Specialized Slaughter Tire - First Ride

Jun 7, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  

Slaughter DH tire 2014

Specialized rolled out a number of new products aimed at gravity all-mountain and enduro riders, in conjunction with the first round of the Oregon Enduro series at Hood River, Oregon, this week. The first product to catch our attention was the Slaughter tire; a rear-specific design that pairs a tiny, ultra-fast-rolling tread pattern with the larger, grippy edging blocks of the popular Butcher tire. We rode the Slaughter while pre-riding the various stages of the Hood River event that provided the full range of terrain that included moist loam, dry-over-hard-pack, high-speed rock gardens, and high-bermed flow trails. Slaughter tires are designed to be used in conjunction with Specialized's Butcher tire up front and are intended for high-speed tracks where straight-line traction is readily available.

The Slaughter's flat tread profile ensures that the
edging blocks get to work quickly in the corners.

Introducing the Slaughter Tire

Specialized will offer the Slaughter in a 2.3-inch-wide carcass for 27.5 and 29 inch wheel sizes. Three models will be offered beginning with a true downhill tire with a wire bead and a dual-ply, 60-thread-per-inch casing. The DH tire's under-tread is a stiff, 70 Shore-a hardness base-rubber which is vulcanized to a softer, tackier, 42 Shore-a harness tread. The DH tire also features sidewall stabilization pads for support and pinch-flat protection. The lightest version is the 2.3-inch Slaughter Control, which features a lighter-weight, tubeless-ready casing and a dual-compound tread design. The center tread is a fast-rolling 62 Shore-a compound, while the sturdy edging blocks are made from stickier, 50 Shore-a rubber. We rode the Slaughter Grid 2BR model that features sidewall protection and single-compound, 60 Shore-a tread rubber. The Slaughter's MSRP will match the Butcher's, which presently run around $55 to $60 USD in the AM versions, with the DH versions set at $80.

The Slaughter design is very similar to the new Schwalbe Rock Razor, which is a good thing. The trend towards wider rims and tires has once again reshuffled the priorities of tire design. New-school tread and carcass configurations that specifically address the needs of all-mountain and enduro riders are finally proving to be much better performers than the scaled-up versions of previously successful models that most of us have come to depend upon. The Butcher and Slaughter certainly fall into the new-school category and their performance is very promising.

Specialized Slaughter tire 2014

First Impressions:
bigquotesSo far, the consensus is that the new Slaughter is a winner. After riding the Slaughter on a variety of terrain, all indicators point to a tire that most riders will want to run in the rear for any situation where the trail surface presents even a minimal amount of grip. It rolls noticeably faster than the popular Specialized Purgatory in the same width, and corners much better too - and depending upon your choice of tire pressure, straight-line braking is comparable or better, due to the Slaughter's wider, flatter tread profile. Specialized is not breaking new ground with the Slaughter's semi-slick design, but they got this one right the first time. It gives riders the straight-line speed the the uber-capable Butcher can't quite match, and we expect the Butcher/Slaughter combination to be a common sight in the future. - RC


  • 187 5
 No 26"? What's the name of that Schwalbe tyre... Rock Razor! Thank you Schwalbe.
  • 15 2
 Yeah, they're pretty much the same. Fast rolling speeds and maximum sideways abilities
  • 51 11
 funny because there all of there DH bikes are still a 26 Razz basically built a tire that there bikes cant use.
  • 16 4
 @c4mtb yeah for now.. but it pretty much tells us that there will be nearly no 26" in their set up next year... maybe the status and the slopestyle bikes .. R.I.P 26..
  • 23 1
 Great news as Schwalbe doesn't offer the Rock Razor in 29er version.
  • 1 0
 Err. Yes they are!
  • 13 14
 Im so tire ed about you all complaining about 26" dying...
  • 7 6
 Everyone here just needs to think to themselves why is this even a big deal? It's not like this tire could match the grip and quality maxis is known for. Lol it's just solidifying maxxis grip on the market

...yes I saw what I did there
  • 13 3
 OK, get used to it. 26ers are going the way of the Dodo, if they aren't there already. 29ers have been outselling 26ers for years now. As a market, there were two options: make everything 29er, or add a "new" intermediate size as an option. 26 wasn't selling well enough to survive.

Here is a list of things that I have new in boxes in my garage, as they were phased out over the years:

126mm hub.
1" threaded steerer
Quill stem
cantelever brakes
rims with brake track
24" rims and tires
cable disk brakes
quick release hubs
square taper BB
Isis BB
v-brake fork
rigid fork with v-brake mounts
cromoly crankset
3" DH tire
6 speed shifter/derailler
7 speed shifter/derailler
8 speed shifter/deraiiler
various freewheels
5-bolt crankset
non disk brake hubs, and even a few used frames in good condition
triple cranksets

All of these were considered "good enough" when they were replaced as the market moved on. Its just the way it is.
  • 1 2
 Several of those things still are, and their replacements were mostly shoved down the throats of the people who don't buy a new bike every year. Much like 650b. Everyone knows that's the way it is, it's just that not everyone likes it.
  • 1 0
 just bought a 26 version
  • 57 3
 This is how they gonna kill 26ers
  • 71 1
 slaughter the 26ers?
  • 11 3
 well seems like the name slaughter fits perfectly then
  • 9 0
 They won't speak about the 650b Demo and bring a 650b DH-Tire.. well..
  • 6 1
 they are going to kill 26's by making a tyre that is so terrain specialised that its unlikely to be bought by anyone who lives in country with rain. can't imagine anyone using that tyre at the recent EWS in peebles
  • 1 0
 The Spesh factory guys were on Butchers front & rear at the EWS, although you could have got away with one of these on the rear on day 2.
  • 1 0
 In Peebles I don't know, but we've seen number of guys riding Larsen TT even in rainy conditions (rear obviously) which does not even have shoulder knobs.
  • 2 0
 Good! if 26ers is an outdated concept then good riddence!! lol
  • 1 0
 @EnduroManiac: I love that tire my favorite tire ever. My only problem with a Larson is the weak sidewalls. I never purchased the strong sidewall version.
  • 1 0
 @yamahawarrior: welcome to 2016! ????
The Larsen TT was available in DH casing. No weak side walls here!
  • 1 0
 @EnduroManiac: My problem is i am a stubborn dumb ass at times and should have ordered those tires. I just wanted them in stock. By the way i am finally entering 2016 and learning to adjust my bike and make it better with correct tires and correct suspension adjustments. I am even looking at clipping in. Even geometry adjustments on my trek slash. I am so proud of myself i am finally learning a thing or two about bicycles besides how to ride them. Welcome 2016 i am learning just as everything is changing so damn fast!!!!
  • 52 4
 No 26"!? not all of us ride 650b or 29er's! (ugh)
  • 39 2
 Sad no 26"
  • 21 12
 can't sell the newer stuff if you still propping up the market for the 'old stuff'.
  • 9 1
 kapricorn didn't state an opinion. Nothing there to neg prop. He just stated a fact about marketing. They will kill the old stuff just so we have to buy the new stuff.
  • 30 2
 What the eff....I'm going to throw in my own "no 26" version?" right here. VERY disappointing, Specialized. I run a Butcher up front and a Purgatory in the rear on my Pitch, and I'd love to try this out on the rear. I hope you (Specialized) will come to your senses and produce the Slaughter in a 26".

Do you want to sell a metric sh*t-ton of these tires or not? There are still way more 26" wheels out there than 29" or 27", and there will be for years to come.
  • 3 1
 I really have no hate towards the big wheel movement but when your product is a $4k bike you cant really expect people to toss it aside for new tires. How can a company phase out the bulk of a market that plain old cant afford to keep up with industry changes. I still ride my pitch and plan to for a few more years because lets be honest, specialized designed a killer bike and I love it. All this really assures is that ill buy maxxis tires for it instead of trying out something like this.
  • 31 4
 Specialized I'm disappointed... No 26"...
  • 9 0
 Bought the Rock Razor right when the Slaughter was announced. I'm very happy with it, but I would have bought the Slaughter if it came in 26.
  • 4 0
 spesh is ending 26 in everything but dj and slope. this is not shock.
  • 26 2
 26 is needed
  • 20 1
 Semi-slicks out of the factory are for pro riders, we others make our own semi-slicks wearing down regular DH tyres Smile
  • 21 1
 no 26 = no buy
  • 39 22
 27.5 and 29. please go fuck your self!!!
  • 3 0
 have you actually owned a 650b and ridden it other than a parking lot demo steelpanther?
  • 3 4
 Yes Sir. I have rode both 29'' and 27.5, on actual trails. The only positive I thought was they roll over sharp/abrupt stuff well. I strongly believe it is all about the $$$$$$$. Have to come out with something new for yuppies to buy.
  • 13 0
 I think some of the outrage about no 26" is the fact that they are still selling kick ass 26" bike and thy won't support the customer that has just dropped 8 f$$king grand on a Sworks Enduro 26"?
  • 12 1
 i can understand spesh not making them in 26(although it still kinda sucks) but it does make you wonder if the market will try to suffocate 26 by making the more consumable parts harder to find and more expensive
  • 28 0
 This exactly what makes riders mad. It's not that we hate other sizes. It's the fact that there driving to eliminate a WORKING STANDARD to force everybody to buy a new one. That's the issue. Every wheel size has a purpose and proper use. But money and market control are why the 26 is being pushed out.
Mark my words now, in ten years they'll bring out 26" again and tell us all about how much better it is and why we need it!!!!!!
  • 10 0
 i actually wanted to order an rock razor today, but somehow didn't. Then I saw this article and thought "ah, now I know why I didn't order it!"... Then I read the thing about 26" and all I can say is the Rock Razor is in the game again! Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Buy it. You'll be very happy with it.
  • 25 13
 f*ck specialized 26 4 ever.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! put your punch in your a$$
  • 8 0
 I find it interesting the reviewer makes no mention of no 26" option. That seems like a pretty big talking point to omit. I guess we are in the marketing faze of not drawing too much attention to help corral us along into the 27.5 stable.
  • 10 1
 I'm a fan of Specialized and love their product, but this is rather sad. I ride a 26, and will not change that for awhile, I'll be sticking with my Maxxis DHR2's and DHF's.....
  • 2 0
 Yeah same here.... I used to run a specialized ezkars tire in the front.... Never again.... I will be sticking with my minions from now on.... Love these things!!!
  • 8 0
 I second that, glad there are still manufacturers producing 26" tyres it's just a little sad when new models come out from brands that have just written off the size.
  • 13 6
 Can't wait until maxxis responds with a rerelease of one of the simi slicks. Larsen tt center with minion side knobs in 650b and exo 60a please!!
  • 3 1
 It's called the maxxis aspen.
  • 2 0
 uhhh no....need something with real sideknobs and available is 2.3"+ and 650b
  • 1 0
 Something enduro-specific?
  • 7 0
 back semi-slick, remember Maxxis High Roller Semi-Slick ???
  • 9 2
 No 26?

Maxxis 1, Specialized 0
  • 10 5
 They will probably try and sue Shwalbe now for design infringement. Cuz ya know... They love their lawsuits
  • 2 0
 (Fact that I'm riding a 26" Specialized bike and can't even use this tire aside....)
I'm stoked that the Oregon Enduro Series matters to a company as big as Specialized. All of the stops on this tour are seriously fun places to ride... with or without a stopwatch.
  • 5 3
 We get it, your pissed about your tire size not being supported. But that's like being pissed you can't find support for VHS or Betamax.

Want proof 650B is taking off? Look at the hack bike Specialized put out to stop bleeding sales.

Learn a little history on the sport you love. 650B was always considered the better size, it was purely an economical decision to go with a 26 tire. The 26 wheel was a cost decision from the start of the sport, it was never the optimal choice.
  • 2 0
 Optimal for what though? Mountain biking has changed a bit since then.
  • 1 0
 on the other hand, bike manufacturers just make you buy what they want.....
  • 1 0
 Yes it has changed. Most riders went to 29" wheels lol! Riders of 26" wheels have demanded geometry changes that make them ride more like big wheeled bikes. That is what the slack and low geometry is all about. The manufacturers have a better way to get that ride quality without some of the handling quirks that result from the extreme geometry.
  • 2 0
 Honestly, the industry is trying really hard to kill 26 and if we let them they probably will, because they will just stop producing parts..... I think 29, 27.5 are also great options..but it doesn't mean kill 26. Having 26,27.5,29 choices are great. But companies like trek, giant, specialized probably will never get another $$ out of me.
  • 3 1
 youre a brave person to be riding one of them in the wet, at EWS Rd 2 scotland the rock razors were available but steep techy with wet roots on day 1 meant even the pros were on the magic mary f+ r
  • 3 1
 The only thing with a tire like this is the tread will be toast in under a couple of weeks. So I'm sure it will be great if your a sponsored racer, but not so much for everyone else.
  • 2 1
 i love my purgatory ground control tires. they are fast, make my bike feel 10lbs lighter, the side walls on the tubeless tires are strong and very nice. the only complaint is they can get loos which is fun and could be me having too much pressure. i sure bet these tires are very fun. i wonder what other companies offer as far as customer support and backing of their products. i was recommended the purgatory tires by my lbs after i told them my needs, they said go rip it up dont destroy the tires and specalized guarantees their tires if you dont like them for any reason just bring them back and they will swap them for something else. as far as 650b goes they are here. they ride very nice my 650b bike is here built up today i cant wait. i was way anti 650b, i needed a bike and ended up demoing one and loving it. now i am sold. i got a trek slash. the trek rep said they have riders on 650b dh bikes now and thats something thats hard to keep to yourself, he said give a dh racer a bike and it gets blown up and seen by everyone. everyone needs to just shut up and just ride. i was a complaining cry baby too, but not any more
  • 1 0
 Im ok with the fact that 650b is the new 'standard' and 26 is being replaced, I can live with that, things change and thank f*ck they do or we would all be riding rigid bikes with v brakes and narrow bars! When its time for me to buy a new bike, there is no doubt I will buy a 650b of some description.

Does piss me off when companies stop supporting the current crop of standards! 11 speed is the new standard for drive train but its not like Sram and Shimano have stopped making 10 speed, or 9 speed for that matter! In fact, Shimano still make 6 and 7 speed parts! Fine, they are budget low quality shit, but they are still there to be used on working bikes that need replacements and 7 speed was OLD a long time ago! There must be a shit load of people out there who own 26" wheeled Specialized bikes that would like to stick with Specialized replacement parts (Me included) but I guess I will just have to send my money in Maxxis direction. Maybe Specialized should find out how many people currently own 26" Specialized bikes from whatever year and compare that to how many 29ers they have sold in the past 5 before they stop supporting their customers!
  • 1 0
 Why not a light weight version for trail riding? You can get purgatorys on their trail bikes. This tread pattern is perfect for hardpack, but I've only seen it offered on burly "enduro" and DH tires - ??? Just cause I wanna roll fast doesn't mean I wanna corner like shit.
  • 2 0
 I've had crappy luck with rock razor tires. They are fast and do corner well, but I've sliced two different tires on the tread in nearly the same spot
  • 2 0
 Hutchinson "On The Rocks II" was the perfect tire... The central band was spent with some kilometers and wow!! It became into an actual enduro tire design...
  • 4 2
 26 is not dead!!! They making big mistake not making 26 version, well it will mean that they want sell as much tyres as they would if they think a little!
  • 6 5
 Why would they make a 26 version?? They know all too well that 26 will be disappearing from the shops in the next couple of years anyway. Plenty of other choices out there for 26 so stop whining and get over it.
  • 3 1
 Why are these people keep on shoving us these 27.5 and 29 when 80% of the riders in the world still on 26. Like to buy one but cmon no 26?
  • 1 0
 Check your stats. 90% of new bike sales have been 29" in the past few years.
  • 1 0
 As if people are really THAT disappointed in Specialized. Everyone here dislikes S in every-which-way they put out a new product. I can't wait to run this bad boy on my enduro 29!!!!
  • 6 3
 What a gruesome name, next it will be the Kenda serial killer.
  • 5 0
 never watch G.I. Joe growing up? Wink
  • 5 0
 He never grew up...
  • 9 6
 It's official. Im never buying another specialized product.
  • 8 4
 no 26, no care
  • 4 0
 26" Please
  • 2 0
 damn pinkbikers, knockin shit without tryin shit. grow up about the wheel debate and go ride a damn bike. pfft
  • 1 0
 exactly. it's not like decent 26er tyres haven't existed for years already. we get it, this particular produc is not for your specific needs, but it's not like they have taken something away from you.
  • 1 0
 Interesting there IS a 27.5 option vs just a 29 option seems spesh is putting more into 27.5 than they have let on. The lack of a 26 option bites tho....
  • 3 0
 i'd also like to see this tire in a 26" version!
  • 1 0
 Maybe the specialized market analysts realized there would not be enough 26" wheeled buyers to offset the mold costs which can be $100,000.
  • 1 0
 Just got my 29x2.3 Grid 2bliss Slaughter in today. I'll get it mounted up and see how she does out back, coming from a Nobby Nic 29x2.35 Evo Snakeskin set up tubeless on i23s
  • 1 0
 jpgotsteez- what are your thoughts on your new Slaughter?
  • 1 0
 hows this tire working out for you? what conditions do you ride it in?
  • 1 0
 Sorry for the late reply fellas... I love the Slaughter out back. I live in Northern California so my terrain is rocky, hard pack and loose over hard. It handles everything pretty well. I prefer a slightly loose rear tire for my cornering style, and it doesn't disappoint. A bit on the heavy side but have had no punctures, gashes or burps on Derby carbon rims. Now that the Rock Razor 29 is out I may try that to compare
  • 5 3
 total rip off a Rock Razor
  • 2 1
 Meh, I don't know about that. Looks like a butcher tread with shorter, smaller knobs.
  • 2 3
 I'm Sat looking at my rock razor and there's hardly any difference at all dude.
  • 3 1
 You seem to think the concept is new. I was riding Mt. Baldys on my 2000 SWorks FSR.
  • 1 1
 Cool story
  • 2 1
 BS, no way that tire hhs better breaking then the purg, and in skeptical that it corners better too. Maybe on hard pack. ...
  • 2 1
 Rode the Purgatory and the Slaughter back to back on the same trails during the launch and the Slaughter did outperform the Purg in the turns and braking. Different conditions may produce a result in favor of the Purgatory, but it appears like that is not to be.
  • 1 1
 Like I said, maybe on hardpack, I just can't feasibly understand how that tire could brake better than a purg. I'm sure it corners on par with the purg but in a different feel/way. But braking I just don't see it. Especially after the tire has worn in a bit. Fresh rubber always feels amazing for a few rides, no matter what the tread pattern.
  • 12 10
 Angry 26 owners. Soooo boring
  • 2 0
 Definitely buy it. Our trails are closed when wet anyway.
  • 2 0
 Would love to have it but 26
  • 2 0
 No 26" size? I guess I'll just run butchers on the front and back
  • 5 3
 I own a Specialized bike and I must say... Specialized your stupid!
  • 5 3
 Some of us still ride 26 ya know...
  • 1 0
 no 26 is stupid. i ride 650 but 75% of mountain bikes that come into the shop are 26"
  • 1 0
 No 26" Who cares its a block 8 with side burns. I'll stick with tires that have tread thank you very much...
  • 2 0
 No 26??? GRRRRRRRR RRrrr (&^^%&*&^(*&#$@!!!
  • 2 0
 I'll just stick with my 30.5er
  • 3 2
 dont try to hard, not making them in 26. We still have tons of options.
  • 2 2
 Pretty shocked that SPECAILIZED out of all companies made a wheel that doesn't fit 26".... pretty disappointed with them...
  • 1 0
 similar to the butcher for the 26in wheel but why is it cheaper???
  • 2 0
 Specialized, 26" please
  • 1 0
 Funny thing, they've now announced a 26" version of this tire. Wink
  • 1 0
 26" size would have been nice. ..
  • 12 12
 Do people still ride 26"? Get with the times.
  • 5 4
 Yes, about 90% of people do...
  • 4 1
 Not from my perspective nearly every bike I see on the trails, and every bike I sell is 29...try telling someone new that 26 is better! If anything, pray for 27.5 to catch on so it slows down the epidemic it's here to stay
  • 4 0
 It all depends on what you ride and where. There is a place for them all.
  • 5 5
 _____o^o_____ BIGER FASTER _____O^O_____
  • 1 1
 All 26" to Schlachthof...! Schlachthof Fünf!
  • 1 0
 Double post.
  • 3 3
 Yep, it's dead.
  • 3 0
 There's shit loads of people still riding 26 er's out their Folks, it's just a buisness strategy to force the consumer's {which is us} to buy into the 650b and 29er version. Shame on you Specialized!!...You suck!!
  • 4 1
 While I agree with your comment, What I wonder is how many people would change their 26er to 650b. Really, spend extra $4k-$10k for The sake of a $50 bucks tire? Hmmm

If anything, I think is a bit of a bad move on their behalf with so much 26" stock still on bike shops.

I don't forsee changing my 26er Endo sworks anytime soon, plus IMO the little increase is wheel size is rather unnoticeable after I have tried them.

Love my bike & will stick to it for a looooong time.

Dying to try this tire and would buy straight away if available on 26, but guess will have to keep running my beloved butchers F&R for now.
  • 4 0
 People change their bikes all the time. If they didn't then none of the bike shops would exist. If you were in the market for a new trial, AM or enduro bike would you really consider buying a 26??
  • 4 0
 I tend to change bikes every couple of years, just sold my 12 demo and 12 np mega frame to go 650 nomad I'm getting with the times hell if it's faster and more stable at high speed what's all the fuss about surely that's a change for the better. Don't understand some of you guys!!!
  • 3 1
 @rydelean, I am sure you know your nomad has a 65 degree head angle, that alone would make it super stable at speed. Pretty much a mini V10. That would have more influence than wheel size.

@matt76, if The product i want is available in 26, then yes. That is what i like. And I have tried other wheel sizes.

I respect people's choices on their gear, hell yeah, go nuts on your wheel size, etc. But I don't like an industry telling me what is good for me when I already have my preference.
  • 3 0
 Well said! You are spot on iguanabartola. Not only has the Nomad got a 65 degree HA, it also has a massive wheelbase. Certainly more influence than wheel size. Wasn't it Santa Cruz that admitted they wanted to stick with 26 but market demand from consumers (who have been convinced by industry marketing) has made them move to 27.5?
  • 4 2
 In all fairness its not the "industry" that's deciding for you it's the riders who ride them . I'm lucky enough to have a 20", 26" 27.5" and 29" at home to choose from. They are all brilliant in many ways but have limitations in other. I recently raced 4x on my 29er just for the hell of it and because no one has done it before and I did quite well. Today I have been blasting it on my local DH track and its been brilliant . I'm bloody glad that "riders" have been demanding different wheel sizes as its opened up the world of mountain biking even more. Oh and I used to be a big wheel hater!!
  • 5 0
 So the rider's decided "let's go 650B Slaughter Tire" when Specialized has only released one 650B bike so far being the Stumpy.
How about a the DH casing option when their current DH line is all 26er?

I had the opportunity to witness the release of the 2014 Specialized line in South & Central America and had a good chance to speak to most of the specialized team operating the concept stores in different countries through out Latin America. This is less than a year ago and when I raised the 650B topic the common answer was "this is just a hype to make more MONEY and we don't support it - that wheel size doesn't make any sense & we heavily believe on the 29er". Less than a year later they see potential loss of future sales and guess what, they have now decided to make a 650B range and in all honesty, I think is great!!!

I am not a wheel size hater, honestly, it is great to have a choice. I truly think is great you can have so many bikes to choose from and you are very fortunate for having that.

But Specialized is not giving this choice to their existing customers with this new tire when their current & past bicycles includes a huge range of 26ers. I own a 2012 Demo and 2013 Enduro, both 26er.

This tire looks amazing an I would truly like to have it. But I have no choice being this the key word of my argument.
  • 3 0
 I see your point but at the end of the day the only people who are missing out here is Specialized by not offering it. Schwalbe do the Rock Razor which this a direct copy. Maxxis also did a very similar tyre a few years ago .
  • 1 2
 No lightweight casing for the 650b version? That's bunk.
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