Hutchinson Barracuda Air Light 26x2.10 Tire has aggressive profile combining brake adhesion, traction, lateral grip and solidity. The AIR LIGHT process is all about making HUTCHINSON tires as light as possible by optimizing all the components of the tire.
Weaknesses: Piece of crap tire. After 150 miles on typical cross country riding, no racing, the knobs started tearing off. A big weakness is Hutchison's customer service, They do not list a phone number on their website and they did not respond to my emails. LBS wouldn't do anything. Both have lost a customer and my riding buddies.
My 1 year re-review. Still a great XC tire. I can sidehill in wet conditions, climb loose junk, and rail in turns. The sidewalls have really held up (2-3X better than spesh). I'm not a huge fan of the rear tire other than it is a good match to the front for breakaway. They do fine in loam and moderately wet clay. They have a weird moderate rolling resistance at low speeds that goes away at fast speeds. I did get some burping on the rear with stans.
Similar Products Used: Everything but the Mtn King.
Bike Setup: XC HT and AM 6"
a Cross Country Rider
from Durango, Colorado
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2008
Strengths: CORNERING. general straight line traction, seems durable so far
Weaknesses: Rolling resistance - compared to a panaracer fire xc pro anyhow. Probably more my issue than the tire.
Tried these as replacement for my favorite tire the Fire XC Pros. the Panaracers were not hooking as well as I'd like out here in durango, and these looked fairly aggressive.
I'd say these are a true 2.3 tire size-wise. In context, I find that Conti's run smaller than spec'd. First thing I noticed with this tire was rolling resistance, but i think thats to be expected when moving to such a wide, knobbed tire. Barracudas do not like to go slow, but once up to speed, or coming downhill, they shine bright. In loose stuff or softer dirt, these hook up and corner like no other tire I've used. Maxxis are close, but these hold a carve so nicely. Not quite as grippy on hardpack, but not bad either. Collect mud pretty good, and lets it go all at once when you reach a certain speed, below that speed they don't shed so well. Structurally, they are tough as any other tire. I've pounding these things on sharp rocks and various exposed, broken roots, and they've not given in yet. No punctures, tears, or missing knobs after 6 weeks of abuse. I did snake bit them last night, but only because I was running lower pressure and was not paying attention. Next time I may try the next size smaller like a 2.1 or so, I just like the more direct feel with a little narrow tire. Recommended if you don't mind the weight of the 2.3 version (advertised weight is.. misleading I think). If you ride loose stuff a lot, or soft loamy dirt, these will work. For $40 for the two, I give them 5 out of 5, not really any complaints I can give them considering the kind of tire they are.
Similar Products Used: panaracer fire xc, tioga downhill pro, wtb motoraptor, conti vert pros, some maxxis uber knobb thing,
Bike Setup: Single speed - Sette Reken Hardtail, WTB disc wheels, Rrace Face evolve cranks, synchros pedals, hell bent bars, thompson stem, Rigid Monocog Forks, Magura discs
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2008
Strengths: light weight, foldable, $15
Weaknesses: three rides = two flats, plus one torn lug
I had ran the stock Maxxis tires for two years and never had a flat. I'm using the same type and size of tube in both set ups and I was running the pressure right in the middle/higher end of the pressure range. I bought these lighter tires on sale for $15 ea b/c I thought it would be easier to keep up with my buddies on their XC rigs. Well I'm even slower now b/c I spend all my time changing tubes. I know these are marketed as a wide XC (maybe even an all mountain) tire, but I was on a simple XC trail, no big drops or anything remotely technical, just some wimpy log crossings. On the first ride, no problems, the next ride I had a flat in the front, and the third ride I had a pinch flat in the rear. I also ripped a lug off the front tire on the second ride. I guess if you want a 2.3 inch tire for crusing down a paved bike path, these may fit the bill, but they were a major waste of my money. I will never buy another Hutchinson product again b/c of this bad experience. I just ordered a new set of Maxxis High Roller 2.35s for $35 ea, but at least I won't have to worry about getting a flat on every ride.
Similar Products Used: Maxxis High Roller (stock on bike), plus lots of others
Bike Setup: Gemini, Sherman Breakout Plus, Progressive 5th Element, Hayes 8-inch, RF North Shore Cranks, other goodies
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2008
Strengths: Front is wide, light, good edge grip and fast rolling center.
Weaknesses: Rear is a bit narrow, and needs more pressure than advised for big kids.
I have ridden them on hard pack, rutted hard pack, gravel and paved roads, light and moderate mud. This tire rolls very well, cleans mud well (not Geax blade well of course, but better than most xc tires), and does a good job in loose side hilling.
This is a superb front tire. Bought it to replace my 2.3 mutano (superb xc tire) just to see what was on the market. Then my spesh rear croaked, so it was time for a dual test.
The rear is a bit slower, smaller than a lot of 2.0s, Th tread is LT style compared to the front, needs some air to get it right for my big tail.
Both are well-matched with very stable breakaway.
I run stans in the front and a tube in the rear. Doesn't leak yet, and hold air better than my tubeless spesh.
The sidewalls are average xc thin, and better than the single wall spesh. So don't go slapping this around in rock gardens. It is a precision tire, not a downhill double-walled tank. Having watched a ton of riders banging the rear around it doesn't shock me that people hole them. Just sit in the saddle and ride.
Similar Products Used: All of spesh, several WTB, and misc. other brands.
Bike Setup: HT xc machine
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2007
Strengths: All conditions tire, fairly low rolling resistance, reasonable weight, great traction up hills, corner on rails, no flats, big for a 2.3 tire
Weaknesses: none yet
WOW! Had almost given up on finding the perfect tire. Previous the Conti Vert Pro came close. But never thought I could get this much performance from any tire. I have these on font and rear. Corners faster and with more grab than anything else tried. Hardly notice any extra resistance even though bigger than any previous tire I have used. These are a BIG 2.3 tire. And they ride with a more square profile which I find is just right for the all terrain riding (roots, rocks, mud, tarmac, gravel) I do. Can not tell how long tread will last yet. High air volume and deep tread for the masses. Way to go Hutchinson!
Similar Products Used: Velociraptors, Motoraptors, Kenda, Conti Vertical Pro, Performance Terra Trac
Bike Setup: Marin Rift Zone with XT drive, 120mm Zokes in front, Fox in rear, custom Syncros wheels, RF carbon bar, Stylo Team crank
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney NSW
Date Reviewed: June 28, 2007
Strengths: Grip, durability
Weaknesses: Noisy,Slow rolling in extreme mud
My riding consists of 70/30 tar/dirt. Tyre has done a bit over 1000km. Knobs are just starting to round off. I have found that as long as the pressure is kept around 40psi these tyres are acceptable if noisy on tar. Drop pressure to 32psi for the dirt and they are very good. hard to loose either end climbing but the rear gets a little loose on hardpack decending. Constant rain for the last 2 weeks in sydney have left most trails super saturated and the grass is getting a bit long. These tyres slow down a lot in the extreme wetness and dont clear sticky mud to well but still give great grip. Would probably be better suited to 30/70 riding but still realy good. would use again.
a Weekend Warrior
from Rainier, OR
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2007
Strengths: Large volume, tons of traction, corners great wet or dry
Weaknesses: about 70 grams heavier than advertised, rolls a little slow
Purchased these as my Panaracers were just not hooking up in the corners on the trails I've been riding a lot of late. Got a great deal on them through Price Point. I was attracted by their sub 700gram for a 2.3" tire weight...however they must have different scales in France because these babies are 760grams a piece. But that is really my only criticism...they actually roll fairly well for a big knob'd tire. They offer tons of traction for climbing, braking, and best of all cornering. The compound seems like its around 60-70a durometer so they should be reasonably durable. Like almost all Hutchinsons, if you adhere to their pressure recommendations, they will work the best. For me that is about 38psi, and they seem to work fantastic at this pressure...tons of traction and no pinch flats so far in five rides.
Similar Products Used: Panaracer Cinder, IRC V-Claw
Bike Setup: 2005 Jamis XLT
a Weekend Warrior
from hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2007
Strengths: Review of 2.3 tire. Great traction on rocks, loose, loose over hardpack, loam. Reasonable weight for the width and tread. Good tough casing. Not a mud tire but clears OK.
Weaknesses: Slow rolling on hardpack (duh), fast wearing.
These came stock on my 07 Reign 1. This looks like it's going to be the first rear tire I actually wear out before being destroyed by cutting the sidewall or tread on rocks or sharp roots. I thought at first this might be due to moving from a hard tail to FS, but after swapping to a Spesh resolution 2.2 on the rear (to improve rolling resistance and lose weight) it was only a month of riding before the tire had been cut right though the tread and side wall in separate incidents. And that's both the good and bad side about these tires - they perform very well in varied conditions and survive sharp rocky descents, but they do seem to be wearing out fast. Given the high retail price here (A$89) I'll try some Nevegals (only A$59) once I have worn out both the Barracudas that came with the bike before making a long term tire choice.
bought this tire along with a High Roller 2.35, and I've been swapping them back and forth as a rear tire. I chose the 2.1 Barracuda over the bigger sizes for mud clearance, and the tread on the 2.1 looks much shallower in proportion to the rest of the tire than on the 2.3 or 2.5 Barracudas. I've been running it on the rear the whole time. It's very close in size to the High Roller, but with a smaller tread and slightly narrower casing. Tread pattern is very similar too, except for the ramped knobs on the HR-I think the Barracuda and High Roller were designed as different approaches to the same thing.
Overall, the Barracuda rides like a big XC tire. I like the tread pattern a lot better than most wussy 2.1 XC tires. Much better cornering grip than say a Fire, and technical climbing ability is very good. The tire really stands out in the slick, crappy riding conditions we get here after it rains. No tire sheds Hawaii mud very well, but the Hutch still manages to grip on roots and rocks even when it's covered in mud. If it works here, it should work anywhere. It's big for a 2.1, but still feels skinny on long DH runs or steeps. Rolling resistance is pretty high for an XC tire as well-climbing on the road is a pain.
I've been running the Barracuda for pure XC rides, and swapping in the High Roller for more FR type riding. The Barracuda is a big XC tire, while the HR is a small DH tire, so they actually complement each other pretty well. In hindsight, though, I probably should have gotten a 2.3 Barracuda for most of the riding I do.
I'd recommend the Barracuda 2.1 to technical XC riders. It doesn't like sustained downhill, and it's pretty slow-rolling, but if I had an XC hardtail or full sus the Barracuda 2.1 would be one of my first tire picks. Performance in the wet is good too. I had wanted a fast-rolling AM/FR tire though, and the Barracuda isn't quite it. I'm still looking forward to trying a bigger Barracuda in the future.