On initial inspection, it’s hard to not draw similarities between Specialized’s Butcher tyres and the classic Maxxis Minion DH F, but on the trail, we think the new Butcher has the edge.
The Butcher’s tread uses a 70a compound base, which is capped off nicely by a tacky 42a across the entire tread. The Minion-esque pattern is open enough to shed mud when there’s a chance and increases the tyres usage to more than just ‘dry only’.
On the trail, we found the 2.3in tyres we were testing to roll pretty well considering the amount of grip on offer. And it’s the grip that's the highlight – the consistent, predictable feel that the Butchers produce really let you get in tune with your bike and the trail so you hit turns confidently, knowing exactly how the tyre will respond.
It’ll take some doing to push these past their limits, and all the way up to that point the consistent feel inspires confidence. We’ve pushed our dual-ply samples hard on everything from your standard British downhill tracks to the roughest trails Alpe d’Huez in France can offer and have had no punctures at all. There's noticeable wear on the rear but braking is still impressive as ever.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.