Specialized’s new Butcher tyre features the brand’s soft T9 compound, which is designed to rebound slowly and stick to terrain. It is aimed at gravity riding with an emphasis on traction and steering, and should make a great front-wheel tyre.
However, its casing thickness, overall weight and tread pattern make it well suited to trail riding, too.
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- Weight: 1,069g
- Width: 2.38in (measured on 30mm rim)
- Best suited: Front tyre, dry hardpack
Specialized Butcher Grid Trail T9 29 x 2.3in tyre performance
The T9 compound provided plenty of predictable traction over dry rocks and roots, and hardpack terrain. There was also enough grip on offer to reach good lean angles, despite the tyre’s relatively square profile thanks to its aggressive edge.
The tread blocks had great stability and didn’t squirm even when pushed hard on solid terrain. Because the centre blocks are fairly closely packed, it rolled well at trail centres.
Even though the carcass is thinner than Schwalbe’s Super Trail, which I also had on test, it had plenty of strength for a front tyre and didn’t flop in turns or suffer any rips or tears.
Once the trails were wet, though, the Butcher was less sure-footed and didn’t inspire a great deal of confidence over greasy rocks and roots, or on wet ground. On gloopy trails the tyre got packed full of mud and struggled to shed it.
However, it was easy to seat the Butcher on my 30mm (internal width) test rims, fully sealing at 30psi and inflating without a tubeless inflator. They also held air for the whole test period.
Specialized Butcher Grid Trail T9 29 x 2.3in tyre overall
The new Butcher is most at home in dry conditions but provides just enough grip to be left on year-round, if you don’t want to change tyres.
How we tested
We pitted 10 all-mountain/enduro tyres against each other on a host of conditions, testing back-to-back on the same trails, to find out which one we think is worth your time and money.
The five pairs of tyres were all fitted on the same 30mm (internal width) rims and inflated to similar pressures, with slight variances to reflect tyre volume.
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