Specialized Hemisphere EX Tire

3.54/5 (13 Reviews)
MSRP : $19.99


Product Description

Highly durable, wide profile recreational tire with Flack Jacket puncture protection for trouble free commuting and touring in all weather and road conditions.


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Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michel

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2012

Strengths:    Durable, easy rolling.

Weaknesses:    A little slippery on some surfaces.

Bottom Line:   
I'm a novice old fart bike rider. I've had these on my Specialized Crossroads Sport for about 6 months. I've logged 1000 miles. I inflate them to 75 psi. My bike rides great, it's easy to pedal, I could pedal all day. They are a bit slippery, especially on wet, smooth surfaces but (most important to me) I've not had a flat. I ride 98% on South Florida roads and sidewalks, 2% cutting across grassy surfaces. I'm very satisfied.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tony_F a Cross Country Rider from Brisbane

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2010

Strengths:    This is an update, 2 years later than my previous review.


Bottom Line:   
I'm still using and loving these tyres, but now I inflate them to 75 psi.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Riders Cyclery


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by csyvers a Weekend Warrior from Palo Alto, Ca, us

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2010

Strengths:    Long Wearing

Weaknesses:    Heavy, Slippery on almost all conditions, dangerous.

Bottom Line:   
The guy at Mike's Bikes warned me, those guys are good. But I am stubborn, stubborn enough to try to like these things for 2 years. Okay, they roll and wear well. But they are heavy, and on anything but a manicured race-track, very slippery. I don't like to be negative but why even make this tire? I think the guy wanted to sell me a Fast-trak, should have listened. Just writing this so nobody else makes this mistake. Did I mention heavy, pricey and thin? Flats easy....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Arastradero

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $38.00

Purchased At:   Mike's Bike's

Similar Products Used:   Now using Maxxis Semi Slicks and Panaracers

Bike Setup:   Full suspension

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tony F a Cross Country Rider from Australia

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2008

Strengths:    Good traction but low rolling resistance.

Weaknesses:    Not as quiet as slicks, (but a lot quieter than knobbies).

Bottom Line:   
I very much like these tires.
They are the best commuting tires I've ridden on.
For riding on sealed roads and through road works with a bit of gravel and dirt and the sort of roughness you have to deal with while commuting in all weather conditions - these tires are tops.

They are tough enough to deal with bumps and fractures in road surfaces - I don't have to be careful about that - I can hit 'em hard if I like. They are reinforced with kevlar, and have never flatted. They are stable and secure and predictable. They look bulky but they are actually quite light.

They are much better than any slicks I've used (which tend to skid too easily - particularly with disc brakes).
I inflate them to 50 psi and they feel great.

I use them on both my bikes. Yep, I love these tires.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   err i dunno

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Riders Cyclery, Macg

Similar Products Used:   I've ridden thousands of kilometers on lots of tires on lots of bikes.

Bike Setup:   1. KHS A-lite 800: All-weather commuter, etc.
2. Giant Yukon FX2008: Fair-weather commuter, etc.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Geoff Fitchett a Weekend Warrior from Arizona & England

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2008

Strengths:    Long-lasting tyre with nice, smooth rolling characteristics on tarmac which is also able to cope with some loose surfaces. Reduces or eliminateds punctures!

Weaknesses:    A little heavy on the rim, very tough bead so needs tyre levers to fit or remove

Bottom Line:   
I used to quite enjoy fixing punctures but after nearly 20 in the space of a month (and about 200 miles), I'd had enough. To be fair, these were spread across 3 bikes, but it was still me doing the repairs, going out and instead of a good ride finding myself pushing the bike back.

I had used Hemisphere's before in England and in Phoenix (riding in the catcus-strewn desert) and never had a problem, but my new Stumpjumper with its lighweight tyres was suffering from al the thorns on our Somerset trails here in England.

Switching to Hemispheres cured the problem. They are heavier but provide a better road ride and an only slightly compromised off-road ride. Fine on grass, okay on loose gravel, no good for muddy stuff, but that's fine with me as I like to do lots of clean miles ending up at a pub, not get all muddy and exhausted thrashing through the undergrowth.

We have now had these tyres on our bikes here in England and in the US for a couple of years altogether and also on one of our daughter's bikes (the others will follow!) They seem ideal for our type of riding and having had them ona total of 10 wheels now and about 1,200 miles so far without a single puncture, they are a great boon to happier days of riding for leisure.

Buy them if you ride mostly on harder surfaces and don't want punctures.

Don't buy them for muddy off-road or serious MTB work. You wouldn't though, would you!

Happy riding!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   To the pub

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   Various stores in England and the US

Similar Products Used:   Many, many tyres over the years plus a few puncture goos like Slime, but no puncture resistent tyres like these.

Bike Setup:   Four bikes, two Stumpjumpers, two Rockhoppers, recommended maximum pressures, 50% street use, 40% hardpack trails, 10% proper off-road

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jimbo a Cross Country Rider from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 24, 2007

Strengths:    Durable tread, inverted tread design good on rainy days.

Weaknesses:    Feels heavy and stiff at 55+ PSI. Sidewall casing cracks.

Bottom Line:   
Bought these tires back in 2000. These tires will last until the sidewalls begin to crack and weaken. Keep an eye on them. Specialized may or may not have fixed this. This flaw is or was a fairly big manufacturing problem.

Now, leaving that aside, the irony is that the tire, because of the inverted tread design, is not, in my experience, any more puncture resistant than any other non-reinforced tire. Actually I've had more flats with this tire than I did with a worn out maxxis worm drive slick. This is because sharp road debris (usually glass) tended to get lodged in the inverted tread where it had a further chances of puncturing the tire with each revolution. One of the few times I've had a flat on the front was with these tires. With a pure slick the object likely would have either punctured the tire on contact - or just flung off.

My other complaint about these tires is the harsh ride compared to other tires I've tried at the same pressure. I have to run mine around 50 max or else its pretty rough on the bumps. This is probably a problem with all thick tires though.

Try it if you want an overall durable (ie: long lasting) commuting tire because you wear other tires out quickly.
Just don't expect any special puncture proof super powers in this instance. As for the sidewall, I've had my tires almost 7 years and had to throw one out this year because the side casing would surely have burst had I gone with it this season. I did notice cracking in the first year though, but thought nothing of it. I've heard stories of people returning them within months. Your mileage may vary. A shame because the tread, after 15,000km, showed virtually no wear.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Wormdrive, Tioga City Slicker

Bike Setup:   Typical commuter mtb

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by david a Cross Country Rider from winnipeg, manitoba, canada

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2005

Strengths:    flat resistant

Weaknesses:    sidewall failure

Bottom Line:   
Purchased 1st specialized armadillo Hemisphere ex tire (red/orange sidewall) as replacement for worn front tire. Wanted a tire that was resistant to flats. I had heard about these Armadillos and purchased one from local bike shop in spring of 2004. In October 2004 I needed to replace my rear tire due to puncture so I replaced it with the same Specialized tire.

These tires are great as it concerns being punture proof or resistent to flats. However I recently noticed that the sidewall of my front tire (purchased in spring of 2004) had noticeable splits or tears running from the rim to the tread in more than one spot.
I then decided to look at my rear tire (purchased spring this year) to see if same problem existed. Noted that there were areas where splitting or cracking was in inital stages (not as visible as on front tire).

I contacted my local bike shop and was told that Specialized warranted their tires for one year. The fron t tire was in excess of one year and the rear was less than one year. In any event they told me that they would have to send the tires back to Specialized and it would be their decison if I was covered on the newer tire however I would have to pay a shipping and service fee about $20.

I then contacted Specialized and explained the problem, I virtually got the same response from them including reasons that might have caused this problem such as mis-aligned brake pads rubbing on sidewall etc.

I have decided to just replace these tires without further dealings with Specialized. In my view there appears to be a problem with the sidewall breaking down. Although these tires appear to be great in respect to being punture resisitant if they are going to breakdown at the sidewall within a year then what good are they? I can say that i have lost confidence in this particular product.

I put on anywhere from 4000 to 5000km from April to November on a yearly basis including using an indoor trainer in the winter. My tire pressures are kept at the appropriate levels consistently etc.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   $50.00

Similar Products Used:   Continental travel contact, maxiss wormdrive

Bike Setup:   2003 devinci coyote

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Lucas a Cross Country Rider from Dearborn,MI,USA

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2003

Strengths:    Speed,durable

Weaknesses:    havent found any yet

Bottom Line:   
First day I put these tires on I covered 25 miles to give em a good test and they passed pavment with flying colors,worked well on the trails too....for thoses that are complaining about weight must be really pickey cause they seemed light to me? I love the speed I can get on these compared to the knobies I used to have.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Jacks bikes

Similar Products Used:   First semi-slick I have used.

Bike Setup:   03' Giant Iguana Disk,Mosh platform pedals,cateye velo2 computer,lizard chain stay protector.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adam from San Francisco, CA

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2003

Strengths:    Seem Strong, grippy for wet weather

Weaknesses:    A tad on the weighty side for S.F. hills, vibration is annoying.(but that's not their fault; -I'm used to actual 'slicks'...)


Bottom Line:   
I've only had these tires a short time & frankly I wasn't expecting to feel a real difference from my old tires(which finally started flatting due to glass & rocks & stuff)but boy was I wrong.

Oh well...

So far I've only run them at lower pressure due to the rain we've been having tho' they are supposedly good to 80 psi which may make them handle differently & they've been fine.

As I say a bit heavy & I'm not used to the noise & the accompanying 'butt-massage' one gets with these types of tires but at least they are going to be better during the winter.(hopefully)

I've since pumped them up to 60 as things have dried up a bit out there.

I'm hoping for a decrease in the above-mentioned 'weaknesses'.

I'll probably keep 'em on since they are the best I have & are supposed to be durable.(I'm on a budget)

By the by: I'm over 180 lbs but I generally try to follow manufacturers instructions & I believe these are rated from 35-80 psi.

Then again I'm not an expert so what that other poster did may have been totally safe & ok.

PPS: my ratings may not be entirely 'up to date' & thus may be slightly 'undervalued'; -I'll try to update later if I can...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Pacific bike

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Nimbus EX, Gaux Street Runner.(will try to do a review of those since there aren't any yet & I used them for a good deal of time)

Bike Setup:   Older Diamond Back no suspension mountain bike(I believe it was called Ascent but it's long since worn off)Upgrade brakes, shifters, suspension seat post, Shimano 646 pedals,(w/the cage for ring in street shoes)Profile Design 'Maniac' handlebars w/crossbar intact, forgot who made the saddle but it's a pip.(--black & yellow with hole in the middle,'Ti-Race' on one side & 'TFI' on the back)

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joe a Weekend Warrior from Eugene, Or

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2002

Strengths:    great traction on road and riding down parking garage smooth concrete. work well in wet weather for comuting in the rainy pacific northwest.

Weaknesses:    can be scary in wet grass or painted lines on roadways when wet. loose pack or gravel leaves much to be desired, but they are a smooth tread design meant for pavement. work well on hard pack singletrack.

Bottom Line:   
great tire for summer use in my parts. excellent flat resistance so far great tread wear, awesome traction on dry roads and paved paths. very inspiring in the corners. A little narrow for much off road use. would recommend to anyone who mainly rides in town or commutes much. low, low rolling resistance. can be run at very low air pressures 30-35. and I am 180lbs.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Bike Setup:   2002 Giant Rainer, sun rhynolite rims xt hubs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tim a Cross Country Rider from San Francisco

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2002

Strengths:    Smooth riding on pavement. Respectable traction on packed dirt and gravel

Weaknesses:    A bit heavy

Bottom Line:   
These are really good tires for 'fun riding' on an antique MTB. Makes road and hardpack faster and more efficient without stranding you on dirt. Not appropriate for aggressive off roading, but won't get you killed either.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Various similar semislicks

Bike Setup:   Trek 7000 '89 rigid antique

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clark a Cross Country Rider from Davis, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2002

Strengths:    Low rolling resistance, flat prevention

Weaknesses:    Cost more than similar IRC tires.

Bottom Line:   
My old IRC off-road tires lost their tread and were getting flats so I got new tires. I used slime inner tubes and had them mounted on the same rims I have had since I got the bike. These tires really improve the ride. They are much faster than the old tires and I don't worry about flats anymore. I would have bought the armadillos if I rode the bike off-road anymore, but I don't.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cache Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Steve Larsen's Wheelworks

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   1995 Performance steel hardtail

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by David a Weekend Warrior from Tokyo, Japan

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2002

Strengths:    Tough, smooter ride than knobbies. Very purdy with colored sidewalss

Weaknesses:    Heavy, heavy, and heavy

Bottom Line:   
Good economical replacement for knobbies for riding on pavement and some hardpack. Have yet to test in rain, but seem much faster and smoother than knobbies. Well, one would expect it, wouldn't they? Have not had the opportunity to test the kevlar yet. Will use for touring and commutes. Though some say the nemisis is hard to put on, I had little problems with these.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $21.00

Purchased At:   Marui

Similar Products Used:   none


Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

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