Introduced blindly at their summer launch, the all-new Specialized Terra Pro and Tracer Pro tires are finally in stock. They’ll be on display at the USAC Cyclocross National Championships in Reno in a few more days, but they’re online and available through Specialized dealers now.
Both receive massive updates and look nothing like the originals, which is a big deal when you’re modifying two tires that have been so well received over the years. Fans of the brand may notice they’re not updating the Trigger, instead relying on these two new treads to provide their complete CX tire lineup. Here’s why:
In the past, we had a 3-tire system for ‘cross,” explains Specialized road PR manager Sean Estes. “(The) Trigger (File tread for grass, tacky hardpack, and other firm surfaces such as asphalt or concrete), Tracer (Intermediate tread for most conditions except thick mud), and Terra (Mud tire for truly sloppy conditions).
“As technology has evolved and we have learned more in the three key areas of casing design, tread design and rubber compound (now with Gripton), we are now able to reduce our ‘Cross tire offering to a 2-tire system, while actually offering a wider range of performance as compared to the previous 3-tire system. For serious ‘Cross racers, this is a massive benefit because tire selection is dependent on course conditions which can change rapidly. Now only two sets of wheels or two sets of tires are needed as compared to three in the past. This is especially helpful for racers using tubular wheels and tires.”
Now, with just two tires, the Tracer “offers the low rolling resistance of the Trigger with the grip of the previous Tracer”, and the Terra’s “new design offers vastly improved grip in sloppy conditions over previous design without any penalty in terms of rolling resistance.” Part of that grip improvement comes from the use of their silica-infused Gripton rubber, which improves pliability even in freezing conditions.
The new tires are shipping now in 60tpi 2BLISS tubeless-ready clincher form in 700×33 and 700×38. The Tracer 700×38 gets their Blackbelt or Endurant puncture protection added, making it more suitable for gravel/touring use, too. Tubulars follow later this spring, a rendering of which you can see at top of post.
Due to its popularity as a gravel tire, the Trigger file tread tire does carry over, and has Gripton rubber. It’ll be sold in 700×33 and 700×38 in the “Pro” 2Bliss clincher format, plus 33, 38, 42 and 47mm widths in their “Sport” casing starting later this spring.
A wire bead 700×33 Tracer Sport with the original tread pattern shown directly above (top right) also appears to remain in the line for now. The former Tracer Pro and Terra Pro pages on Specialized’s site are throwing errors, though, so you’ll have to find those in stock at shops or online if you just can’t let go.