Introduced last summer but not really seen until early this year, the all-new two-tire system from Specialized was formally shown to the public at this past weekend’s Cyclocross National Championships. The new Terra Pro and Tracer Pro get complete redesigns to provide everything a racer could need (in Specialized’s opinion, anyway), which provides the added benefit of less choice. Imagine only needing two tires to cover any type of course or condition. It’s an appealing concept, and here’s how they’re doing it…
2018 SPECIALIZED TRACER
The Tracer has a reinvented tread pattern more for fast, dry conditions. They say the previous Tracer’s tread pattern wasn’t much different than the Trigger, which is a true file tread (and remains in the line, with new sizes added for gravel bikes), but also kinda knobby like the Terra. So, it sort worked in the middle, but the two really excelled at the extremes.
That’s changed now, so there is a clear distinction between a dry/fast tire with the Tracer, and the intermediate/mud tire with the Terra. The very low, long center knobs keep things rolling very quickly and gradually get taller before the stronger, triangular cornering knobs.
It come tubeless ready with Blackbelt protection (one strip inside for protection from flats). For comparison, the Roubaix road tires tote 2x Blackbelt protection which are 2 of these strips.
2018 Specialized Terra
The Terra gets an upgraded tire pattern which is a result of CFA (continual fluid analysis) testing. The ramping of the front of each lug is more angled to provide more surface area per lug when approaching the ground. The back of the lug has a “cupping” to it for better gripping and ground traction when knobbies roll off the surface of the ground. The silica-infused Gripton compound is added to make it extra grippy, particularly in cold weather.
Middle lugs are lower for more speed, and the side lugs are bigger to improve cornering. It, too, is tubeless ready with a one-layer Blackbelt protection.
Both tires comes in 33mm in cotton (gum) sidewalls and black sidewalls (425 grams). A wider 700x38mm only comes in black sidewalls (weight TBA).