Hutchinson Taipan Hardskin TR 27.5x2.1 MTB tyre review£50.00

Tough treads, but with some trust issues

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Hutchinson’s distinctive brown sidewalled tyres are a popular original equipment choice on European trail bikes. Their very reliable tubeless connection and toughness make them a great fit-and-forget choice for long-distance riders but their indifferent traction doesn’t suit those who like to push the limits.

As usual for Hutchinson the tyres blew up easily on every rim we tried. The hardskin carcass has improved in later versions to become a lot more supple and smooth at lower pressures, so ground-hugging is good.

They’re impressively rockproof considering their relatively light weight too. And the bigger enduro versions can be ridden hard through pretty much any size and shape of trouble.

The multi-directional, multi-shaped, low, flat tread knobs carpet the whole top of the tyre round to mid-height staggered shoulder buttress blocks that are spaced wide enough to clear fast. That means the levels of grip are consistent as far as you tip the easily leaning, rounded carcass into turns.

Unfortunately, that grip is consistently underwhelming because of a relatively hard triple-compound mix that prioritises wear life and rolling speed over adhesion. That makes them sketchy and prone to big slides in wetter woodsy and singletrack conditions.

The wide-spaced tread also means they roll noticeably slower than most tyres with similar grip.

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

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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