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.Specialized
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.
|So 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|