Rolling weight is one of the most important factors on 29in wheels. The new Maxxis hoops use armoured EXOcasing, which allows use of a carcass so light we wondered if ours were actually unridable prototypes – luckily they weren’t.
The average weight for a decent 29er tyre is around 800g – our 2in Beavers are 500g each. Using a 70a compound base with 60a compound on the knobbles for improved grip, the open tread pattern is designed for loose and muddy conditions and does the job of maintaining traction very well.
The shoulders are square enough to cut into the ground and offer good support, and the pattern is similar to cut spike tyres. We’ve been running our tyres in a multitude of different muds – from rooty and sloppy to thick, claggy stuff – and they perform brilliantly.
Forward traction and braking is consistent and, although not as good as a more paddle-based design, they still roll quickly and more importantly, clear well. You don’t want to be riding big wheels clogged with mud – the extra rotating weight is hideous. Despite the casing being exceptionally light, we haven’t yet managed to puncture or pinch ours.