After abandoning the tubeless designs it pioneered in cyclocross, French rubber giant Hutchinson this season has introduced two new tubulars this season. The Black Mamba CX tubular uses a narrower version of the mountain bike tread Hutchinson made for Julien Absalon’s Olympic bid. The other tread is the Toro CX, a pattern Hutchinson is billing as a mud tire.
While the tubeless tires Hutchinson introduced in 2007 are gone, there are two clincher designs: the Piranha2 CX and the Toro CX.
The Piranha2 is a fast-rolling, dual-compound tread, with harder, low knobs on the center and softer, taller knobs on the side for cornering traction.
The Toro CX is the same as the old Bulldog tread, with somewhat generous spacing between tall, squarish knobs in the center, and — as with the Piranha2 and the Mamba — softer knobs on the side.
The Black Mamba CX is similar to the Piranha2 in that the center knobs are quite short, but it is still knobbier than an all-out file tread. As with Absalon’s mountain bike tire, the Black Mamba CX is a dual-compound tread with a hard, faster-rolling center edged by softer, grippier shoulders.
All the tires are 700c x 32mm to meet the UCI’s maximum-width requirement.
All the tires use a 127tpi nylon casing.The clinchers have a 310g claimed weight, while the Toro CX tubular weighs 410g and the Black Mamba CX is 400g.
Cyclocross fans will also see other Hutchinson treads on the pro race circuit this year, as the French manufacturer is making all of Dugast’s rubber (but not the casings) for the season.