Specialized Butcher GRID 2Bliss Ready 27.5 x 2.8" Tyre £50.00
Specialized rubber brings home the grip goods but is underwhelming in size
Jan 21 2018
Grip by the bucket load
Tough carcass means their durable and allow low pressures with minimal squirm
Hefty at 1060g per tyre
Narrower overall size means they stall easier than larger plus tyres
Soft compound and aggressive lugs can slow the pedalling pace
You want a truly aggressive plus-sized tyre for gravity fuelled fun and don’t mind a narrower shell and some heft as a cost, albeit not financially
The new 2.8” Specialized Butcher tyre offers a very fair price, grip by the bucket load and a stiff and durable carcass offers keen predictability. However, a low overall volume for a 2.8” and higher weight does make them a bit of a slog to pedal.
The Butcher has become a staple addition to many a mountain biker’s rubber collection these days, and for good reason. At £50 for a ‘plus’ tyre, they are very reasonable compared to others whilst offering superb traction and durability. The updated design of chunky siped lugs with better mud shedding ability is a real winner in my eyes, offering predictability in all but the claggiest of mud. Where the older Butcher could break away with occasionally fickle intentions, this new iteration offers even more confidence and clears muck impressively well.
The sidewall protection offered by the Grid carcass is equally impressive, and fitting to any rim is a doddle, often inflating tubeless with only a track pump. The underlayer of 70a adds to the overall stiffness of the casing meaning on my 37mm internal width rims, I could get away with pressures as low as 13/14psi on the front with minimal squirm. Add that ground conforming pressure to the tacky 42a durometer outer layer and you really have got more grip than you can shake a stick at.
The relatively low width and volume for a 2.8" tyre is both a good and not so good, we measured ours at nearer to 2.7" on 37mm internal width rims. The narrower width than expected does mean they offer more cut-through and penetration than bulbous, rounded block tread plus tyres of old however the smaller volume does limit rollover capabilities. The real benefit of true plus tyres is the increased rollover with reduced stalling on trail chunder and consecutive hits, the smaller volume means the tyre tends to stall more than their fatter cousins. Add to this the soft compound, chunky lugs and fairly hefty weight of 1060g per tyre and they can become quite a slog on flatter trails. It also makes acceleration harder work, especially when maintaining speed is key.
However, that said, everything is a compromise. The level of grip is truly outstanding and the tough, durable carcass allows an array of pressures with minimal fuss and the Grid casing greatly reduces the chance of putting a hole or tear in one.
To summarise, if you spend most of your time on soft fire roads or flatter, pedally trails, you’ll appreciate something lighter and more plump. But, if you’re looking for a fatter tyre for mostly gravity fed sessions where grip and rigidity are of paramount importance, the Butcher could be a winner.
A self confessed bike geek, Adam has been riding bikes for over two decades and breaking things for nearly as long. With more facial hair than on his head, his appearance is one of a hard paper round! He's friendly, approachable, critical and fair - loves a good stoppie and a turnbar tuesday, real ale and long bikes.