Daily Archives: December 10, 2012

Challenge Eroica: Tight!

…and I don’t mean “tight” in the positive sense.

Last night I attempted to mount a set of 30 mm Challenge Eroica tires on my new cross bike (which isn’t actually intended for cross, but more about that later). They were so tight that I couldn’t even stuff a tube under them. So for 2 hours of effort all I got were some blistered thumbs and a popped tube (Exhibit A).

Exhibit A: Human thumb after failed attempt to mount a Challenge Eroica 30 mm tire*

Tubular Thumb

I’ve never had a set of tires that were so tight that I couldn’t mount them. Even Veloflex tires, which are ordinarily quite tight. In this case, I couldn’t even use a tire jack because I couldn’t get the tube in. It was so bad that even Winston was disgusted. Exhibit B shows a typical feline reaction to Challenge Eroica tires.

Exhibit B. Feline reaction to Challenge Eroica tires.

Lamb Doesn't Like Challenge

In any case, I’m returning these and getting some of the new Grand Bois Extra Legere 32s: 230 grams for a 32 mm tire (and 181 grams for the 23–lighter than Veloflex)! I’ve used the Grand Bois 23s, 32s, and 42s in the past, and they were great tires.

Now, I just need to track down some 28-32 mm latex tubes. Every place I’ve checked seems to be sold out. Anyone know of a source?

I’ll let you know how the Grand Bois tires work out after some serious gravel road abuse.

*The blistered thumb in Exhibit A is actually from removing a too well-glued tubular tire a few months ago, but serves as an example of what you can look forward to if you try to mount Eroicas.