By Scott Williams and Helena Kotala
At this point, it’s no secret that the next big tire trend will be widths in between “normal” and “plus,” so much of the latest and greatest at Interbike revolved around 2.6 inch wide treads. Will this be the happy medium that many of us are searching for? We’ll just have to see.
Lately, Maxxis has been pumping out tires left and right it and it does not seem that they’ll be slowing anytime soon. On the cross country end, the Aspen 29×2.25 was released earlier this year and now the Race TT will be available in 29×2.2. Another new addition, though, likely more directed towards a rowdier crowd will be an Ikon 29×2.35 with Double Down casing
Previously only available in 27plus, the Rekon will now be available in 29×2.6, 29×2.4 Wide Trail (WT) and 29×2.25. The Rekon 27plus was quite a crowd pleaser in a wide variety of terrain with its wide knobs down the center and mid sized cornering knobs, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few 29ers spec’d with Rekon’s in the future. Furthermore, the Ardent Race which was only a 29er tire previously, will now be available as 27.5×2.6 and the Forekastor will soon be available as a 29×2.6.
Lastly, the Aggressor and High Roller II both received the WT treatment and will be available in 29×2.5 WT and with Double Down casing. And, for those little rippers out there, Maxxis has now produced a 24×2.4 Minion DHF with 120 TPI.
After two years in the making, Schwalbe releases it’s new ADDIX line which takes the Evolution (EVO) tires and adds new compounds to aid in the tires long term performance. ADDIX is the work of Markus Hachmeyer, head developer and Wolfgang Arenez, head compounder. There are four distinct compounds: Speed for cross country race, Speedgrip which is more of a universal compound for general trail riding, Soft for enduro and downhill and Ultra Soft with additional low-temperature properties.
Along with new compounds, Schwalbe also has added a few new tires to the mix. The Magic Mary will be available in 27.5×2.8 with either the ADDIX Speedgrip or Soft compound. This tire is meaty AF and looks more like something Ryan Dungey would be running on his 450cc. Rock Razor is now offered in 27.5×2.6 with ADDIX Speedgrip casing and Nobby Nic has joined the increasing 29×2.6 crowd as well.
The newest addition to bare the legendary Nevegal name, the Nevegal 2 will be available in 2.6 and 2.4 widths for both 29 inch and 27plus. The tire features an all new tread pattern, the new Advanced Trail Casing (ATC) for added flat protection and the new Enduro – Dual Tread Compound (EN-DTC) for less rolling resistance. Oh, and it’s E-bike approved for usage up to 50km/h.
Kenda has also added 2.6 and 2.4 sizes in 29 inch and 27plus to its cross country marathon tire, the Saber. The Saber offers minimal rolling resistance in Kenda’s R3C casing. Roger Hernandez, mtb/bmx marketing manager also shared that Kenda is currently working on a “fast roller” project that should present itself around Sea Otter 2018.
The PanDura is a new enduro race tire featuring a Triple Compound rubber to provide extra grip while cornering and Anti-Flat Plus casing designed to protect against punctures at all speeds. This casing reinforces the tire at critical areas, especially the bead, to help prevent both punctures and pinch flats. The Pandura is currently available in 27.5 x 2.4 sizing but Panaracer plans on releasing more sizes in 2018.
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