4 of 4 customers found this review helpful.

I'd been running Sammy Slicks as my summer tyres, riding a combination of gravel roads, fire trail and single track. Bike is a Lynskey CX with CurveHope wheels. Having read a review or two on the Grinders, I pulled the trigger.

They are better than what I expected, so much so the Sammy's are gather dust on a shelf. The width, volume of the 38mm makes a noticeable difference in handling. As the seasons progress the track and road surfaces dry out, and turn from hard pack to loose gravel and sand. I run 5560 in the hard pack, and 5055 once the gravel starts to break up.

Tyre wear wise, the rear is holding up well, more so compared with the Sammy's. Comfort and performance wise, they are probably the best tyres I've ever ridden. Some of the routes I ride include a return on tar seal roads, and on those I can happily sit on 27-30kmh as a warm down.

I've not tried the lightweight inner tubes Challenge recommends, I'd prefer a tubeless, but will have to wait.

Reviewed 10/31/2014
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Love this tire!
rating
by emacdo
Cycling Enthusiast
Oregon Country
12 of 13 customers found this review helpful.

Bought this tire to ride on gravel, obviously. I'd been running Challenge Eroicas, which ae nice, but still a little squirrelly in deep gravel and fast down hills. These though, are the cat's meow. Rode the Oregon Stampede on them with no flats over 125 miles of jeep trails, basalt gravel, large rocks, and pavement. Had no body soreness afterwards either, which attests to their incredbly flexible sidewalls and shock absorption. Have put around 500 miles on them total, and the tread still looks new. Plush ride, tough, runs equally well with 75 psi or 40 psi, what's not to like.

Reviewed 10/2/2014
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Hookin' Up
rating
by jmorgan29er
Competitive Racer
Raleigh, NC
2 of 2 customers found this review helpful.

I run this tire on a Niner RLT9. It has seen a fair mix of road, dirt roads, gravel roads, singletrack and jeep trails. I have run it in group rides on the road and in one of the toughest gravel races (Savage CX) in NC. It is a good all around tire that has hooked up well in turns and just enough volume to not get beat to death on rougher roads and trails. It has seen 500 miles and the center is worn on the rear, but you can still see the file tread. I have run Clement MSO 40s & 32s and this tire comes as a perfect fit for me. It is still fast like the 32 on the road and has the cushion of the 40. My one grip with Challenge and all other companies is to make this tubeless.

Reviewed 9/5/2014
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Awesome riding tire, but failed suddenly
rating
by Bronco
Cycling Enthusiast
Lincoln, NE
3 of 3 customers found this review helpful.

I love this tire, let me just say that. Once it became available, days before the 2014 Cornhusker State Games, I ordered a pair and had them 2-Day shipped to me to use in the event. At 5545 fr, they handled 120 miles of pavement, gravel, railbed trail, and MMR without a flat or an issue. The 38mm wide casing provided extra suspension and comfort for my 225lb self. I totally agree with Guitar Ted, these are the best gravel tires out there.

Last night, the sidewall on the rear tire failed along a tread block section, and exploded with a dramatic bang (fyi, I'm a former motorsports racer, so I'm freaky weird about determining optimum tire pressures, and checking them before each ride). I was able to boot the tire with a dollar bill and ride back home, where I quickly swapped it out. It failed after about 250 miles.

I love the tire, and I'm ordering a replacement today, but it's not quite all there. I'm not sure if the failure was due to manufacturing defect, or if it was damage induced from a previous ride. We ride a lot of hard gravel in Nebraska. I do not feel the tire should have failed after so few miles.

Reviewed 8/13/2014
WesternBikeworks.com Comments

Hi Bronco,

Thanks for your review! I am sorry to hear about the sudden tire failure. Our customer service department would be happy to take a look at that tire to see if it is defective and send a replacement. You can email pictures of that tire to [email protected] with any questions!

Thanks,
Anna

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