I have a love / hate relationship with this tire. Last year, I had a bad batch. The tread pulled off almost immediately but luckily, they were easy enough to return. I swore them off, claiming they were just popular because of their gum-colored side wall. It took me going to LA and seeing how people rode their Grifos on everything: asphalt, dirt, rock, and even mud (yes, there’s mud in SoCal).
When my Geekhouse was nearing completion, I hunkered down and bought a set, crossing my fingers on the side of reliability and not thinking about the bad luck I’ve had with Challenge tires in the past. In fact, I had to train my brain to think “maybe they’re not meant for over 100 degree, stankin’ ass Texas heat?”. Well, any tire that lasts a season is ok with me but I didn’t even race them, save for one or two times. I did, however ride the absolute shit out of them on all the aforementioned terrain.
victim of a giant roofing nail
I’m a bigger guy, so I have to be mindful of my lines. I can’t just barrel through shit without being light on my bike but at 60 PSI, I’ve yet to pinch flat riding the popular mountain bike trails in Austin. Gravel and rock gardens are no problem and the only thing that finally made me swap them out for a new pair was the giant, hooked-shaped roofing nail (see above) that stopped me from rolling a week ago. One of the Park Tool tire boots did the trick there and I’ve done a few rides on it since then.
I almost prefer the brake-dusted sidewalls to the new, bright yellow coloration. With a bunch of light touring and off-road radness coming up, it’ll be no time before they’re back to their dingy, grey coloration.
The Challenge Grifo 33 is my new favorite cross tire but yes, it took a while for me to come around to them.