Strengths: Easy to mount and air up. Fast on hardpack.
Weaknesses: Damp sand? Forget it. Traction is GONE.
I have ridden on these tires for 9 months, and I am just finally tired of getting dumped off the bike when they lose traction. I ride sandy Florida trails, and when the trails get wet, these tires pack up badly with damp sugar sand and turn into slicks. I am pretty sure its because of the single line of tread blocks on the center, there just isn't anything to get a bite with. Any damp sand causes them to break lose. Climbs and logs that were nothing on my old tires are cause for terror on these tires. The tires just stop gripping when they shouldn't be stopping. Ordered some Schwalbes, can't wait to get these crap tires off my bike. When the trail is dry and packed down, these things fly, but get that sand wet, and HOLD ON.
Strengths: Fantastic grip in a large variety of conditions. They grip in mud, tacky soil, soft soil, rocky, loose, hardpack etc. I have used these all over the midwest and North Carolina without any complaints.
Easy to setup tubeless add stan's sealant and you're ready to go
Weaknesses: None these are my favorite tire to date
I have the Specialized Control 2 Blizz "The Captain" tires. They weigh roughly 600 grams in the 26 inch version and 650 grams in the 29 inch version. I have used these for over a year on a variety of trail surfaces. I have used them on sandstone and limestone rock, hardpack, leaves, wet, loose rocky trails, dusty, and mud. Long story short; these tires are extremely predictable, grip great, and fast rolling for a full knobby. They will hold a line and when you do drift across the surface it is very predictable. You can really lean on these tires and they will stick. These tires wear really well, hold up to abuse, seal up well, and I use them for everything except a back tire when racing. Buy them!
Strengths: Cornering and climbing grip; roll well for amount of grip; holding up tubeless reall well (2bliss control version)
Weaknesses: Occasionally seems to quickly roll through transition knobs
I've been pleasantly surprised by these tires. These are one of the best cornering tires I've ridden in the pine-needle covered hardpack typical for the trails in my area. Steep climbs over moist roots are handled with ease without any slippage. I have noticed that the front tire will sometimes briefly slide through the transition knobs when leaning through sharper turns, but the outer knobs quickly grab. Rolling resistance is quite good for such a grippy tire. I recently compare the captain back-to-back with the 2.4 x-king, and while the x-king did roll better, it wasn't by much. Braking is also quite good, and it handles the occasional soupy spots I've encountered on the trail really well. The Captain is good to very good for all of the main qualities of a MTB tire; its just a solid all-round tire.
a Cross Country Rider
from OC CA USA
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2011
Strengths: Good weight to performance ratio, corners well, rolls well, climbs well, sheds mud well. Good on hard and dry as well as damp and muddy.
I'm using The Captain as a 26" tubed front only. It delivers great balance of cornering, fast roll and weight. I started with a 2.2 but as a XC guy found it a bit too much contact patch and weight wise. The 2.2 is good for a XC rider who wants more cush and cornering security or an AM rider. I now run the 2.0 and like it much more for my style. It's plenty secure over rough and in corners and rolls fast--really well for a knobbier design. The 2.0 is XC all the way to me. I was using a Maxxis Crossmark 2.1 prior and the 2.0 Captain gives me the extra cornering power. 2.2 for AM, 2.0 for XC.
Grabbed these at the LBS to replace the GF's Maxxlites which were not enough of a tire for everyday use.
I spent 3 days trying to get them to hold air. I tried everything but they continued to leak air through the sidewalls. You couldn't go out for a 3 hour ride without stopping to refill.
The LBS made me feel like an idiot when I came into ask for a replacement. I went with the Renegade which held air from the get go.
Similar Products Used: Continental Diesel,Maxxis High Roller.
Bike Setup: Specialised Rock Hopper comp
a Cross Country Rider
from Woodland Hills CA
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2011
Strengths: Seem to be holding up well. Work well as front or rear tire. Not the best in sand but enough volume to float if you keep your speed constant. They corner well, feeling predictable till they start sliding and will hook up again if you let them. Not 'plodding' slow feeling as the Nevagals or Spec Eskar up front. They like to be spinned as opposed to torqued which is my style.
Weaknesses: A little slow feeling on hardpack. The rear tends to slip if you torque it in loose sand, spin circles and you can finesse it if you keep the speed up.
The local trails are really variable, one moment you are in deep sand, the next in roots/rocks, then hardpack, then losse over hard, and I guess I am looking for a tire that can handle the variety. The Captains work ok to well. They feel a bit slow in the hard pack and can lose it in the deep sand unless you enter it at the right speed and just spin circles till you are out. They work well in loose over hard, loose rock and roots. The sidewalls sealed in a few minutes with a little shaking using Stans and I've had no punctures that the Stans couldn't handle. They have good volume and grip; I just bought a Tioga Psycho to try up front in 2.1, and they have less volume and look smaller than the Captain 2.0. I may end up swapping them around after I get some ride time in. The 2.2 works well up front - nice and predictable and less slow feeling then the Eskars. Unless the Tioga Psycho I just bought works out better, I will be sticking with them.
Strengths: Great cornering and overall traction. Braking power. Dual compound tread for control.
Weaknesses: Price- wear out quicker than I would hope.
I wasn't sure about these tires when they came on my Rockhopper but after a few rides I realized the beauty that is THE CAPTAIN~! This tire handles everything that the trails of Northeast Ohio have thrown at them. From slick rocks to dry packed dirt, they are the best all around tire I have yet to use. I did pretty much tear up the rear in one season of riding some of the downhill,loose,rocky trails in Ohio and West Virginia.( Not to be forgotten : The braking power is quite impressive as well. )
I will continue to sing the praises of the Captain even though they cost a little more than I would care to spend.
Similar Products Used: Hutchinson Spider Air
Panaracer Fire XC Pro
Bike Setup: Rockhopper SL Pro 29er
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: December 28, 2010
Strengths: Corners well. Low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Grip is very lacking.
I got this tire when I was on a trip to Sedona. I cut a sidewall on my Ardent on a fluke sharp rock and had to replace it to get through the remaining 2 days of my trip. This was the only 29er Tubeless 29er tire I could find.
The center tread pattern helps it to roll really well. As others have said, the aggressive side knobs help it to corner very well too. You can rail corners super fast with a lot of confidence.
That being said, railing corners makes for a VERY small percentage of what a trail tire needs to do. The others are roll well and hook up/provide good grip.
It does roll well, but the center tread that helps it do that also kill its grip. On hard pack (which is what I ride predominantly here in SoCal), you have to have the rear wheel weighted PERFECTLY to get good traction. It really sucks when I'm torquing on a steep, technical climb and the rear tire is spinning ENTIRE revolutions.
I know some of that is rider input, but I do not accept the blame here--this is the first tire I've used in 6+ years of riding that does this, and I've tried dozens of tires. When my riding style has not caused any other tire to perform like this, the blame lies with the tire, not me.
If you ride predominantly hard pack, look elsewhere--especially at this price!!
a Cross Country Rider
from west chester, pa
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2010
Strengths: First exposure to the captain was the s-works version that came on a stumpjumper I bought. Converted them to tubless and promptly tore the sidewalls in both of them. The control sidewall is a totally different animal. Way more durable and not too flexible, just right. The tread works great in all of the eastern PA conditions and seasons I ride in. They lock on to stans rims so easily, I can air them up with a floor pump no problem and they literally hold pressure better than tubes do. I'm currently running these on my full suspension 26" and my 29" hard tail. Love em.
Weaknesses: The edge knobs wear pretty quickly. Thats about it.
I'm not a fan of some of the things specialized does with their bikes (had a bad experience with the "brain" shock) but they do two things extremely well - shoes and tires. I tell everybody in my area to buy these tires.
Similar Products Used: Mountain kings, nevegals, knobby nics, ardents.
from Cloverdale,CA, USA
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2010
Strengths: Very good wear, and great cornering on dry slick surfaces.
Weaknesses: There are no weaknesses in my eyes.
Bottom lime is if you are riding wet conditions they work great, and if you are riding dry conditions they work great. Also with the center knowb it has when you are on fire roads or any kind of flat area, you will notice less drag than some of the other tires..
Similar Products Used: I have used specialized fast track, and Kenda small block 8,
Bike Setup: I have a 2009 s-works epic with 670mm fsa bars and my s-works capt tires. These tires are my favorite.(They Hook up.)
a Cross Country Rider
from Kansas City
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2009
Strengths: Grip, weight, wear.
Weaknesses: Price, looks (cant stand the red lettering!)
I have had these tires over a year and it is time they are replaced. I have been looking for a different tire just because i like new, different stuff and again cannot stand the red lettering but i have to admit after looking around for a simililar bad-ass tire I dont think it's out there. I remember the first time i put these on my bike, i was floored, they made my maxxis tires seem like uber crap! I must admit i have never tried the Nevengals but the reviews scare me and the weight difference is too big to take a chance on something that costs so much and could suck compared to these. I'm going back to the Captain's. BTW I run these with Stan's, they seal well and I have NEVER had a flat!
Similar Products Used: other specialized, maxxis, geax.
Bike Setup: Intense 5.5, talus, Sram x-9 rd & shifters, xt crankset, mavic rims and other goodies.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Mateo, County, CA
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2009
Just a great all around XC tire. I run the 26.0 x 2.0 Captain Control front and rear on my hardtail. They seem to handle everything I throw at them. I looked at the s-works version of this tire, but the wafer thin sidewalls on those prompted me to buy the tougher control version. Couldn't be happier.
These puppies are light, roll fast, and hook up extremely well in corners for a 2.0 tire. This tire is a fantastic combination of speed and grip, perfect for XC riders IMHO. They really inspire confidence, especially when cornering. Yes a fatter front tire would have more grip (there is a 2.2 version btw), but I am not willing to sacrifice any more speed or rolling resistance for a fatter tire. These tires just fly up and down hills.
What I really like about these tires is how predictable they are. They track very well on the straights and just dig in the corners too. Breaking these tires loose is actually quite fun. They break loose with a very controlled and confidence-inspiring slide, better than any other tire I've ridden to date. Just a great tire that most folks could happily leave on year round. 5 Flamin' Chilis all around.
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 »
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 »