Review | The Specialized Fast Trak GRID 29×2.3 is a fast AND tough XC tyre

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Wil reviews the Specialized Fast Trak; a fast-rolling XC tyre with a tough GRID casing

When it comes to choosing race-worthy components for XC and marathon bikes, the traditional approach has been to go as light as possible. After all, it’s your legs that have to push the extra weight up the hills and around the race course. And surely everyone knows that lighter bikes accelerate faster right?

However, not every XC race course is a beautifully groomed magic carpet ride. At the World Cup level, race tracks are getting more technical and more demanding, both on the rider and on the bikes. And while having a sub-500g race tyre might be good for acceleration, it’s not exactly an advantage if you’re having to stop and repair a puncture after your paper-thin sidewalls have been slashed open.

That’s where this GRID-reinforced version of Specialized’s speedy Fast Trak tyre comes in.

specialized fast trak tyre tire
The box-fresh Specialized Fast Trak with the reinforced GRID casing.

On The Fast Trak

A popular and well-established name in the Specialized tyre lineup, the Fast Trak is ideally suited to XC riding and racing in dry and hardpack conditions. The tyre itself is engineered in the company’s German office, and like the rest of the Specialized tyre range, it’s manufactured in-house, and not under license by a different company.

Compared to the previous version, the latest tread pattern features more consistent edging blocks to bolster the Fast Trak’s cornering traction. It’s also now equipped with Specialized’s own Gripton rubber compound, which according to Big Red, gives the tyre increased grip and a ‘livelier feel’.

As for the wider lineup, the Fast Trak slots right in between the Renegade (the lightest and fastest option) and the Ground Control (an all-condition trail tyre).

specialized fast trak tyre tire
The Fast Trak comes in a load of different sizes. I’ve been testing the 29×2.3in option.

Specialized Fast Trak GRID 29×2.3in

Options vary depending on the market, though the Fast Trak is primarily available in 2.1in and 2.3in widths, in both 27.5in and 29in diameters. You can get it with a standard casing, the GRID-reinforced option we’ve got here, or in a super light S-WORKS version that drops significant weight at the expense of durability.

Here are the specs for the tyre I’ve been testing over the past few months;

  • Size tested: 29×2.3in
  • Gripton rubber compound
  • 60tpi casing w/GRID reinforced sidewalls
  • Casing width: 2.34in (59.51mm)
  • Width at tread: 2.23in (55.68mm)
  • Claimed weight: 720g
  • Confirmed weight: 755g
  • RRP: $75 AUD / £42
specialized fast trak tyre tire grid 29x2.3 gripton
The latest Fast Trak gets Specialized’ proprietary Gripton rubber compound.

Installation Notes

 

 

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Review Info

Brand:Specialized
Product:Fast Trak GRID 2Bliss Ready
From:specialized.com
Price:$75 AUD / £42 per tyre
Tested:by Wil Barrett for 3 months

Comments (4)

    Nice to have some more choice for some aggressive trail riding and XC racing. I’ve been using the Vittoria PEYOTE/MEZCAL combo on hardpack/sandy conditions (recommended to me by some hardy national XC racers). The Peyote on the front offers good cornering confidence, the Mezcal doesn’t like the wet much, but summer is here now (lol), both are great in 2.3 and pretty light with 120TPI sidewalls. Maybe worth a spin if you haven’t already.

    Specialized UK don’t import them?

    @fivealive – Cheers for the tip on the Vittoria tyres! I’ve heard good things about their latest range, so I’d be keen to check those out for sure.

    @Sir HC – Looks like you can get the 2.1in width, but not the 2.3in width option in the UK. I think it depends on the distributor as to what tyres are stocked in what countries, so I’m guessing the 2.3in Fast Trak is a less popular choice in the UK.

    [ST Wil]

    As per Sir HC, can’t get the GRID option in the UK. Sizes not an issue.

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