Improved rubber compounds and a low price tag makes these Specialized tyres a great choice for trail riders.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Specialized Purgatory Grid tyre


  • Excellent value. Light. Good traction and grip.


  • Sidewall support is lacking. Not the fastest rear tyre out there.


Specialized Purgatory Grid 2Bliss T7 tyre review


Price as reviewed:


The latest Specialized Purgatory is still a pure trail tyre, but it has been completely redesigned to offer more cornering grip and extra braking traction for aggressive riders and faster speeds and boost its performance against the best mountain bike tyres on the market.

In common with all new Spesh MTB tyres, it uses new ‘T’ rubber blends and casing technology developed by working with a new manufacturing partner and taking full control of production from start to finish. The T7 blend ridden here is softer and tackier than the faster-rolling T5 rubber, but less squidgy and slow-rebounding than the T9 used on some enduro and DH models.

The tread pattern sees centre blocks point forwards in a slightly zig-zagged chevron with sucker-like hollowed out centres and lengthways sipes (cuts) through knobs to help trace terrain and meld to the ground when braking or seeking traction climbing. The Purgatory also has more aggressive jutting shoulder lugs than many equivalents that are also reinforced on outer edges for more support at high lean angles.

The foldable GRID casing here is lighter and more supple than Spesh’s enduro tyres, but does have some (Maxxis EXO-style) sidewall reinforcement in tread-free areas so it can resist snakebites and scrapes, cuts or penetrations from sharp trail surfaces much better than a pure XC tyre.

Perfect for the trendy new down-country category then, and overall grip levels are high with a stable, not-too-bouncy ride, great traction and good mechanical grip. But rolling speed isn’t as fast as something like a Schwalbe Addix Blue tyre in Wicked Will (or even Nobby Nic guise), so that’s the trade-off. In T7 guise, the Purgatory feels less scratchy and skippy under braking than a Schwalbe though.

This 2.3in version isn’t massive, but blows up big enough to isolate bumps effectively and has a flattened crown that also increases stability by not being too eager to topple side-to-side at speed; this is an effect that can feel a bit too lively on more rounded lighter tyres that get deflected readily. Laying more rubber on the ground in the crown likely impacts on pure rolling pace though – a theory that’s easily demonstrated on any tyres by trying thinner rims that create a more rounded crown.

Even if it’s not the fastest in category, at 835g the Purgatory’s acceleration and climbing pace is noticeably speedy compared to an enduro tyre. It’s only marginally faster (and lighter) than something like a Maxxis Dissector though, and in bone dry and Velcro-like compacted dirt, with tons of friction and leant over cornering grip, it’s easier to overwhelm the sidewall support than with Maxxis’s EXO casing.


Premium Maxxis tyres with 3C rubber cost almost double the Purgatory though, and with this new version being leagues ahead of older Specialized models, it’s a great all-rounder at a silly cheap price considering the level of performance.


Compound:T5 or T7(tested)
Sizes:27.5in, 29inx2.3in (tested), 2.6in