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Hutchinson Challenger Tyre
700x28c 307g each £29.99 (three month test)

The Hutchinson Challenger Tyre is described by the French brand as “A tire with no compromises, delivering exceptional performance in terms of longevity, comfort and safety”. It falls into the “endurance” category, which suggests a long lasting, durable tyre, but without feeling sluggish, or giving a harsh ride. Three months and 1200miles (about 1931.21 km) down the line and I’m generally impressed, especially given the price. That said, there’s been some trade off when it comes to puncture resistance.

Pros: Responsive, surprisingly compliant, handle well in the wet, inexpensive.

Cons: Puncture resistance good rather than great.

tire tyre test review bicycle bike velo rad


Traditionally durable tyres tended to be a little on the coarser side, so I wasn’t surprised to discover the Challenger feature 66tpi casings. They’ve gone the dual, or “bi compound” route, probably best described as a hybrid. A denser centre strip is employed for durability and puncture resistance, while the shoulders are softer for improved wet weather cornering prowess.

There are three widths-25, 28 and 30mm. The 28mm being available in a black or tan wall option, which may extend the appeal to training, or fast touring bikes from the 80s and early 90s. Recommended pressure ranges from 94 to a strangely prescriptive 101psi. A thin puncture repelling breaker lives beneath the centre strip and, even taking folding beads into account, 307g for the 28mm version is impressive.  Semi slick tread pattern means “water channelling” grooves, which are better thought of as psychologically reassuring, rather than having any real-world performance benefits.

Test Bikes/Contexts

test review hutchinson bike bicycle tire tyres

I introduced ours to the Holdsworth and fixed Gear Winter/trainer’s front wheels. The Holdsworth is a sunny days pared to the essential's plaything cum TT bike, while the fixed gear winter/trainer is essentially a cyclo crosser with track ends and spacing.

tyre tires review test bicycle bike

As its name implies, it serves year-round and through some decidedly unreliable weather. I’d also been running a 28mm CST Czar  up front on the Holdsworth and it succumbed to a sharp, so presented an ideal opportunity to see how well the Challenger would compare. 

Mounting 3.25/5

The supple casings haven’t presented any challenges with wheelsets with 19mm internal diameters, including the Halo Evaura  and Miche Xpress. I’ve still needed a long-handled composite lever and nimble digits, but refitting gets easier once they’ve had a hundred miles or so, in my experience.

Ride/Handling 3.5/5

As I hinted in my introduction, the Hutchinson Challenger are surprisingly swift and, indeed, compliant. They require little effort to coax up to speed and moreover keep on the boil. For context, along routes where I’d be doing a steady 17mph with the Maxxis Re Fuse 700x32c 60 TPI TR Folding Maxxshield Tyres, 18.4 was typical and this was particularly apparent when accelerating and climbing.

I wasn’t surprised to find the Hutchinson Challenger a little more direct, after all, they’re 28mm, the Maxxis are 32 and run at 75psi tops. However, their speed and pace largely compensated and allowing for the Vecnum FreeQUENCE  Suspension Stem, even on longer distances and through lumpier lanes, I’ve never felt fatigue or tingling in the arms, hands, or shoulders.


One wild rabbit raced me for half a mile, weaving around the front wheel with breathtaking unpredictability- they eventually turned right but I was constantly making minute corrections. Even at 100psi, the Challenger supplied oodles of feedback, so later meets just had me going with the flow.

It wasn’t long before the rains came, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well they tracked through the S bends and winding lanes-especially during the harvesting of crops, where slippery patches of mud were impossible to swerve.

Kamikaze wildlife has often come out to play and I'm pleased to report the Hutchinson Challenger entertained evasive action without squirm, or more serious loss of traction.

Town manners are similarly good. Inspiring confidence when accelerating away from the lights, acing the pothole slaloms, snatching away from opening car doors etc. Negotiating wet ironworks, they’ve proven better than I’d expected and on par with the CST Czar, although the 28mm Czar are 60tpi. 

Puncture Resistance/Durability 3/5

bike ie tye review test puncture

As I said in my opening paragraph, this is good, rather than great. For the most part, they’ve been reliable. However, the Challenger have proven vulnerable to flints and other sharps picked up along mucky lanes. In fairness, my long-term experience with the CST Czar mirrors this. I deliberately resisted my intuitive urge to brush the casings down following wet, mucky and gritty outings and found small thorns, glass and flints were prone to collecting in slimy contaminant. Two burrowed inside, on separate occasions causing a flat. These only just grazed the tube, so pressure loss was minimal, and tubes easily repaired.

bike tyre review test bike bicycle

In both instances, I only realised when I came to ride the next morning and found the Challenger pancake flat. On both occasions, they infiltrated the centre strip, requiring a drop of superglue to seal. To date, not an issue through suburban and town contexts, and otherwise, the Challenger held their own along wet but relatively clean autumn roads. Bottom line, brush the casings regularly, keep an eye on things and punctures shouldn’t be anything more than an occasional event.  Other than the small cuts discussed, the casings are still in decent shape and not showing any obvious signs of wear. What I’d expect from ones marketed as endurance but reassuring just the same. 

Value 3.75/5

The Challenger offers decent bang for modest buck. Probably the closest rivals we’ve tested are the CST Czar . These are also £29.99 and slightly lighter at 285g apiece. They’re quick, handle well and compliant but are “only” available in 23, 25 and 28mm sections. Pirelli P7 Sport Clincher Road Tyre also come in at £29.99. Available in 24, 26, 28 and 32mm sections, they're also designed for year-round riding and weigh a very respectable 310g. CST Cito is another tyre I’m fond of but despite its fast, fun and seemingly dependable charms, I’d stop short of recommending it as a four seasons’ training tyre.


Producing a tyre that can excel across the board is no easy task. Especially a hard-wearing training tyre that doesn’t feel harsh, or stodgy and won’t break the bank. For the most part, Hutchinson’s Challenger strikes a good balance between speed, comfort and reliability. Puncture resistance of the tubed versions is generally good, but the casings seem vulnerable to flints, hedge clippings and similar sharps along wet, mucky roads. This is typical of other tyres at this price point, including CST Czar but I’d be inclined towards something like the Maxxis Refuse if most of your winter training is along country roads and lanes. 

Verdict: 3.5/5 Nicely balanced and seemingly durable budget tyres but casing seems vulnerable to sharps. 


Michael Stenning


Ride Your Own Story - Hutchinson Cycling





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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