Unbound gravel is coming up, and the new Challenge Getaway XP tire might be the combo that everyone is looking for. Challenges’ all-new XP (Extra Protection) series claims to offer the ride feedback of a tubular with the protection of beefed-up nylon casing vulcanized tire.
The Italian tire manufacturer primarily creates road, cyclocross, and gravel tires — mainly focusing on supple handmade tubular and open tubular construction — even with the mountain bike tires they offer, too.
The Getaway tread has been around for a few years now — we were some of the first to ride the fast gravel tread — and it’s now Challenge’s top, most-popular gravel offering. It’s a dry-ish focused, fast do-it-all design with many dedicated gravel followers. The tread has a tightly packed, fast-rolling center for straight-line tread for speed and open transition knobs for sandy or wet courses.
Challenge Getaway XP reinforced gravel racing tire
The only piece missing from the Getaway was a beefed-up version to take the abuse of an ultra-long day out in sharp rocks and logging roads. Challenge has been quietly adapting their reinforced tubeless tubular tech into a more durable tubeless tire over the past year, working on just that — the Challenge Getaway XP (Extra Protection) for endurance rides on rougher terrains.
The tire is part of Challenge’s new reinforced Gravel XP Series, which focuses on all those looking for an overall robust and durable tire, without compromising comfort and handling.
To arm the new XP Series of tires, Challenge opted for a bead-to-bead makeover of protection and compound to enhance its new endurance tires.
All-new Corazza Armor Gold protection tech
The resulting Corazza Armor Gold is a specific extra layer of tightly woven material on the inside of the tire that helps reinforce it against aggressive conditions. The new Getaway XP is the first Challenge tire to have the Corazza Armor Gold, but all tires in the XP Series will share this technology moving forward.
Challenge SmartPlus Compound
The Challenge Getaway XP has a special higher durometer natural rubber than others in the Challenge line called SmartPlus Compound. While providing reduced wear and enhanced durability, the SmartPlus rubber compound retains all the natural rubber properties — offering grip, shock absorption, control, and reduced rolling resistance.
Chafer Aramid Bead Protection Strip
The new Getaway XP includes a bead protection strip to aid in tire life by reducing the effects of rubbing against the rim’s carbon bead hooks — especially helpful on any rim with sharp edges. The black chafer band also acts as a precise line around the rim to confirm the tire is seated properly when inflating.
Challenge Getaway XP – Pricing and Availability
The all-new Challenge Getaway XP will be available in 40mm and 45mm in a Handmade Tubeless Ready casing and is hookless compatible.
Sizes: 40mm and 45mm
Weight: 632g – 45mm
Available: June 3rd, 2023
Challenge Getaway — First Impressions
This new Challenge Getaway XP is a handmade open tubular, so it’s different than most traditionally vulcanized gravel tires on the market. The XP casing creates a thick, more robust tire, keeping the handmade nylon tubular (cotton-like) feel.
The casing is very supple to the touch but notably thicker than all other Challenge tires I’ve ridden. The tread sits high on the tire’s carcass but comes down enough to offer legit cornering knobs. The shoulder knobs are enough for digging into the mud when sunk in, but not as large as the Chicane, as to feel overwhelming.
Getaway — Install & Setup
Setting up open-tubular tires tubeless can be tricky, especially when they are wide, like the Challenge Getaway XP 45mm tires. They are essentially flat before use, unlike the pre-curved shape you get from conventional tires. You have to have a plan of attack, and with unreleased tires, usually, that plan has yet to be discovered.
For me, the plan was to get the full tire over the rim and then push the bead on from over the top. Since the tire is flatter than most, this tactic seemed the best. After wrestling with it for a minute, the first side went on, and I knew I was dialed. The second side popped into place, and I was good to inflate — no compressor needed.
I installed the Challenge Getaway XPs on: Roval Terra CLX II, CADEX 36 (hookless), and Bontrager RSL 36 wheels. The tires were easy enough to install on all the aforementioned, especially on the hookless wheels.
The tires inflated to a nice 46mm wide at 30psi on the Roval Terra CLX II. And they are just enough volume to max out (but still with mud wiggle room) the clearance in my 2022 Specialized Crux.
I’ve had little time on the Getaway XPs so far, but I am fairly stoked from my brief time on them. The ride feels much like a tubular tire, with a muted yet supple quality. The open tubular feel differs quite a lot from the gravel-style tires I’ve ridden over the past year.
On the open road, the Getaway is a fast tire; the tightly spaced center line keeps a fast roll, and the overall tread is minimal. The knobs offer a round tire with predictable corning on the road, compared to some “flat top” style gravel treads that are all or nothing.
The volume was a bit much for me on my initial road-ish rides, but the Getaway hit its stride when I hit the gravel and dirt. The volume aids in traction and comfort, noticeably. The open tubular casing is very active and sensitive over bumps and terrain. The thickness of the XP casing takes away a bit of the suppleness (compared to the original Getaway casing), but it’s hardly noticeable with such a wide 45mm of this tire.
I can’t 100% speak to the puncture protectiveness of the Getaway XP tire and new Corazza Armor. Though I have ridden this tire in some sketchy places, the sidewalls are still very much intact, and I’ve yet to flat. I’ll have a full report and updated complete review shortly.
In the meantime, Challange has a new contender of a tire for the likes of Unbound and epic endurance gravel races. We’re eager to get more rides on them.
To find yours, check out ChallengeTires.com or swing by the Challenge tire booth at Unbound Gravel on June 3, 2023.