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