by Wil Barrett
March 29, 2017
We don’t envy the job of those who work for mountain bike wheel and tyre companies one bit. With the industry in a complete state of flux at the moment, it seems that every week a new wheelsize and tyre width is hitting the market – and with plenty of marketing hoopla to go along with it. So how the heck do you keep up with all those different standards??
Whatever wheelsize and tyre width you’re into, it would seem that Maxxis is doing its absolute best to provide a decent rubber option for you.
Expanding it’s line of tyres for the 2017 riding season, Maxxis has just announced several new options in standard, plus, and plus-minus categories. Most noticeable in this release is the addition of several new 2.6in wide tyres, which aren’t quite plus width, so we’re calling them plus-minus. It would seem Maxxis has been following our earlier predictions on this new plus-minus tyre size…
This is the Highroller II, in a new 27.50 x 3.00in plus width, featuring a 120tpi casing and the 3C Maxx Terra triple rubber compound. A good toothy option for all-weather British mountain bikers who currently own a plus bike that’s spec’d with those silly dry-condition only tyres.
For faster rolling speed in a high-volume size, Maxxis has given the popular Ardent Race tread pattern a boost with a 27.5 x 2.6in option. Also featuring a triple rubber compound, the Ardent Race gets the faster 3C Maxx Speed rubber mix, so it should be a pretty speedy tyre, particularly as a rear tyre for longer travel all mountain rigs.
The ForeKaster is one of the newer treads from Maxxis, and with its widely spaced tread pattern, it’s billed as an all-condition tyre that’s ideal for wetter conditions. Potentially a good front tyre to match the new Ardent Race out back, the ForeKaster is now available in a 27.5 x 2.6in wide with a 3C MaxxSpeed compound.
For those who want masses of grip, the venerable Minion DHF and DHR II tread patterns will be now boosted into a 2.6in width as well. This might seem like cutting hairs, as Maxxis already offers these tyres in a 2.5in Wide Trail (WT) version that’s specifically built for wide rims. Maxxis has obviously seen enough demand to create another mould for the same tyre in a width that’s 0.1in bigger though, and it claims that the 2.6in WT Minion DHF/DHR II tyres offer 7% more air volume than the 2.5in size. So there.
There’s a whole bunch of new Double Down options from Maxxis too. With a reinforced casing that splits the difference between an EXO tyre and a full-blown DH 2-ply tyre, the Double Down casing has proven popular with enduro racers who are looking for the ultimate puncture protection.
The Minion DHF comes in a Double Down casing option, and Maxxis is pandering to the emerging 29er Enduro race bike crowd, with a 2.5in WT option using the excellent DHF tread pattern and 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound. This looks like a very, very good tyre indeed for the wagon wheelers who ride hard.
To join the Minion DHF, Maxxis has got a 29 x 2.4in WT version of the DHR II tyre as well. Ideally suited to the rear wheel when paired with the Minion DHF up front, the new DHR II tyre was recently reviewed in Singletrack Magazine in the 27.5in diameter. It’s an impressive tyre that offers mahoosif traction, and is equally as usable as a front tyre for really steep and loose riding conditions.
The Maxxis Shorty is already available in a 27.5 x 2.5in WT tyre, but Maxxis is adding a Double Down casing option. Good for wet and loose conditions, the Shorty will be a solid choice to pack in the race van when heading to an enduro race when the weather’s looking a bit ropey
Like the new Minion DHF & DHR II Double Down tyres, the Shorty Double Down will also be tubeless ready and equipped with 3C Maxx Grip. This is Maxxis’ softest 3C compound, and provides a slower rebound for more consistent grip when you need it most.
Other new additions to the Maxxis tyre range include a new 2.5in wide High Roller II tyre that features the WT casing for use with wide rims (approximately a 35mm internal rim width). This will be another popular option for Maxxis, and it’ll feature the 3C MaxxTerra compound.
The fast-rolling Aggressor tyre will also be launched in the 27.5×2.50 Wide Trail size. With a focus on rolling speed and consistent cornering, the Aggressor is better suited to drier and more hardpack conditions.
And as far as we know, that wraps up the new offerings from Maxxis. We’re told they’ll be available in the UK this summer, and we’ll keep you posted once our test samples arrive.