The Hutchinson Piranha is currently only one of three ‘cross tires officially made for tubeless use, but you’re able to run the tire with a conventional tube as well.
Michelin’s Mud2 replaced the famous green Mud tire six years ago with an updated black tread and sidewalls, but not everyone thinks the changes were upgrades.
The Steve Larsen-designed Mimo CX looks like an old Vittoria Tigre on steroids and LSD. The round knobs vary in size and surface, with ramped center knobs surrounded by small, smooth knobs and flanked by rows of medium- sized knobs with X cutouts.
The Kenda Kommando was the biggest surprise of this group. With such an understated tread and small, short knobs, this tire is fast and begs to be raced on a dry grass or hardpack dirt course.
Tired of black tires? How about red, blue, or pink? That might be enough of a selling point for some. But rest assured, this miniaturized version of Panaracer’s Fire XC-Pro tire isn’t just designed to look pretty.
n 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.
A tread that’s been around longer than most ‘cross racers has gotta be pretty good, and these “open tubular” Challenge tires, sporting the legendary Clement tread, are great all-around tires that can handle most conditions well.
Continental adapted its popular Speed King mountain bike tire for ’cross, and it’s easy to see why this tread has been popular in the fat tire world.
This is the big brother of the CrossBlaster. If you race mostly deep grass courses, the Cinder-X is not the tire for you. But if you ride and race your bike on a mixture of surfaces, this tire could be an ideal choice.
The Ritchey Excavader is aptly named, as this tire digs into the soft dirt really well. On the pavement, the tire rolls quite smoothly, thanks to its semi-continuous center tread.
The Ritchey Speedmax is a time-tested design and has been around longer than any other clincher tire in this test. There’s a good reason for that, as it’s a fine choice for fast, dry courses, especially as a rear tire. The low profile center tread grips grass, dirt, and pavement well. Cornering traction is very good thanks to the raised knobs. The Speedmax does better as a rear tire, and when things get muddy or loose, reach for a different tire. The Speedmax is also available in 35 and 40c widths.
Cyclocross Magazine’s print subscribers have long enjoyed our comprehensive product reviews, especially our in-depth, objective bike reviews and tests. Issue 12, mailing now, features reviews of the Cannondale Super X, the All City Nature Boy and the Fuji Altamira with two full pages dedicated to each bike, with real-world riding and racing and as always, no advertorial.
by Josh Liberles It will come as no surprise to the dedicated cyclocrosser – one of a breed that chooses to compete in the most …