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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Specialized Ground Control or Purgatory for Rear 29x2.3 (with Butcher Front)?

    I've just picked up a second hand 2014 Specialized Camber Evo and whilst everything is in good condition the one thing that needs replacing is the tyres - some Nutrack 29x2.0's on it that look like a step down from the stock Specialized Purgatory Rear\Butcher Front combo.

    I like what I've read about the Butcher as a front tyre, plenty of cornering grip to stop the front wheel washing out.

    But for the rear I'd like something that rolls a little faster without giving up too much cornering grip.

    I also see the new Camber Evo's still come with Butcher front, but Ground Control rear - question is which is the better pick for a rear tyre given the choice, Ground Control or Purgatory?

    And is Grid sidewalls a better bet for the rear tyre?

    Also saw the Spesh Slaughter tyres could be what I'm looking for, but is it too much tyre for the general use I'm looking for?

    My riding is general XC\trails, mix of hardpack\mud and some roots and rocks.

    Any experience\advice much appreciated, want to get the best cornering possible that could also withstand wet weather

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dr Wankel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I've only run a Purg on the front so I can't comment on running it as a rear, but I have run the 2.3 CG as a rear on both hardtails and FS bikes and find it to be a very good tire. It's hooks up pretty well in a wide variety of conditions and rolls much better than one would guess based on it's looks. I'd run the Grid casing if you are in an area with lots of sharp rocks or rougher terrain. I'm about 175 geared and normally run it in the 27-28 psi range and have no issues with it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JimmyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I usually ride a 29 x 2.3 Purgatory as my rear tire but I gave the 29 x 2.3 Ground Control a whirl as a rear tire this spring based on the LBS's recommendation. In the Bay Area's firm/hardpack conditions, I found that the GC provided good braking, driving, and cornering traction while still rolling quite well. In Tahoe and/or really loose conditions (we have deep sand in Tahoe), the GC became overwhelmed as the soil dried out and I quickly switched back to the Purgatory as my rear tire. The GC wasn't terrible in Tahoe conditions, but it wasn't an ideal tire for these conditions (most folks will run a Maxxis HR II, DHR II, WTB Vigilante, etc as a rear tire in Tahoe conditions). The Purgatory also does very well in Tahoe's deep sand and loose conditions (it has a deeper tread pattern and more negative space than the GC). I also feel that I can be much more aggressive with my cornering lean angles when using the Purgatory. I know that folks complain that the Purgatory is a bit of a slow roller as a rear tire but I haven't noticed this being a problem at all (including my significant time riding on Bay Area hard pack). Since I live in Tahoe and the Purgatory works better for my local conditions, it is my preferred tire. That said, when spending significant time riding hardpack in the Bay Area this spring, I was quite satisfied with the GC.

    I had the Control casings in both the GC and Purgatory--and I have had great luck with the durability of both tires. I generally get a few seasons out of my rear Purgatory tires--and could get even more time out of them if I really pushed it. Specialized seems to use a very durable rubber in its tires.

    What is the right rear tire for you? It depends on your local conditions and preferences. Based on your description of your ride conditions, it sounds like the GC may fit the bill.

  4. #4
    Workin for the weekend!
    Reputation: -Todd-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I agree with all of what Jimmy said, very similar experiences...

    I run the Purg / GC (2.3) combination for similar XC/trail riding and have bqeen happy with the grip. I will probably run a Purg/Purg combo in the fall, I've been really happy with this tire.

    Occasionally I swap to a fast trak (2.2) rear when it gets real dry out here...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Thanks for your

    Am I right in thinking the Ground Control will roll faster on dry\hardpack conditions, but the Purgatory will be a much better choice in the wet or mud etc? The Purg is meant to self-clear mud quite well I think, whereas the GC would be more likely to get clogged\overwhelmed?

    Is the Purg just as grippy in the corners in dry conditions as the GC, the difference being it doesn't roll quite as fast as the GC? If there isn't much penalty in rolling speed, sounds like the Purgatory would be the choice for the one do-it-all rear tyre?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    My son swapped from the GC to purgatory (which was updated in design about a year ago) on the rear. He runs a Butcher on the front. According to him, the Purgatory sticks better and rolls just about as well. As far as mud, neither is a good mud tire.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD so please forgive the typos that occur when typing with two fingers.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

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