Specialized Ground Control MTB Tyre Review
I consider myself an average rider, not really taking things too seriously thus Tyre choice is important but not actually critical. Yes, like most people I’ve developed a liking for a specific brand and tyre based on my experience, in my case it was Continental Race.
In 2015 i was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new bike (Specialized Camber Comp Carbon). The bike off the floor was equipped with the Specialized Ground Control (Control) tyres. I was obviously as an average rider not going to add another R1000+ to my bike to replace the already tubeless tyres to Conti’s. So I was forced to give them a shot.
Well, I find myself now looking back 3 years later and, I still ride the same tyres (until recently the actual same tyre in front). From the picture you can clearly see that I pushed my front tyre to the absolute limit and then added some more.
So here’s where I came from. As mentioned my previous preference was Continental Race but this wasn’t where I started. When I started mountain biking back in 2005 like with my Camber I started with the tyres i got on my bike. I don’t even remember all the brands and models I tried but there were loads. Punctures and sidewall cuts were a common problem I tried to solve or improve. Then came grip, as skill became somewhat of a factor. I literally tried every tire on the shelf, Schwalbe, Maxis and more. With their various flavors and grip profiles.
Some short notes on the ones I tried as I’m sure you’ll ask, the Maxis crossmark was for me the worst, yes they had a good sidewall, but that was about it. The Schwalbe tyres just seemed to have no grip, good sidewall but even agressive rubber it felt like the rubber compound was just too hard. The Continental tyres offered fantastic grip, with good sidewall protection and well ok puncture protection. I accepted the puncture problem at the cost of fantastic grip and some additional sealant.
Then came the Spez tyres… Besides the bike that absolutely blew me away the tyre performance just lifted my confidence. Post my first set I remained with the brand and model and continued with the control version that offered some additional sidewall protection. Even after years of use (15 000km) they just remained solid. The compound use is comparable to the conti race but slightly more aggressive offering me that little bit of more confidence hitting the corners. Puncture protection far superior to the Conti’s including great sidewall protection (I did lose 1x tyre due to a cut, but i doubt that any other tyre would have surved that ange and that steel plate).
Well I hope I’ve given you something to consider, that’s me (90kg beast) and my tyre choice.