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  1. #1
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Ground Control & FE Analysis Fast Trak - Criticize 'em!

    I'm interested in hearing about these 2 new tires that Specialized has introduced. The brought back from the dead Ground Control and the new FE Analysis Fast Trak. I'm currently running Captains all around, which looks like its in between both of these new tires.

    Yay or nay?

  2. #2
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    Here is a little something:

    Specialized Ground Control 2.1

    Review: 2012 Specialized Ground Control Mountain Bike Tires - Bike Rumor

    Both review the 1.9. I expect the 2.3 to be grippier (no suprise there )

    P

  3. #3
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    They're saying they are SUPER close in comparison the the Captain. Cool. Thanks for those links. Rep'd.

  4. #4
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    I replaced my 2.0 captain with a 2.3 S-Works Ground Control a few rides ago. The GC came out barely wider but significantly taller. Acceleration is slightly slower (probably due to the larger outer diameter), but they roll fast, definitely faster than the old Captain. Cornering traction is ridiculous, it carves with confidence, and it handles braking with equal aplomb. Apparently they used FE-Analysis developing the GC as well. If you're running Captains now, switching to comparably sized GCs should you better traction AND less rolling resistance, without any drawbacks I can see.

  5. #5
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    I just replaced my front tire with a ground control 1.9. It rolls a little faster, but i'm not blown away with with its cornering ability.

  6. #6
    Mountain Man Dan
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    I would think the Ground Control is a better rear tire.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  7. #7
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    2012 29x2.2 Fast Trak S-Works

    Rode the 29x2.2 S-Works it for four hours today as a front tyre. Running at tubeless at around 26PSI. It weighs around 560gm. This is a brand new version of the Fast Trak with a new rubber compound and tread design.

    The conditions (You Yangs Stockyards and Kurrajong for the Aussies):

    Hardpack
    Loam (with some loose sections)
    Granite Rock gardens galore.


    There's not much bag there for a 2.2, but I was very happy with the grip. It is better than the Fast Trak LK in terms of holding a line during technical riding and cornering, and it seemed to roll just as well.

    It needed more sealant than the Renegade Control to hold air, and on the bike it doesn't seem that much bigger than the Renegade.

    The most noticeable thing about the new design is how much softer the tread compound is, which of course means it grips better on rock and over roots.

    It's a keeper IMHO, I'll be using it as an all-conditions front tyre. I'll be interested in a 29x2.0 Control casing tyre for the rear during wet conditions.

  8. #8
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    I'm stoked about trying the FEA Ground Controls but I ride a 26" wheel bike right now and the LBS says they only have 29" sizes available right now. I went ahead and got a pair of the new FEA Fast Trak Control's in a 26x2.0 and love them so far. I was riding Captain Controls before and the level of grip on my normal rides is comparable between the 2, the new FEA models are substantially lighter, one of the benefits of the FEA design practice. If I feel like I am not getting enough front end grip with the Fast Trak I may try a Ground Control up there, the tread should grip at least as well as the Captain but offer lower rolling resistance and a lighter tire than the Captain.

    I wrote a little review on the FEA Fast Trak in the wheel and tire section on here, check it out, both of the new FEA tires are great.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    I would think the Ground Control is a better rear tire.
    The ground control is an incredible rear tire for my local conditions (eastern pa, varied surfaces). The grip on roots and rocks is fantastic.

    I have it paired with a captain control up front.

    If it had more volume it would be perfect. The 2.1 has significantly less volume than the captain 2.2 I was running. Don't know why they made a 2.3 for 26ers but stopped at 2.1 for 29ers.

  10. #10
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    The ground control is an incredible rear tire for my local conditions (eastern pa, varied surfaces). The grip on roots and rocks is fantastic.

    I have it paired with a captain control up front.

    If it had more volume it would be perfect. The 2.1 has significantly less volume than the captain 2.2 I was running. Don't know why they made a 2.3 for 26ers but stopped at 2.1 for 29ers.
    Awesome! I live in NE. We both run the Captain 2.2 up front. I've narrowed it down to the Ground control, OR the wtb exiwolf......both fantastic reviews.

    Too bad I got the SPORT version of the Captain, it's wire bead - heavy. I want to change it.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  11. #11
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    I just want the 2012 FASTrack....2.1 or 2.0 or 2.2......any size......who want to sell them to me?

  12. #12
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    I've been running the Ground Control S-Works 26x2.3 on the rear for a couple weeks now. I have a Purgatory Control 2.4 on the front which is quite a bit bigger than the GC. I run both tubeless have have the front set up for 23-25psi and the rear for 25-28psi; pressure depends on the trail. I REALLY like the combination so far, as the Purgatory has that motorcycle tire feel and the GC bites into the climbs and corners quite well.

    The knobs on the GC are not very big, so only time will tell how quickly it wears, but for now it seems fine. There are no torn knobs after 5--6 rides so the tire seems to be holding up. Coming from a WTB WeirWolf, it feels like it rolls slower, but I suppose that is to be expected due to the tractor tread and no ramped knobs. But I got this tire for a wet weather/mud tire, not for dry conditions where the WW excels. One thing that is very nice is that both of these tires run tubeless are lighter than the WTB tires they replaced.
    "Got everything you need?"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    Rode the 29x2.2 S-Works it for four hours today as a front tyre. Running at tubeless at around 26PSI. It weighs around 560gm. This is a brand new version of the Fast Trak with a new rubber compound and tread design.

    The conditions (You Yangs Stockyards and Kurrajong for the Aussies):

    Hardpack
    Loam (with some loose sections)
    Granite Rock gardens galore.


    There's not much bag there for a 2.2, but I was very happy with the grip. It is better than the Fast Trak LK in terms of holding a line during technical riding and cornering, and it seemed to roll just as well.

    It needed more sealant than the Renegade Control to hold air, and on the bike it doesn't seem that much bigger than the Renegade.

    The most noticeable thing about the new design is how much softer the tread compound is, which of course means it grips better on rock and over roots.

    It's a keeper IMHO, I'll be using it as an all-conditions front tyre. I'll be interested in a 29x2.0 Control casing tyre for the rear during wet conditions.
    Got pics for comparison?

    Negatives about the ground control: Would love a wider model in 29er. I bought the only two my LBS had.

    As a side note. The Big S seems to be heading towards narrower and narrower tires, while everyone else is going wider. Hmmm...
    Brought to you by rocks.

  14. #14
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    need some pictures with the width....2.2 ??? is it really a big volume tire?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by twenty6black View Post
    I just want the 2012 FASTrack....2.1 or 2.0 or 2.2......any size......who want to sell them to me?
    the 26" ones are in stock on specialized.com

    brandywine cycles in wilmington,de has a bunch of them in 29" sizes but I don't know if they'll ship.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAmtbiker View Post

    Negatives about the ground control: Would love a wider model in 29er. I bought the only two my LBS had.
    Agreed. Already told specialized via email and twitter. I need a size that matches the volume of the 2.2 captain.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twenty6black View Post
    need some pictures with the width....2.2 ??? is it really a big volume tire?
    No, the 2.2 Fast Trak is not a big volume tire. Sorry I haven't posted pics yet.

  18. #18
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    Been riding the S Works Fast Track and Renegade, 2.0 and 1.95, that came on my S Works Epic 29er for the past 3 weeks now. Didn't like either at first. Slipping terribly on wet roots and rocks. However, I was using a bit higher pressure than I normally would, trying to protect the carbon fiber rims. I had come from 2.35 Nevegal fr and 2.3 Eskar rear. Felt some trepidation with these new skinny little buggars.

    I finally let air out progressively until I got my accustomed feel of the tires on our very rocky, rooty trails. Ended up about 17psi front and 19 rear. I honestly was amazed at how well they both now hook up in wet as well as dry conditions. I weigh 150lbs. and am riding tubeless with Stan's. I don't race anymore, but we do very competitive trail riding every Sunday, might as well be racing. No dings on rims......yet.

    I now feel these tires are keepers. The FT leans over and grips well in turns. Very predictable front tire. Hasn't washed out on me in the wet since I lowered pressure. The Renegade was losing traction on loose stuff before and now grips well with lower pressure, as long as I weight the rear properly on the steeps. Of course, the rolling resistance of both of these tires is really quite amazing, just a real treat after the sluggishness of the bigger rubber I was running before this. No sidewall cuts but, admittedly, I am watching the rocks like a hawk! No knobs torn off.

    I did burp all the air out of the front last Sunday in a slow motion, downhill slide out on the right side in very loose stuff, where I had to gently lay the bike down and run it out. That surprised me until we noticed that the tire bead was not seating evenly after I threw a tube in and reinflated it. I hadn't bothered to use the "soapy water on the bead" technique when I mounted the tires tubeless. I think this caused the burping. Made sure to do it right the second time I converted back to tubeless and the bead had no trouble seating evenly all around. The tire has held air beautifully since then. Time will tell if that was the cause.

    It's worth mentioning that my initial negative impression of both tires was influenced by the fact that I had not had time to dial in my suspension settings yet. Had too much air in both fork and shock, and the front was not balanced with the rear, fork was too stiff compared to a too soft rear. Went out for a solo ride the next day to dial them in properly, and my initial misgivings about bike and tires were put to rest.

    In my experience, most riders don't realize how much these 2 things, too high a tire pressure and improper suspension setup can influence the quality of the bike's performance. Commonly, either the bike or the tires get blamed for this.

    So, contrary to a lot of what I read in the forums, I believe these are excellent tires. My buddy has the same bike and replaced his with 2.1 Ground Controls which he likes a lot. I can't see that they have any more volume than mine though. Pretty close anyway. He is faster than me though. Maybe it is the tires, haha.

    Jeff

  19. #19
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    Ground Control (control) 2.1 X 29 at about 30psi = 51.5mm on a CARVE rim of 22mm.....knobby but not a big volume tire.

    This might be the tire for mud. It has square edges and space in between each knob, good for traction and cleaning. Also, a smaller tire is better in the slop, right?

    I will be waiting for the FAST TRAK 2.2....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by twenty6black View Post
    This might be the tire for mud. It has square edges and space in between each knob, good for traction and cleaning. Also, a smaller tire is better in the slop, right?
    Yes, although the 29x1.9 may be a little better in deep, sticky, crappy mud... At least until we get a Storm Control in 29 inch...
    Brought to you by rocks.

  21. #21
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    I agree with twenty6black. I would like a Fast Track 2.2 for 29er, with its FEA tread pattern and low rolling resistance. I would run this in the rear and keep the 2.0 FT in the front for now and see how they feel. I am really liking the 2.0 FT in the front on my Epic.

    If Spec. doesn't come out with a 2.2 FT when my Renegade 1.95 wears out, I will go with a 2.0 FT in the rear.

    If anyone has put their FT 2.0 on the rear would they comment on how the rolling resistance was compared to the Renegade 1.95?

    Thanks, Jeff

  22. #22
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    This gets me sooo pumped!

    The Czech rider had tried every tire combination during training, including the Specialized Renegade, Ground Control and Fast Track models. What he picked for race day were 2.00 S-Works Fast Trak tires on the front and rear at 21 and 22 psi respectively.

    the above is part of this link: Specialized Bicycle Components : Kulhavy ist XC-Weltmeister
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ground Control & FE Analysis Fast Trak - Criticize 'em!-13379_l_ch11_09184.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Thanks, twenty6black. Very interesting. They all ran the 2.0 Fast Track in the rear and felt it was the best choice. That's my next rear tire.

  24. #24
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    So when will the FT Sworks be available. As of now I have only seen them on production bikes. The Specialized site actually has a drop down window tab for it but when you select it it says not available. The Control version doesn't seem to be very light. I want an all around rear tire and I love the original FT and Renegade but the Renegade is just to slippery on wet dirt.

  25. #25
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    LBS will be able to get it or tell you what the earliest availability is.

  26. #26
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    Well that's why I was asking on here. The dealer doesn't have an availability date so looking for some inside info here. It's becoming a non-issue here with winter moving in. I'm sure I'll have them in time for spring.

  27. #27
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    My Rockhopper 29er came stock with a Captain Sport up front and Fast Trak LK in the rear, both 2.0.

    I just got and mounted a Ground Control 2.1 up front last night and moved the Captain to the rear. No rides yet.

    I didn't actually measure the dimensions, but holding the front and rear wheels together after mounting, the 2.0 captain looks wider and taller than the 2.1 GC. Any thoughts on how that might affect ride performance?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwvapor View Post
    My Rockhopper 29er came stock with a Captain Sport up front and Fast Trak LK in the rear, both 2.0.

    I just got and mounted a Ground Control 2.1 up front last night and moved the Captain to the rear. No rides yet.

    I didn't actually measure the dimensions, but holding the front and rear wheels together after mounting, the 2.0 captain looks wider and taller than the 2.1 GC. Any thoughts on how that might affect ride performance?
    The Capt tires are really tall, it will lift the rear of your bike (depending on air pressure in that tire). A taller rear will push your weight forward and may change stability and/or quicken the steering. I find my Capt on rear at pressures around 30 psi squish down enough once I'm on the bike to eliminate the extra height & when the going gets sketchy I keep my arse back off the seat.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleken View Post
    The Capt tires are really tall, it will lift the rear of your bike (depending on air pressure in that tire). A taller rear will push your weight forward and may change stability and/or quicken the steering. I find my Capt on rear at pressures around 30 psi squish down enough once I'm on the bike to eliminate the extra height & when the going gets sketchy I keep my arse back off the seat.
    I'm 150lbs and I've got them aired up 23psi front and 25psi rear. Maybe I'll air up the front a bit more. Probably won't get a chance to ride that bike until Sat.

  30. #30
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    My new EVO 29 HT came with the 29x2.1 GC on the rear; happy so far. Grippy. Run them ~22 psi with tubes; will convert to tubeless this weekend and see if they are any different.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    My new EVO 29 HT came with the 29x2.1 GC on the rear; happy so far. Grippy. Run them ~22 psi with tubes; will convert to tubeless this weekend and see if they are any different.
    What came on the front?

    Sent from my EVO 4G using Tapatalk

  32. #32
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    S-Works Purgatory 2.2. Also a SWEET tire.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  33. #33
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    I have 26" '09 stumpy fsr and ride all year in PNW. It's the muddiest it's been all year right now. I have Captain 2.2 and been pretty happy, but today the side wall on rear split and had the tube bubble out. LBS has 2.2 Purgatory. No GC's yet. I figure the front Captain might be getting old although knobs are still good. Seems like 2.3 GC is about same width as 2.2 Capt or Purg. So I could buy the purg 2.2 nowfor rear and then a 2.3 GC later when front Capt wears out. Or should I wait for GC's all around. Basically my question is between 2.2 Capt, 2.2 Purg and 2.3 GC, what would be the best combo. It will dry out here eventually and then I will go to Eastern Wa, oregon and Squamish. But I ride a lot of wet roots mostly!

    Are these available online? Have not found them yet?

  34. #34
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    I really like the combo of Captain rear and Purgatory front. I use it in al conditions on my 26er and love it. Sometimes that Purg hooks up so good it catches me off guard. I am waiting for the GC to come in. Getting impatient.

  35. #35
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    I am not tubeless, no real difference other than I can knock the pressure down a little more to around 20. Still LOVE this tire combo.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  36. #36
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    For wet forest and mud with some wet rocky dh nearby, the GC looks like it might clear a little better than the Purg and definitely better than the CPT. Do you have any feedback on how the Purg clears itself?I have a GC on order thru my LBS. Thinking of moving the 2.2 Captain to the rear and running the 2.3 GC up front. I also ordered online a Kenda Excavator DTC 2.1 to try out for a slightly skinnier tire.

  37. #37
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triglav View Post
    For wet forest and mud with some wet rocky dh nearby, the GC looks like it might clear a little better than the Purg and definitely better than the CPT. Do you have any feedback on how the Purg clears itself?I have a GC on order thru my LBS. Thinking of moving the 2.2 Captain to the rear and running the 2.3 GC up front. I also ordered online a Kenda Excavator DTC 2.1 to try out for a slightly skinnier tire.
    Personally, I'd definitely stick a GC on the rear, it's fantastic.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  38. #38
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    In re-reading the thread it sounds like the GC 2.3 is about the same as the Capt. 2.2 so I think I will. Makes more sense to me also to have the gc on the rear. When the Capt wears out, would you put a GC or Purg in the front next?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triglav View Post
    In re-reading the thread it sounds like the GC 2.3 is about the same as the Capt. 2.2 so I think I will. Makes more sense to me also to have the gc on the rear. When the Capt wears out, would you put a GC or Purg in the front next?
    I've ran a Capt up front, it was nice, lots of smaller biting edges, never really slipped out on me ( I ride in New England). The Purgatory seems to have too much open space once you are out of the center tread, there are big gaps in which there are no tread = slipping points right there. The GC seems like an alright front tire, I prefer a directional tire up front ( I am using the WTB Exiwolf, no doubt the best tire I have ever used), not just square/rectangle lugs....though I have no tried the GC up front.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  40. #40
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    I got my first off road ride on my new Ground Control Comps today. Running a 2.3 in front and a 2.1 in back. Like everyone has said they are sort of narrow, but there is a lot of tire there on the 2.3. It is kind of hard to explain how that is the case. I am running Tubeless (never done that before). Had 25psi in front and 30 in the rear.

    The tires worked great. They roll WAAAAAAAY faster than the Nevegals they replaced. Traction on high speed sweeping turns was excellent. The front washed out once going fast into an uphill switchback, but I think that was more user error than the tire. It did not happen on the second lap. The trail conditions varied from tacky hardpack to slightly softer soil covered with damp leaves. Traction was consistent from section to section. So far I have to say I really like them.

    On another note-these were VERY easy to set up tubeless. After an "accident" with my friend's compressor (me dropping and breaking his Presta adapter) we had to use a plain old floor pump to do the rear tire. The bead set just as easily as with the compressor. After reading all the tips and tricks over the years for setting up tubeless I was anticipating much more monkey business on the install, but it really was super easy.

  41. #41
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    Ground Control raced at the highest level....as a front tire:

    I Am Specialized: XC-MTB: News: Kulhavy Second, Team on Top

    Interesting...I must go do some testing :-)

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