New tire: Specialized Clutch 2.3

First impression of the Big S’s newest all-mountain, braaap-style tire.

The side knobs are big and exposed, like a Chunder.

The center knobs are paired and siped in both the drive/brake and cornering directions. They resemble a mix between the center knobs of a Maxxis Minion DHR and DHF. They’re also reminiscent of the Specialized Pin’it and Pinn’er. You can tell this tire is meant to work on both ends of your bike.

Overall, the tread pattern is very open and edgy, which means the tire should penetrate loose surfaces. The knobs are wide and well supported, which means it should grip and hold hard surfaces.

The Clutch uses dual compounds: harder in the middle, softer on the sides.

In keeping with the SX casing, the Clutch is a bit softer than a Specialized XC tire and a bit harder than a Specialized DH tire.

My test Clutches use Specialized’s new “SX” all-mountain/freeride casing, which puts the tire weight at 1,000 grams.

The Clutch is also available in a two-ply DH casing with butyl inserts and Umma Gumma Soft compund. That tire weighs a reported 1,250 grams.

This is a pretty big tire; a Specialized 2.3 measures close to a Maxxis 2.5.

The Clutch seems like it will work almost everywhere as a high-traction mid-weight all-mountain/freeride tire.


I rocked the Clutch on my Enduro SL at Left Hand Canyon. It had been raining, and the surfaces included slimy mud, wet sand, slippery rocks/roots and tacky hardpack.

I will not accuse the Clutch of rolling too fast, especially through that mud, but I will say the climbing traction was awesome. The mud cleared very well.

The casing had a nice, damped feel.

The cornering traction was on like Donkey Kong. This is a very confidence-inspiring tire. It feels more aggressive than the Eskar and quicker and more consistent than the Chunder.

I plan to leave the Clutch on my Enduro until further notice. I think it will make a great all-around aggressive tire.

Stay tuned.

15 replies
  1. leelikesbikes says:

    Paul – yeah, the Pinn’it is amazing on hardpack. i still have some.

    Kenrick – not sure. a guess: if the tire does well, they’ll do it in 2Bliss, which is UST compatible.

  2. Jess says:

    Bigger than a 2.3 Resolution?

    Speaking of which…is the Reso totally discontinued, or is there still somewhere to get them?

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    This just in from Chris Wyatt, the Tire/Tube Tough Guy at Specialized:

    – Yes, the Resolution is discontinued.

    – The Pinn’it is coming back, but it might be a few months until it’s back in stock. Stay tuned.

    BTW: The Eskar tire rips. I think it rolls faster and corners better than the Resolution. Note: The turn the Eskar, you must LEAN it!

  4. Steves says:

    [quote=leelikebikes]This is a pretty big tire; a Specialized 2.3 measures close to a Maxxis 2.5.[/quote] So what your saying is that it’s a true to size 2.3, since most Maxxis 2.5 tires measure close to a 2.3. Looks HAWT.

  5. Chris says:

    OFF TOPIC (but on photo): Lee, you say you rode through mud but that chain looks new. What gives?

    So as to save to-and-fro in this thread, let me pretend you have replied that you take the chain off and clean it in a degreasing solution. I was told by Thomas at Rohloff that my XTR Shimano chains were only lasting about 1000 miles before 1% stretch because I was taking them off and agitating them in Simple Green solution after any dirt ride (though I’m flipping them as per Shimano’s longevity findings). He told me to only run it through a rag to preserve the grease that exists in places that I cannot re-lubricate via chain oil. Still working on putting miles on current chain to see if he is right (but Germans always are on such matters).

    Of course now that I have put this out there I bet you will confirm that the chain is new. 🙂

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    Steve: Yes, the Specialized 2.3 is true to size.

    Chris: I climbed through mud, but I was going so slow that mud never got flung that high!

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    and btw: My chains feel lucky then they see oil and a rag. routine maintenance … not my core competency.

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