Hutchinson's Griffus tyres have excelled on the enduro stage this year with Isabeau Courdurier totally dominating the 2019 EWS series using this specific compound. While the French firm has been making excellent tubeless carcasses for years the Griffus is the first compound/tread mix to really work well as a fit-and-forget tyre for almost all conditions.
Ride, handling and performance
The Hutchinson Griffus tyres come in two subtly different versions. The 2.5in uses alternating, mid-height sloped fronted knobs for grip up front, while the 2.4in version is designed to roll slightly faster on the back with a shallower sloped, flattened centre knob. While they're the same height there's actually only a 1mm difference in width (62 and 61mm wide at 20psi on a 29mm internal rim) and 10g variance in weight (1050 vs 1040g). That means front and rear labelling would probably make more sense (or just buying 2.5s in winter so they’ve worn a bit flatter in summer).
Both use the same ‘Race Ripost’ compound 94a base material, 50a centre and 40a shoulder rubber recipe though. The tread ramping and hard-base compound makes them faster than the 50/40a compound mix suggests, only being noticeably out rolled on smooth, hard surfaces by significantly sketchier tyres.
The slight sense of glue and grunt on Tarmac transfer sections translates to a fantastically surefooted and performance off-road though. The rounded shape and balanced tread mean very predictable behaviour around the breakaway point in wet or dry conditions.
The knobs aren’t so high that they suddenly snap out on wet roots or rocks either and the carcass feel is fantastically damped and quiet. That not only helps with speed when you’re properly charging through chunder, but it also cuts out distracting feedback ‘noise’ for confident, accurate traction judgement and response. It stays stable right down to low teen pressures too and within minutes of effortlessly inflating the Griffus right through to current winter conditions we’ve never worried about dropping our shoulders and showing the ground our grips whatever the weather or surface.
We’ve had no tear or rapid wear issues in several months of testing either and we’ve killed a couple of rims while using them without the 66TPI ‘Hardskin’ carcass showing any signs of ill health. The 27.5-inch tyres also come in a skin wall option too if you’re feeling fancy. Add the fact that they’re significantly cheaper than other premium tyres and the Griffus sets a new benchmark for giant-killing performance at a killer price. As versatile as this tyre is we’re certainly keen to see what Hutchinson releases next in its Racing Lab range.
- Price: £45
- Weight: 1040g (2.4in)
- Protection: Hardskin
- Sizes: 2.4-, 2.5in