Challenge Tires showed off a number of new offerings today at Sea Otter including all-new Team Edition S tires, changes to the Baby Limus offering and a new tread pattern as well as a prototype tubeless tubular.
The new Team Edition rubber is designated by the letter "S" plus red sidewall text that reads "Team Edition." The "S" refers to a new sidewall sealant, but also references the tires' added suppleness and softness.
The Team Edition S tires' new coating is latex based making it more water and UV resistant, meaning sidewalls retain their color better. Plus, the new coating is thinner, which means it's more flexible. The Team Edition S tires also feature new compounds and a new rubber coating, all with a lower durometer base rubber. And the knobs on team edition tires went from 57 to 52 durometer as well.
All of this means that the Team Edition S tires offer more grip. Challenge recognizes that the new Team Edition S offerings would wear out faster on pavement, but team riders testing the new tires on cyclocross courses didn't notice or report faster wear last year.
When speaking with Stu Thorne, he noted that the "sealant on sidewall will make a big difference, the riders really like the new tires. We've had the new compound for a year, and it was a noticeable difference." Thorne did blind tests with Tim Johnson who provided feedback and could tell the new Team Edition S offerings supplied more grip.
The Team Edition S tires are in production and are shipping now. While standard Challenge cyclocross tubulars run $114 USD, the new Team Edition S versions are $130 USD.
Challenge also introduced changes to the Baby Limus, which now features taller center knobs with a rounder profile, as well as a new tread for sand, appropriately named Dune. This offering was tested last season by Tom Meeusen and the Telenet Fidea team, and we saw it as a prototype at Interbike last year.
Finally, Challenge showed off a prototype tubeless tubular. The tubeless casing should work better with sealant and of course reduce the chance of pinches. Challenge is not the only one testing "tubeless" cyclocross tubulars, as Dugast provided Sven Nys and Wout van Aert with prototypes last season [see van Aert talk about them in our interview here]. Of course, Tufo and Clement tubulars are tubeless and made without an inner tube.
You can see images of the new offerings from Challenge Tires in the slideshow, below.
Stay tuned for more news from Sea Otter.