New S-Works Turbo tires: 'fastest, best handling and most durable' yet

Specialized finally reveals the tires that have been raced to victory below the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team all season long

Specialized S-Works Turbo Tires
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

When Yves Lampaert rolled off the ramp and onto the rain-slicked roads in Copenhagen for the Tour de France prolog in July, he knew he may not have the best engine in the field, but he had confidence. He didn’t expect to upset the likes of compatriot Wout van Aert or Dutch all-rounder Matthieu van der Poel, but he wasn’t worried about being able to give it his best either. Despite the rain, he placed trust in his equipment, counting on the connection between his nameless tires and the tarmac, the grip in every treacherous corner. Of course, he went on to win the time trial, crossing the line five seconds faster than Van Aert.

These same nameless tires could be found under Demi Vollering as she rode herself into the polka dot jersey at the challenging (and gravelly!) Tour de France Femmes, and on Remco Evenpoel’s bike on his way to winning his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España.

As the season wraps up at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships, Specialized today officially unveiled these nameless tires as the new S-Works Turbo, which will surely be featured prominently in Wollongong. 

Yves Lampaert on his way to winning the 2022 Tour de France Prolog in Copenhagen, Denmark.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

S-Works Turbo Tires: What's new

Fun fact: Specialized’s first product back in 1976 wasn’t a bike. It was a bike tire. Because the best way to improve any bike’s performance is where the rubber meets the road, founder Mike Sinyard believed. 

They've been developing them ever since, and the newest generation of the S-Works Turbo family tree is said to contain its fastest, best handling and most durable performance tires yet. 

In other words, the new generation S-Works Turbo tires roll faster than their predecessors yet also maintain grip in a variety of weather and road conditions, and won't wear out as quickly. Sounds not unlike the Generation Z racers that ride them...

A new compound

To achieve this, the brand's engineers applied the tried-and-true dual compound approach, in which the center of the tire looks and acts differently to the sides. To elaborate, a harder and smooth compound in the center will benefit the tire's durability and efficiency, while a softer and often textured compound at the shoulders provides traction and grip when cornering. 

While this approach is nothing new, the center compound is. 

Specialized tire compound scale

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized engineers and alchemists spent two years conducting extensive lab tests and concocting hundreds of compound iterations — all to be measured for rebound, abrasion, hardness and tear strength.

The end result, as used in these tires, is a compound called GRIPTON® T2 and it's said to be the fastest, most efficient compound Specialized has ever created.

This is paired with Specialized existing T5 compound on the sides for grip, traction and confidence in corners.

Like the existing Turbo tires, you'll note that the T5 compound also features a slight texture that is directional so be aware of the rolling direction when mounting these tires.


While Specialized's sister company, Roval, continues to favor hooked rims, the Specialized tire department recognizes that quite a few wheel manufacturers are looking at hookless rims for the future. As such, all new S-Works Turbo tubeless tires feature Zylon reinforced beads to make them compatible with the new hookless standard.

In fact, the new Turbo tires go well beyond the ISO safety standard. The ISO requires hookless-compatible tires to stay mounted within 110% of a 5bar / 72.5psi pressure. Specialized claims that the new Turbos will hold on even up to 200% of that standard — not that anyone should be riding around on tubeless tires with 140psi in them, but apparently one could. 

Meet the S-Works Turbo collection

Specialized Turbo Tires

(Image credit: Specialized)

The next generation of S-Works Turbo tires consists of the S-Works Turbo Rapidair 2BR, S-Works Turbo 2BR and S-Works Turbo — one tubeless race tire, one tubeless year-round tire and one super lightweight tube-type tire for those who just can't be bothered with sealant (— I don't blame you!)

Also, maybe it's just me but I think I preferred Specialized's nomenclature of "2Bliss" over "2BR" as I keep reading that as "2 bedroom".

Now before anyone panics and starts hoarding their favorite Specialized tires. The new S-Work Turbos aren't replacing anything but the existing Turbo tires. These newcomers will not be replacing your beloved Turbo Cotton, nor the wallet-friendly all-rounder Roubaix tire. Now let's move on. 

S-Works Turbo Rapidair 2BR

a.k.a "The race tire"

Available in 700 x 26mm only, this is the tubeless race tire that kept Lampaert planted during the slippery corners in the Tour de France opener. 

It's an update from 2019 version, which was already Specialized's fastest race-day tire, now with even more speed and a longer lifetime. 

Like the original, the Rapid Air casing is made up of just two plies that overlap at the side wall. Adding the new T2/T5 dual compound tread to the construction is said to save two watts of rolling resistance over the previous tire while adding an impressive 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of life to a set of tires. There's also a new hybrid-KevlarBlackbelt protection under the tread for increased puncture protection and the whole package is lighter than the first gen tire, coming in at just 230 grams. 

Casing: 120 TPI
Bead: 2Bliss Ready, Zylon Foldable
Compound: Gripton T2/T5
Flat Protection: BlackBelt
Psi: 70-110
Weight:  230g
Lifetime:  Front: 4,000 km / 2.500 miles | Rear: 3,500 km / 2,200 miles
Available in 700x26 only
Price: $90 / £65

Specialized S-Works Turbo Tires

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

S-Works Turbo 2BR

a.k.a "The all-season performance tire"

If you ride and race on the same tire, the Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR tires feature a slightly heftier construction. For a weight penalty of just 30 grams over the RapidAir model, these performance rubbers are meant to keep you riding fast all season long. 

Here too, the new compound shows its benefits with savings of six watts over the previous generation tire and an 8% increase of puncture protection thanks to the new BlackBelt layer.

Casing: 120 TPI
Bead: 2Bliss Ready, Zylon Foldable
Compound: GRIPTON® T2/T5
Flat Protection: BlackBelt
Psi, Availability & weight:
- 700x26: psi 70-110, 260g
- 700x28: psi 70-95, 280g
- 700x30: psi 65-90, 300g
- 700x28 tan wall: psi 70-95, 280g
- 700x30 tan wall: psi 65-90, 300g
Lifetime: Front: 6,000 km / 4,000 miles | Rear: 5,000 km / 3.200 miles
Price: $80 / £55-£60

Specialized S-Works Turbo Tires

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

S-Works Turbo

a.k.a "The I-refuse-to-go-tubeless performance tire"

For those not convinced by the tubeless system yet, Specialized offers a tube-only S-Works Turbo tire that weighs in at just 200 grams for a 24mm tire and 220 grams for the 26mm tire.

The tire features the same dual T2/T5 compound casing as in the rest of the line-up, as well as a BlackBelt puncture protection layer.

Casing: 120
TPI Bead: 2Bliss Ready, Zylon Foldable
Compound: GRIPTON® T2/T5
Flat Protection: BlackBelt
Availability & weight:
- 700x24: 200g
- 700x26: 220g
- 700x28: 240g
- 700x30: 260g
Price: $70 / £45

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.