Specialized The Captain Control 29er Tire

3.64/5 (33 Reviews)


Product Description

The result is The Captain, with fast-rolling center knobs for exceptional transition and edge knobs to attack any trail. Now with 420D1 Control Casing that improves cut resistance.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Teresa

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2013

Strengths:    Pavement: AWESOME. And Awesome downhill on pavement. Good climbing if your not hardpacked.

Weaknesses:    2nd day rear tire washed out around loose corner. Just dumped me and landed in ER. I was running Ardent and ADvantage on rear with previous bike. I should have known better. I applied breaks before turn and into turn my new Epic just turned over with me on it. DO NOT RIDE ON THESE TIRES. End of story.

Bottom Line:   
As I'm a climber and tend to ride on loose dirt, through dust, rock gardens etc. I would not recommend these tires. These tires however ripped going going down hill and on pavement. But on a trail, No Thanks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by crrimson a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2012

Strengths:    Great handling in the corners, low rolling resistance, good all-around tire for dirt singletrack.

Weaknesses:    price.

Bottom Line:   
I have these on my 29er and I love them. I live in Iowa & they have lasted for 2+ years and I'm just now needing to replace the rear tire. While they perform great on dirt, they aren't great in mud or if the trails are extremely hard, dry and dusty.

You can really rail the corners on these, they hook up great, and I've leaned into some corners pretty hard, started sliding slightly, then if I shift my weight just a bit, they hook right back up and keep rolling. They are low resistance tires & roll fast. They are perfect all-around tires.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Buffalo Creek, Pine CO

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Purchased At:   came with bike

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Fast Trak LK, WTB weirwolf, WTB velociraptor

Bike Setup:   Specialized Stumpjumper Marathon 29

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Wil a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2012

Strengths:    Excellent on the road

Weaknesses:    Horrible on mountains

Bottom Line:   
I've owned the Specialized Rockhopper 29' comp for approximately 6 months. Extremely horrified by the "Captain" tires. These tires are horrible on a standard mountain, poor traction while claming hills. The bike is great, but these tires were really designed for the road.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Bike Setup:   Specialized Rockhopper 29' comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by leoferus a Racer

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2012

Strengths:    Excellent grip in corners. Handles most conditions well. Will turn with a little input or will rail if leaned aggressively.

Weaknesses:    If used for it's intended purpose, none.

Bottom Line:   
The Captain is a great all-condition tire. It does not excel in any one category but it does very well in most. If you don't like swapping tires to suit the terrain you're riding these will not disappoint. If you are a Cat 3 racer that is still developing handling skills this tire will give you the confidence you need throughout the season.

The center knobs make it roll nicely while the outer knobs bite aggressively when leaned. As a front tire, the Captain requires a bit of practice before you can exploit its strengths. You must learn to lean the bike a little so that the outer knobs can bite. If you try to corner on the margin of the transitional knobs and the center knobs the results are unpredictable. But if you stick your outside foot down and drop into turns the Captain rewards you will G inducing cornering. As a rear tire, the Captain rolls relatively fast for a knobby. It's strength is seen when you ride off camber, roots, rocks, mud, etc. If it ever slides it quickly catches when you reach the outer knobs. Climbing on steep grades, the Captain does very well on most terrain. But when on wet or loose terrain, you'll want to distribute your weight smartly, as with most tires. The thing is that the closely spaced center knobs cause this tire to spin if too much torque and little weight are applied. Ignitors have been more forgiving of such mistakes.

I've ridden on dry, loose, wet, rooty, and rocky terrain with these. They have done well in all of the above. However, as my handling improves and my need for speed grows, I find that I can use less grip. This is not to say that these are slow tires. But, of course, there are tires that compromise in some aspects for the sake of speed. I am now ready to make the compromise. Although my race setup for dry weather will not include the Captains next season, I know that these will be my go-to tires whenever I go on adventures to unknown places. Others have made mention of sidewall issues but I have not experienced any issues. I've scuffed the tires plenty of times on rocks with no ill effects. They seal easily on Stans Flows wheels with just a scoop or two of sealer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All of White Clay and Middle Run, Fair Hill, and Iron Hill... I can't choose.

Duration Product Used:   About a year.

Price Paid:    $65.00

Purchased At:   Wooden Wheels

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Nevegal, Panaracer Rampage.

Bike Setup:   2011 GT Zaskar Expert, Stans Flows rims.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jim

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2012

Strengths:    Great traction over a variety of terrain. Huge improvement over the stock tires that were supplied with my Specialized Epic.

Weaknesses:    Sidewalls! Competed in my first Xterra (1st race ever on a mountain bike) last weekend. Sidewall ripped while downhilling and somewhat rocky section. Tire AND Rim is now garbage since I couldn't stop fast enough.

Bottom Line:   
Good for traction, crap for sidewall durability.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Andrew a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2012

Strengths:    Worked well for about 10-months.

Weaknesses:    Sidewall failure, and warping

Bottom Line:   
This came as the rear tire on my '11 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29'er. When I initially switched them over to Tubeless with Stan's, they did fine, and kept doing fine for about 8 months.

They did burp a couple times, but were relatively solid. Then, I landed a bit sideways off a small jump, and tore the sidewall. I patched them from the inside, and rode for another few weeks.

Then, on the same small jump, I landed a bit sideways again, and warped the tire. I thought at first my rim was warped, but I put it on a truing stand and the rim was perfectly true, but the tire was skewed. I tried re-mounting them, and to no avail.

They gave me a good ride while they lasted - but between the sidewall hole and the warping, I won't be going back to The Captain.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   The Path, Tustin, CA

Bike Setup:   Mostly Stock '11 Specialized FSR Comp 29er

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mdcrisp a Cross Country Rider from SA, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2011

Strengths:    great tread design, great traction in the rock and dry dirt

Weaknesses:    terrible sidewalls, its suppose to be "2bliss" and ready to add stan's or other tubeless sealants. but the sidewalls keep weeping? I've had to re fill this tire 3 times now with sealant! each just keeps weeping out the sidewalls. I'm going to take it back and see how good specialized is at their warrenty

Bottom Line:   
great tread design for the dry and rocky terrain that I ride, horrible sidewalls, should not be rated "2bliss" maybe the armadillo models will be better with their reinforced sidewalls...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Monarch Crest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   in town

Similar Products Used:   kenda, WTB, Maxxis, Panaracer

Bike Setup:   sweet

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by madsedan a Weekend Warrior from Rockwall, TX

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2011

Strengths:    Weigh, runs tubeless with stans, pliable casing, great grip on climbing and cornering.

Weaknesses:    Nothing yet

Bottom Line:   
I was looking for something that gripped like the Captain Control Armadillo's but was lighter and had a more pliable casing with less rolling resistance. My LBS recommended buying these non 2 bliss standard Controls in a 29x2.0 and I couldn't be happier.
Everything I loved about the previous tires and everything I wanted out of my next ones, great. The weight is about 100 grams lighter than the armadillo 2 bliss they replaced, and the more pliable casing grips great on climbs and handles high speed loose over hard single track great, just load up the outside pedal and lean into it. Still experimenting with pressures but fr 28 and rr 30 this morning was great.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   RCP, Squabble Creek

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   Rockwall Cycling

Similar Products Used:   Fast Trak LK 29x2.0, Captain Control Armadillo 2bliss 29x2.2

Bike Setup:   Niner EMD, 1x9, all SRAM X9, flows

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by acesEPIC a Cross Country Rider from Fairfield, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2011

Strengths:    SWorks Captain 29 x 2.0"
These tyres actually roll really well on road for knobby tires. The center tread design keeps rolling resistance down when the bike is upright.


Weaknesses:    sidewall threads show thru after a long period of use

Bottom Line:   
I built my Titus 29er with these tyres thinking the center tread design would allow them to roll quickly on road. Many of my training rides consists of several miles on road until I hit the dirt. I set pressure at 30# front & rear & go. These tyres have impressed me all terrain types, both dry & wet. I don't change tires based on the terrain or season, rather ran these all year long for 2 years. Pump them up to 45#, hook up the Burley Solo & I'm towing our 4 year old on a family ride. They actually roll on road impressively well!

These tyres grip really well when leaned over at speed in the dirt, roll quickly up fire road climbs & handle the abuse of technical rock gardens. Although the sidewall threads showed thru almost since the beginning. I never had a problem as described by others that the "sidewalls blew out after only a few rides..."

I like the challenge of very steep technical climbs, which the Captains have handle without much wheel spin. When I wore my pair our, I bought a pair of 2.2" Nobby Nics, which also produced superb grip. Almost too much, in that I'm already thinking about switching back to either a 2.0" or 2.2" Captain. Coincidentally, the 2.2" Nobby Nics are very similar in design, however, they have a smaller volume than the 2.0" Captains.?., which is why I switched to the 2.2" Nobby Nic.

If you're the XC to aggressive XC type, I think these are the perfect tire for you. I've ridden Fast Trak LK's, which felt a tad faster, but the Captain's provided much better grip when leaned over in the loose.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rockville

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Ray's Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.2" newest version (2011)

Bike Setup:   Titus Fireline HT, XTR, Fox 80mm RLC, Eriksen Ti post

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mtb_dood a Weekend Warrior from Lexington, KY US

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2011

Strengths:    Good grip in different conditions, with good side bite in corners without sacrificed rolling resistance.


Weaknesses:    Sidewall durability is not very good as there is a small tear in the sidewall. This is a non-2bliss model so they may have improved it by now.

Bottom Line:   
Good all around tire that has good traction and rolling characteristics. I would recommend getting 2bliss model for durability concerns otherwise a great tire.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Nevegal, Smallblock eight, Specialized fast trak

Bike Setup:   Salsa Big Mama

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gendo a Racer from Portland, Oregon

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2011

Strengths:    Great all purpose tread design

Weaknesses:    None for cross country riding and racing. If it's it super wet or smooth and dry, use a different tire, but for in b/t those extremes this tire is perfect.

Bottom Line:   
This my first review. Thought I'd chip in my $.02 as I'm a believer in this tire. I've used the same 2.0 Captain with the Control casing on my front wheel in the BC Bike Race, Creampuff 100, and multiple 50 miles races and rides and it's still going strong. Amazing.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Specialized

Similar Products Used:   Too many to list. I've also tried the S-Works Captain and these just didn't hold up. I tore up the casings straight away. Too light for anything but perfectly groomed courses.

Bike Setup:   Turner Flux

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by seattle43 a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta, GA

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2011

Strengths:    Consistancy, traction and durability.

Weaknesses:    A bit heavy

Bottom Line:   
Coming from Road/Tri background I don't have much experience on MTB tires, yet my first race was a 6 hr endurance ride in 35* weather, thru mud, rocks and roots. The tires kept their grip and kept me upright when other were falling. Have since used on very rocky terrain and no issues with punctures. I'm 6' / 175lbs and run PSI @ 32 F&B with tubless set up. As the weather gets better I will most likely put a faster/lighter tire on the back, yet for the front - this tire works and keeps me upright...can't get any better than that!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Epic Expert 29er

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by motox155 a Cross Country Rider from socal

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2011

Strengths:    Decent rear tire

Weaknesses:    poor feeling front tire

Bottom Line:   
After tearing the sidewall on my second set of Crossmarks, the LBS talked me into replacing my ruined front crossmark with "The Captain". Mounted it up tubeless and did a couple local loop. Right away I didn't much care for the feel it had...kinda sketchy compared to the very neutral feeling crossmark. Almost like the tire felt like it was going flat. I put a bit more air in it which helped but I still didn't care for the feel. I switched it to the back and have been using it ever since. Works okay in the back but once it wears out I wont be getting another.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $40.00

Similar Products Used:   Maxxis Crossmarks

Bike Setup:   Superfly

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Varaxis a Weekend Warrior from Perris, CA

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2011

Strengths:    Good performance in relatively deep sand and loose soil. Clears mud fairly well.

Weaknesses:    Terrible traction on side knobs on hardpack

Bottom Line:   
Not really good for SoCal hardpack/compressed granite. Slips on off cambers, around ruts, and on corners. Ikons have been better in all but mud and sand.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   San Juan

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Ikon, SB8, Ardent

Bike Setup:   Superfly 100, Edge Rims, Chris King hubs, Tubes

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jim Evans a Cross Country Rider from Palm Spings, CA

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2011

Strengths:    seem to provide good traction and cornering but I can't really comment as I this is the only set using my 29er.

Weaknesses:    lots of flats and very weak sidewalls

Bottom Line:   
These came with the bike. Have less than 500 miles and have gone through 6 tubes patched many times. Just tried to go tubeless but there are so many holes and tears in the rear it wouldn't hold tubeless Slime. Looking for replacement - definitely won't get these again.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   first set of 29er tires

Bike Setup:   stock Specialized Stumpjumper 29

Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


The Captain 2.2 front, Ground Control rear?

I recently got a 2.2 Specialized The Captain as a front tire and I like as it's a great compromise between rr, traction & cornering in the conditions I ride in. Problem is, I originaly bought it to use it on the rear, but it didn't work for me as a) It was actually larger (as in taller profile) than ... Read More »

2.2 The Captain Control larger than 2.3 Butcher Control?

I just replaced my front wheel 2.4 Purgatory Control with a 2.3 Butcher Control. Once on the bike I noticed the 2.3 Butcher is quite a bit smaller than the 2.2 Captain I have mounted on the rear. Other than looking a bit off, does this affect performance in any way? I've always had a smaller tire ... Read More »

The Captain Sport or Control?

ok so i am looking at a new [B]rear[/B] tire and i'm thinking about the Specialized [B]The Captain[/B]. i was wondering if it would be best in [B]Sport or Control[/B] model. i ride [B]mostly hardpack mixed with some softer ground, a little mud with roots, not many rocks[/B] though. i was also wonder ... Read More »

The Captain Control 2Bliss Ready Tire

Anyone have experience with this tire? Looking for a good all round race and trail tire and these seem to fit the bill. Also anyone know how they roll compared to a saguaro> Thanks :thumbsup: !Read More »

Alternatives to the 2Bliss Captain Control

Are there any UST or Tubeless-Ready alternatives to the Captains? I don't like using tires that have loose rim-to-tire interfaces and prefer the thicker beads of UST and TLR tires. I use Stan's Flow and Arch rims. I hear that Specialized is coming out with some GRID tires and they may have bet ... Read More »

Read More »



 

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