Maxxis Ikon KEV 3C EXC EXO 29x2.35in tyre review£58.00

Fast, tough mountain bike race tyre

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The 29x2.35in Ikon KEV is the new outsized version of our favourite Maxxis race tyre. It’s a quick yet ride-smoothing upgrade, and its size and cost mean it won’t be for everyone.

Unlike previous Maxxis skinnies, this 2.35in option blows up at a generous 55mm wide and 53mm high. That and the supple, tubeless-ready carcass mean a lot of protection when you’re thumping across rocks, and it seals and inflates tubelessly with a bit of sealant and vigorous track pumping. 

Be careful with lower pressures – it can feel fairly unstable under about 30psi, and starts to show obvious wear on the carcass if you let it squirm around too much. That’s not a problem you want to provoke in tyres that cost this much for a pair. 

Even with small tread knobs its size means clearance is potentially an issue on a lot of cross-country frames, and on some of our bikes it’s rubbed the front mech cage on climbs too.

If it fits your bike and bank balance it’s a real speed-booster on fireroad or rough rock trails, which offsets a relatively chunky 707g weight. The slightly upsized knobs over the 2.2in version – plus the 3C triple compound – provide compliant grip. 

The significantly bigger side knobs bite better when you throw the Ikon on its shoulder hard on loose or loamy corners, too, which is a good job given the entry speeds it allows.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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