the UK bike market has been suffering from the currency devaluation of the British Pound, which means many aftermarket tire prices have gone through the roof !
For the past few years, many riders have focused on Maxxis…Maxxis…Maxxis, to the exclusion of many other brands which offer very good tires, often made in the same factory!!
As Maxxis have become very expensive for bike shops to stock, and customers to buy, we have started suggesting a great range of tires from our production brand Specialized
If you know “who” these great tires are made by, you would not dismiss them so readily, and the prices we can offer Specialized tires at, are extremely competitive, and as the tires are packed full of technology they offer a very high ride performance
Something we have also found with Specialized tires is that their “given” size is considerably larger than that for many brands, which means a 2″ Specialized tire is more like a 2.3″ Maxxis tire when inflated, and a 2.3″ Specialized tire is more like a 2.5″ Maxxis tire when inflated – with Specialized you get a light weight tire yet with a generous air volume to provide a good cushion between your wheel rim and the ground
2BLISS MTB TIRES
There’s a reason why the Specialized pro team rides 2Bliss tires- they want a tire that can handle the low pressure they run (sometimes 25 psi) for durability and better traction, but they also want light weight.
Specialized 2Bliss blends the best of both worlds. It’s not your standard tubetype (TT), which is lightweight, but can fall short on puncture resistance and “burps” when used with sealant.
And it’s not your standard tubeless (UST) that reducespinch flats and the need for sealant, but often adds 200+ grams.
2Bliss is a whole new design that uses TT casing with a special UST bead, replacing the standard UST heavy backing with strategically placed rubber only around the bead.
The result is a perfect tire for the discerning MTB rider: low pressure allowance, no burping and fewer grams than its forefathers.
Most of the Specialized MTB tires come in the revolutionary 2Bliss configuration, except for Sport models (DH, Armadillo, Armadillo Elite and 29″ tires excluded); TT and UST are no more.
If you want to run our 2Bliss with a tube, be our guest.
Without a tube, use a tubeless conversion system like Stan’s No-Tubes sealant, and you’re well on your way to a longer, better mountain ride, again and again.
If you have never thought of Specialized for your tires, here is a quick introduction to their range:
Fast Trak LK Control 2-bliss
This is a low profile tire for drier conditions, which offers a very lightweight and fast rolling profile, yet is very grippy with its dual compound (70a centre, 60a shoulder) construction, as long as you are not riding in deep sand or very loose dirt (as the low profile tread cannot grip loose surfaces as well as a tire with deeper tread) it works brilliantly
The Control variant of the Fast Trak LK is stock on alot of Specialized’s high-end hardtail bikes, it also makes an awesome tire for riders into dirt jumping, 4X racing and pump track riding – basically anyone using their bike on harder surfaces who wants a light weight tire (it has a kevlar bead) that is grippy and very easy to use with tubeless conversion systems like Stan’s No-Tubes
This tire is my personal favourite for Dirt Jump, Slopestyle and bike park riding, used with Stan’s No-Tubes, as its much lighter and grippier than tires from “Dirt Jump” brands (which are often cheaply made, heavy generic tires)
The Captain Control 2-Bliss
The captain is the tire designed and promoted by MTB legend Ned “The Captain” Overend – its a great all-conditions tire which is fast rolling, lightweight (kevlar bead), grippy (dual compound – 70a centre, 60a shoulder) tire for all conditions and perhaps the best choice for all-round riding where you will encounter many different trail conditions during one ride
I rode this tire all through the past winter in rain, mud and snow, and never had any issues with traction even on technical climbs, with the 2-bliss casing its very easy to inflate with tubeless setups like Stan’s No-Tubes
Sauserwind Control 2-bliss
The XC Racer’s favourite, as this tire is designed and promoted by XC World Champion Chistoph Sauser
Its an extremely light weight and fast rolling, yet grippy tire with a dual compound (65a centre, 55a shoulder), kevlar casing which has a lower profile than many tires – like low profile automobile tires!
Like the other 2-bliss tires in the range, very easy to setup with tubeless conversion systems like Stan’s No-Tubes or Mavic’s UST with a cup of Stan’s sealent
Storm Control 2-bliss
It’s perhaps the wrong time of year to be mentioning the Storm, unless we get a “typical” British Summer, which means rain and mud…
the Storm tire is the foul weather tire in the range, and its open tread pattern quickly sheds mud and gloop, and the dual compound design (65a centre / 55a shoulder) offers grip on rocks and roots, where many mud specific tires fail…
Eskar Control 2-bliss
The Big Daddy – Eskar is the perfect All-Mountain tire because its big in volume (2.3″ but more like a 2.5″ Maxxis tire) and good on durability yet light and grippy (65a centre, 55a shoulder), and works great with tubeless conversion systems
One of the main problems with All-Mountain bikes can be the weight of the tires and wheels, if not careful you end up with similar wheels and tires as used on freeride bikes – as an example a 2.3″ single ply Maxxis tire weighs in at over 900 grammes, and 2.3″ dual ply Maxxis at 1200 grammes!
If you are smart and run a set of Stan’s ZTR Flow rims on your hubs of choice with DT Swiss double-butted spokes and a great set of big volume, light weight tires like the Eskar Control 2-bliss with Stan’s No-Tubes, you end up with a light, tough and puncture resistant wheel setup that will let you build a 30lb All-Mountain bike without getting into silly expenditure on carbon fibre and titanium bolt-kits, or using XC components which won’t take all-mountain riding abuse!
Eskar has kevlar beads and the Control variant with the 2-bliss casing is a cinch to inflate with tubeless systems
If you are interested in any of these tires, please give Freeborn a call or get in touch by email – we offer great deals on pairs of the Specialized Control tires, these often work out cheaper than a single tire from many other brands!