If you've looked at Maxxis' mountain bike tire lineup recently, you'll have undoubtedly noticed just how many choices there are. From ultralight XC options to big, burly DH rubber, pretty much all of the bases are covered. But that doesn't mean there's not room for a few new additions, and at the second annual Appalachian Summit in Elijay, Georgia, Maxxis revealed several of the widths and casing options that will be added to their catalog over the course of the next six months or so. Tubeless Ready Downhill Tires
For the downhill crowd, or anyone looking for as much puncture protection as possible, the biggest news is the addition of tubeless ready, full downhill casing versions of the DHF, DHRII and Shorty. Going with a folding bead allows for up to a 100 gram weight savings over a wire bead, while allowing for a better seal between the tire and the rim. Tubeless ready also means that the casing is approved for use with liquid sealants. Initially, the tires will only be available in 27.5" diameters, with the potential for other wheel sizes to be added in the future.
2.6" versions of both the DHF (left) and DHR II are on the way.2.6" Minion DHF and DHR II
Tire width isn't a one-size-fits-all scenario, and there are now more options than ever, especially with the growth of the Plus bike category. The 2.6” width looks like it's going to become more common over the next couple of years, splitting the difference once again between a Plus and a 'regular' width tire. Maxxis unveiled 27.5 x 2.6” versions of the Forekaster and the Rekon at Interbike last year
, and now the DHF and DHR II are going to be added to the mix.
Initially they will only be available for 27.5” wheels, but 29” versions are also in the works. While it might not seem like switching from a 2.5” to a 2.6” tire would be significant, according to Maxxis there's a 7% difference in volume between the two, a number that should be noticeable out on the trail. Ice Age Approved
It doesn't get much more conditions specific than the Maxxis Matterhorn, a studded 29 x 2.25” tire designed for tackling ice and snow covered roads and trails. The siping and the tire compound are both designed to allow the tire to remain grippy even when temperatures drop below freezing.How Maxxis Measures Their Tires
Maxxis held several informational seminars as part of the Appalachian Summit, covering a range of topics on everything from rubber durometer to casing threads per inch. There was one fact in particular that stood out - exactly how Maxxis measures their tires. According to Joel DeMeritt, one of Maxxis' tire design and development engineers, they measure a tire's width when it's inflated to the maximum pressure printed on the sidewall. In some cases, that can be as high as 60 psi for a mountain bike tire, so it's no surprise that the tires can measure a bit smaller than expected when aired up to the pressure most riders use, typically somewhere between 20 – 30 psi.
Tires will also stretch slightly after their initial inflation, so to make sure you achieve as much width as possible it's best to inflate them up to the maximum pressure (or the maximum pressure your rims can handle if that's the lower of the two numbers), and then let them sit overnight before deflating them to your preferred psi.