Another brand reworking its tyres is Spesh. Bigger, meatier rubber is on the menu, like this 2.6in Specialized Butcher served up with Gripton compound.
The Gripton originally developed for the brand’s road racers. This wider tyre uses a tough, cut-resistant GRID casing that tips it over the 1kg mark, but the cheaper 2.3 version with lighter Control carcass is still available too.
With its deep cornering channel, the Butcher tread’s been a staple for years, but we’ve found the rubber mix less surefooted than some in certain parts of the UK when wet. The new compound claims to up grip levels and increase vibration reduction without effecting either rolling speed or the good wear life experienced previously.
Specialized tyres have always been top value, but you pay £15 more for the bigger volume sizes, which reduces this price advantage.
With way bigger treads, the 2.6in version is a different beast to the older, thinner model, and now competes in terms of tenacious grip with any other top tyre everywhere. The Butcher corner knobs into particular cleave right into turns to rail seamlessly and hold off-cambers with proper assurance. The new compound feels more planted in greasy conditions too, and was predictable on all surfaces we subjected it to.
Spesh’s big tyre rides really soft and comfy, but there’s a slight feeling of a springy, less controlled ride from either the tread blocks or the sidewalls tracking really rough sections. It’s still the best Butcher yet though, and teamed up with a slightly narrower rear, makes for a killer aggro set up.