Editor’s note: For this review of Hutchinson’s Griffus tires, designed especially for gravity shredding in dry, loose trail conditions, we sent “Janker” Ted Jaramillo, an enduro racer riding for Transition and based in Northern New Mexico, to Digne-les-Bains, France with Hutchinson to test these tires at the EVO bike park. Janker Ted knows what a dry trail needs from a tire to maintain traction and can put gravity tires to some serious test runs.
by Janker Ted
Hutchinson Griffus tires
Available in 2.4 in. and 2.5 in for both 27.5 and 29 in. wheels (both 29ers tested)
(Dry/Loose tread condition)
I spent the last 6 days riding the EVO bike park in Digne-les-Bains, France testing out the new tubeless-ready Griffus tire combo. It was an amazing experience being able to travel with my bike overseas to test out a great new product on some of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. It was really cool to see how different the culture was in France; even though I didn’t know any French, I was still able to connect with all the other riders through our passion for bikes. The stoke was high and we were all ripping, yeeting and hollering, riding countless shuttle laps at the pristine EVO bike park. I’ve never had so many delicious croissants in one week.
I was running the 2.5 up front and the 2.4 on the rear, 28 psi up front and 30 psi in the rear mounted up to the Stans MK3 flow rims with no tire insert. With these 29er tires weighing over 1000 grams each (1050 g for the 2.4 and 1100 g for the 2.5), I expected the sidewall casing to be thicker, but the thicker portion of the casing was underneath the tread. The rubber compound on the middle and side tread was pretty soft but had a nice rebound property to it.
The riding conditions on the first day consisted of super dry, powdery clay dust with pieces of shale rock on the packed bike park surface. The tires had great traction in the loose, blown out trails when aired down a couple of psi. When I rode on hardpack jump trails, I found that the tire had a tendency to roll in corners when pushed hard, due to the tires’ high volume. While Hutchinson doesn’t specify the two tread patterns as a front or rear specific, running the 2.5 up front was a better option for me because it gripped better than the 2.4 on this terrain, minimizing washout.
The tread excelled for harsh braking and climbing grip, but lacked corner grip when the tire was leaned over due to the high-volume round tread layout. I compensated by dropping pressure to flatten the tread out, but then the tire would roll when pushed over.
The remaining days riding were super wet and greasy. The tread pattern packed full of mud pretty quickly, but the dirt here was probably the stickiest clay dirt I’ve ever ridden and being a dry-specific tire that test wasn’t relevant. Overall, I thought the Hutchinson Griffus tire combo hooked up great in the dry dusty conditions of the park, but lacked sidewall support and puncture resistance if they were in an area with sharper and rockier square hits.