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.
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.