First Ride: Maxxis Rekon Race

Jul 4, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
Maxxis Rekon Race

Maxxis has a strong XC heritage with tires such as the Larsen TT, Crossmark, Aspen, and Ikon all holding a strong spot in their line-up throughout the years. There have been semi-slick variations, such as the Larsen Oriflamme and the Wormdrive as well. While those minimalistic versions did roll fast, according to Maxxis' racers and engineers, they didn't offer the traction needed, especially on modern and more technical XC courses. Teams were requesting a higher volume tire that had a low profile tread, was fast rolling, and offered decent cornering.

The solution is their new Rekon Race, the lowest profile tire in the XC line from Maxxis. Maxxis expect the tire to be used primarily as a rear tire and paired with an Ikon, Aspen, or something similar up front. Maxxis engineers went to the 2017 Mont-Sainte-Anne XC World Cup with tire samples for Nino Schurter to try out. Apparently, Schurter was confident enough in the design and performance that he decided to race on the tire after practicing on it. Schurter won the race on the prototype.

Maxxis Rekon Race
Nino Schurter on the Rekon Race Photo: Maxxis


The Rekon Race is based on the tread pattern of, you guessed it, the Rekon. All of the knobs are scaled down, and the leading edges are ramped to reduce rolling resistance while the back edges are flat for increased braking power. There are small transition knobs from the center to the cornering knobs, and all of the knobs are siped to give more surface area and traction.

The tire is available exclusively in a 29x2.25 size with the same 120tpi casing that the Aspen uses. The tread is a dual compound rubber, and all tires are tubeless ready. The Rekon Race is offered with and without the option of the Maxxis EXO sidewall protection, depending on how much you like living on the edge, or standing on the edge of the trail fixing a flat. With EXO, it weighs 670g and sells for $64 USD. Without the EXO protection, the tire weighs 610g and costs $60 USD.

Maxxis Rekon Race
The Rekon Race, Aspen, and Ikon (L-R) Photo: Maxxis

Ride Impressions

I spent a short amount of time riding the Rekon Race near Sun Valley, Idaho, this past week. While it was hardly enough to give more than a very initial impression, I made enough turns to get a feel for it. I had the Rekon Race as a rear tire paired with a Rekon on the front of the bike I was riding. The trails that I rode were smooth and fast singletrack... completely buff, with a few rocks and roots. It was still early season there, so the trails had a great deal of traction. I wouldn't call it hero dirt; it was still loose, but it wasn't typical late-summer moon dust, either.

The tire felt noticeably fast. It seemed to hold its speed both uphill and certainly downhill. Braking, it was substantially easier than Maxxis' other XC tires to break loose and slide into turns on top of the tread. Once I gained some confidence in it and leaned it over at speed and in off-camber terrain, I was impressed with how well it hooked up on the side knobs. I felt that the tire was very predictable and easy to push in turns when on the edge without fear of breaking it free.

Maxxis Rekon Race

Braking traction was decent for a semi-slick. Scrubbing the extra speed that the tire seemed to offer up on the descents took a little bit more planning and precision, but it's a semi-slick, so it should. I had no issues with punctures or flats and also didn't hear of anyone else riding the tire having problems, either.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesMaxxis has an incredibly comprehensive tire line with more choices than you'd want to count when you add all of the tires coupled with their sizes, widths, casings, and compounds together. The Rekon Race fills a small but important spot in that line. Coupled with the appropriate front tire in the right conditions, the Rekon Race is a great contender for the rider looking for a fast rolling semi-slick XC tire that can still handle corners and variable conditions without feeling totally sketchy and out of control.Daniel Sapp



  • 48 14
 These tires should be in their own category. Not XC, AM, Enduro or whatever but PreWorn. Why have a brand new tire with 100% of thread when you can pay more to have less of it and that your brand new tire can look like it was ridden for 1000km before you bought it.

Next stop forks with loose bushings and no bath oil in them, oh wait...
  • 29 3
 Its like pre worn denim with holes already in them. Next up ultra thin brake pads to save you 0.fukall grams.
  • 5 1
 I love spending $75 on a one time use tire.
  • 34 3
 `Rock Shox already do forks with no oil in them, just buy a regualr fork and you have a 50-50 shot
  • 4 2
 @honourablegeorge: unfortunately that is all brands. I've gotten that with a fox 34, one of my DVO, and RS.
  • 2 2
 I'm glad I'm not the only one. As soon as I saw it I immediately thought it looked just like my worn down Ikon.
  • 14 1
 The difference between a tire like this and your old worn down tire is the knobs will still be sharp edges and not rounded down. You’ll get more bite than a used up tire. Plus this is race specific...
  • 2 0
 What a dumb comment. I've raced two entire seasons on tires you'd probably consider to have looked like they were ridden for 1000km. Stick to walking your bike up hills.
  • 7 1
 Don't race people like side knobs? I know guys like Nino can shred on slicks, but so many less accomplished racers must be terrified when riding fast into turns or anything remotely gnarly - that or they just live for the long smooth climbs.
  • 8 3
 Those are still side knobs, many race people like Thunder Burts...
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Totally, I'm still rocking Thunder Burts on my singlespeed 29er! I'm always blown away at how well they hook up.
  • 5 1
 @mr3z: I happen to greatly enjoy riding my DJ HT in the woods on our rough trails. Some ride street on DH bikes - in politically correct terms this is called acquired taste. There are no medals for this and nobody cares.
  • 9 1
 minion race & assegai race next plz
  • 9 1
 Minion SS already exists
  • 6 0
 An Assegai EXO and/or DD would be nice, in 3C Maxx Terra.
  • 1 0
 @Minikeum: That surely will be coming. I'd even take one of the lighter casing tires with maxxgrip as my maxxterra minion on the front holds up ridiculously long...
  • 9 1

Never DD on an Assegai...
  • 5 0
 wet scream xc race please
  • 3 0
 "The trails that I rode were smooth and fast singletrack... completely buff, with a few rocks and roots. It was still early season there, so the trails had a great deal of traction. I wouldn't call it hero dirt; it was still loose, but it wasn't typical late-summer moon dust, either."

Loving the metaphorical imagery!
  • 5 0
 Im a fan of forekaster on the rear. Tread any smaller than that would worry me.
  • 1 0
 Same for me. Though I'm currently riding a 2.4 recon on the rear with a 2.6 up front
  • 1 0
 @neologisticzand: Where did you find a 2.4 rekon? I’ve been looking for a while, Maxxis has really been taking their time to get supply to market. Seems like Pivot took some early production for the new 429.
  • 2 0
 @Cambot: QBP has them in stock, had the shop I ride for order them in for me.
  • 1 0
 @Cambot: you can always check our e-store at too. Our newer treads often show up there first.
  • 5 0
 Maxxis version of Specialized Renegades.
  • 1 0
 Maxxis version of Schwalbe Rapid Robs
  • 3 0
 @colincolin: Maxxis’ version of the Michelin Force XC
  • 3 0
 Perfect! my new dj tires!
  • 3 0
 Just kidding 29ers only Frown
  • 1 0
 @seanypMTB: sorry, at least for now we're just offering this in a 29. Our XC race teams that requested this type of tire are overwhelmingly running 29.
  • 3 0
  • 4 1
 Shake that bear.
  • 5 7
 Personally that looks like the perfect tire for 99% of people. I rode Maxxis Hookworms for a long time, and they were perfect, except for the odd time you hit a mud patch, or something gnarly. Those look perfect, smooth rolling, but you won't die on a rough patch. As good as you're going to get.
  • 6 0
 Actually, no, unless you run exactly the right pressure and pay very close attention to your speed and body position, you will die in a "rough patch" , i.e a loose corner.. That being so, these tyres are not what 99% of the riding population should be on, rather its what the top racers and experienced riders should be using.
  • 1 0
 For the hardpack typically found on well-worn XC race courses it's a sure bet. Tall knobs get too squirmy under hard braking or cornering on hard surfaces.
  • 2 0
 Oh i just use something stupidly overkill on the front and something fastrolling on the rear. Sure it rolls a bit slower but thats a non issue when not using strava or when you dont race. It rails corners. That and these things likely wear out faster.
  • 2 0
 Imma guess that you ride exclusively hard pack flow trails when it's dry
  • 2 0
 I'd try 1. for non technical 7-12hr xc loops I love the aspen/ikon combo.
  • 1 0
 Maxxis was overdue for a traditional XC race tire, Ikons are dated and no bueno when compared to most of the competition.
  • 1 0
 where's my Panaracer Smoke tires?

dating myself, big time
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 I rekon that looks like my tires when I'm done with them.
  • 1 2
 So there is a market for my worn out Aggressors. Excellent.
  • 3 6
 I'm struggling to see how it differs from the Ikon.
  • 11 1
 Just from looking at the picture, the side knobs are differently shaped and the height of the central treads is quite lower. Whether or not that means a lot to you is a different question.
  • 3 0
 The knobs are quite a bit shorter in the center and it rolls faster than the Ikon.
  • 1 0
 As @danielsapp mentioned the knob heights on the Rekon Race are substantially shorter. Over half a mm on the center knobs and a full mm on the side knobs. It's much easier to see the difference in person.
  • 1 0
 @Maxxis: any ideas on Minion SS 27,5 in Double Down?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that is certainly an idea.
  • 1 0
 @Maxxis: the fanbois are waiting : D
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