As a well and truly lapsed Catholic it’s a delicious irony that I’m as happy as the proverbial pig in sh*t with Purgatory – the Specialized Purgatory 2.4 that is.

(pûrg-tôr, -tr)
1. Roman Catholic Church A state in which the souls of those who have died in grace must expiate their sins.
2. A place or condition of suffering, expiation, or remorse: a purgatory of drug abuse.

I clearly still need to make amends for my many sins because while I’ve chewed through numerous rear tires, after an amazing 21 months of smashing around on rocky trails I figured it was time to replace the bruise and battered Purgatory 2.4 front tire with more of the same.

Run at 20-25psi the tire has been flawless – a perfect match for me, my bike, how I like to ride and the local trails. I’ve found it to be a great mix of performance, weight, volume and durability. Occassional top ups of Stans sealant and air are the only attention the tire has received. I especially love the combination of the Purgatory’s supple ride and level of grip. When the tire does break away it gives you ample warning, enough time to adjust and take another bite or two if needed. I run an armored Specialized Captain 2.2 on the rear, but on the front the Control level Purgatory tire has done the job with any problems and anyone who’s ridden around Central Vic knows how rocky it is!

I was bummed to discover that Specialized no longer produced the Purgatory 2.4 in any flavor. It and the 2.2 have been replaced with 2.3 version of the tire (including updated tread) available in limited flavors. I guess the rationalization makes sense because frankly I think Specialized has been guilty in the past of offering way too many choices in bikes and P&A. A zillion choices of bikes and tires aren’t necessary. People suck at decision making  – best to keep things simple.

Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3 Tire
Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3 Tire

The LBS (The Bike Vault) had the Purgatory 2.3 in stock so it as a case of job done, thanks guys!

The Purgatory 2.3 comes in at pretty much the same weight as the 2.4 – just on 700 grams. Whereas the 2.4 had a recommended pressure range of 25-50, the 2.3’s is 35-65. I’ll start at 30 and most likely go down from there. Like the 2.4, the 2.3 is a tall tire though clearly narrower (more like a 2.2 maximum!). Tall is good for keeping rocks etc from impacting the rim, esp at lower pressures. Compared to some other brands, the weight distribution of Specialized tires seem to be in favor of larger nobs and thinner (and more supple) sidewalls. TBH I think this is a good way to go performance-wise and related I’ve found Spesh (tubeless) MTB tires are always dead easy to inflate with a floor pump first go.

Here’s a pic of how the 2.3 tread compares to the 2.4 – quite a few changes have been made:

Specialized Purgatory 2.3 vs 2.4
Specialized Purgatory 2.3 vs 2.4

So how does it ride? I’m about to find out! 🙂

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