Specialized Renegade Control 2Bliss: Better for the Back

Specialized Renegage Control 2Bliss

The Specialized Renegade Control 2Bliss 29×1.8 tire has a relatively narrow width and light weight for a 29er tire. These aspects drew me to it when shopping for a tire for gravel events and races that would be faster rolling and easier to spin-up than the heavier 2.0s I was running. However, after a few months of use, I have concluded that the negative aspects of this tire outweigh the benefits in a gravel environment.

Tires for gravel riding pose a unique challenge for manufacturers. Gravel composition varies greatly and can range from smooth small pieces challenging lateral grip to large chunks which do their best to puncture the rubber rolling over them. In addition, gravel riding, especially the longer events and weekend adventures, often has significant pavement mileage. While wanting softer rubber for off-pavement grip, the asphalt and concrete usage means that a somewhat harder compound is needed for the center lugs.

The Specialized Renegade Control 2Bliss utilizes smaller lugs for grip that is most appropriate to dry, hard-packed conditions. During what little riding I have done on these surfaces, the tire did perform well. It spins up quickly, and rolls fast. The lugs, though not the best pattern for mud traction, do shed mud when the roads get sloppy.

This tire is definitely a fast roller on pavement, but the rubber seems too soft for extended jaunts on-road. The center lugs of the rear have worn quickly from my road usage.

My biggest complaint with the Specialized Renegade Control 2Bliss is the front grip, specifically the lack of. On loose surfaces, the tire gives up too quickly. Not only does the tire exhibit an overall lack of grip while cornering, it has a worrisome unpredictability. If the front would wash out in a predictable manner, the rider could adapt his or her riding style to compensate and choose a line with this in mind. However, it is my experience that the tire was prone to snapping in turns. Often the understeer or washing out would increase mid-corner, sometimes drastically. To compensate, I would input a little more steer to make the corner, which would occasionally result in a sudden and unexpected gripping of the front making the tire steer much more than anticipated. I have been able to catch all of these so far, but there have been some close calls.

The Renegade Control 2Bliss does have its strong-points. The tire is light for a 29er. It was a noticeable difference between the heavier 2.0 I was running, as each tire saved about 100 grams. I have seen several sources put this tire at a weight of between 525 grams and 559 grams. The one I weighed was 540 grams. The sidewalls of the tire are soft and nicely absorb the bigger bumps and hits even at pressures of 40-50 psi. In the tubeless configuration, I found that 40 psi front and 42 rear was perfect for me. The soft sidewalls and tread, however, did not mean I was having punctures or cuts. There has been no sealant leakage, and I don‘t see any evidence of sealant plugging holes in these tires. I have not had one flat or even any loss of pressure during a ride. These tires also hold pressure between rides better than any other tubeless I have used.

The supple ride and flat resistance of the Specialized Renegade Control 2Bliss combined with its fast rolling characteristics make it a good starting point for a gravel tire, but I would want to see a little better wear resistance and better front grip before going with this tire again. I think putting a harder durometer rubber on the center tread and raising the side lugs just a bit would show a vast improvement. However, I will say if I knew I wouldn‘t be riding much pavement, I‘d seriously consider this tire again for a rear application.

– Alex (Steak Sauce)

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Thier MTB\Gravel tires are so unpredictable. I rode a set of Fast Trak’s on my 26″ for about 2 years. They were not completely worn out but I swapped em for some new rubber. They just got unpredictable in anything damp and were not good for anything but hard pack and MUP use due to it’s fast rolling ability.

Search on in you quest for a better grave tire and see you in March.


I used the same Renegade 2bliss 1.8″ front and rear for the same purpose you described plus fire roads for a couple years, and find them nearly perfect

I believe they are dual compound already

You can air them down further

You may want a wider , less psi front for loose

Hooking up on loose top gravel with Renegades is nothing compared to common gravel grinder 38-40 file treads……..nothing is perfect on loose top

I find they Don’t clear mud worth a darn because of the substantial micro sipe which in turn helps remarkably on wet pavement for a knobby

They are a hard pack XC MTB race tire go watch some videos of Spesh tire design engineers working in conjunction with top five world XC racers and lots of high tech scientific data – watch that level racer and see how far they crank those tires over with out wash out – yea, I can’t do that nor have the stones for either

I am not for Spesh nor any other top,large outfit. What I do respect is their Immense, Substantial research and development combined with World class riders which they unselfishly share clips of via You Tube channels for us misfits to gaze in wonder

Perhaps the Renegade is not the #1 XC HP race tire made but its certainly a top 5

Gravel is not “complex” as compared rather its cake
Fire/forest service to gravel/dirt roads – they are All Grated roads, man made, with some drainage and underlayment built in – they are as “hard pack” specific as it gets compared to hard pack single/dual track and Renegades rock / built specifically for hard pack
They will lean with bite as further than you and I have the skill and stones to take them 😉
Yea the sidewalls are nice and soft and I expected more puncture/tears than the zero to date as well. I may still add Tuffy Ultra Lite liners for road
Likely like you I am waiting for a 45 file tread size like an Xployer to try some time
You might like the BG Rock and Roads as well………..all rear knobbys burn up center on pavement……for now I will stick with Renegades


Hi, I’m wondering what is the actual width of the tire as it is measured on a rim? Also, what is the width of rim you are using? I’m looking to use it on a cross bike that fit a Clement Xpor 40mm tire easily.



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