Maxxis Ikon KEV 3C EXC EXO 29x2.35in tyre £58

Fast, tough mountain bike race tyre

BikeRadar score 4/5

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.

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