First Ride: Hutchinson's New Griffus Tires
The tires are constructed with a 66tpi casing, and Hutchinson's Hardskin fabric runs from bead to bead to provide additional puncture protection. The tread is comprised of three compounds – there's a 94a durometer base layer that provides support, which is overlayed by a 50a durometer rubber for the center tread pattern, and softer, 40a compound for the side knobs. Oh, and for all the tan sidewall fans out there, that's an available option, as long as you have 27.5” wheels.The 29 x 2.5” Griffus has a claimed weight of 1100 grams, and the 2.4” models is supposed to weigh in at 1050 grams, but on my scale both tires weighed the same – 1060 grams.
Ride ImpressionsHutchinson bill the Griffus as a dry conditions tire, but I think that's underselling the range of usable conditions a bit. Yes, in really deep mud a taller, more open tread pattern will be the way to go, but my first few rides have all been in wet, squishy conditions, and the Griffus did just fine. The fact that they don't have a super tall, mud-spike-like tread profile actually helps on wet roots and rocks – there's less chance of the knobs collapsing and causing sudden slide outs. The Griffus' overall profile is a bit more round than square, which gives them a very predictable nature – there's not the on / off sensation that a really squared-off profile can deliver when transitioning to the side knobs. I need more time on them (and some sunny weather) to really make the call on their rolling resistance, dry conditions performance, and durability, but so far things are off to a promising start. The rubber compound seems nice and sticky, the tread pattern is easy to get along with, and the casing has a nice supple feel to it that allows the tires to really conform to the trail. The competition in the all-mountain / enduro tire world is heating up, which is good news for consumers - there are more trail-worthy options on the market than ever. The Griffus seems like it'll be a very versatile addition to Hutchinson's lineup, and it's going to be interesting to see what else emerges from their Racing Lab program.