Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Specialized Storm Control 2.0 2Bliss mud tyres

Posted by Matt | October 28, 2008 | 8 comments so far

Specialized Storm Control 2Bliss (tubeless) tyres
A few days back I asked readers for their opinions on what tyre I should get for wet chalk and clay with the coming winter in mind. So I feel a bit embarrassed to admit that despite people’s kind responses, I went in to my local bike shop on Saturday and bought some Specialized Storm Control mud tyres, which weren’t even on my purchase radar at all.

Let me explain…

After agonising over just a small selection of the huge number of tyres on the market I finally settled on the Bontrager Mud X as being the best option for me this winter. A combination of magazine recommendations and advice from readers who live on wet chalk through the winter tipped the balance.

But after visiting Cycleworks on Saturday I found they don’t stock them and can’t get them as they’re part of the Trek family and Cycleworks focus on Specialized. Dave suggested the Storms as an alternative at £23 each.

I was willing to pay a visit to Head for the Hills instead but after talking to Dave decided to trust his local knowledge. As he said, they look the same for a start! Closer inspection of the spec showed them to be dual compound (55a/65a) with widely spaced knobs and pretty lightweight – about 630g I think. They were also tubeless ready and have reinforced sidewalls which I ideally wanted plus a folding bead.

To be fair, they’re not exactly the same as Bontrager Mud X’s, having slightly more widely spaced knobs and lacking the dotted surfacing to them too. Possibly that might be a serious difference but I’ll find that out in due course.

Fitting them was a whole new story too. For the first time I realised I had no chance of getting them on with a conventional track pump arrangement, which may have been due to the folding bead making them ‘gappy’ when they were on the rim. However, I had a secret weapon in the shape of singlespeed Dave.

Well, not Dave exactly, but his air compressor which we quickly adapted to pump air into the carcass at a rapid rate. Less than 5 minutes of faffing per wheel and the job was done and I made a mental note to let Lee know after his tubeless experiences. Dave could charge £1 a wheel and retire happy.

The trick is either to have valves with no sealant residue to hinder their performance or to remove the valve, inflate the tyre and swiftly put your finger over the hole before quickly manouvering the valve into place. Sounds a lot more complicated than it actually was but do watch out for unexpected sealant sprays…

Orange Five with Specialized Storm Control 2Bliss (tubeless) tyres

So now I have two fitted tyres ready for their first outing Wednesday night. I have a good feeling about them even though I may have committed a fashion faux pas by putting the tyre labelling on the driveside of the bike. Yes, it will bug me for the winter!

I know I have done my hard headed consumer research persona no good at all by being swayed so easily by the bike shop’s advice (or sales pitch) but in my defence I did at least try to buy the Bontrager Mud X’s! And Cycleworks are not in the business of giving poor advice.

I think these Storm Control tyres will be a reasonable alternative, certainly a quick roll along the road with them at 60psi (while the sealant properly seals the rim) indicated that even at that pressure they have a pretty supple carcass. The rubber seems grippy, so after I’ve dropped the pressures maybe for a change I might go looking for roots to test them out? Or, maybe not!

I’ll give some real world impressions in a few weeks. Ironically, it appears these are the same tyres Lee has been running through most of the less-than-dry summer so we’ll compare notes. Thanks for everyone’s advice on tyres, it was very much appreciated as I really didn’t have much of an idea what to get. Fingers crossed for these.


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 8 comments on ‘Specialized Storm Control 2.0 2Bliss mud tyres’

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  1. Lee says:


    Always good to see the tyre decals lining up with the rim decals. That’s attention to detail.

    How ironic is it that the one member of the Moles who’s against the whole Tubeless revolution is the same guy which a compressor in his garage!

    In all seriousness though, I’ve been pretty impressed with them so far. Although since I fitted them we did go through a fairly prolonged dry spell so only in the last couple of rides have I begun to really test them. I must admit though, they seem pretty grippy over those dreaded roots.

    With all the hassle I had getting them on, they are staying on for my trip to Wales later this week, but I will take the Ignitors as they are more suited to the trail centre set-up.

    Won’t be out tonight, so have fun.

  2. Tony says:

    Hi Matt

    and how exactly do you remove splattered liquid latex off a bike?

    Back to the tyre drawing board



  3. Matt says:

    I confess I haven’t yet tried to clean the bike from Wednesday’s ride — too busy and now, too afraid!!

    Back at work now, so may get some writing time too…

  4. Muddymoles says:

    Specialized Storm Control mud tyres review

    First ride on the Specialized Storm Control tyres leaves Matt first optimistic, then not so sure.

  5. Muddymoles says:

    Ride report: Wednesday 6 January – Snow

    A heavy fall of snow doesn’t stop the Moles from having a great time on their usual Wednesday night ride across the Surrey Hills

  6. Tim W says:

    I fitted these after pitiful mud performance from my Maxxis Ardents. They slid all over the shop on a muddy Builth Wells Merida and just refused to grip. I reckon the Storms are pretty decent in the mud, but (better still) if you are NOT a frequent tyre-swapper, they are a pretty decent allround tyre.

  7. Related: Specialized Storm Control mud tyres review | Reviews, Wheels & Tyres | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  8. Related: New Specialized Hillbilly 2022 tyre - 2022, News - Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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