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Can anyone tell me what the ridges that run to the outside of the tread on the specialized houffalize tires are for? Why is that ridge there? It isn't for tread, its too far out to make much/any contact with the ground.
Here's a pic:

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I believe it is for off-camber riding...helps to keep your edge.
I had a similar discussion with an engineer I know who's worked in bikes for 20+ years,but we were discussing big fat BMX mud tires. He said that while having tread on the outer edge of a tire there SEEMS like it would help you corner better, there's actually not enough surface area touching the ground, compared to weight you're carrying on the bike, for it to make any difference. It's similar to sipes on road bike tires to shed water, good idea, but not enough surface for it to work. Just my two cents.
Yeah, I think the ridge is pretty useless. The tire itself is ho hum. Seems like specialized has decent R&D folks, wonder how this slipped past them. I think getting some new tires and throwing these in a box should take care of my curiosity.
I ditched those tires pretty fast and just use them for training on the road (higher resistance and still decent on gravel roads). I use the Panaracer CrossBlaster. It's super light, cheap and has blocky knobs that work well.

Those tires are a consistent complaint I hear from anyone who's had them come stock. They're garbage.

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