A fantastic budget option despite the hefty weight
The first thing that stands out about the new Specialized Hillbilly — for a sticky rubber, dual-ply enduro-ready tyre — is its bargain price.
It is essentially a cut-down mud spike, with a hollowed-out, sucker-pad version of the Storm tread. The second thing we noticed is how, as mountain bike tyre technology moves forward, more tyres begin to look like blocky motocross treads.
It makes sense; motorbikes have to churn through loose, often-muddy, conditions looking for grip, and you almost feel like you’re on a ‘crosser bombing around with the Hillbillys on.
Sure, at over a kilo, they feel draggy, but the tough, reinforced casing should see you through any scrapes and knocks, and wherever you plant the sharp blocks they just grab and never let go. Even the rolling speed isn’t that bad considering the capability and control on offer.
Mud clearing ability is superb, but the Hillbilly is also surefooted and predictable on intermediate surfaces. As an aggressive tyre that’s not too painful to pedal round, the Hillbilly is a fantastic option. And it’s even available to fit 29in wheels.