Maxxis has released a new wet weather specialist for XC racing; the Maxxis Severe. Taking the place of the now downcountry-oriented Forekaster, the Severe’s spiky tread pattern (for XC) on a 2.25″ carcass steps up for those sopping muddy race weekends.
Announced in conjunction with the new cross-country mountain bike tire is a new, faster-rolling MaxxSpeed Compound, said to confer a 25% reduction in rolling resistance as compared to the outgoing 3C MaxxSpeed, with improved wet grip to boot. It benefits the new Severe tire, as well as the other XC MTB specific tires in the range: the Rekon Race, Aspen and Ikon.
Maxxis Severe Tire for Wet XC Racing
A shift in the Forekaster’s niche toward downcountry and light trail riding had left something of a hole in Maxxis’ range of XC tires for a narrow, lightweight wet weather specialist. The Maxxis Severe announced today fills that hole with a less cluttered tread pattern, with tread blocks well-spaced to allow each one the space to bite into soft, wet ground.
The Severe Tire is available in both 29″ and 27.5″ diameters, both at 2.25″ wide. It runs a 120 TPI casing, and weighs a claimed 745g in the 29″ x 2.25″ option. That’s a whole 200g lighter than the 60 TPI 29″ x 2.4″ Forekaster.
This wet conditions tire is still a good bit heavier than the 29″ x 2.25″ Aspen aimed at dustier terrain (claimed 691g) but comparable to the semi-slick Rekon Race tire which weighs a claimed 737g in 29″ x 2.25″.
The tread pattern of the Maxxis Severe tire is quite distinctive, with the center tread blocks walking a fine line at the apex of the tire. That leaves a substantial gap between the center tread and the next set of shallow, smaller tread blocks positioned slightly inboard of the edge. That space will allow the tire to shed mud more easily in comparison to a tire with a more cluttered tread pattern, like the Ikon or Rekon Race.
At the edge, we see two sets of squared-off tread blocks, the outermost of which is substantially larger and taller to command grip in soft, muddy turns. Between those two sets of tread blocks we see raised portions of the mid-tread, oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel, presumably in a bid to add extra grip when cornering hard. The tread blocks all see some siping, a feature introduced to give a given block more flex.
New, Faster MaxxSpeed Compound
Maxxis has also renewed its MaxxSpeed Compound for 2024, improving rolling resistance over the previous 3C MaxxSpeed Compound by a claimed 25%. It is also said to offer improved grip in the wet, a point that is particularly significant for the aforementioned Severe Tire.
The Maxxis Severe, Aspen, Ikon and Rekon Race tires will feature the faster-rolling MaxxSpeed Compound. We are told that, over the course of a ninety-minute XC Race, the new MaxxSpeed Compound can save a rider up to a minute. It may not surprise you to learn that Nino Schurter and Rebecca Henderson racked up World Cup wins aboard their MaxxSpeed-equipped race bikes last season.
The new MaxxSpeed Compound is not a combination of three separate rubber durometers, but Maxxis don’t specify how many different durometers are in there. What they do say is that the MaxxSpeed Compound borrows technology from their road-racing tires, now with silica utilized as a filler in the rubber polymer. They say this has created a compound that performs better across the board compared to the old 3C MaxxSpeed.
The following Maxxis Tires will benefit from the new MaxxSpeed Compound: Aspen 29″ x 2.4″ (770g), Rekon Race 29″ x 2.4″ (825g), Ikon 29″ x 2.35″ (835g), and the Severe 29″ x 2.25″ (745g).
“XCO racing is more competitive than ever. The new MaxxSpeed compound rolls faster and grips better than before, giving me an edge over my rivals.”Nino Schurter
Pricing & Availability
The new Maxxis Severe Tire retails at $93 USD, as do all of the new MaxxSpeed Compound-boasting XC Tires mentioned above; the Aspen 29″ x 2.4″, Rekon Race 29″ x 2.4″, and the Ikon 29″ x 2.35″.