Specialized HillBilly Grid Mud Tyre Review
February 3rd, 2017
Product Full Name | Specialized Hillbilly Grid 29 x 2.3 2Bliss
Retail Price | £35
Available From | Specialized UK
Specialized HillBilly – great value winter thrasher
A decent open tyre helps cut through the slop when the going gets muddy, and this 29in-only tyre from Specialized is one of the best we’ve used. And it’s also one of the cheapest…
With a similar tread to the XC biased Storm Control, the HillBilly is noticeably more aggressive with a gnarlier look.
The lugs are more evenly spaced, have hollowed out tops – promising more control on varied surfaces . The shoulder is aggressive and offers a lot of support for cutting in on corners and cambers.
The Specialized Hillbilly is available in one size – 29in, and one casing option – 2.3 2Bliss. The rubber is dual compound with a faster rolling 50a on the centre tread, and a tacky 42a on the shoulder for maximum purchase in turns.
At over a kilo (1050grams), it’s not a light tyre – but it is tough and designed for maximum traction and durability.
Out on the Trail
With a pair of the Specialized Hillbilly’s onboard, you won’t be rolling fast on firm surfaces – but you will be laughing as soon as you hit the soft stuff. They work brilliantly on a variety of surfaces – even in the dry.
And whilst the 2.3in size is big enough to offer a decent footprint at low pressures, it’s thin enough to cut through and find grip when your usual tyres have long given up.
It doesn’t seem to matter where you point them either – wet rock; roots and even the worst mud is predictably handled. And they don’t hold on to mud either – they are immense at clearing.
The casing is decent too – they inflated first time on both wheelsets we tried them on, and we’ve had no issues with slices despite riding them hard in some pretty nasty flint and slate.
Although the cut-spike style design works excellently at slightly firmer pressures, the casing is stiff enough to hammer on through at sub 20psi with no issues.
Overall feel – unsurprisingly – isn’t far off a Schwalbe Magic Mary – but at £35 in a tough dual compound casing are great value.
The downside of the Specialized Hillbilly?
They’re only currently available in 29 x 2.3. But if that suits you, you’ll be laughing all the way through that off camber s***fest this winter!
What a great tyre.