Maxxis Shorty Tire - Review

Feb 25, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Maxxis Shorty review

Maxxis' Shorty
tire was originally developed for the World Cup downhill circuit, where cut down mud spikes are a common sight on riders' bikes when course conditions are anything other than bone dry. Now available in a lighter weight, folding bead version, the Shorty's open, blocky tread pattern is designed to dig in and cut through the slop, but the knob height is less than that of a traditional mud spike, a designed intended to create a broader range of usable conditions, since the shorter knobs are less likely to fold over and deform on drier trails.

The tire is available for 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheels in a tubeless ready 2.3” width. All of the versions use Maxxis' 3C MaxxTerra compound, which has a harder durometer rubber as a base layer, and two different compounds for the center and the shoulder of the tire. The Shorty can also be purchased Maxxis' EXO Protection, which adds an extra layer of protection against sidewall punctures to the casing. We tested the 27.5 x 2.3” 3C MaxxTerra EXO version (say that three times fast), which weighs in at 880 grams and retail for $78 USD per tire. www.maxxis.com, @Maxxis.

Maxxis Shorty review
Tall side knobs keep gripping even in the sloppiest conditions.
Maxxis Shorty review
Reminiscent of a dirt bike tire's tread pattern, the Shorty's blocky, open design sheds mud well.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesOnly a few days after our test set of tires were delivered the skies unleashed, dousing the trails with inches of rain, and turning them into a mucky loam soup,* the perfect conditions to see if the Shorty worked as promised. Luckily, they did, which was good news because the first trail that I dropped into was a steep brake burner that's tricky in the dry, and even more so in the wet. Traction, particularly when cornering, was excellent, with the square knobs clawing and churning up the ground to find grip in the slime. There's something deeply satisfying about the feeling of a tire hooking up in a sloppy berm when you were fully expected to slide out and get spit off the trail. The open tread pattern kept the tires from packing up with the mud, and no matter how nasty things got the tires never got fully covered enough to lose traction. Mounted up to rims with a 25mm inner width I was able to run between 20-25psi without any burping or blowing off the rim. Of course, conditions were on the squishier side for most of the testing - higher pressure may be necessary for harder packed terrain.

Despite its meaty tread pattern, climbing was tolerable with the Shorty, and when things were really greasy it was nice to have the traction to power through sections that would have had a less aggressive tire spinning in place. I wouldn't rush out to do hill repeats with them, but they did have less drag than their appearance suggests. Extra care does need to be taken on wet roots and rocks, and while they aren't quite as treacherous as a traditional mud spike can be, they'll still slide out quite suddenly if you lose focus on the task at hand. When it comes down to it, the Shorty is still a specialist, and although the range of conditions it works well in is broader than its full-spike relatives, for most riders it won't be a tire that they put on and forget about for the rest of the year like a Maxxis Minion or a High Roller II. On the other hand, when conditions warrant, the Shorty is an excellent choice for blasting through the muck and mire, and it remains usable even as the trail begins to dry out.
- Mike Kazimer



Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review


*Yes, there are trails that can be ridden when they're muddy and wet with relatively minimal consequences. At the same time, there are also even more trails that can't. Use common sense, and be respectful.



135 Comments

  • + 55
 ' for most riders it won't be a tire that they put on and forget about for the rest of the year' That'll be this summers tyre choice for the UK weather when the spikes come of after winter then....
  • + 85
 I guess the only seasons uk has are Heavy Winter and Light Winter :p
  • - 6
flag chyu (Feb 25, 2015 at 1:43) (Below Threshold)
 I'm tired.
  • + 20
 Surprising they don't put out at 2.5 to even come close to Schwalbe's 2.35
  • + 8
 Go take a nap, you've earned it.
  • + 16
 @somismtb mud tyres are supposed to be thinner so that they dig into the mud instead of sitting on top.

I have a shorty up front with an xr4 team on the rear. Great winter trail bike combo.
  • + 10
 @chyu : then go to "bead".
  • - 9
flag jaame (Feb 25, 2015 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 I'm going to get some when my Dirty Dans are fucked. Great idea Maxxis.
  • - 6
flag rendaddy (Feb 25, 2015 at 8:07) (Below Threshold)
 They call it a 2.3 but it's more like a 2.5 but still smaller then schwalbes
  • + 5
 I've been using the Shorty's since September now and they've been perfect in snow, rain, slop and the dry... Only time they've felt a bit sketchy is over a particularly slippery root section on a trail as has been mentioned in the review. I can see these lasting me most of the year to be honest! They seem like the perfect tire choice at the minute and I don't see any reason to splurge out another £100 on two different pairs of tyres.
  • + 12
 I`ve had this tires on my wish list for some time now, it`s nice to finally see a review on Pinbike. But how about a group test between the big players in the "Shorty" category ? I know I`m not the only one looking for an in depth review.
  • + 2
 i have one of these tire up front on my DH bike, for 2 winter seasons now. I can recommend them. they are good around mud and slop tire. the biggest thing to note is how well they grip while heavy braking into corners they just grip like it was dry!
  • + 20
 Pinkbike doesn't do group objective tests!
  • + 4
 Check out the issue #14 from the Enduro-Magazin: enduro-mtb.com/magazin/viewer
  • + 8
 Witness the fall of waki! Haha He is just a dude that rides bikes like the rest of us, and as such is entitled to his opinion like the rest of us. I still enjoy most of the creativity and parody that he produces. Tire pressure has few to no constants and way to many variables to ever say THIS is THE pressure to run! Go get a gauge, test pressures out for yourself! Schwalbe has some good base information on their site regarding the difference between road and offroad application.
  • + 6
 "Extra care does need to be taken on wet roots and rocks, and while they aren't quite as treacherous as a traditional mud spike can be, they'll still slide out quite suddenly if you lose focus on the task at hand"


unlike my conti barons Wink
  • + 1
 I have to say a conti baron 2.35 (the old one, not the new one) is not as grippy in real mud. It fares way better than the shorty in mixed to muddy but for real muddy the shorty beats it hands down. Better traction and better cornering/off camber.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 3:04) (Below Threshold)
 Poah - Barons have very similar tread pattern to Shorties which is exactly the thing that makes them extra prone to be taken by sniper roots. I was considering Barons once and I borrowed my friends wheels to check'em out, that feature apart from gigantic rolling resistance made me go for Minions EXO instead. Those kinds of tyres climb like nothing else on slippery roots and rocks, hooking like a hill climber buggy, but once you ride on a diagonal root it just hooks on it like a btch if you are not careful with weight distribution. And BTW Conti Black Chilli compound is nowhere close to Maxxis 3C, ST or Schwalbe Pace Star, not even mentioning Trail Star. Black Chilli is like 50a or something, sketchy on wet or dusty rock faces.
  • + 7
 in my experience the barons are excellent in typical Scottish winter conditions which is mud, damp, soggy and cold. The tread pattern of the baron 2.3 is not very similar to the shorty. I can't comment on the minions as I have never tried them and you can't make such a generalised comment about rubber compounds. I have had no issue with rocks or roots (wet or dry) with my tyres on my bike.
  • + 1
 I find the baron edge blocks are better supported when you have harder packed condition mixed in whereas the shortys tend to squirm. Roots and rocks haven't been a problem on either. But when you go through peanut butter mud the barons pack up more, clear less and grip less, while cornering and in a straight line.
  • - 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 4:46) (Below Threshold)
 I Am sure Barons are great it's just that they are freaking comparable to these when it comes to riding on roots. Big, stiff and well spaced knobs get taken by roots and lack of super soft compound makes it worse - that's it. It's a compromise, because nothing climbs better in technical terrain, nothing digs into soft soil corners better and nothing clears from mud better. These are relatively extreme tyres that still do realitevly good job in dry hardpack
  • - 2
 ^^Waki get a life
  • - 11
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 5:55) (Below Threshold)
 @trailstar2danman let me show you how much I care about blokes like you www.pinkbike.com/photo/11947874
  • + 2
 maybe you pump your tyres up too much WAKI.
  • - 19
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 6:26) (Below Threshold)
 I don't think so, I ride at 35PSI, sometimes if it gets rough I go to 40 to avoid punctures.
  • + 12
 you're a fat bastard then
  • - 19
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 No, I am 76kg and those pressures have never let me down
  • + 19
 Go suck a fat chode WAKI,

You think because you invent future innovations that you are a genius in every aspect? Your word is cast down from the mouths of babes and we lowly pinkbikers salivate at the chance to hear the gospel?

You may have a vision for the future of bikes, but you are a f*cking idiot if you ride 35 PSI
  • - 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 6:50) (Below Threshold)
 Harder tyre provides less resistance as the contact patch is maller, thus less drag. I also don't believe in that crap with large volume tyres. There is no contact patch in formula for friction, look it up, it's physics.
  • + 3
 @poah it deppend on your ridding style and the places you ride, i weighting 72 rarely can ride with the rear tires bellow like 32/33 psi, or the tire burps(at this moment maxxis minium dhr2 on a mavic 823 dh bike and high roller 2 on a dt swiss ex 471 am bike)
if the wether is more like your country's then you can lower the psi, but on hard pack or rocky to dry ground it won't work , at leat for me
  • + 1
 I run mine at 28f/30r ish and its not let me down with the barons in the current winter conditions or do I burp/roll tyres with my mavic cross trails. I don't run the barons on dry hard pack but that's not the conditions we are talking about. I'm 78kg
  • + 3
 You know Fairclough runs about the same pressure with that Procore stuff right? If anything high pressures are more suited for faster riders..
  • + 2
 And look at all the podiums he has... 35+psi is too much!
  • + 24
 @WAKIdesigns are you serious man? don't spread misinformation with such confidence on a topic you don't fully understand. Harder tyres only provide a decrease in rolling resistance over smooth ground. As the ground gets rougher lowering the psi will reduce rolling resistance. Because as the tyre meets an obstacle e.g. a stone, instead of it giving a reaction force and raising the bike up the tyre will conform to the object and save alot of energy (some energy is loss in tyre deformation yes but it's considerably less than if the wheel was forced upwards).

Yes F = W * E. Where F is the resistance due to friction, W is weight and E is the friction coefficient. Yes this is the 'standard' physics models for friction. But it's a lot more complicated than that. As a material gets softer the more and more the contact surface area has an effect on friction.

friction is the attraction forces between molecules thus the more molecules (from either surface) that are in contact with one another the more friction there is. So actually contact surface area is a variable in a friction model, but the only reason it is not needed in ideal perfect world equation is because it can be derived from force applied. The more force pushing two surfaces together the more molecules in contact with one another due to deformation.

But the reason contact surface area is needed for softer materials is because a soft material e.g. rubber already has numerous molecule contact points with the surface below it as its so soft and easily deformable and increasing force applied doesn't have as much an effect compared to a harder material.

F=W*E is only useful for exam questions and conceptual undestanding, using it in the real world by itself is not good practise. At all.
  • - 26
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 8:11) (Below Threshold)
 billymtb... you started like a preacher... I am almost a scientist myself so I am entitled to interpretation of laws of physics.
  • + 4
 if you use stickier tyres then you'll have more resistance too. while hard tyres will give less rolling resistance they will give less grip. I am an actual scientist
  • - 12
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 25, 2015 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 And I actually run my tires at 26-28 PSI and had a mood to be a hemorroid. So poah would you be so kind to describe how do you apply your scientific degree to your riding? How would you adjust your riding technique if you were given Shorty tyres instead of Barons?
  • + 21
 Almost a scientist .... I almost have a spot on the syndicate
  • + 3
 It's not about rolling resistance, it's about tyres squirming at speed and pinch flats.
  • + 1
 Rolling resistance is a whole new animal. Let's stick to friction here.
  • + 2
 Your moms a whole new animal.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 27, 2015 at 6:26) (Below Threshold)
 Rumpleforskin, from which gulag did you get kicked out?
  • + 1
 Dont worry WAKI, im sure soon everything will seem clear as day.
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 27, 2015 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 Really? Have you managed to decide on a date to charge on Europe?
  • + 1
 Are you really do say what you think you go to like?
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 27, 2015 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 aj dłu not łunderstand łuot ar ju tłalkink tłu mi, krasnaje buolszewicka paszoł wpizdu job twoju mać ruski ty! Pizdiet!
  • + 4
 I second pinkbike's take: the tire works wonders in loamy, greasy or muddy conditions, but it's pretty sketchy over wet roots or wet rocks, although I got the 3C MaxxGrip version.
  • + 3
 Kinda disappointed that Maxxis is not making Super Tacky or 3C MaxxGrip in their TR Exo tires. Some of us need the best grip we can get on our trail bikes (particularly for the front), and don't care about rolling resistance. This is a tire made for sketchy conditions, yet it's not offered in a Super Tacky? Why not?
  • + 3
 42a knobs this widely spaced would flex too much and either crack at the bases immediately or get torn off Hans Dampff style. I think the 70a core helps keep the knob stiff enough and well-bonded to the casing.
  • + 1
 Wet Screams are available in ST compound and have held up ok for me.
  • + 2
 Kramster- the rule of thumb is tall stiff knows for mud and short soft for hard pack with a million variations in between. Think of mud knobs like little shovels and dry conditions knobs like suction cups on glass
  • + 3
 i put them on and loved how well they did on everything so i left them on and ordered another pair they rip in dry to at least on the east coast dirt. i did ramp the center lug on the older set for faster rolling.
  • + 2
 According to maxxis website the Shorty has the highest rating for wet conditions. On the othe side, one summary of the review is "...they'll still slide out quite suddenly if you lose focus on the task at hand." I don't know if I missunderstood something, maybe because English is not one of my native languages or because we have an other definition (a metric one) of wet here in Europe.

If the Shorty is not the best choice for really wet conditions, which tire from maxxis is it? Right now I'm very happy with my HR II (non 3C) in a lot of different conditions. But I was looking for a even more grippier tire for the wet, especially for wet roots and rocks.
  • + 5
 The Shorty is great for muddy conditions, but the line about them sliding out refers to encounters with roots. Mud spikes in general aren't the best for trails with lots of roots and rocks, since the tall knobs can make them give way suddenly. I've found the Minion DHF paired with a Highroller II in the rear works well for a winter tire on trails that are more than just mud or loose dirt.
  • + 1
 I have the 2.5 version on my 650b Sanction. I've plowed it through rocks, mud, and loose over hard terrain. I would say it compares competitively with Schwalbe's Hans Dampf in terms of performance. They even both slide the same way at the same corner at one of the tracks I frequent.
  • + 2
 ha ha ha, lol, what!! HD's are so shit, absolutely zero cornering support.
  • + 1
 Ahhh... I love scientists. Pure entertainment! My pressure gauge tells me I run DHF front/Back at 21/24 on a 29er. I'm sure it reads wrong since I use to run 35 on my 26! Even 38 at some point...

But also used to have 680mm bars... On a Nomad.
  • + 5
 "30 psi in my minions, I don't care about your opinions."
  • + 1
 I just ordered a 2.4 DH version from JensonUSA, Hoping the have sized them up more accurately this year...Know one seems to know whats going on. It'll be a surprise to see what's in the box, I guess
  • + 4
 still cheaper to buy a wet scream and cut it down to preference
  • + 2
 not if you're on a 29er
  • + 4
 aye fair enough.
  • + 5
 Thats a shorty review
  • + 11
 Dude i am tyred of your shit...
  • - 20
flag mudmandhbrazil (Feb 25, 2015 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 f*ck you ass hole. Get out o my feet?
  • + 11
 Buddy I think you missunderstood something there Wink
  • + 9
 He's a bit short on puns.
  • + 2
 Best tire I ve owned! Also in the deep dusty trail like it gets in whistler it works really well. The only trail I scared myself is on hard pack like aline
  • + 4
 Its not mire unless its qaugmire.
  • + 4
 Oh yea! Giggity.
  • + 1
 So this is the new highroller semi slick.
I thought semi anything just didn't work?
There ok here but crap here?? So there semi..

Just get a soft knobly tyre
  • + 1
 Awesome.tires , I have them in dh version and love them to bits , while people whine about how slippery it is im still holding the high lines
  • + 1
 They are so good, even on rocky slippery sections I've had no problems with them
  • + 1
 Its the best tire I've ever ridden, I've used it in all conditions and I love it!
  • + 1
 Best front tire for all Winter conditions. Paired with DHR2 here, amazing combo
  • - 1
 ive always thought maxxis were shit, loving schwalbe hams dampf currently for trail use, grips like a dh tyre, havent flatted yet (98kg) and it rolls well on hardpack and doesnt weigh much.
  • + 1
 Iv just fitted the the tyres to my demo and I was amazed how grippy the tyres are
  • + 1
 it looks like schwalbe i don't know which one but it does, i like schwalbe
  • + 0
 Magic Mary
  • + 0
 that is the one cheers!
  • + 2
 More like the (now defunct) Muddy Mary. It was a great tyre until it was replaced by the Magic. Hardly a revolutionary tread-pattern, but it's all about the rubber eh?!
Nice to see something close to the Swapthings of yore too.
  • + 1
 the muddy was a way better al round tire than the magic, i have ridden both and i am riding a magic, and when ground get's harder or in rock the tire don't bite the ground that well, the short being a bit more lower seem a better option
  • + 2
 Magic Mary for the win.
  • + 1
 you lot should try the Rubena Highlander mint!!!
  • + 1
 So definitely not a Swamp Thing right?
Ok glad we cleared that up
  • + 1
 Maxxgic Mary. Looks good to me.
  • + 1
 Nice copy of the great Schwalbe Dirty-Dan tyre..
  • + 0
 How many MTB vacations/trips do you take a year on average?
  • + 2
 8-12
  • + 1
 Geax goma
  • + 3
 Rode a goma on a Bronson I demoed in Moab a couple weeks ago. It was a tire.
  • + 1
 my favorite tire by far.
  • + 1
 for the front*
  • + 1
 You always use it kn the front or only when itit's muddy?
  • + 1
 almost always. Unless I am racing on a VERY dry course. If im not racing I will still use it in the dry, because it is a very versatile tire.
  • + 1
 What are you using when you are racing? I will propably start racing this year. So I have to ask.
  • + 3
 When I am racing in dry conditions I often use a Maxxis Minnion DHF 2.5 on the front and a DHR2 on the rear. If its slightly wet or the ground is soft and loamy I will use the Shorty in front and a DHR2 on the rear. If its super wet I use a Wet Scream on the front and a Shorty on the rear. I swear by Maxxis for all my tires
  • + 3
 I can second this, the combo of shortys and DHR2's will see you through everything. best tyres going round!
  • + 1
 So i got a Swampthing on the front and a DHR2 on the rear.
Whould you change it?
It is my all weather combo Big Grin
  • + 1
 What about HR IIs? Ain't they more for the wet than minions but less so than Shortys? Or is it that you just prefer either the predictable minion style over the all or nothing HR style?
  • - 1
 honestly Ive just never been a huge fan of high rollers
  • + 2
 but thats just my preference, they seem to work for some people pretty damn well
  • + 1
 Running DHR2 on both ends at the moment, can see me moving to Shorty front DHR2 on the rear very soon - it'll be perfect all year
  • + 1
 Trust me it is!
  • + 1
 Found out shorty side knobs wear fast on hardpack sections. Not a good all year tire in my opinion. Strictly winter goop for me.
  • + 1
 @Sontator what are you riding in summer then?
  • + 1
 Butcher controls in the front but i would like a slightly more railing feel so minions dhf are on my list to try. Back i liked purgatorys but mainly tractionwise they could be better. Trying ardents 2.4 now and though they seem to corner well despite needing a bit higher pressures to avoid squirming. I am curous about 2.3 ikons but doubting, else minion dhr ii seems a safe bet.
  • - 1
 the ikon would be a good back tyre. for am stuff I run a larsen 2.35 rear (fairly similar to the ikon) and a minion 2ply up front at 35psi, does pretty well and rolls pretty quick. may experiment with exo tyres later but we'll see.
  • - 2
 Do we really need the P.C. wet trail disclaimer at the end of a mud tire review?
  • + 12
 Doesn't really seem PC to me, more of a common sense reminder. Pretty good idea considering how uncommon sense seems to be these days.
  • - 5
flag nouser (Feb 25, 2015 at 2:22) (Below Threshold)
 You're either wrong, or you don't know what P.C. Means.
  • + 2
 Politically correct, yes? I'm sure plenty of people don't know how to use judgement when it comes to whether or not to shred a muddy trail (most likely from a lack of knowledge to base said decision upon), don't really see how that is "PC".. Avoiding pissing people off for f*cking up a multi use trail isn't pc, it's just smart.
  • - 3
 Those will be my next tyres to try after, I wear out Butchers Control, but I may want to cut middle knobbs on the rear to make it into a Shortier.
  • + 4
 If they released those I would buy a pair based on the name alone. Even though I ride in a 90% dry environment.
  • - 2
 @wakidesigns that's so endurbro of you
  • - 1
 Braaaap.
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