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Specialized’s Hillbilly soft terrain tire gets a refresh ready for the winter

Specialized Hillbilly tire
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has reworked its Hillbillly tire ready for the wet winter months ahead. The Hillbilly is designed for soft, loamy and wet conditions, and gets a tweaked tread and a new compound. It will be available in both Grid Trail and Grid Gravity casing options.

To make the best mountain bike tire for loose and loamy conditions you need a tread pattern that's going to dig into the ground for grip. At first glance the new Hillbilly doesn't look all that different from the previous model, but Specialized has made a few changes. The center knob layout remains relatively unchanged with double center knobs that feature interchanging horizontal and vertical siping. Specialized has reworked the shoulders which are now a little staggered and feature some very fine siping patterns on them, presumably to enhance smooth surface cornering grip.

Specialized Hillbilly tire

The Cannibal has a new tread pattern featuring a large block tread (Image credit: Specialized)

The tire now comes in Specialized's T9 compound, which previously impressed us when we tested the Specialized Butcher T9 Grid Trail tire. It has a slow rebound quality to enhance grip and dampening.

The Hillbilly will be available in both Grid Trail and Grid Gravity carcasses depending on your use case. The Grid Trail is designed for a broad range of trail riding with bead-to-bead protection, 60 TPI, folding, anti-cut panels for puncture and pinch flat protection. The Grid Gravity is beefed up for aggressive riding and has a 60 TPI, folding, 2-ply casing.

The Grid Trail 29er tire is claimed to weigh 1070g while the Grid Gravity comes in at a stated 1340g. The 27.5in sizes come in around 100g lighter.

The Specialized Hillbilly is available as a 29er or 27.5 in a 2.4in width, and should be available to buy from launch. The Gravity tire will retail for $75 / £37.50, while the Trail tire is more expensive at $70 / £50.

Specialized Hillbilly tire

(Image credit: Specialized)
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg