Indeed tires are a very personal thing. Some prefer wider, knobbier tires for extreme traction while others prefer a less meaty tread for increased efficiency. Me, well I like something in between. I don’t want to sacrifice climbing and cornering traction at speed, but I don’t want to feel like I’m pushing the bike against every knobby in the rubber. This Summer and Fall, I’ve ridden two different Specialized treads with much success. You may have first read my review of the Specialized Captain Control 2.2 29er tires and now it’s time to report on the performance of the similar Specialized Purgatory Control 2.2 29er tires.

Features of the Specialized Purgatory Control 2.2 29er Tires:

  • 420/D1 for 15% improved puncture and cut resistance
  • Bead: Aramid
  • Center Compound: 70a
  • Shoulder Compound: 60a
  • 2Bliss ready
  • Weight: 720 grams (2.2 29er version as tested)
  • MSRP: $50

Specialized Purgatory Control 2.2 29er Tires Review

For a time this Fall, I had two of the best 29er trailbikes on the market: The Niner RIP 9 and the Santa Cruz Tallboy. While the RIP 9 remained outfitted with the Captain 2.2’s, I set up the Tallboy with the Purgatory 2.2’s. The Purg’s are quite a meaty tread with a “take no prisoners” vibe to them. They really remind me of some of the tires I used to ride nearly 10 years ago on my Turner RFX. While they appear and act like a chunky terrain-hugging downhill tire, they still have a fair amount of all-mountain efficiency in them.

Again, tire preferences can vary so much based on terrain, bike and riding style, but it sure didn’t take long to settle into the Purg’s on the Tallboy. As opposed to the XC-style tires that came stock, the Purgatory 2.2’s were a welcomed addition — making the Tallboy feel much more capable both uphill and down.

The Tallboy sits well on the XC side of all-mountain, but the Purg’s seemed to soften the edges just a tad — thus making the tallboy even more capable. Only on extended hardpack climbs or pavement did I feel the treads working against me (and then only slightly). Regardless, I always appreciated the consistent traction in all conditions. I ran these tires between 30-40 psi based on the conditions and terrain and the rubber always hooked up when I needed it to.

I appreciated the cornering traction and the Velcro-like hold I could get with these in the soft Fall conditions. They seemed to shed mud well and maintain traction well overall. While you could go narrower, I really like a 2.2 still on my 29ers and think you will too.

Good Purgatory 2.2 29

  • Meaty tire hooks up well
  • Can be mounted to tubless-ready rims (I stuck with a tubed setup)
  • Great width for an all-mountain 29er rig
  • Excellent climbing traction in all terrain

Bad Purgatory 2.2 29

  • With the girth comes a bit more rolling resistance

Bottom Line: Specialized Purgatory 2.2 29er Tires

I might say these were perfect tires for Fall trail conditions. They hook up extremely-well in the softer, cooler conditions and seemed to never let loose — no matter how hard I pushed them. With all that meat comes a tad more rolling resistance but you’ll soon forget that as you’re dusting your posse on the down.

Buy Now: Visit

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I need to replace the maxxis ignitors that came on my 29 hardtail, I am not sure if the Purgatories are the right tire but I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I really ride a little bit of everything, pave to trail, dirt road, and trails in Northern UT. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thanks!

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  4. Hi, i would like to know if these tire is for front, rear or both uses. Does anibody can help me? thanks a lot


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