Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 review: the best just got better

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After waiting the best part of a year for Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 to arrive, I managed to get my hands on one to put it through its paces from winter into spring.

Get Shorty
  • Brand: Maxxis
  • Product: Shorty Gen 2, 29×2.4in WT, 3C Maxx Grip, TR, DH
  • From:
  • Price: £74.99
  • Tested by: Ross for 2 months

The original Maxxis Shorty has been one of my favourite tyres. Even more so when they released the 2.5in version. Living where I do, with the trails I have on the doorstep (mainly moorland singletrack and steep deciduous woodland) the Mk1 Shorty quickly became a fit and forget year round tyre. Good through the winter and also into the drier months when the slick black mud turns to fine dust.

When I heard that there was a new Shorty coming out, it went straight to the top of the list of wants.

Three things we loved

  • Grip in the wet
  • Grip in the dry
  • Overall performance (can you tell we like it?)

Three things we’d change

  • Price – I know it’s the price of performance, but it’s still a hefty chunk!
  • Not the fastest rolling
  • Er, weight I guess, but it’s not that bad
Pilot’s POV


To give it its full moniker, the tyre we were sent for test is the Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 29 x 2.4 WT 3C Maxx Grip TR in DH casing. The 3C Maxx Grip compound uses the stickiest and slowest rebounding rubber in Maxxis’ bike range for ultimate grip in the worst conditions. Its named 3C as it uses three different compounds across different parts of the tyre – a harder base layer, a medium compound on top of that on the centre tread and a super soft and sticky compound on the shoulder knobs. 

The DH casing is designed to be tough enough for proper downhill riding and racing and is formed from two layers of Maxxis’ 60 TPI casing, with a butyl insert extending up from the bead into the sidewall, for pinch and impact protection. It’s basically the stickiest compound and toughest casing option that Maxxis offer. All this sticky rubber and added protection adds up to total weight of 1,260 grams on our workshop scales

While the Gen 2 Shorty is still a mid-spike design, that’s pretty much where the similarity to its predecessor ends. Designed to excel in dry and loose, and wet and sloppy conditions, Maxxis has reduced the size of the updated tyre and it’s now only available in a 2.4” width. This has been done to not only save a bit of weight, but to also increase fork / frame clearance when things get really muddy.

The tread pattern has changed form the original version to increase its mud-shedding abilities. Where the original alternated its central knobs from wider single to double, the Gen 2 Shorty has a full double knob pattern with three alternating widths. The casing also has small vertical ridges in between which are said to further increase its ability to shed the slop. 

The side knobs benefit from additional reinforcing and are in a staggered pattern and now have vertical siping along them which is designed to offer increased braking and cornering performance, where the central knobs have lateral siping.



The tyre was set up on a Enve Foundation carbon wheel with a 30mm internal. It went on fairly easily, with just a slight tickle with a tyre lever to get the last portion of the tyre on. I added 100ml of sealant and the tyre went up nice and easy with just a track pump and has kept air since then. 

It’s been run exclusively on the front of Raaw Madonna at pressures ranging from around 21psi to 24psi depending on the trail conditions, and has been ridden on pretty varied terrain – from fast and rocky, to muddy ruts, to more recently dry loam and dust.

Maxxis Shorty Gen 2
Close up knobs


Being such a fan of the original Shorty, I had high hopes for the Gen 2, and it doesn’t disappoint. And I’d say that the Gen 2 is an improvement on the original version. 

The updated tread pattern seems to be a bit more of an all rounder and less skittish in certain situations. In wet and muddy conditions the mid-height knobs do a great job of digging in and cutting through the slop to find grip. It hangs on well across surprise wet roots and lets you ride steep tracks with confidence, picking braking points, and trusting the front to stick. 

The tread clears well and I haven’t noticed any occasions of it clogging, even in the peanut mud that you get as the trails start to dry out. The aggressive, slightly angled side knobs offer bucket loads of traction when leaned over, and pushed into turns and soft tracks.

On harder terrain they perform well and this is one of the areas I’ve found it to be an improvement over the previous version. The updated tread, coupled with the Maxx Grip compound, does a great job of finding grip across rock and roots, and the heavier carcass adds a muted feeling to the front, never feeling skittish.

But this is a spike and if you’re mainly riding hard pack then there are more suitable tyres in the Maxxis range. 

Rolling resistance is tolerable and as you’d expect from a spiked, DH carcass tyre, but again, if you’re into saving grams and want fast rolling, then you’d be better looking elsewhere. But if you covet grip over weight, and your riding mainly consists of natural, loamy, dusty or muddy tracks rather than hard pack and rock then the Shorty Gen 2 is about as good as it gets. 

Maxxis Shorty Gen 2
In yer face


The Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 is one of the best. It’s consistent, predictable and offers bucket loads of grip.For natural style trails, in a mix conditions, it’s pretty hard to beat yet can also hold its own in more mixed terrain. 

While it’s not a particularly light or fast rolling tyre it’s certainly manageable for the performance that’s on offer. Only you can decide if it’s right for your local trails but – if it is – give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.

While you’re here…

Review Info

Brand: Maxxis
Product: Shorty Gen 2
From: Freewheel
Price: £74.99
Tested: by Ross for 2
Author Profile Picture
Ross Demain

Ad Sales Manager

Ross pairs his childlike excitement for bikes with a complete disregard for the wellbeing of his ribs, or his rims. Best known for riding cheeky trails, his time is also spent trail building in his local woods, drinking beer, eating pies and entertaining his two children.

More posts from Ross

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 review: the best just got better
  • fahzure
    Full Member

    Mmmm, Shorty 2 with a DH casing, pretty much the best soft condition tire for going down. Add a tire liner, drop your pressures by about 5psi and experience riding on a rail.

    Full Member

    So I guess the one question I have is, is it as good or better at the really manky stuff? All the other improvements sound great but I wouldn’t trade away an ounce of performance at the shitty end of a scottish enduro swamp, for a pound of performance in the dry…

    Full Member

    Think the Mk1’s i fitted last year on the winter wheels still have a winter left in them, the negatives are always rolling resistance and wear, if it’s not soft then they wear horrifically in maxx grip, Mk2 sounds good as well, not a huge amount of change, lets hope they’re not over 100 quid when i need to buy one next!

    Full Member

    I bet it’s good but at that price I’ll never know.

    Full Member

    I had a double down one on the front for the worst of winter.

    Amazing grip, amazing drag.

    I’m not sad it’s got drier and I’ve gone back to summer rubber

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

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