Early impressions: Specialized Slaughter tire

Many of you are running Specialized Butcher tires on the fronts of your all-mountain/enduro bikes.

The Butcher is a versatile and dependable choice. But what do you run in back, especially if you want faster rolling?

On my Stumpjumper and Enduro 29s I’ve run various tire combinations:

• 2.3 Butcher front, 2.3 Ground Control rear – Impunity up front and consistency out back. Made the Sea Otter dual slalom final!

• 2.2 Purgatory front, 2.1 Ground Control rear – Quick! Wore out quick, too.

• 2.3 Purgatory front, 2.3 Ground Control rear – I’ve been on this combo for a long while now. Predictable and competent in most places.

On Friday at Winter Park, I took some pre-clinic runs with Curtis Keene. At that speed on those blown out trails, the well worn Purg/GC felt sketchy.

So I bought a fresh 2.3 Butcher (Control casing) for the front and the new Slaughter (GRID casing) for the back. Curtis is running these exact tires, so they’ll make me fast enough for a Red Bull contract, right?

Slaughter details

2.3 Slaughter GRID with two days of DH runs.

• Low, closely spaced center knobs for fast rolling.

• Butcher side knobs for cornering bite.

• Wide open shoulder channel for extra-turbo bite!

• GRID casing is 2Bliss ready and has an extra cap ply for burliness. It feels kind of like a foldable DH tire.

• 60a rubber in the middle, 50a rubber on the sides.

• 29 x 2.3 weighs a reported 955g (about 250g more than the Ground Control it replaced).

Other casing options and details at Specialized.com

Slaughter impressions

I have two days on this tire: full, long days at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, CO. Conditions were hard packed, dusty and/or rocky. I was able to compare tire-to-tire, trail-to-trail on the same weekend on the same bike.

Butcher Control and Slaughter GRID both at ~28 psi.

• Butcher side knobs bite! The Butcher/Slaughter combo delivered a completely different experience than the Purg/GC combo. Turns that were drifted on Friday were carved on Saturday and Sunday. Like I’ve said before, the Butcher is a tire of impunity. Put it where you want and worry not.

• The Slaughter rolls plenty fast and hooks just as well as the Butcher. I didn’t notice any vagueness out back, but I do make a practice of leaning my bike in turns.

• I like the heavier casing. It adds to the whole impunity thing, and I think the weight adds stability in the gnar.

My S-Works Enduro 29 is basically a mini DH bike that can be pedaled. So why not run mini DH tires that can be pedaled? The Butcher and Slaughter make an effective combo for this bike, and I plan to wear them out.

Rip it,


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13 replies
  1. Jim says:

    I’d love to try this combo, but they only make the Slaughter in 29 and 650b sizes. The 26 is dead. Long live the 26!

    Anyway, I’ve had trouble with Specialized control casing tires burping on the rear wheel. I’ll have to give the Grid casing a try.

  2. agleck7 says:

    was gonna say the same thing about 26 not being available, otherwise that tire looks awesome. I’ve been running a Purg 2.3 Grid in the rear and like it a lot. The GC control casing was a lot more squirmy and I don’t really notice more rolling resistance or weight.

  3. Andy says:

    Let’s hope Specialized doesn’t phase out the existing tires in 26″. “Don’t cut the Butcher!”, they cried. “Don’t send the Purgatory to tire heaven!”

  4. LeroyW says:

    I love this tire! It corners awesome and rolls super well, BUT my new Enduro 650 came with the control version and while I’m 220 lbs I have to run this tire at 38+ psi on the rear to keep it from burping on hard banked corners or fast G-Outs.

    I’m wondering if the GRID casing will be enough to get my pressure back down a little for a plusher ride and more traction and if the 180 gram penalty would be worth it? Ran Schwalbe HD on my 29er before with great results at ~33 psi, but they don’t roll as well and don’t quite have the cornering of the Butcher/Slaughter.

    Any input/long tern results you can share?


  5. leelikesbikes says:


    I’ve been on this Slaughter GRID for the past four months, for everything from bike park to XC to DH, and I like it a whole lot. I do not notice the extra weight (vs a Control casing) while riding.

    Yes, I believe a GRID model will let you run less air while maintaining structural integrity. I really love having a GRID out back because it’s almost a DH tire, and I feel like I can bash it through stuff with impunity.

    As a matter of fact, I plan to change my front Butcher Control to a Butcher GRID when the time comes.

  6. Bill Clark says:

    Hey, Lee. Maybe you can talk some sense into the folks at Specialized. I’ve been on their bikes and tires exclusively since 2001, as I sure many other have been. Now they are sending us 26er folks to others manufacturer’s tires. Can’t imagine why they’d trade a million 26er customers for a handful of 650b customers. Seems like a product management blunder to me. Anyway. I’m about to replace my last eskar control series 2 on the rear of my bike (paired with a Butcher control up front) with something. May have to try Schwalbe tire for the first time ever.

    How does the GC compare to the Eskar on the rear?

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    GC vs Eskar:

    – Faster rolling
    – Less ultimate bite
    – More consistent grip from edge to edge (no mystery spot)

    If you like to lean your bike, look for some Eskars!


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