Words by: Max Morgan
Maxxis has been the leader in mountain bike tire performance and innovation for years and years now. The development team at Maxxis is constantly refining their complete lineup of mountain bike tires. They offer a tire for every rider, every bike, and every type of terrain. Today we are taking a look at the Maxxis Rekon tire, Maxxis' attempt at an aggressive xc / trail tire. We've had our guy Max Morgan riding the Rekon tire in western North Carolina for about 4 weeks now and thought it would be a good time to get his thoughts. The trail conditions in North Carolina during the winter months vary tremendously. With anything from thick mud, dry sand, to large rock slabs, having a tire ready to battle any type of terrain is key.
The Rekon is Maxxis' attempt at an aggressive xc/trail tire aimed at at intermediate and technical terrain. The Rekon's wide spread smaller knobs are inspired by the Maxxis Ikon tire. The wider center knobs are designed to give you control under braking and also feature a ramped leading edge to reduce rolling resistance. The alternating L-shaped cornering knobs take some inspiration from the popular Maxxis DHF tire and are there to provide cornering support when pushing hard through the turns.
Maxxis is known for offering a wide variety of different rubber compounds and casing constructions. Because the Maxxis Rekon is intended for trail use, it is only offered in the EXO and EXO+ casing. Depending on the wheel size, the Rekon is available in a 2.25", 2.4"WT, and 2.6"WT widths. The tire is also offered in the 3C Maxx Speed, 3C Maxx Terra, and Dual rubber compounds. Keep in mind that each of the different rubber compounds and casings aren't available in every size option.
The tire being used for this review is the Maxxis Rekon 29" x 2.4WT with EXO casing and and 3C Maxx Terra rubber compound. I will be mounting the Rekon as a rear tire only and will be using a Maxxis DHR II tire up front. Because of the Rekon's smaller overall lug size, I thought it would be better suited in the rear. For trails and conditions that are more aggressive, I prefer something like the Maxxis DHF or DHR II mounted in the front.
For this review, I will be riding a Santa Cruz Hightower featuring 140mm rear wheel travel and a Fox 36 fork using 160mm of travel. This particular bike is running on a set of 29" Industry Nine Enduro 305 System wheels, Sram XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain, Avid Code brakes, and a full Deity cockpit.
I got the chance ride the Rekon tire in a variety of different conditions. For the times when the trail was muddy, wet, and covered in leaves, the Rekon struggled a bit to find grip. Just as I expected in those kinds of conditions, the Rekon didn't quite have the same bite compared to something like the Maxxis DHR II or Maxxis Aggressor. Riding in wet clay, the Rekon was quicker to pack up with mud compared to some other tires. Other times when the trails were dry with more of a sandy base, the Rekon tire really made the bike come alive and feel exciting! The slightly rounder profile and combination of tire lugs on the Rekon made the tire accelerate quickly out of corners while still providing plenty of traction during braking. After riding the Rekon for about a month, I was overall impressed and think the tire punches much higher than its intended weight class.
I see the Rekon suiting two different types of riders. If you are more of a cross country rider that isn't necessarily racing, the Rekon I think would make for a great front tire. Paired with something like the Maxxis Ikon or Maxxis Aspen tire in the rear, the Rekon is aggressive enough to handle your typical cross country loops. If you are someone that enjoys bigger mountain trail riding, on ideal terrain the Rekon will do great as a rear tire. For me personally, I am someone that will choose to give up rolling efficiency for more grip. The trails I tend to ride most of the time are rugged, unpredictable, and loose and so having a tire for the job can make all the difference. With that said, in dryer conditions where the trail was fast and rough, the Rekon really came to life.
At the end of the day, you want a tire that suits the riding conditions you will be riding most of the time. If you are riding in southern California where the trails are dry, rocky, and for the most part predictable, the Maxxis Rekon will make a great tire for you. If you are living in the pacific north west where it's mandatory to ride with a mud guard all year round, the Rekon might be a little under gunned for that fight.
The Maxxis Rekon tire really made the bike feel fun, fast, and exciting when the trail was dry and a bit more predictable. The Rekon kept the bike feeling like it was snappy out of corners and rolling with ease. When the trails become muddy, wet, and covered with leaves, the Rekon didn't quite deliver the same bite I would want from my rear tire. If you are someone that is riding more cross country trails or riding aggressive trails in places like Utah or southern California, you won't regret giving the Maxxis Rekon tire a try.
This article was written / authored by Max Morgan. Max has been a professional downhill mountain bike racer for the last 10 years, competing in the UCI World Cup downhill series and U.S. Pro GRT series. Having ridden all different kinds of bikes on trails all over the world, Max's experiences being out on the circuit give him a unique perspective on what makes for a quality cycling component. Max also has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, and so if you don't see out on the trail, chances are he is probably in the garage tinkering on the next project.