What do Rock & Roll, Paul McCartney, and XC racing all have in common? They’re not dead! As cross-country as a discipline seems to be regaining popularity (and XC bikes are getting more technically capable), Maxxis decided to develop the Rekon Race tire for riders looking to shave seconds off the race clock.
Maxxis Rekon Race low-profile XC mountain bike tire
Cross-country courses are becoming more technical than ever before, and the folks at Maxxis felt their old race tire patterns were a bit too slick. They went to work and drafted up the Rekon Race, which is still Maxxis’ lowest profile XC tire with the lowest height central tread, but offers a bit of bite for when things get rough. Maxxis expects most riders to run this as a rear tire, paired with something a bit grippier up front.
For a brand new tire, the Rekon Race already has some accolades – Nino Shurter ran a prototype for practice at the 2017 Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, kept it on for the race and took it to the top of the podium!
The Rekon Race is a semi-slick tread based on the Rekon, but the knobs are smaller and lower. The center knobs have ramped leading edges to keep rolling resistance to a minimum, while the trailing edges are flat to provide solid braking. Transition knobs extend in a V-pattern from the center to the side knobs. And all the Rekon Race’s knobs are siped to help them conform to the trail.
There are two different versions of the Rekon Race, one with the EXO sidewall and one without. Both are 120tpi, dual compound, tubeless ready, and come in 29×2.25″ only. The EXO sidewall version weighs in at 670g, and MSRP is $64. The non-EXO version hits the scale at 610g, and sell for $60.
We got a couple quick laps to try out the Rekon Race tires, which were logically paired with 29×2.25″ Rekons up front. Riding hardpack trails with a bit of loose dust on the surface, I figured they would roll quite quickly, but perhaps challenge the tires’ grip here and there.
Right away I noticed the Rekon Race does indeed roll fast and easy, so if the terrain itself is buff you’re in for a smooth ride. The climbing on our loop wasn’t too steep, and the rear wheel had no problem staying planted on the uphills. I’d say the Rekon Race’s eager roll is going to please a lot of people on the climbs. And as long as you don’t take this racey tread into highly technical terrain, it’ll get you down the hill pretty well too…
I usually ride more aggressive treads, but I found the Rekon Race’s comparatively tiny lugs held the trail better than expected. The descent was a flowy racetrack of berms, straight shots, and jumps. And since it was new to me I was all over the place on the way down! Despite my sketchy line choices, I only broke the rear wheel loose when I willfully let it happen (skidding around tight corners that I approached way too fast!) I noticed the cornering traction was great too, when left to roll through the turns. Our test trail had lots of fun, rail-able berms, and the tire’s side lugs stuck firmly to all of them.
All-in-all I was quite surprised how little difference I felt traction-wise between the Rekon Race and the wider, grippier tires I generally ride. If you’re looking to speed your rides up a notch, this rear tread rolls smooth and fast, but still maintains a good grip when you point it down and pin it through the corners.