This week is Tire Review Week. For our second review, we have the Hutchinson CX Bulldog Tubeless Ready Tire:
Hutchinson has been making the Piranha and Bulldog tire for some while. In the past couple years, they have come out with yet another tubeless road/cross tire. This review is going to cover the Bulldog, but I am sure you could infer many of the same qualities to the Piranha tire as well.
I chose the Hutchinson Bulldog specifically for color. Yes, I wanted a gray cross tire on my bike, and it was either these or the Vittoria line of cross clinchers. The terrain in the West Virginia area can vary from mud, gravel (of all sizes!), tarmac, hardpack dirt, flat out rocky oil roads, or just cutting through farmland. If About the only terrain I have not experienced in this area is sand, and I’m sure I just haven’t looked hard enough for it.
I thought the tread on the tire would cause some rumbling sounds or rolling resistance issues, making the ride feel slower, on the way to our abandoned county roads or other offroad destinations, but this did not happen. Even with this tire being a tubeless tire, the casing is soft enough that the treads bow in on hard surfaces enough to still give a smooth ride. On less dense terrain, the knobs give a good grip, and the side knobs are angled perfectly for mud or gravel covered turns and descents. I feel these tires are real confidence builders on sketchy roads, and I never really doubt or overthink their ability to go over or through something.
When I first received these tires, I attempted to set them up as its intended tubeless ready system on my Neuvation M28 Aero wheels. This completely failed. I could not get the tires to seat or bead, even when using an air compressor to inflate the tire. This was a very tedious and frustrating process that wasted a lot of my time, and resources (stan’s juice). I then attempted to seat them onto my Flit Letica wheels, where I had a little more luck, but the rear tire just would not hold air. I was doing little rides around the neighborhood two or three times a day, inflating the tires every two hours while awake, and they would just not stay how they should have. Call it tire failure or operator error, but to put it frankly, they really pissed me off during this process.
Eventually I decided to just set them up as a standard tire with a tube, and see how it went. A year later, and I have had two flats, both of them due to pinching, but the loss of air was never dramatic or dangerous. The tire stayed on the rim, and it was easy to remove to replace the tube.
Like I said, these tires were chosen due to their style and color, and I was very satisfied. They handle well, and are comparable to other clincher cross tires in price and well, tread pattern… The Hutchinson Bulldogs do tend to wear pretty fast. I have about 700 miles on these tires, and the center tread has been depleted. I’m sure I should get a new pair, but they still run well for most of my uses.
These tires, being tubeless ready are significantly heavier than other cross tires. Coming in at 400g, they are portly, and you can feel it, but I think it is almost worth it due to handling qualities and lack of flats. My one last qualm about these tires is some kind of phenomenon where the casing seems to be blistering away from the inner sidewall. It is odd…. Like it is splitting or cracking. or… being over inflated (it isn’t! 60psi all the time!), or being overstressed in some way or another. The cracks concern me, due to my fear that little pebbles or glass shards are going to work their way in and give me flats. I haven’t contacted Hutchinson yet, but I plan on it. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident/atypical issue.
Grippy while still being fast
Very reliable (low instances of flats)
Moderately fast, even on road terrain
Cons: Kinda heavy
Cracks/Blisters in casing
Company Product Info:
Terrain boueux Pluie
Lightweight, Traction & Grip
* Excellent lateral grip
* Flexible unique silver compound
* Ultralight 127 tpi casing
* Tubeless Ready = weight + performance + safety
* Tube type or Tubeless possible
Section: 700 x 34
Tubetype (TT) Tubeless (TL): TT/TL
Folding bead(FB) / Steel (SB): FB
Weight: 405 g
Can be purchased at:
Lightweight, Traction & Grip
- Excellent lateral grip
- Flexible unique silver compound
- Ultralight 127 tpi casing
- Tubeless Ready = weight + performance + safety
- Tube type or Tubeless possible
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