Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review : Specialized Chunder SX and Specialized Chunder Control

Ah the Specialized Chunder. The quiet living underdog of AM tires, finally gets a very well deserved moment of attention. It took ages to test this tire(s). Thing is, I really got impressed by this tire, and just kept dragging it through spots and tracks in-country and beyond. And let me drop the bomb right away; This tire outperforms the Maxxis Highroller. Yearh, one of the worlds most popular DH/FR tires got its ass kicked. Enough of the praises, lets get down to performance:

Chunder Control:
Well the Chunder Control is a near replica of (in terms of thread pattern) of my otherwise all-time favorite AM tire; the Maxxis High-Roller 2.3. But the Chunder Control adds a few things into the mix; First of; its HUGE, the 2.3" is as big as a Maxxis 2.5". Secondly, the knob-hight is about 20% higher than that of the Maxxis tire - that shows performance wise in the corners at high speeds and on the descends. The side pattern is huge and ultra aggressive, and the center knobs are ramped up to give as little rolling resistance as possible - just like the High Roller.
The performance is second to none in the turns, the huge side logs bite into the dirt when pushed, and keeps you railed on the trail. This really shines through in loose conditions. When things get wet or muddy this tire still performs, but to extract true mud performance, you'd be better off with a mud-specific tire. That said, this tire holds line in rockgardens, roots, even slips from wet roots quickly gets caught - thanks to the aggressive side pattern.
I see this tire as an all-year tire, for the AM or FR rider that wants the very best. So if you want an easy rolling tire, that offers insane grip in the corners, and has mistake swallowing capabilities - then go get this tire, ignore the high weight (it will pay off), and install this amazing tire, that definitely sits high on the "best for All Mountain" throne.

(I do want to note that the tire is way over its claimed weight, and Specialized should perhaps give their scale a good service check.)

Size:2.3" (Single Ply)
Tested on: Front
Claimed weight: 855 gram
Actual weight: 927 gram
Score: 6/6
(click to enlarge)

The green line indicates the pattern the tire actually rolls on, the red shows where the tire engages when cornering. This makes a very easy rolling tire in the strait line, with furiously biting in the corners:
(click to enlarge)
Chunder SX:
This is my remark and thought for the "SX" version of the Chunder tire. The size and handling is pretty much the same as the Control version - so I wont repeat myself. The SX version is dual ply, and therefor more heavy, but also more stiff, less flexy and "cuts" better through challenging rockgardens.
If you are riding really hard and aggressive, and want to go dual ply, then this is pretty much the perfect tire - like in 6/6 perfect. This is however an all mountain blog, and this tire is just a tad too heavy to score a perfect score here. (Ive given this some thought, and I think its the right thing to do - if im all for keeping the integrity of this blog.)

Size:2.3" (Dual Ply)
Tested on: Front
Claimed weight: 1000 gram
Actual weight: 1060 gram
Score: 5/6
(click to enlarge)


  1. Is Chunder SX up for it as a reartire aswell or is`t a front tire only?

  2. I haven't tested it as a rear tire, but I think it would do good - particularly in dry conditions.

  3. Do you have any suggestions when it comes to a good grippy
    AM reartire?
    Btw really enjoying your blog found it just a couple of days ago been through all post now =P, keep it up.
    Best regards from Sweden.

  4. Thanks for the kind words Micke. For a grippy rear tire, try the Kenda Excavator, I previewed it here on this blog not long ago. Its really proving itself in harsh terrain - and I have a hard time finding any weakness in its performance.

  5. Thanx a lot v.p. for your interesting blog.
    do you think I could use the chunder sx in freeride and bike park without the risk to pinching it? I have found it standard on the Specialized Demo7 2010, but I immediately raised to mount the dual ply Maxxis (Highroller at reat, DHF at front). You're a big rider!

  6. Hi there, glad you like the blog. There is always the risk of pinching, but I think you'll have a hard time pinching the Chunder SX, its very solid. Ive yet to pinch the Chunder Control, and I have really been hard on the tire, particularly in the bikeparks.

  7. Have you tried clutch control?

  8. Hi there, no I haven't yet, but its on my list for 2011.

  9. Hi again,

    I can`t find any online shop that have the Chunder Control in stock. Where did you buy yours?

  10. Hi there, its in-stock here:

    I got mine from my LBS, they had to order it to the store for me tho'

    What country are you from?

  11. I`m from Sweden unfortunately it`s hard to find well-assorted Specdealers here.
    It`s often easier to find/order Specgear online from UK, but the stores that i usually order from only stock the SX-version.

    Haven`t thought of asking any of the Specdealers to order it for me tough =).

  12. You should try that, thats how I got mine : )