Home
Verdict: 
Great tyres that just work well at a decent price, there's a lot to like
Weight: 
567g

The S-Works Turbo tyre has been a fixture in Specialized range for quite a few years but we've never reviewed the fashionably wide 28mm option before, a tyre width all the cool kids are riding. It's a fast-rolling, easy tubeless and durable tyre that is a good upgrade if your bike has space for them, at a price that won't make you weep.

  • Pros: Fast, durable, tubeless easy, good value
  • Cons: No tan sidewalls

Wide tyres have been in fashion for a few years now and most modern road bikes are being designed with such tyres in mind – even the sleekest race bikes have a minimum of clearance for a 28mm tyre. The benefits outweigh any negatives; wide tyres roll faster and are more comfortable than narrower tyres.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Construction for the S-Works Turbo 2Bliss Ready tyres revolves around a 120tpi casing with a BlackBelt lining to resist punctures. The folding bead is wrapped with butyl to make it tubeless-ready, or 2Bliss in Specialized speak. The tyre has a claimed weight of 285g – 283g on our scales – which is favourably comparable to other 28mm tubeless-ready tyres.

Specialized S-Works Turbo 2Bliss Ready tyre

As the tyre sidewall says, 'go commando, ride tubeless', so I duly dispensed with inner tubes and fitted the tyres to some tubeless wheels. On they popped with no hesitation, just a single tyre lever needed to encourage the final section of tyre onto the rim. Inflation was a breeze, the tyres popping up with no air leakage and the beads snapping into the rim bead with a reassuring crack or two.

DSCF8951.JPG

Daily inspection has revealed the pressure loss to be at best a few psi, so you can go the best part of a week if you want without topping up the tyres. Word of warning when it comes to installation, Specialized says the tyre should only be used on hooked rims, not hookless types.

Out on the road, the tyres zip along very nicely, with a satisfying feeling of speed, whether cruising along at a steady pace or chasing people half your age in the local chain gang... Inflated to about 65-75psi (to suit your body weight and road conditions; it's always worth experimenting to find what works for you) the tyres do a decent job of smoothing badly surfaced roads with cracks and potholes to contend with.

DSCF8957.JPG

It's extremely hard making comparisons with tyres, as the differences are often very slight, but the S-Works Turbo tyres don't feel like they give much away to pricier clincher tubeless tyres I've been testing recently like Continental's new GP5000s and Vittoria's Corsa Speeds to name a couple. They also feel fast compared with skinnier tyres – there's no sense the wider tyres come with any penalty other than on the scales.

The S-Works Turbo 2Bliss aren't quite as supremely supple feeling as the posher Specialized Turbo Cotton tyres and their 320tpi casing, but those are near twice the price!

Wider tyres provide a boost in confidence, especially when wrapped up with a grippy rubber compound, which is the case with these tyres. Grip levels are very good in the dry and wet, and every road condition in between. Some tyres are fab in the dry but skittish and nervous in the damp, but many modern tyres are now very good in such intermediate conditions. These Specialized tyres fall into that camp, with confidence in their traction continuing even as the saturation levels increase.

DSCF8950.JPG

The BlackBelt puncture protection does its job, adding to puncture resistance when used in a tubeless configuration, but I suffered no flats during the test period which involved a full mix of weather and road conditions. Durability has proven to be decent with no cuts or slashes to any part of the tyre, and the shoulder dimples are still showing good life. For day-to-day duties interspersed with racing or training rides, these appear to be a very suitable choice.

At £35 RRP, but cheaper if you shop around, these are a worthy upgrade from a cheaper entry-level tyre or a good entry into the tubeless world if you're fed up of punctures. They're easy to install, and on the bike are fast, grippy and reliable.

They're really good value too, if you look at some rivals: there's the Goodyear Eagle All-Season tubeless tyres which are very good but cost £60, the Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL but they cost £70, or the Pirelli Cinturato Velos, which are a nudge more than the Turbos at £47. It goes without saying that shopping around might reveal lower prices for all these tyres.

> Buyer's Guide: 33 of the best road cycling tyres

So, they're fast, grippy, durable and easy to fit tubeless, and they're great value. They only grudge I have against them is that they're not available with tan sidewalls, but I guess you can't have it all.

Verdict

Great tyres that just work well at a decent price, there's a lot to like

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized S-Works Turbo 2Bliss Ready tyre

Size tested: 700x28C

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Specialized says, "The S-Works Turbo 2Bliss Ready tire sets the standard for how a modern day performance road tire should be. It's fast, light, and supple. It features extremely low rolling resistance and superior cornering traction. And with its 2Bliss Ready design, you're able to run lower pressures for more grip and traction, while all but eliminating the risk of pinch flats. So no matter if you're climbing with the best of them or descending like a rider possessed, this is the tire for anyone who demands nothing short of the best."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Specialized lists:

Casing: 120 TPI

Bead: foldable

Butyl wrapped bead = 2Bliss Ready

Compound: GRIPTON®

Flat Protection: BlackBelt

700 x 28mm, psi 85-95, approximate weight 285g

* Should only be used on Crotchet Type Rims (hooked), and not Straight-Side Type Rims (hookless).

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

Wider tyres are more comfortable!

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

It's cheaper than some other rivals mentioned in the review.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Fast, durable and comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to fit tubeless and provide good road feel and rolling speed.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

No tan side wall option...

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're competitively priced and cheaper than some other popular tyres in this sector.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A very good tyre that is fast, grippy, durable and easy to fit tubeless at a thoroughly decent price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

15 comments

Avatar
fukawitribe [2799 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Have a pair of these picked up cheap from Cycle Store, Cheshire and they really surprised me - the ride felt far more supple than the raw TPI and TLR carcass might suggest, they felt light, and the grip is excellent. The other bike had Vittoria Open Paves in 25s for years, new Mavic USTs now, and these felt well up there in ride. In fact the only issue is that they gave so much confidence that I nearly get myself into a couple of interesting situations,  going just a wee bit too rapidly into a corner or two - you can stuff your risk compensation from helmets or the like, these made feel like a kid again with all the lack of forward planning that entails. Lessons learnt.

Currently off the bike as the rear got trashed when a something went through the rim side-wall, rim bed and out through side of the tyre leaving a 3-4mm hole like a BB shot. I think the best compliment on these is that I re-ordered straight away without needing a second thought - currently on my Panaracer Race Evo Ds, not the worst tyre in the world especially on the commute, but can't wait to swap them back over.

Avatar
lawrencefalk [4 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Were the Specialized tires easy to mount on Mavic Road UST rims?

Avatar
bechdan [216 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

damn shame they dont make them in 700x25 I know that 28s wont fit in my frame. Oh well!

Avatar
fukawitribe [2799 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
lawrencefalk wrote:

Were the Specialized tires easy to mount on Mavic Road UST rims?

If that was question my way, sorry for misunderstanding - i've not tried on Mavic UST rims - the Mavics were the UST tyres (25mm) but fitted both them and the Spesh to Bontrager Race TLR rims. Those rims are a wee bit tight with a number of tyres, but not stupidly so. The Specialized nearly fitted without levers, just needed a tweak for the last bit - the Mavics popped on with just hands.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 

I've been running a set of these tubeless for 6 months or so.

Excellent apart from a a few sets of pretty lumpy lumps appearing where the tyre contacts the road on both front and back tyres really nticable when you run your fingers over them- really rather discturbing.  I wonder whether tubeless fluid has somehow seeped through the casing and now sits under the tread? ... I also often find a little damp patch somewhere on the tyre- no discernable puncture- just fluid somehow seeping through(!)  Have de-tubelessed them because I'm not sure this is safe.... now running them with tubes.

Avatar
Philiprints [38 posts] 6 days ago
6 likes

 

Very pleased with how many times my computer has sent the above post. Please make sure you read all of them because they MIGHT be slightly different.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1679 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes

My last mobile phone once replied to a topic on here about 17 times a couple of years ago .

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3481 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes
Philiprints wrote:

Very pleased with how many times my computer has sent the above post. Please make sure you read all of them because they MIGHT be slightly different.

I don't know about those bumpy bits - they don't look right to me.

I think those tyres are "tubeless-ready" rather than "tubeless" which means that they lack an air-proof coating on the inside and thus need some sealant in them to become airtight. When I've seen sealant leaking out of a tubeless-ready tyre it was when the sealant had almost run out and needed topping up.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2799 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
Philiprints wrote:

Very pleased with how many times my computer has sent the above post. Please make sure you read all of them because they MIGHT be slightly different.

I don't know about those bumpy bits - they don't look right to me.

Me neither, i'd be tempted to speak to Specialized about that (and/or the vendor) - they used to have a specific tyre warranty IIRC, but can't see it now. Their current UK warranty states 'tire' as a wear-and-tear item not specifically covered by warranty, but this looks like a material defect.