Hutchinson introduced their new Griffus race rubber back in the spring and we’ve been putting miles on them all summer long. The Griffus is part of Hutchinson’s Racing Lab line of tires. There are both 27.5 and 29″ variants in both 2.4 and 2.5″ widths. We’ve been running the 29 x 2.5 version on the front of our Nicolai G-1 and both the 2.5 and 2.4 x 29″ version on the rear.
The 66 TPI casing on the Griffus provides for a highly durable, enduro race level robustness. Over the course of the summer, they’ve survived countless runs through sharp rocks and quite a few days in the Whistler Bike Park with zero punctures or sidewall damage. Weight is highly competitive at 1059g for the 2.5 and 1047 for the 2.4 tires we tested.
Hutchinson promotes the Griffus as a dry conditions tire and typically that’s what we ride all summer. This year, the PNW and costal BC was bit wetter than normal and that gave us a chance to test out the Griffus in all types of conditions. From sloppy mud outside of Bellingham, to polished wet roots of the Whistler valley, to slick-as-snot clay in Revelstoke, and, of course, August dust, we put these tires to the test.
It turns out, describing they Griffus as a dry-conditions tire is selling it short. For the record, they don’t like mud one bit. They tend to pack up quickly and clean out slowly. But, that’s not to say they’re a let down in wet weather. The Griffus hooks up on wet rocks and provides about as confidence on wet roots as any tire I’ve tried. Just don’t plan on race winning performance through thick and sticky mud.
We were blessed with a lot of hero dirt this year and as expected they did great here. In any condition ranging from light moisture to moon dust, the Griffus left little to be desired. The low ramped center knobs roll fast and the well supported side nobs hook with tenacious grip. I tried out both the 2.5 and the 2.4 in the rear and while the difference in weight is purely academic, the rolling resistance is noticeably lower in the case of the smaller tire.
When the summer moon dust did finally show up in August for a few weeks the Griffus’ center knobs struck a good balance between rolling speed and braking performance. Even with worn knobs from subjecting the soft rubber to wear accelerating sharp rock and bike park laps, the Griffus’ continued to hookup. Naturally, the fast rolling center knobs result in a trade-off in straight line braking traction but get the tire on edge and the side knobs hook hard. As the season comes to a close, the rear tire is smoked but the front is hanging in there. Despite being about ready for the trash can, I have very few torn side knobs. That’s really an achievement considering I’ve broken every side knob off lesser tires in just a few days riding. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed with the durability of the Griffus. With a street price of around $50 a tire, these tires have made my short list of go-to summer time tires.