maxxis shorty doubledefence

Review: Maxxis Shorty 2.5 WT DoubleDown Tyre

by 1

Maxxis has a growing range of Wide Trail (WT) mountain bike tyres, including several options with the more robust Double Down casing. To make sense of the range, we gathered the Aggressor, Minion DHF, Minion DHR II and Shorty in their respective WT Double Down outfits, and gave them to our resident rubber-punisher, James Vincent, for a mini-shootout. Over to James!


The original Maxxis Shorty was released to great acclaim back in 2014, as a rather specific mud and wet weather tyre. Relatively narrow at 2.3in wide, it worked brilliantly when conditions suited it, but those same tall and soft knobs that made it so great in the wet, made it vague and squirmy in the dry and on harder surfaces. Yes, there was a 2.5in DH version, but that weighed an absolute ton, and as a result wasn’t particularly suited to non-uplifted riding.

Fortunately, Maxxis has tweaked the design somewhat, and this new 2.5 Wide Trail DoubleDown Shorty promises to take everything that made the original tyre so great, and make it better.

maxxis shorty doubledefence
Sticky 3C MaxxGrip rubber combined with a DoubleDown 2.5 WT casing makes this flavour of Shorty quite the tyre.

Compared to the original 2.3in Shorty, the tread is more widely spaced out to fill the larger carcass, and the knobs are bigger too. Not by much, but it’s noticeable if you have the two tyres side by side. It’s as if the designer has just scaled everything up on the computer. The tread pattern consists of big, square blocks with gobs of mud clearing space all around, and there’s nary a hint of a directional tread pattern here – the Shorty is all about traction. It really does look the business, and wouldn’t be out of place on the front of a MX bike.

Maxxis Shorty 2.5 WT DoubleDown Tyre Specs

  • Designed for loose powder, rocks, loam and muddy surfaces, damp to wet conditions
  • Size tested: 27.5×2.5in WT
  • Actual weight: 1150g
  • Measured width 2.4in
  • Rubber compound: 3C MaxxGrip
  • DoubleDown casing (120tpi)
  • Also available in 26in & 29in diameters, 2.3-2.5in width
  • RRP: £69.99
maxxis shorty doubledefence
The 2.5in Shorty has a different tread profile to the skinnier 2.3in version.

Installation

No surprises here, the Shorty aired up tubeless on our test rims without issue, just like the Aggressor and both Minion tyres. Even on a 33mm wide rim (internal), it did size up smaller than claimed at 2.4in. It still has a generous volume and has a nicely rounded shape though, with none of the squaring-off that you can get with some tyres when they’re stretched onto a wider rim.

As befits its wet weather intentions, the Shorty 2.5in WT DD is constructed from Maxxis’ renowned 3C MaxxGrip triple compound, which is incredibly soft – the knobs are super squishy and slow to rebound, making for an exceptionally comfortable and forgiving ride.

maxxis shorty doubledefence commencal meta james vincent
Testing started out during a very dry and dusty summer – not what the Shorty was designed for.

One thing to note before we get too stuck into the riding: while the Shorty can be run front or rear, because of the other tyres on test, I only ran it on the front. It would have to be hellishly sloppy for me to consider running this tyre out back. So now you know.

Performance

So how does it ride? Really, really well actually. The tyre was delivered right at the start of a long dry spell, and I was initially concerned about testing it unfairly in conditions it wasn’t designed for. I needn’t have worried. The extra width in the carcass and increased knob size means this new tyre has a much wider operating range than the old, narrower Shorty, and quite frankly, it rocks! On loose, gravelly, dusty trails, it dug in and found grip.

maxxis shorty doubledefence
Those spiky tread blocks are well reinforced, which helps them to stay put under duress.

On chunkier rocky slabs and pieces of slate, the MaxxGrip compound stuck fast and found grip. On the hard packed trails at BikePark Wales, the larger knobs gave plenty of support and didn’t squirm out of the way. In fact, I struggled to find the limits of the tyre, and only begrudgingly took it off when I realised that A) I had other tyres to test, and B) it might be nice to save some of that outstanding grip until winter, rather than burning it all up in one glorious summer.

Durability

Because yes dear reader, this tyre wears fast. Real fast. There’s no way to hide it, the knobs are looking rather worn and frayed around the edges. But I guess that’s the price you pay for maximum grip. And if I’m honest, that’s really the only downside to the Shorty.

maxxis shorty doubledefence james vincent cotic bfe
It doesn’t get much more confidence-inspiring than having a Shorty up front.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the Shorty lasts beyond winter, and while I suspect the wear rate won’t be quite so drastic as it has been so far, it’s not a tyre you can put on at the start of the season and run all year round unless you can afford it. As a £70 a pop, this is still very much a specialist tyre that makes sense to save for Sunday best.

Having said that, you could probably get away without the DoubleDown casing on the front. A Shorty EXO goes for a (slightly) more reasonable £55.99, but then you’re limited to the MaxxTerra compound and lose out on the fabulous MaxxGrip compound. You pays your money…

maxxis shorty doubledefence
Don’t expect that grip to last forever though.

Overall

Certainly not a tyre for those who are looking for speedy rolling or maximum mileage. Instead, the Shorty places all its eggs into the traction basket and delivers an incredibly sticky tyre that I honestly struggled to find the limits of. The 3C DoubleDown version isn’t cheap, but if you want wet weather confidence along with year-round versatility, you’re unlikely to find a grippier tyre than this.

Review Info

Brand: Maxxis
Product: Shorty 2.5 WT DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip
From: Maxxis, maxxis.co.uk
Price: £69.99
Tested: by James Vincent for 6 months

Discover more from Singletrack World Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals. After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible. He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

More posts from James

Comments (1)

    Agreed. Put it on for the winter and amazed at how well it performs in varied conditions. It rolls surprisingly well and adds confidence with DD up front with low pressures. The damping is lovely and looking down at the full moto profile makes you want to go WFO!

Comments Closed