Just like a lot of the gear entrenched in the sport of triathlon, especially the bike, I thought tires were a necessary evil, with no real difference between the brands. For practice sessions and racing, I used the tire brand that was on hand at the local bike shop and did not think twice about it. The ‘ah-ha’ moment came for me during a training session in Kona when the rag tag group of tires I had brought were losing air, a tire per day, as a result of the treacherous Kona pavement. This became very expensive and disruptive to my training.
I researched tires and found there were huge differences in the way they were designed. This included the tread, thickness, stability, and durability. A trusted friend in the cycling industry introduced me to Challenge and I spoke with the representative who gave me a lot of information on the differences between tires and why Challenge tubulars made sense for me.
Tires are a necessity and usually do not get too much recognition, unless they are bad. The more you don’t talk about them, the better they are because they are performing as they should. I have been using Challenge Triathlon tires in my races for two years and they have performed spectacularly with handling and durability; what more can a triathlete in triathlon racing ask for? I use the Challenge Triathlon Open or Forte Open for my indoor training at VeloSF. Needless to say, the rate at which I replace tires has dropped significantly.