A while ago I posted about wanting to replace my worn Specialized Purgatory Control 2.4 front tire with another only to find the 2.4 was no longer available. I settled on its replacement – the Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3. With over ~15okm on new 2.3 tire I thought it was about time to post a review.
Width & Volume
Obviously the 2.3 is going to be a narrower tire vs the 2.4 but it’s narrower (and smaller) by a significant margin. I haven’t measured it but it’s more like a 2.2 at the max. After looking down at a fat 2.4 out the front for so long it’s unnerving to look down at a skinny ‘2.3’. I haven’t got used to that yet!
Ride & Stability
When it comes to ride quality the 2.3 isn’t as supple as the 2.4 run at the same pressure. My guess is that at least part of the answer is in the sidewalls – thicker on the 2.3, and the reduced air volume of the 2.3 vs the 2.4. On the flipside the 2.3 is a little more stable vs the 2.4 when run at lower pressures.
Grip in turns
So far so good, very very similar to the 2.4, maybe a smidge better – due to the revised tread pattern perhaps? With both the 2.4 and 2.3 i’m especially a fan of how you can really lean on the outer edge chunky knobbies, and also flip the bike through direction changes and both hear and feel what is going on re front grip. I got to test other (brand) tires a while back and was surprised to find this is far from being the case with all tires. Yeah I’m a big fan of the Purgatory as a front tire (for how I like to ride, local conditions etc).
The combination of the Purgatory 2.4 on the front and Captain Armadillo Elite 2.2 on the rear results in a balanced feel with regards to grip and drive. With the 2.3 on the front the balance doesn’t feel as good, almost as if there’s too much push from the rear. Not in a big way but maybe a lesser/smaller tire on the back would suit the 2.3 on the front a little better.
If there were no more Purgatory 2.4’s to be found anywhere for sure I could make do with the 2.3. The thing is I miss the large air volume and supple ride of the 2.4 and have been able to find a couple of 2.4’s still in stock so we’ll see!