Hutchinson Squale 2.6in tyre £56.99

Large volume downhill rubber

BikeRadar score 3/5

The Squale’s 2.6in width creates a really round tyre profile when mounted on almost any rim. So much so that you’ll want to check your frame clearance before setting out because they can be a little tight on some designs.

The Hardskin sidewall is tubeless-ready and is thinner than on most downhill tyres – something you can feel when you’re out on the trail. When cornering hard or squaring-off tight turns, you can feel an obvious lateral rolling from the tyre, even at high pressures. We ran ours at nearly 30psi for most of the testing.

The soft rubber compound and large tread knobs make for a tyre that’s more suited to steeper courses, as rolling resistance is noticeably high. The large, square tread pattern lends itself well to hardpack and loamy conditions. In slick mud it was less keen to dig in, but still predictable enough to slide consistently. The soft compound helped with grip over roots. 

The rotational directions on the sidewall suggest running them in opposite directions on the front and rear, but we found pointing the front in the same direction as the rear resulted in more predictable grip.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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