Challenge Gravel Grinder TLR 700 x 38C

At 365 g the Challenge Gravel Grinder TLR is the lightest tire in the test field. With its straightforward semi-slick design, the Italian brand promises the finest all-round qualities. Due to high manufacturing tolerances, though, the ease of mounting the tires showed considerable differences among the test samples of the same model.

 The Challenge is temperamental when mounting: the first tire is La Dolce Vita, but for the second the mechanic requires a double shot of espresso.

Once mounted, the Challenge Gravel Grinder keeps its all-round promise – as long as you stay in the dry. Particularly on hard-packed surfaces and at medium speeds, the Italian tire conveys confidence and provides sufficient grip. However, if the terrain gets a little rougher or wet, the tread of the tire loses traction during acceleration and deceleration. Due to its supple casing, the Challenge offers lots of comfort and very good damping properties. With its low rolling resistance, the Gravel Grinder also accelerates very quickly on asphalt. During high-speed blasts on compacted surfaces, it can feel a bit nervous, which reduces precision and robs you of confidence. Leaning into a corner, you can feel the difference between the shallow profile of the centre tread and the tall side studs. Since they lack support, the studs bend quite easily under the weight of the rider, although it won’t happen unexpectedly. With its predictability in the dry, low weight and low rolling resistance, the Challenge Gravel Grinder TLR is a good choice for weight-weenie commuters who mainly ride on hard-packed surfaces and aren’t afraid to take a shortcut along dry dirt roads.


– lightest tire in the test field
– low rolling resistance
– very comfortable due to the soft casing


– high manufacturing tolerance of internal dimensions
– lack grip in wet conditions

Grip Rolling resistance Puncture protection Mounting Value for money

Price: € 45.90
Weight: 365 g