Specialized Butcher GRID 2Bliss 2.8in tyre review£50.00

A tough all-conditions option

BikeRadar score3.5/5
  • Weight: 1080g
  • Width: 65mm (35mm internal rim @ 15 psi)

Specialized’s well-established, cost-effective Butcher aggro tyre is now available in 2.6-inch and 2.8-inch formats offering extra-chunky lugged steering grip and sturdy reliability to your plus bike. A tough, reinforced carcass means the extra volume doesn’t equate to an equal amount of extra smoothness though.

Typically for Specialized, fitting onto the rim is easy without being baggy and they blow up easily on the various wheels I’ve used them on. The reinforced GRID carcass stays stable down to low teen pressures even if you’re working it hard.

The whole bigger GRID family has also proved durable even on e-bikes with the extra weight and torque they bring to the trail party.

I’ve had none of the exposed threads or carcass deformation some lighter plus-tyres show after just a few weeks of hard labour, even on GRID tyres we’ve been running for almost a year. The 70 Duro under-layer stops squirming or tearing under heavy braking and a stiff cap reinforcing carcass strip under that keeps punctures at bay.

While it’s £15 more than the smaller volume versions, £50 is still a reasonable price for a plus-size tyre, especially a particularly long-lived one.

The 42A Duro top layer (spread over a broad array of ramped and siped knobs) gives reliable random terrain grip in wet or dry conditions. Inflated width is narrow for a 2.8-inch tyre too, so while it still can’t replicate the cut and penetration of a narrower tyre in really soft/sloppy conditions, it’s a definite control boost over rounded small block tread, or really fat pressure-spreading plus-tyres in muddy conditions.

Relatively low volume and a tough, stiff carcass means it has a harsh and clattery rather than compliant feel when you start hitting stuff hard though. It also affects its momentum and speed sustain on rough terrain, so roll-over isn’t as unstoppable as more supple plus-tyres.

Relatively high weight makes acceleration more of an effort too, so it’s definitely a tyre more suited to heavy-duty hammering than subtler situations.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK 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: 45
  • 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 than 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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