Specialized have updated their XC tires with new rubber compounds, casings, and naming. The Renegade, Fast Trak, and Ground Control tires now use the same naming and T-numbering system to differentiate the rubber compounds and puncture protection offered by the tire. As with their heavier duty siblings, the 'T' indicates how much damping the rubber compound of the tire provides. The higher the number, the slower the rubber rebounds, meaning a higher number = more traction.
Where the more Enduro and DH oriented models are offered in T7 and T9, the new XC tires are available in T5, T7, or a dual compound depending on the tire and its intended use. As far as tread patterns go, the Renegade is made to be light and fast, ideal for hardpack conditions. The Fast Trak is what Specialized considers its mixed condition XC race tire, and the Ground Control offers more grip in muddier conditions and technical terrain. The tread patterns have been updated on each of the tires with a new motocross tire-inspired 'block-in-block' design which Specialized claim increases grip and stability.
The old Ground Control (Left) and the new tire (right).
The old Fast Trak (Left) and the new tire (right).
The T5 is designed to be the fastest rolling, made for good wear and tear protection. The T5/T7 combination is found only in the S-Works tire and is made to have plenty of speed with a harder T5 compound in the center and then softer T7 on the side for more traction and damping. The T7 compound is what Specialized believe is the ideal tire for a wide range of XC terrain, with maximum grip and minimum added rolling resistance.
In the S-Works model, all of the tires feature a T5/T7 compound. In the Control casing, the Renegade and Fast Trak are available in both T5 and T7 while the Ground Control is only available in T5. For the Grid casing, the Renegade is available in the T5 compound and both the Fast Trak and Ground Control come in T7.
There are three casing options for the tires. A 120 TPI 'S-Works' casing is designed to be the lightest and most supple option, also offering the least amount of protection. The 29" x 2.2" S-Works Renegade weighs a claimed 570g. The 60 TPI 'Control' casing offers more protection than the S-Works however it's still made to be light enough for competitive XC racing. The 60 TPI 'Grid' casing is made to be still plenty light and supple yet more appropriate for trail riding and everyday use. The heavier duty 'Grid Trail' and 'Grid Gravity' casings are only found in Specialized's more gravity-oriented tire models.
Tires will sell for $60 USD in the Control and Grid casing and then $70 for the S-Works. There are 29", 27.5", and 26" diameter sizes available. The tires come in width options of 2.2" or 2.35", depending on the model.
For more information, visit specialized.com