We’ve spent a lot of time on the Specialized Hillbilly Grid and have been consistently impressed by it. It’s only when it came to the comparative testing environment of this test that its performance became clear.
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- Weight: 960g
- Width: 2.13in
- Height: 2.09in
We spent a lot of time back-to-back testing it against Maxxis’ Shorty — a natural comparison given the similar intentions and design of both tyres.
While the Shorty had the edge in terms of mud-shedding and finding traction in the sloppiest ground, the Hillbilly is not too far off it.
It comes up on the squarer side, so we’d not recommend it on rims much wider than 25mm. We’ve tried it on a 29mm rim and found it a little unpredictable in the turns.
When things get rocky though, the Hillbilly has the edge on the Shorty. The centre tread in particular is softer in compound and the pitted blocks grip pretty well over rooty and rocky ground.
The Grid casing is also far better damped and more secure at low pressures, so the Hillbilly feels relatively controlled when fired through random rocky sections.
According to our roll-down tests, it’s also a surprisingly fast-rolling tyre and indeed it never feels sluggish on longer rides or fireroad climbs.
When compared to the Shorty, it’s not as good in the mud but it’s more secure on rocky terrain. We’d call that a draw if it weren’t for the price — it’s an absolute bargain!
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.