Tire Review: Hutchinson Bulldog CX Tubeless Ready Cyclocross Tire Review
(Ed. note: this original review was for the non-carbon bead Hutchinson Bulldog version introduced in 2007. Our update at the bottom includes impressions from the carbon bead Hutchinson Bulldog tubeless cyclocross tire.)
Racing and Riding Impressions: In Transitions, the ’cross movie, we witness former pro and former Hutchinson guy Marc Gullickson clipping some of the knobs off his old Hutchinson clincher before a race to get ready for the “peanut butter” mud he expects to encounter. Perhaps the Bulldog is the type of tire he was trying to create at the time.
The Bulldog’s well-spaced knobs give good bite on soft and muddy surfaces, while the open tread sheds the messy stuff. On the grass and hardpack, the tire has good grip, maybe even too much for speed-freaks on all-grass courses. The large volume and high thread count create a relatively comfortable tire (due to the volume) that can be run at low pressures even with a tube, making it a great choice for the trail as well. The sidewalls have an extra layer of rubber that give the tire more sidewall protection and help it remain airtight in tubeless use. This rubber helps the tire feel less squirmy, but it’s also less supple than a thin-wall clincher or nice tubular.
The downsides to the tire is that the grey tread wear pretty quickly, and cornering grip on loose surfaces was hindered by the large gap and angle (on a narrow rim) between the side knobs and the wide square center tread knobs. But overall, the Bulldog is a good all-around tire for most courses as well as trail riding. Most importantly, its large volume should allow most racers to run lower pressures than they are used to, and race faster because of this. We had luck running this tire to about 30psi tubeless, but experienced burps in pressures lower than that in corners and on rocks. That’s around the same pressure we can run clinchers with tubes without too much danger of pinching, and so the tubeless benefit of this model is debatable.
June 2012 Update: The newer carbon-bead models of the Hutchinson Bulldog and Piranha tubeless cyclocross tires present a rock-solid tubeless option for cyclocrossers when paired with a Road Tubeless rim. We’ve had tremendous luck running this combination with Easton EA90 RT wheels, as well as Shimano WH-7801 Dura-Ace wheels, as low as 19psi in the front and 21 psi in the back (for 160lb rider) with no burps. These tires have now been discontinued in favor of the black, lighter and much narrower Piranha 2 and the Toro 700×32 clinchers, but are still available from many stores. We have not had great luck with the carbon bead tires on Stan’s NoTubes rims (NoTubes does not even recommend them on their rims) and have had mixed success using them on converted rims.
Also be sure to see our Going Tubeless series. Part 3 of Going Tubeless for Cyclocross is here.
Width (listed / measured): 34mm / 33mm
Weight (listed / measured): 405g / 385g
MSRP: $ 49.95