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This week is Tire Review Week. For our second review, we have the Hutchinson CX Bulldog Tubeless Ready Tire:

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

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.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

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.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

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.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Pros:

Grippy while still being fast

Very reliable (low instances of flats)

Moderately fast, even on road terrain

Color!

Cons: Kinda heavy

Cracks/Blisters in casing

Rating: 3/4

Company Product Info:

http://www.hutchinsontires.com/en/catalogue-route.php?fiche=bulldog-cx-tlr.php&univers=4&pid=20

BULLDOG CX
Terrain boueux Pluie

Lightweight, Traction & Grip

* Semi-slick
* Excellent lateral grip
* Flexible unique silver compound
* Ultralight 127 tpi casing
* Tubeless Ready = weight + performance + safety
* Tube type or Tubeless possible

Use: Cyclo-cross
Section: 700 x 34
Tubetype (TT) Tubeless (TL): TT/TL
Folding bead(FB) / Steel (SB): FB
Weight: 405 g
Color: Silver

Can be purchased at:

Excel Sports

BULLDOG CX

 

Lightweight, Traction & Grip

  • Semi-slick
  • 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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This week is Tire Review Week. For our first review, we have the Torelli Arezzo Open Tubular Tire:

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

Torelli sent me a set of their Arezzo “Open Tubulars” last summer to test them and give them a review. By open tubular, this means that the carcass is very similar to a handmade tubular, but has a bead on both sides/does not have the tube stitched inside. The tread is glued to the carcass when fully inflated, so it holds a very round shape when pumped up.

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

The weight of these tires are very light for being handmade, and the casing cloth is supremely supple due to it’s 260tpi thread count. (207g, 205g) I ended up wanting to inflate these tires 10psi higher than my suggested weight/terrain would expect, just due to the fact that they ran so smooth. The tread and casing of the tire ate up tiny bumps in a way that a 25mm tire would, but with it’s 205g/23c size profile. The sidewalls are bare polyester with just a smidge of rubber covering them, and were no more susceptible to punctures as any other race tire, e.x. Michelin Pro 3 Race’s. The cloth right under the tread has a single layer of aramid protection above the cotton casing. This does not change the way the suppleness of the tire conforms to the road, and protects just as well as any other race tire.

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

About 1100 miles into my review, I had a blowout on the rear tire, where a perfectly placed nail caught the sidewall and blew out the wheel instantly. The beads kept the tire on very well, and I was able to slow down to a stop with little or no trouble. I do not have anything bad to say about this, since it would have ruined any other tire in the same situation. I’m just glad it stayed on my rim, and did not fly off or get caught up in my drivetrain or frame!

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

After this incident, I switched the front tire to the rear, and put on one of my previous tires for the front. This tire failthfully lasted through another 700 miles of the rougher terrain that WV had to offer, including rides that should have been for the cross bike… I finally stopped using this tire when the tread was worn down to the carcass in a single spot I skid-stopped on unintentionally several hundred miles earlier.

The tires roll fast, are as grippy, if not grippier than some of the big named tire companies, and just feels so plush. Seriously, watch out… you’re going to want to over inflate these…

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

All in all, for the price of these tires, there is no doubt that I enjoyed them. Flats were rare, grip and rolling resistance was equivalent to any other premium tires I have used, and they really did smooth out the little bumps like a tubular or larger tire does.

Would I suggest these as everyday tires? Yes, but only if you are knowingly willing to accept that they will not last as long as say, a Conti Gatorskin or Michelin Krylion would. 1800mi on a handmade tire is pretty darn good, and especially at the quality and price that Torelli serves them at.

Overall Review 4/4 Stars

You can buy these at the following locations:

Smart Cycles

AirBomb

Company Product Info:

http://torelli.com/tubes-tires-maintenance/tires/arezzo-open-tubular.html

Torelli “Open Tubulars” are vastly superior to regular clincher tires in feel and performance. An open tubular uses the same technology and materials as a high-end sew-up with the convenience of mounting on a clincher rim. The casings threads are not woven and because of this, they have very high thread counts and are very supple and strong. This makes for a fast, good-handling tire. The tread compounds are designed to stick to the road for excellent cornering.

* Weight: 205 grams
* Lighter, more flexible casing
* Casing thread count: 260 threads per inch
* Color: black or classic honey side wall
* Casing material: polyester
* Size: 700 x 23
* Bead: folding aramid
* Pressure rating: 100 – 130 psi

P.S. they do look very similar to Challenge’s handmade open tubulars~

PART 2 -ITS System 29 XC Tire

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