Specialized Purgatory Grid Tires: Reviewed
Too light, too heavy, side walls aren’t strong enough, side walls are too stiff… We are a picky bunch when it comes to tires, myself included, but the Specialized Purgatory with the Grid casing may just be my Goldilocks tire.
My previous experience with the Purgatory was with the Control casing. I ran that tire ’till it wore out but the sidewall strength and stiffness was always a concern for me. The sidewalls very quickly showed wear with the tire threads showing through. Plus it was very easy to get that tire to roll if the pressure wasn’t 33psi or more, which with that high a pressure compromised the tire’s grip in certain situations. Having said that I was otherwise happy with it, as it hooked up pretty well in the conditions on the north shore and rolled nicely for longer rides up in Squamish and the interior.
The Grid casing is a slightly beefier casing than the Control and the side walls immediately feel a little more substantial when you pick the tire up. The impressive thing is that the Grid only weighs about 40 grams more than the Control, coming in at 795 grams total (in the 29″ version). The promise here is a tire that won’t need such a high pressure to overcome the slightly wimpy sidewalls.
As per my experience with other Specialized tires, mounting the tire to the rim and getting it to seat and establish a tubeless seal was painless and the tire was immediately holding pressure. I went with the cautious approach and threw in what showed as 35psi on the gauge and went for a ride. All the usual traits of the Purgatory are there. It’s a tire that rolls well, has good drive and braking traction and decent edge grip, but this version feels better damped. One of my main quibbles with the Control casing version of this tire was that when pushing the tire hard into turns, it was so easy to feel the sidewall of the tire collapse and squirm. This casing resists that, even now that I am running just under 30psi.
While the Grid casing is certainly a step up over the Control casing, it still doesn’t quite have the beef to the tire of a Maxxis with the EXO casing. Having said that this tire comes in a 125 grams lighter and rolls better than the 2.3 x 29″ Maxxis HR2 3C for instance. My riding location varies quite a bit but this is a pretty good fit and forget tire which for this Goldilocks is a good thing.
Here are the specs for the Specialized Purgatory Grid Tire family:
- Casing: Additional sidewall protection for exceptional durability and sidewall stiffness for stability. 23% improved cut resistance over Control model
- Bead: foldable
- Butyl wrapped bead = 2Bliss Ready
- Center Compound: 60a / Shoulder Compound: 50a
- 26″ x 2.3; psi 35-65; approximate weight 730g
- 650b x 2.3; psi 35-65; approximate weight 755g
- 29″ x 2.3; psi 35-65; approximate weight 795g
What’s your go-to rear tire for AM riding?