The Singletrack Staffers pick the standout products and locations from their riding year. This article was originally published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 140.
The year has felt a little like approaching that nemesis feature on the trail: you roll up to it full of optimism, then at the last minute pull on the brakes in an attack of ‘nope’. Whether it was a ping that put paid to yet another plan, or a shipping container that didn’t arrive as expected (by now, perhaps, that should be ‘as expected, a shipping container didn’t arrive’), we had plenty of interruptions along the way. However, our northern hills had an unusually dry summer, so we managed a decent spell of short-sleeved riding on our doorstep, and there were a few chances to get further afield that we grasped and enjoyed. Like that trail feature, once we cleared it, the elation at meeting friends, riding new trails and generally enjoying bikes was all the sweeter.
Ross – Ad Sales
Another year done and dusted! It doesn’t feel like 12 months since I wrote my last Editors’ Choice, and a lot of my sentiments remain the same. While there still hasn’t been any exotic foreign riding, I’ve managed to ride a good amount this year. The local trails have seen almost daily action and I’ve managed to squeeze in a good few trips to the Lakes, along with a bit of riding north of the border. It’s always easy to want more – longer tracks, bigger hills – but these last couple of years have shown that you don’t need to travel far to get top drawer riding.
Maxxis Wetscream MaxxGrip 29 x 2.5 Tyre
The Maxxis Wetscream was originally designed for one of the muddiest downhill race tracks in the world – Les Gets in France. Back then, downhill bikes (and all bikes!) were running on 26in wheels, and while wheel sizes and other bike tech has moved on, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for proper shitty weather tyres.
The Wetscream is designed for finding grip in the worst of conditions, when other tyres just clog or slide around, the tall narrow spikes of the Wetscream are designed to dig in, finding traction in properly crap conditions, but also shedding excess mud to keep them going. And they do.
They’re definitely not for everyone and for every trail. If your trails are generally rocky then you want to look elsewhere. Likewise, if you ride perfectly groomed trails then again, look elsewhere. The builders won’t thank you for ripping them to bits.
But, in the right conditions – when it’s properly wet, muddy and greasy – they excel. The majority of my local riding is pretty steep, and in the winter is greasy and slidey at the best of times, and the Wetscream does more than just make trails tolerable, it makes them fun. Drop in, weight the front, and it’s amazing what it gets you down and around. It might be pushing it a bit far to say it makes wet trails feel like they’re dry… but it’s not far off!
Read Ross’ full review of the Maxxis Wetscream here:
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