Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR tyre review

The long-running Crossmark II is a tyre for going extremely fast in dry conditions

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Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £50.00 RRP | USD $61.00 | EUR €54.00
Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR mountain bike tyre

Our review

For ultimate speed in dry conditions the Crossmark II delivers lots of pace, but it’s handicapped on wet trails and heavy for an XC race tyre
Pros: Reasonably quick with impressive straight-line speed and cornering bite in dry conditions; reinforced sidewall shrugs off rocks and knocks well
Cons: Clogs quickly in the mud; doesn’t shed slop well
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The Maxxis Crossmark II is designed for maximum straight-line speed and low rolling resistance, and excels best in dry conditions where going fast is all that matters.

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The original tyre was developed for Olympic champion Christoph Sauser, but has since been updated to provide more control while maintaining the same speedy demeanour.

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR 29 x 2.25in details

Its distinctive tread pattern has been developed to ensure it provides better cornering traction than the original Crossmark.

The tread has ramped central blocks that should serve up good braking traction and ramped intermediary blocks that should help to provide a predictable transition to the square shoulder blocks, which are interspersed with siped blobs.

The optional EXO casing should have better sidewall cut resistance and it’s available in a choice of 26in, 27.5in and 29in sizes, and 2.1in or 2.25in widths, with folding beads and dual compound across the range.

Great for…

  • Using as a rear tyre
  • Straight-line speed in dry conditions
  • Pairing with a chunkier front tyre for rougher trails

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR 29 x 2.25in performance

The Crossmark has long been a popular tyre with XC racers that want fast rolling rubber for dry and loose conditions, and it certainly delivers on this promise with a startling pace on the trail.

The very tightly packed ramped blocks ensure it’s blistering fast in a straight line, and cornering grip has been improved over the first generation Crossmark with the ramped transitional blocks interspersed with square and round knobs along the top of the sidewall.

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR mountain bike tyre
Those tightly packed ramped blocks make for a blistering fast tyre in a straight line.
David Arthur / Immediate Media

However, the transition from the centre to shoulder of the tyre is not the most progressive when cornering and can let go if the trail is damp or soft.

That means it’s best saved for scorched dry trails because when you encounter mud or wet roots it does lose grip. In the dry it’s another matter and they performed best on baked hardpack trails with a light coating of dust.

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR mountain bike tyre
The tyre is best suited to dry trail conditions.
David Arthur / Immediate Media

Even though the Crossmark II is fairly quick rolling, it’s still not as rapid as a Bontrager XR2 or Schwalbe Racing Ralph.

The 771g weight is also on the high side for an XC race tyre, but if you’re trail riding and want a fast rolling rear option with the security of the EXO casing, the Crossmark II might well suit you. It also proved easy to set up tubeless on my DT Swiss XR1501 control wheels.

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Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR 29 x 2.25in bottom line

A reasonably quick tyre in dry conditions, but unpredictable in the damp and a bit on the heavy side for an XC racer. However, the EXO casing makes it a good rear tyre option for trail riders.

How we tested

We pitted 10 of the best cross-country-style tyres against each other to find out which we think is worth your time and money.

Also tested

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €54.00GBP £50.00USD $61.00
Weight 771g (29x2.25in)
Brand Maxxis

Features

Features Compound: Dual compound
Casing: EXO TR 60 TPI
TPI 60