Hutchinson Toro, Squale and DZO tires - first ride

French tires get enduro overhaul

Hutchinson has redesigned three of its existing mountain bike tires to form a new range that targets enduro riders.

The revamped trio of rubber will offer options for those riding dry, mixed and muddy terrain and, once its released in July, will be available in all popular wheel sizes.

Technical highlights

All of the tires in Hutchinson’s new enduro range use the same triple compound construction. The recipe consists of a soft and tacky rubber at the edge of the tires, an intermediate compound across the center tread, and a hard underlying structural compound below any knobs.

All of the tires are tubeless-ready and use a double casing (2x66tpi) carcass. Tough puncture protection is also standard across the range, thanks to a puncture-resistant aramid fabric that the company refers to as Hardskin.

The production tires have been thoroughly tested by Hutchinson’s UR race team – who gave final sign-off – along with many other testers.

Toro

Hutchinson's new toro: hutchinson's new toro

The Toro is Hutchinson’s mixed condition specialist and is intended to be run as a staggered setup with a 2.35in front tire and 2.25in rear tire. The center of the tread design features generously spaced knobs that were chosen to grip as conditions demand, while also offering effective mud clearance. The shoulder of the tire features evenly spaced knobs at a height chosen to offer a good compromise between mud performance and rolling resistance.

The shoulder knobs also get large cutouts, which deform while cornering to maximise contact with the trail. Look closely at each of the knobs and you’ll notice small triangular shaped cutouts that are used for the same reason.

Claimed weights for the Toro stand at 950g for the 2.25in 650b version, and 1,080g for the 2.35in version. US pricing has not been announced.

Squale

Hutchinson's new squale: hutchinson's new squale

The Squale is Hutchinson’s latest offering for dry conditions. Unlike the Toro, it's available in just one width – 2.25in. The center knobs are kept at a sensible height to provide decent rolling performance while the center tread pattern itself varies to offer what Hutchinson claims is improved ‘stability and steerability’.

The shoulder knobs of the tire are tall but consistent and feature multi-directional cutouts to maximize contact with the trail while under load. Look at the base of the tread and you’ll see the Squale has a rough texture, which is said to improve grip on roots and other extra-slippery terrain.

Claimed weight for a 650b Squale is 950g. US pricing has not been announced.

DZO

Hutchinson's new dzo mud tyre: hutchinson's new dzo mud tyre

The DZO is Hutchinson’s mud specialist – as previous incarnation was billed as "probably one of the most aggressive DH tires you'll ever see" – and is available in a 2.25in width only. As you’d expect for a spike, the DZO’s knobs are aggressive and are spaced widely to optimise mud clearance. The alternating center tread pattern provides support either side of the wide shoulders of the tire while center knobs are sensibly sized to keep these from rolling too slowly. The base of the tread is also super smooth in an effort to once again keep mud from accumulating.

Claimed weight and pricing has not been announced.

First ride impressions

We spent a decent amount of testing time on Hutchinson’s new Squale and Toro tires, but conditions didn't allow us to test the DZO.

We found that the Toro rolled well considering the amount of grip on offer, and was particularly impressive when it came to traction while braking. When compared with the dry-specific Squale, the Toro offered a finer line at the limit of its grip and would break away much quicker. Rolling resistance wasn’t massively different from that offered by the Squale, but we could feel a slight improvement.

With a Squale on the front the bike could be pushed more aggressively into loose terrain with predictable consequences. It’s a confidence-inspiring choice that gives you the time and feedback you need to go harder at the trail.

A combination of Squale up front and Toro at the rear offered a fun and fast combination with an exciting bias towards oversteer.

The toro after 60km of abrasive rocky trails : the toro after 60km of abrasive rocky trails

The trails weren't easy on the tires

Our rear Toro tire was looking noticeably worn after the test duration, but considering it was subjected to around 60km of abuse on some of the hardest terrain this was no surprise.

Amazingly, out of a fleet of probably 20 test bikes, each clocking a minimum mileage of around 40km on very rocky terrain, we witnessed only one puncture – which was then promptly sealed with latex sealant. That was with low pressures too, so it’s safe to say that Hutchinson has puncture protection dialled with these tires.

We noticed no issues with the different rubber compounds separating either, something that can happen with multiple compound tires.

Hutchinson states a belief that the perfect tire is the one that you forget, one that lets you just concentrate on the ride. We found ourselves doing just that, particularly once the Squale was up front and we’ve been left very much impressed with the company’s new offerings.  

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