[Video] Maxxis Tire Guide: Which Maxxis Tire Is Right For You? (One Stop Shop)


This article is here to help you further understand all of the available mountain bike offerings from Maxxis tires. Here you will find a breakdown of the different casing designs and rubber compounds, along with other helpful information on Maxxis mountain bike tires.

The mountain bike tire is the only contact point between the rider and the ground, and therefore it is crucial in finding the correct tire for the job. Before picking the right tire to fit your needs, first think about the different terrain you may be riding on, and what type of bike the tire will be going on. Varying trail conditions, tire life longevity, maximizing grip, and minimizing rolling resistance are also important features to understanding all of the tire options from Maxxis.

Maxxis Tire Guide video blogWorldwide Cyclery rider Max Morgan piloting the Maxxis High Roller II 3C Maxx Grip at the Mountain Creek Spring Classic.

1.) Available Tire Casings

The tire casing is the main body of the tire, not including the tread of the tire. The casing may sometimes be referred to as the sidewall and provides the puncture protection for the tire.  Varying casing options use different constructions with different thicknesses and rubber durometers for their intended use.  The bead of the tire is the part of the tire that physically hooks on to the rim and can be made from different materials, changing its strength, durability, and weight. Let’s break down the different Maxxis tire casings: 

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SINGLE PLY - A single ply casing is one layer of nylon that joins to the bead.

  • Advantages: More conforming to the trail surface and minimal weight.
  • Disadvantages: More vulnerable to tears and punctures.
  • Intended Use: Trail and cross country style riding.

DUAL PLY - A dual ply casing uses two layers of nylon material.

  • Advantages: Added sidewall stiffness and puncture protection.
  • Disadvantages: Added weight.
  • Intended use: Options for downhill and enduro style riding.

EXO PROTECTION - Exo protection is a casing option that offers additional cut and abrasion resistance to select mountain bike tires.

  • Exo is best used with trail riding applications where riders are looking for a tire with decent puncture protection without the additional weight of a dual ply casing.
  • Most popular on bikes with 100mm to 150mm of wheel travel.

DOUBLE DOWN - Double Down is Maxxis’ newest casing offering that is aimed to suit the needs of enduro riding and racing.

  • This casing provides some of the advantages of a downhill tire with added sidewall stiffness and puncture protection while maintaining a lighter overall weight.
  • Most popular on bikes with 150mm to 180mm of wheel travel.

DOWNHILL - The downhill casing provides the ultimate tire stiffness and toughness.

  • These casings use a reinforced dual ply sidewall, a wire bead, and a butyl insert, designed to meet the demands of the roughest conditions out there.
  • Most popular on bikes with 180mm to 220mm of wheel travel.

2.) Available Rubber Compounds

Choosing the correct rubber compound is a crucial part of the design process when trying to create the most efficient tire possible. The different rubber compound offerings can be broken down into two sub categories; single compound and dual compound. A single compound tire is suited for those riders looking to maximize the longevity of their tires. A dual compound tire places harder or softer durometer rubber throughout specific areas on the tire to achieve a desired characteristic. Listed below are some of the popular compound offerings from Maxxis.

3C TRIPLE COMPOUND - 3C technology is the most popular compound from Maxxis. 3C uses a harder base layer and two different softer compounds on the center knobs and cornering knobs.

    • Most commonly used on cross country bikes to maximize rolling speed and tire longevity.
    • Most commonly used on trail and enduro bikes. Made with softer compounds than the 3C Maxx Terra for better cornering grip while maintaining an efficient rolling speed.
    • Most commonly used on downhill bikes, using the softest rubber compound that Maxxis offers in order to maximize trail grip in all conditions.

SUPER TACKY - Super tacky tires is a single compound tire that is most commonly paired with a downhill casing from Maxxis.

  • Soft rubber compound (42 durometer) used for a dead tire feel and great grip.

3.) Popular Tread Patterns

While finding the correct tread pattern is very dependent on the terrain and the given trail conditions, it comes down to personal preference. Listed below are some of the most popular tread options from Maxxis. 

Cross Country

  • Crossmark II, Ikon, Race TT

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  • Ardent, Aggressor, High Roller II, Minion SS

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  • Shorty, Minion DHR II, High Roller II, Minion DHF

 Maxxis Tire Guide video blog


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Written by Max Morgan

April 13, 2018

Bike Knowledge › Maxxis › Product Overview › video ›

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