• Gender: Unisex
  • MSRP: $110

Challenge’s Chicane tubulars offer are a more versatile take on file tread ‘cross tires thanks to meaty side knobs that allow them to punch above their weight when you lean into corners. The side knobs are actually taken directly from Challenge’s Limus mud tire. They are tall, large, and firm.

Between the course tape, the Chicane delivers all the speed that you’d expect from a file tread. But when you hit the corners, the difference is immediately apparent. The tires will release a little as you initiate the turn, then the large, supportive side-knobs kick in and offer great cornering traction, as long as you commit. In fact, at times, the Chicane seemed to corner better than full-knob tires, perhaps due to the absence of intermediate knobs, which sometimes feel squirmy on hard-pack.

Like most other file treads, the Chicane was terrific on grass courses and even better on off-cambers, due to the added tread on the side. Challenge’s supple 300-TPI casing on the Pro Team model we tested also contributed to the tire’s grip at low pressure, which meant that they were also confident in sand pits.

The Chicane has its limits, though. On loose steep pitches, the file tread was still a file tread. When powering up climbs on loose dirt, the minimal center tread eventually slips. Similarly, braking power suffers in those conditions as the tire fails to hook up.