Hutchison aims for home Olympic XC MTB gold with its new Python Race and Python 3 tires

The Hutchison Python Race tire side on view
The new Hutchison Python Race tire is designed for the modern XC racing era (Image credit: Hutchison)

Hutchinson has launched the latest evolutions of its Python tire range – the Python Race and Python 3 XC mountain bike tires. In a home-based Olympic year, the French tire brand hopes to deliver another XC gold medal victory saying these new tires will take its best XC tire range into the modern era.

The Hutchinson Python range is already proven at the highest level of elite XC racing since it was first launched in the 1990s. The original tire was ridden to an Olympic gold medal in 1996 by Italian rider Paola Pezzo. The Python also has multiple World Cups and National Championship victories under its belt and is fresh from a podium at the opening round of this year's Whoop UCI World Cup in Mairiporà, Brazil with Savilia Blunk finishing second in the Women's Elite XCO race.

The Hutchison Python Race tire during an XC race

The Python range has Olympic, World Cups and National Championship wins to its name (Image credit: Hutchison)

Elite XC racing has seen significant changes over the past few years with lighter bikes, evolving bike geometry, improvements in suspension, and wider wheels. Hutchinson therefore to meet the demands of its sponsored teams and riders has decided to create two new tires, Python 3, which is the successor to Python 2, and the Python Race, aimed exclusively at efficiency and performance. Featuring new tread designs and construction specific to the modern era of wider rims and higher-volume tires. 

Handmade in France, both new tires share what Hutchison calls an evolution of its RRXC compound which sees a move to a Bi-compound construction with a harder compound in central sections to assist rolling speed and softer side compound for increased deformation and grip. 

Python Race

The Hutchison Python Race tire tread

The Python Race features a low profile 1.5mm central tread (Image credit: Hutchison)

The Python Race is developed with the Decathlon Ford Racing Team. The team requested the lightest and fastest possible tire. The outcome is a claimed class-leading 600g tire built entirely for speed and is the fastest rolling tire in Hutchinson's MTB range. As a comparison, the Maxxis Aspen weighs in at 653g per tire and the Specialized S-Works Fast Trak is 594g. So the Python Race isn't quite the lightest around but not far away.

A higher volume capacity tire was also on the wish list and when mounted on 30mm wide rims the Python Race has a claimed 60mm volume, aimed to give high levels of traction and deformation. 

The Python Race features the RRXC compound, a 3x127 TPI construction, a super low profile 1.5mm central tread, and more prominent side knobs for increased grip in corners and a degree of puncture protection. 

Available in the Racing Lab Black only and exclusively in a 29" x 2.4" size and will retail for $59.99 / £59.99 / €69.99.

Python 3

The Hutchison Python 3 tire side on with tan walls

The updated Python is 3 has a new bead-to-bead Hard Skin protection layer (Image credit: Hutchison)

The Python 3 is a direct successor to Python 2 and the original Python is newly updated to be a highly versatile tire with an emphasis on speed, grip, and comfort. The tread is now wider in the center, a design Hutchison claims will maintain continued ground contact for increased braking surface and bite, while still providing ample mud clearance. The side knobs are less clustered than the previous model, to give improved grip and more progressive handling. 

Like the Python Race, it has been developed alongside the Decathlon Ford Racing Team and has a bead-to-bead Hard Skin protection layer for increased puncture protection. Python 3 also features the RRXC compound and a 3x66 TPI casing.

The Hutchison Python 3 tire tread

Python 3 also gets a wider central tread design (Image credit: Hutchison)

Available in Black and Tan Wall editions, the Python 3 is available in both 2.3in and 2.4in sizes weighing 780g and 810g respectively, and will retail for £59.99 / €65.99.

The more affordable non-Racing Lab versions of Python 3 will also be available from May in a range of sizes. These forego the Hard Skin puncture protection for Sideskin reinforcement and will retail at $18.99 / £18.99 / €19.99 for the Tubed version and $41.99 / £41.99 / €45.99 for the Tubeless version.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm