Specialized have really done an amazing job with their tyre range. On any Specialized bike we’ve ridden, reviewed, or tested over the past few years, we’ve always been completely happy with the rubber, and we’re normally fussy buggers.
No matter what style of mountain biking you like or what type of terrain you ride, it’s pretty likely Specialized have a tyre to suit. The new Purgatory sits towards the trail/all-mountain end of the spectrum, and we’ve been testing the 29×2.3″ size in the Control guise.
The Control designation simply means it’s a little heavier, but also tougher, than the more expensive S-Works version. It uses the same compounds, tread pattern and is ‘2-Bliss’ tubeless ready as well.
We would easily rate the Purgatory as one of the best all-round trail tyres on the market.
It’s not the lightest tyre, but this far it has proven tough and it holds air very well when set up tubeless. There’s clearly a bit of weight in the tread blocks themselves, as they’re well supported and hardwearing. In rubble or sand, the Purgatory strikes a great balance of floating when you want it to (thanks to a decent footprint) but biting in too.
The unique tread pattern rolls well. With a harder compound of rubber (60a) through the centre tread, it’s nice and fast. The side knobs have a durometer of 50a, but they don’t feel as gummy as many similarly rated treads. Still, they hang on tight, even in situations where we’d normally have favoured a softer compound tyre. While we’ve been using this tread on the front, we’ll be looking for another to pair up on the rear.
There are size options for 26 and 29″ riders, but being a Specialized product, 27.5″ riders won’t be catered for. Sorry!