• Gender: Unisex
  • MSRP: $110

Challenge’s Grifo tires are a love ‘em or hate ‘em option that, no matter the course conditions, people just can’t seem to agree on. We’ve found the more technically savvy a rider you are, the more likely you’ll find yourself in the “love ‘em” camp. The Grifo side knobs don’t offer much bite, so you’ll need greater skill when you hit loose corners or have to scamper down off-camber descents.

The tire does provide plenty of drive and braking traction when riding in a straight line. But as soon as you tip the bike over in a corner, the tire lets go, requiring you to feather a skid to get around. But for riders who rely more on power than finesse when racing, the Grifos feel too skittish and a more aggressive tread like the Clement MXP or Hutchinson Toro will be a better fit.

Challenge uses a non-vulcanized construction process to bind the tire’s tread to the carcass of its ‘cross tires. Instead of using heat and pressure to bind the materials, which can compromise ride quality and make the rubber stiffer, Challenge hand-glues the tread to the tubular for a softer and supple ride. The handmade quality does sometimes result in less-than-straight tread, which can feel bumpy when riding on pavement of very hard-packed dirt.