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Fango Open Tire

Review: Fango Open Tire

scottmares's picture

We Liked

The soft rubber on the Challenge Fango Open is really nice in that it will wear very well. With it's firm rubber compound, the Fango will mold and conform to the terrain that you are blazing across in the heat of competition. The rubber is good with dirt but is also sticky enough for the slick wet roads. We liked the soft and flexible casing that the Challenge tires use, which gives their tires a very supple feel that offers a great ride. Like all Challenge tires, this is largely due to the higher TPI (Threads Per Inch) count. The Fango Open has 260 TPI, which is a higher TPI count than most clinchers on the market. This higher TPI translates to increased performance in the tire's ability to conform to the Terra Firma when she is not so firm or dry. A good casing and rubber compound also makes mounting the tire easy. We hate fighting the tire to get it on the rim. We hear all the time that size doesn't matter, but it does in the world of tires! Challenge supplies the Fango Open in 2 sizes (32 or 34c width) which is really nice as not all courses are the same. Sometimes you will want or need a larger tire to have the best race. The Fango Open is very light cyclocross clincher tire, weighing in at 340 gr, which will make the weight weenies happy. A lightweight tire is a must when you have to repeatedly accelerate in a race.

We Didn't Like

We were disheartened to see that the tread on the Fango was starting to separate from the casing after only three days of riding. Going around a corner and having the tread come off the tire body is a scary thought. With performance equipment, there is always going to be a trade off in strength, weight, or price, and you can only choose two out of the three factors. Because the tire is lightweight, it is also thin and thus prone to puncture via foreign objects. We experienced two flats in two rides. The biggest letdown, however, was that the Fango Open shallow tread did not perform as well in the mud as it was supposed to. While the traction was fair in muddy conditions, we determined that the tread pattern was a good idea that just didn't work as well as it was designed to do.

The Final Say

The Fango Open tire is constructed from very nice materials; the rubber is first rate and the casing is like your favorite pillow. The tire is a fly weight so don't be surprised if you get flats on them. Goat heads will eat this tire up all day and end yours very quickly. The Fango Open was billed as a mud-specific tire and was a big letdown in that department. We felt that the tread was not tall enough to be as effective as Challenge has claimed. If you race in dry or damp environs, you will be fine as the rubber and casing is on par with higher-end tires. But if you race in muddy conditions, you are better off buying Michelin Mud 2 tires or the newer PDX Crusade tires.

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