The Magic Mary is the only tyre here that actually measures up to the width quoted on the side. At 2.35in exactly, it’s also the biggest. The SuperGravity casing uses really stiff sidewalls that rebound from big impacts very slowly, giving a stuck-down feel. The top of the tyre is nice and supple though, so it feels far less wooden over trail chatter than many beefy tyres. This means lower rolling resistance, less fatigue and more traction.
It’s pressure-sensitive and can feel harsh if run too hard, but the sidewalls offer plenty of support as low as 20psi. It’s heavy too but has proven incredibly puncture-proof while rolling resistance is not too bad considering the grip. The TrailStar compound is not actually that soft, but heavily siped, deep tread blocks claw up tenacious traction regardless — only e*thirteen’s TRSr sticks better on rocks and roots.
It’s on muddy and loose ground that the Mary really shines. The spiky, slightly ramped centre tread generates superb braking grip, while tall, well-supported shoulder blocks dig up unsurpassed cornering bite.
Though it’s a bit too square on really wide rims, it allowed us to rail turns on our 25mm wheels with huge confidence and later braking than any other tyre. It will clog up slightly easier than a Shorty in pure slop, but the Mary is equally at home on rock, dust, gravel and roots.
Seb's been riding and racing mountain bikes for half his life. Since getting hooked on mountain bikes aged thirteen riding a tiny 24Seven Crosser, he's raced downhill, enduro and cross country, and while no athlete, still enters the occasional race. Seb studied experimental physics at university, and he's now happily using (wasting) his degree experimenting with different bike setups, trying to work out what works best and why. You'll often find him riding the same track ten times in a day, changing just one thing to pin down the differences. Seb's much happier back-to-back testing suspension on a wet Welsh hillside than riding the latest five-figure bikes on some sunny press trip - although he quite likes that too!