Butcher and Slaughter tire combo

Hey Lee, hope all is well…

I came across your review of the Specialized Butcher/Slaughter and find it to be a very interesting set-up.


I ride a 2016 Santa Cruz 5010CC (130mm) here on my local Long Island trails which are mostly fast, flowy, hardpack with some loose over hard and washed out/sandy corners. Some of our more technical trails have some short but steep climbs with scattered roots and rocks. I also venture upstate to more aggressive rooty/rocky trails. I’ve also ridden in CT, VT, UT, CO and have been very impressed with what my 5010CC can handle. Coming from a BMX and DH bike I like to have fun and hit everything I can on the trail. I’d like this bike to be able to handle most trails (so far so good!) but don’t want a tire combo to kill me!

On all of those trails I’ve ran a 2.4″ Ardent front and 2.35″ Ardent Race or Ikon rear. They’ve handled just about everything, but at times I’ve wished that I had more tire. At 5’10” and a muscular 200lbs. I’m not very easy on my bike/tires.

I tried the newer Schwalbe Nobby Nic’s when I first built this bike and for some reason they felt very slow, although it could have been new bike/new season/new legs that did it. I’m not opposed to trying the Rock Razor with a suitable front tire.

Looking at different tires has brought me to the Butcher/Slaughter combo. The semi-slick seems like the best of both worlds and I’m unsure why it’s not more popular. I know you have to lean hard to full engage the Slaughter. I like to throw my bike around, I wonder if I’ll be aggressive enough for that tire? Are there any actual downsides to a Slaughter vs Ardent Race/Ikon/Similar?

How do you think the Butcher/Slaughter combo would compare to the Ardent/Ikon or Ardent/Ardent Race? Would I be adding a bunch more grip but also a ton of rolling resistance???

Thanks in advance for any input!

– Joe


Joe,

Thanks for reaching out.

I have a lot of time on Butchers and Slaughters in 29×2.3 and 27.5×2.8 in these combinations:

• Butcher front Slaughter rear
• Butcher front and rear
• Slaughter front and rear

Heck, I also ride the hell out of a Butcher 26×2.3 on my Specialized SX.

The right tire choice is, of course, all about your terrain, riding style and preferences. Some thoughts:

Butchers are way more tire than Ardents. Heck, Butchers are more tire than Minion DHFs, which are the next calibre above Ardent. Compared with the Ardent, the Butchers might feel slower, but they will corner way harder on a wider range of surfaces. The looser the trail, the more you’ll feel the advantage.

Slaughters have almost the same cornering traction as Butchers. Especially if you set them on edge. This is not fashionable, but I’ve run Slaughters on the front of my S-Works Stumpy hardtail … and the result was a quick bike that carved like crazy.

Slaughters are faster-rolling than Butchers, but I don’t think they’re faster than an Ardent Race or an Ikon. They might be comparable. This depends on the trial surface and temperature. I might be crazy, but I think the Butchers slow down (and grip!) on cold days.

This might not make sense to you, but Slaughters are best on loose trails. If you corner hard on hardpacked flat turns, the exposed side knobs tend to wiggle. If you don’t shred you won’t feel it. If you do shred you can get used to it. But it’s a feeling you have to get used to.

Those Maxxis combos tell the world, “I’m a practically minded rider who wants to have fun and also cover ground efficiently.” Rock band: Van Halen.

The Butcher front/Slaughter rear combo tells the world, “I don’t want to waste energy, but I’m here to shred.” Rock band: Metallica.

The Butcher front and rear combo says “I’m here to shred, period.” Slayer.

My Enduro Öhlins Coil came with a Slaughter rear. That position is now occupied by a Butcher.

The Slaughter front and rear combo says “I care about where I spend my energy, and have the skill to carve.” Pink Floyd.

My Stumpy currently has a 2.8 Butcher GRID front and a Butcher 2.5 DH rear. Minor Threat?

Ha! I hope that helps,

Lee


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3 replies
  1. Brad says:

    I have been liking the Minion DHF in the front 27.5×2.5 and the Maxxis Aggressor 27.5×2.35 in the back. Similar combo.

    Reply
  2. Andrew says:

    I keep coming back to a Butcher or DHF front and a Ground Control Grid rear.
    I find the GC as a rear rewards good technique. Get lazy and ride off the back and the bike gets lazy. Keep centered and keep your aggro front tire engaged and it brakes, corners, and climbs great. And its pretty fast. Just not in style like an Aggressor or Slaughter. Band would be Rush.
    I’ve tried the Ardent Race as a rear and it works fine in good conditions with moderate steepness but feel sketchy when things get hairy. Too little margin of error for my skills.

    Reply
  3. Lee says:

    Andrew, yes!

    The Ground Control is a great tire — and an awesome rear compliment to a Butcher.

    I took that combo — on a Stumpy 29! — to the Sea Otter dual slalom final. That’s as good as I’ll ever get!

    Reply

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