Specialized Bikes has been putting in some serious time to develop not only their bikes, but their tire line up as well. With big name riders like Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough, and Curtis Keene putting in time on the new products, Specialized's R&D Department must be super busy, but the new products are looking awesome.
Here is a look at the all new Hillbilly and Butcher tires from Specialized...
Silver Star offers a vast amount of terrain, but it is the loam that sets it apart from other resorts. Our trails of choice were a trail called Flow and another called Dags Downhill. Flow was more rooty and loose terrain where Dags Downhill was more hardpack and rocky terrain. Curtis chose to run the Hillbilly tire on both tracks due to the conditions, so here is some information about it.
Working along side Sam Hill and his mechanic Jacy, Specialized added this new tire to the line up as a dry conditions, spike tire. The reasoning behind this is that a fair amount of World Cup level riders were spending time cutting down mud tires, as a lot of courses feature loose, wet dirt mixed in with mud. The full size spike tires were providing too much rolling resistance, so after some research, development, and designing, Specialized came up with the Hillbilly, a pre-cut down, dry spike tire designed to do one thing, shred loam!
In addition to making the knobs shorter Specialized
also added in a secondary center row for improved rolling efficiency. According to them "if you look close you will notice on the center knobs that there are grooves that indicate where to cut if you want to have the custom cut tread patter exactly how Jacy prepared the tires for Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough". Specialized has also added this to the Storm DH tire, making it easier to cut the tire in shorter time.
It's constructed with a specific Race DH casing. It's beefed up compared to the SX with a 2 ply casing and an additional insert of Butyl to reduce pinch flats. It's only offered in 26" x 2.3" and weighs in at 1150 grams. The cost on the Hillbilly is going to be $70 USD.
In addition to the Hillbilly, Curtis had a couple of the new Butcher tires with him, but did not end up riding on them due to extra loamy trails. We were still able to get the low down on the new tread. This is Specialized's offering for an open tread design, and was created in conjunction with the Monster Energy Specialized team. It is offered in two casings, an SX casing which uses a 50sA center compound and a 45sA shoulder for improved cornering. It's lighter compared to the DH casing, but doesn't feature the Butyl insert in the side wall to help prevent pinch flats. For the DH compound the focus was for maximum grip, although you may be surprised by how durable it is.
The Butcher is offered in two size options, 26" x 2.3" which weighs 950 grams for the SX casing and 1250 grams for the DH casing. It's also offered in 26" x 2.5" which weighs 1000 grams for the SX casing and 1260 grams for the DH casing. The Butcher will cost $70 USD for the DH casing and $60 USD for the SX casing.
For more information on the new tires and all the new Specialized products visit their website at Specialized.com