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Like most tyre brands, Maxxis use a lot of technologies that all have their own special names. It can be a bit confusing for the uninitiated, so let’s dig in and figure this out!
There are 4 main elements that form a tyre. The bead, the casing, the tread compound and the tread pattern. Let’s look a bit deeper at each of these.
This is the part that locks into the rim when inflated. The different versions of bead that Maxxis make are:
Wire Bead – This is the cheapest and heaviest, but also the most robust. While technically not a Tubeless Ready bead, because the wire inside is quite stiff they are actually very easy to make tubeless.
Kevlar Folding – Also known as a folding bead, as the tyre is foldable. Kevlar beads are more expensive to manufacture, but save a good chunk of weight and are still very tough. This is not a tubeless ready bead and we don’t recommend trying.
TR Kevlar Folding – (TR stands for Tubeless Ready) This is the same as the kevlar folding, but the rubber around the Kevlar is shaped in such a way that it creates a seal against the rim when inflated. TR tyres need to run a liquid sealant to ensure they remain tubeless.
LUST – Lightweight Ultimate Sidewall Technology is Maxxis’ take on UST (Universal Standard Tubeless) tyres. LUST is actually used to classify both the bead and the casing, but we’ll just focus on the bead for now. A UST bead is much the same as a TR Kevlar Folding bead, except the bead is shaped in such a way that it matches in perfectly with a UST specific rim. This set up is so solid, you don’t need any tyre sealant to make them tubeless. This system has largely been replaced by TR now, as the TR tyres are significantly lighter.
This is the carcass of the tyre and refers to everything from bead to bead, except the tread. There are quite a few different versions of casing available from Maxxis, as it is largely responsible for how much a tyre weighs and how tough it is.
Before we get into the different types of casings, we should talk about another technical term called TPI (Threads Per Inch). Most Maxxis Tyres are either 60 TPI or 120 TPI. The higher 120 TPI casing is lighter, thinner and will be able to better conform to the shape of the terrain. However, the 60 TPI casing is more resistant to puncture, abrasions and cuts. The different types of casings are (in order from lightest to heaviest):
eXCeption Series – This is a casing that is specifically designed for Cross Country racers, with a single 120 TPI layer making it super light. It’s largely been superseded by the EXO casing though as it’s not very tough.
Single Ply – This is the basic casing, with one 60 TPI layer.
EXO – EXO is most popular with cross country, trail riders and light duty all mountain riders. It’s a single 60 TPI (generally) layer mated with an additional layer of abrasion and cut resistant material. The additional layer is extremely light and remains very flexible, so the comfort and flexibility of the casing remains extremely good.
EXO Plus + – Combines two of the Maxxis puncture protection materials: SilkShield and EXO. The SilkShield layer runs from bead-to-bead with a layer of EXO along the sidewalls. Combined, these two materials create EXO+ which gives a 27% increase in puncture protection under the tread, a 51% increase in sidewall durability and a 28% increase in resistance to pinch flats when compared to the regular EXO Protection. There is a small weight penalty of around 70g per tyre.
LUST – This is a single 120 TPI casing with an additional fabric layer that is then coated in an airtight rubber compound that makes it completely non-porous. This process makes for a very strong and puncture resistant tyre, however, it does add quite a bit of weight. This has largely been superseded by the EXO casing.
Double Down – DD - The newest casing in the Maxxis range. Double Down is designed specifically for enduro and heavy duty all mountain riders. It features 2 x 120TPI layers to give both great strength and puncture/abrasion resistance, but the casing still conforms to the terrain very well. This also has a Butyl rubber insert that stretches from the bead up the sidewall to offer ultimate pinch flat resistance.
Dual Ply – Also known as Downhill casing, this is 2 x 60TPI layers. It also has a Butyl insert stretching from the bead up the sidewall. This makes a huge difference in pinch flat protection, while also supporting the sidewall of the tyre.
Silkworm – While this isn’t a casing type in its own right, it can be added into a casing. Silkworm is an additional layer that is only located under the tread of the tyre. It is there to stop spikes, thorns or sharp rocks from penetrating through the tread.
Tread compound refers to the durometer (softness) of the tyre. Durometer is symbolised with an "a" and the lower the number, the softer the rubber compound. Maxxis make a lot of different tread compounds, and they use either single, dual and triple compounds of rubber:
Single Compound – The same compound the whole way over the tyre tread.
Dual Compound – This is when the side knobs are made of a softer rubber for better cornering grip, and the centre knobs are a harder compound for better wear life and lower rolling resistance
Triple Compound – Also known as 3C, this is when the base of the knobs are a firm rubber so the knobs hold their shape better, then the side knobs are covered in a soft compound for ultimate cornering grip, and a medium compound is used over the centre tread to lower rolling resistance and improve longevity. Maxxis make 3 different 3C compounds (outlined below).
From hardest to softest tread compound, Maxxis produce:
Single Compound - 70a Durometer the firmest compound for maximum tread life, and super low rolling resistance.
eXCeption – A 62a Rubber compound perfect for Cross country race bikes
MaxxPro – A 60a rubber predominately used as a long life gravity bike tyre.
Dual Compound – 51a/60a - A 51a rubber compound on the side knobs with a 60a rubber on the centre knobs.
3C Maxx Speed - 72a/60a/62a - These feature 72a rubber at the base of the knobs with 60a on the side knobs and 62a on the centre tread. This offers the lowest rolling resistance for cross country bikes.
3C Maxx Terra - 70a/42a/50a – 70a as the base for all the knobs, with 42a rubber on the tops of the side knobs and 50a rubber on the tops of the centre knobs. Designed for trail and all mountain.
3C Maxx Grip - 70a/40a/42a – 70a rubber makes up the base of all the knobs with 40a rubber on the side knobs and 42a rubber on the centre tread. The ultimate grip on gravity-focused bikes.
Super Tacky – 42a rubber all over – largely found on Downhill and gravity focused bikes. This is a very soft, slow rebounding rubber. While it doesn't provide the precise feel of the 3C Maxx Grip, it is still a very grippy tyre.
Slow Reezay – 40a rubber all over. This is now discontinued.
The different tread patterns are what give Maxxis tyres their names. Maxxis make a huge range of tread patterns to suit just about everything!
Maxxis have also just released a new range of tyres that are specifically designed to fit on to rims with a width of 35mm or more. Designated Wide Trail or WT. These are not replacing any of the current range, but are simply to run in conjunction with the rest of the range. The benefits of these Wide Trail tyres on 35mm+ width rims is that the cornering knobs are better supported and sit slightly closer to the centre line.
The chart below gives an indication of what versions of tyres Maxxis make. There are a few random tyres that fall outside this chart, but this gives a good idea.
|Single Ply||EXO||Double Down||Dual Ply||LUST||eXCeption|
|Compound||Single Compound||Wire Bead||Kevlar Folding||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Maxx Pro||-||-||-||-||-||Wire Bead||-||-|
|Dual Compound||-||-||Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||-||-||-|
|3c Maxx Speed||-||-||Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||-||-||-||-|
|3c Maxx Terra||-||-||Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||-||-||-|
|3c Maxx Grip||-||-||-||TR Kevlar Folding||TR Kevlar Folding||Wire Bead||-||-|
|Super Tacky||Wire Bead||Kevlar Folding||-||-||TR Kevlar Folding||Wire Bead||LUST||-|
If you have any questions, hit us up in the comments! We'd love to hear from you.
WT vs. Std. MinionsBy: Mick on 30 September 2018Hi- I am running one set of Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.6 dual compund (not wt) and one set of Minion DHF 29 x 2.6 WT. Both are on 34mm ID rims. The 27.6 x 2.6 Std. tires feel cushy like a Plus tire, but the 29 x 2.5 WT feel stiff like a cross country tire. I'm guessing that there is more to the WT construction than just tread configuration, eh?
Mountain Bikes Direct Response
Hi mate, thanks for checking in. The whole WT vs standard debate within the same width is a tricky one for sure. I have no idea why the 27.5x2.6 are not labelled as WT, yet the 2.5 in the same diameter is. And then with the new 29x2.6, they've labelled them as a WT now, but still have the 27.5x2.6 without it. I honestly don't think the WT label means the construction of the tyre is any different between the two, in the same width. A 27.5x2.6 will still 'technically' be a 'WT' tyre, and not be compatible with anything under ~30mm. As for the difference in feeling that you're getting between the two tyres, that can be put down to a whole bunch of things. There may be a different compound between them, a different thread count, pressure in 29 and 27.5 can differ, 20psi in a 27.5 feels different to 20psi in a 29. There could also just be the 29vs27.5 thing going on, but it's really hard to say without more details on your exact tyres. Cheers.
which minion to chose?By: wolfgang trumler on 22 August 2018hi i need for my new spec kenevo ebike minions in 27.5 2.6 or 27.5 2.5 instead of the stock butchers. I need best grip and best resistance to cuts and slices/best overall protection as we often ride in the alps with sharp stones, however at home with lot of trails in the woods. Found 2.6 minion dhf only with exo protection. 2.5 minions dhf provide more optionc: can you please tell me which is the best from best resistance/protection and best grip point of view? Additional question 1: the 27.5 2.5 is available as ˋwire dh´ with maxxpro and ˋwirè´ with maxxgrip. do i understand correctly that maxxgrip is the best on grip/traction? and where is the difference between wire casing and wire dh casing (both seem to have 60x2dw, what does dd and dw mean by the way?). The 27.5 2.5 with the grip fine maxxgrp has only 1x60dw (which is bad in terms of protection/resistance). wouldnt i need a maxxgrip with 2x60 dw best in 2.5 (still not even available in 2,5?) i Im completely lost and kindly ask for your help and advice as I need to order the tyres in my shop this week for alps ride by the end of next week thanks in advance wolf
Mountain Bikes Direct Response
Hi Wolf, Thanks for checking in! You are correct, there are far fewer options in a 2.6 so the 2.5 will be better suited with the correct casing. From the sounds of it, you'll love the MaxxGrip rubber compound. This is is unbelievably grippy, however, please note that it will wear much faster than MaxTerra. As for casings, there are several options but the 3 most common are EXO, Double Down (DD) and DH. Of the 3, EXO is the lightest and you won't want this. Next up is DD and that's outstanding as it offers great protection against cuts. DH is the toughest but also the heaviest. As you've noticed, there are two different types of DH tyres - Wirebead and folding. Wirebead technically isn't tubeless ready whereas the folding is. If weight isn't an issue, I would recommend a 27.5 x 2.5 3C Maxx Grip - 2 Ply DH WT - TR Kevlar. It's tubeless ready, offers amazing traction and will help avoid cuts and tears. If you are concerned about weight, you will need to sacrifice some durability. This is a great option - 27.5 x 2.5 3c Maxx Grip - Double Down WT - TR Kevlar Folding Let us know if you have any further questions. Cheers, MTB Direct.
Dual Compound DurometerBy: Marjan on 17 May 2017There are other numbers on the web (not Maxxis sources) about the durometer for dual compound.. Are the numbers stated here (51a/60a) from a reliable source? Thanks!
Mountain Bikes Direct Response
All the quoted numbers came directly from Maxxis. Cheers!
Tubeless?By: Bernie on 9 February 2017If a Maxxis tyre doesn't state TR on the side wall, (tubeless Ready), can you still use them as tubeless. Or should you use an inner tube?
Mountain Bikes Direct Response
Hi there, It is possible to still use these tubeless, however not recommended. You'll need to put a lot of sealant in! Cheers! Tim