Specialized Chunder Review

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The Specialized Chunder is a downhill tire designed to be able to ride just about anything you put in front of it. From Loamy conditions to loose and rocky conditions, the Chunder does an excellent job of maintaining traction. Going through corners, this tire transitions very well from riding on the tread in the center of the tire to riding on the outside tread.  We didn’t experience that traction-less hang time that often accompanies transferring from the center tread to the outside tread.

There are three different versions of the Chunder, the DH, SX, and 2Bliss (though this last model has been discontinued as of the 2011 line). The Chunder DH is a no holds barred un-apologetic dowhnill tire where the SX version is the all mountain and freeride light version of the Chunder. The 2Bliss version features the traction of the Chunder and gives it the benefits of a tubeless tire.

Specialized Chunder

When you get a Specialized Chunder 2.3”, you are truly getting a 2.3” tire.  Unlike some other companies, these tires run true to their size. All models of the Specialized Chunder come in 2.3” and 2.5” models and feature a multi compound adding to the longevity of the tire. The center tread compound, which takes the most abuse is tougher than the outside treads, which provider greater traction in corners.  The Specialized Chunder DH comes with a 42a center compound and a 40a outer tread compound. The SX version of the tire comes with a 50a compound for the center tread and the tread on the side uses a 45a compound.

Specialized Chunder DH ReviewThe Specialized Chunder DH has a 2 ply casing and Butyl stiffened sidewalls making them super stiff. Adding to the impenetrability of the tire is the 60 TPI casing.  All of this makes the downhill version of the Chunder extremely tough; it is near impossible for thorns to go through and pop your tube.  I have been riding this tire for years and never gotten a flat from a thorn – not to say I haven’t gotten my share of pinch flats. The Chunder DH wears very well too; even when riding on very rocky terrain these tires lasted a long time before needing to be replaced.

Specifications:

  • Casing: 60 TPI
  • Center Compound: 42a / Shoulder Compound: 40a
  • Dual ply casing
  • Butyl stiffened sidewalls
  • 26″ x 2.3 approx. weight 1350g, PSI: 25-50
  • 26″ x 2.5 approx. weight 1360g, PSI: 25-50

The Specialized Chunder SX shaves off about 350 grams per tire from the Chunder DH making it a suitable All Mountain tire even though it still about 1,000 grams for the 2.3” version. With the decrease in weight comes an increase in vulnerability to thorns and rocks but it still features the 60 TPI casing to help protect the tube. Specialized also made this tire with stronger center and side compounds giving the Chunder SX more durability than the DH version which is really soft. Despite being not as soft as the DH version, the SX still does a great job of holding traction.

Specialized Chunder SX Review

Specifications:

  • Casing: 60 TPI + cap ply
  • Bead: Aramid
  • Center Compound: 50a / Shoulder Compound: 45a
  • 26″ x 2.3 approx. weight 1000g, PSI: 25-50
  • 26″ x 2.5 approx. weight 1070g, PSI: 25-50

The Specialized Chunder 2Bliss is my tubeless tire of choice. Dear Specialized, why did you get rid of this tire for 2011?  I put this on my Enduro after I had worn through my 2Bliss Eskars in three months and my friend sliced his Eskars on a rock. The 2Bliss Chunders have performed great, I put them on 6 months ago and they are still in great shape. I nor anyone else at CheapMTB has had any performance issues with the tubeless version of the Chunder and this version packs all of grip and control of the DH and SX versions.

Specialized Chunder on Bike

As with all things, there are a few downsides to this tire. Due to the massive volume and true sizing of the Chunder, tire clearance may be an issue with some frames. If you are riding a Freeride or Dowhnill bike, you should be fine though. The other downside of this tire is that the Chunder is a heavy tire – there is no way around that. You are getting a lot of great features such as consistency, traction, and durability but it is a trade off.

The bottom line is that the Specialized Chunder is a tire that won’t let you down regardless of the trail you are riding. It consistently delivers top of the line traction in every condition we tested it in.
Specialized Chunder Review

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