This year’s Taipei Cycle Show was the launching pad for several tyre brands with lots of new tyres of all shapes and sizes on display. Maxxis had the biggest debut, with more than a dozen completely new or refreshed models for 2016. BikeRadar also spotted new tyres from Onza, Vittoria, Vee Tire, and Michelin, too. Here’s a rundown of some of the fresh designs you’ll see on stores shelves soon.
New mountain bike trail, enduro, cross-country, and downhill treads
One of the highlights of the mountain bike side is the Maxxis Minion SS, which uses the same shoulder tread as the stalwart Minion DHF and DHR but a much lower-profile and more tightly packed center tread. The half-height tread is expected to still work reasonably well on harder surfaces, though, and should be a good match for anyone that likes to slide the rear end around through corners.
The Minion SS looks like it will be a fantastic rear tyre
Maxxis will offer the Minion SS in a 2.3in width and in 29, 27.5, and 26in (yes, a new 26in tyre!) diameters. A 27.5x2.5in-wide version will also be available with a reinforced casing and softer rubber compound for downhill applications. Target weight is 750g for the 27.5x2.3in size and 800g for the 29er.
The new Maxxis Griffin is aimed at gravity riders who primarily spend time on groomed terrain. The full-height knobs are heavily ramped for extra speed on hardpack but with an open tread pattern and extra-sticky MaxxGrip rubber for traction. Given that the Griffin is likely to see quite heavy abuse, Maxxis will build it with its full DH-specific, two-ply casing and will offer it in 26x2.4in and 27.5x2.4in sizes.
Spend most of your time in groomed terrain parks? Then the new Maxxis Griffin might be for you
Also DH-focused is the new tubeless-ready Maxxis Aggressor with full-height, non-ramped knobs spaced in a very open pattern for grip on loose surfaces. The DoubleDown casing uses a two-ply construction similar to that used on the company's full-blown downhill racing tyres, but with a softer 120tpi nylon fabric and folding aramid bead to save some weight. The Aggressor will be available solely in a 27.5x2.3in size.
The Maxxis Aggressor's open tread pattern is designed for loose conditions
Meanwhile, trail riders who struggle with grip on hardpack and loose-over-hardpack can look to the new Tomahawk. The heavily ramped, medium-height center knobs and progressively taller, flat-topped shoulder tread promise good grip and a fast roll on hard surfaces but the pattern is still quite open to help grip when things get loose. All of the knobs are also siped to provide more biting edges. This tyre will be made only in a 2.3in width but in 26, 27.5, and 29in wheel diameters.
The new Maxxis Tomahawk is purpose-built for hardpack
For cross-country riders, Maxxis has revamped two popular older tread designs. The new Crossmark II promises far better traction than the fast – but slippery – original with a slightly more open pattern throughout plus a heavily ramped and nearly continuous center tread that should be far more versatile. For now, this one will only be offered in a 27.5x2.25in size.
The old Larsen TT now becomes the Race TT, still with its distinct array of ramped knobs but with more sipes and new siping orientations to help improve grip. Given its racing intentions, the Race TT will only be available in 27.5x2.0in and 29x2.0in sizes.
The updated Maxxis Crossmark II looks like it will still be fast-rolling like the original but with much more grip
Onza’s big news wasn’t with fresh tread designs but rather new casing construction. The new tubeless-ready, 60tpi EDC casing uses a single-ply layout that’s lighter than the company’s full-blown dual-ply downhill racing tyres, but still with a bead-to-bead nylon reinforcement layer for added puncture and cut protection. Additionally, there’s extra butyl rubber near the folding aramid bead to ward off pinch flats.
Onza will feature EDC in the dry-conditions Citius, the all-conditions Ibex, and the wet-conditions Greina – all solely in a 27.5x2.4in size.
Onza's new EDC enduro-specific tyre casing features much of the toughness of a pure downhill tyre but with less weight
Geax tyres will now be badged under their Vittoria parent company name, offering three new tread designs for this year. The Peyote uses small, medium-height center and transition knobs for low rolling resistance when upright but more secure cornering traction. The Barzo, meanwhile, is aimed at more technically minded cross-country riders with a blockier tread design and more biting edges for surer grip over a wide range of lean angles. Finally, the Jafaki is the most aggressive of the three with ramped, full-height center and transition knobs, taller and very well reinforced shoulder blocks, and a very open pattern that should do well on loose terrain.
Geax tyres will now be known as Vittoria
Tioga had a new tread to show off, too. The 27.5x2.1in FasTrack is aimed squarely at cross-country racers with its tightly packed array of small, flat-topped knobs. It’s light at 570g (claimed) and looks to be blisteringly fast – but also potentially sketchy on anything other than hardpack.
The Tioga FasTrack looks super fast - but maybe a little sketchy, too
Fattening up for the winter (and beyond)
Maxxis has taken its iconic Maxxis DHR and DHF mountain bike tyres and adapted them for fat bikes. Just like with the standard versions, the new front-specific Minion FBF is designed for extra braking and cornering grip while the FBR is primarily aimed at drive traction. Knob shapes are very similar to the standard Minions, too, but with an additional set of center knobs to fill in the space created by the extra-wide casing. Maxxis will start with just a 26x4.8in size for now but says a 4.0in variant is coming later.
The legendary Maxxis Minion goes fat!
While Maxxis intends for the new Minion FBF/FBR combo for all-around use, the new Colossus is all about packed snow and ice. The spike-like knobs are designed to punch into frozen ground while lots of crisscrossed sipes help with grip on ice. Maxxis also says the rubber compound is specifically designed so as to remain pliable in cold temperatures. Both 4.0in and 4.8in-wide versions will be available, both in 26in diameters.
The new Maxxis Colossus is all about snow and ice
Finally, last year’s Maxxis Chronicle 29+ tyre gets a new 27.5+ version with the same tightly packed, low-profile tread pattern that promises excellent grip in loose conditions but still with a reasonably fast roll.
Vee Tire is banking heavily on fat bikes with one of the most comprehensive lineups in the industry. New for this year is a variant of the 26x4.8in Snowshoe XL built with a ‘pure silica’ rubber that the company says offers outstanding traction not only on snow and ice but also wet roots and rocks – plus it supposedly sheds mud and slush better than more traditional compounds. Retail price will be US$150.
Vee Tire says its new 'pure silica' compound is ideally suited for winter and wet conditions
Vee Tire isn’t sitting idly by the ‘plus’ movement, either, with three new sizes of the versatile Trax Fatty. Come May, that tyre will be offered in a voluminous 27.5x3.25in size with additional 2.8in and 3.0in options to follow. Claimed weights are around 720-770g depending on size, and prices will vary from US$110-120.
Finally, there’s the new FatBNimble from Panaracer, with a versatile-looking, medium-height tread design that looks to take good advantage of the blown-up footprints. Panaracer will offer the FatBNimble in 26x4.0in, 27.5x3.5in, and 29x3.0in sizes. Retail prices range from US$80-90 for the higher-end 120tpi versions with folding beads. More economical versions with steel beads and 60tpi casings will be available, too, and Panaracer says more fat bike tyres are pending.
Panaracer's new FatBNimble series
More options for road and gravel
Still say gravel racing and riding isn’t really a thing? Tyre makers at the Taipei show apparently think otherwise.
The new 40mm-wide Maxxis Refuse clincher uses a fine diamond tread pattern for outright speed, a tubeless-ready casing, and two layers of puncture protection under the tread to help it survive to the finish line. Meanwhile, the Rambler gets a more aggressive tread for better grip but just one layer of reinforcement since there’s more rubber thickness.
The new Maxxis Rambler gravel tyre
Meanwhile, Panaracer showed off the new 38mm-wide Comet Hardpack, built with a tough 60tpi casing, a very low-profile and tightly spaced knob pattern, and a folding aramid bead. Retail price is a bargain at just US$36.
On the road, there’s the 28mm-wide Maxxis Velocita tubular aimed at Roubaix-style events that require more air volume and extra protection. The 120tpi nylon casing is reinforced with a layer of Kevlar under the tread but plus an additional layer of nylon throughout. For wet weather, there’s the 25mm-wide Relix tubular with a fine tread pattern and a higher silica content for extra grip.
Maxxis is getting more serious about road tubulars
Finally, Maxxis and Michelin showed off higher-volume versions of two popular road treads. Both the tubeless-ready Maxxis Padrone TR and the Michelin Pro4 Endurance will now come in wider 28mm sizes.