Chris: The Endurist
Chris, more professionally known as Christian Derkum, works in Product Management. You may recognise from our riding technique videos. But Chris is not only a product manager and technique coach--he is also an Enduro World Series participant. Simply put, our friend has a lot of experience behind the wheel. He mounted the new Specialized compounds with the Grid Gravity carcass on a Yeti SB150 and on 30 mm-wide DT Swiss rims. As far as preferences go, he prioritises feedback, grip and puncture resistance over other aspects such as weight. To get a clearer overall picture of their capabilities, Chris took the new tyres out for a spin on the familiar trails of his home town, which he describes as being dry, dusty and littered with a fair amount of roots and rocks. His impression? "These tyres are round! Perhaps you’re thinking I could be a little more specific, but I mean exactly that: these tyres are round. They are unnoticeable in the best possible way, very predictable and stick well to the trail. Basically, they perform the way they’re supposed to." That being said, Chris also mentions that the tyre can easily be pushed into curves and follow the rider’s intended path with increased stability. He attributes this mainly to the knob pattern which, together with the knob strength and new compounds, means that the shoulder knobs can take on a lot in terms of load and traction. As an added bonus, the tyre is also very easy to mount tubeless, particularly when it comes to the stable gravity carcass. At the same time, Chris points out that the 29-inch is already punching above its weight, and so recommends it especially for enduro and downhill riders or those who value maximum puncture protection, including e-mountain bikers in search of a stable and high-traction tyre. Chris laughs as he says "If you’re at all a weight-conscious rider, don’t look at the scale.” For him, tyres are always a matter of personal taste. For those in the know, however, the new Specialized tyres are worth more than just a quick recommendation.