Why are Maxxis tires so popular?

They underperform on rolling resistance and puncture resistance vs comparable tires according to the following website (updated with some new info, including on the Maxxis Aspens)


Is their braking performance and grip sufficiently better than other tires to compensate? Or is it a simply question of great marketing and distribution?

Not sure about their racier tires, but I ride Maxxis on my mtb for predictable handling and the lack of flats. Granted, I run Minion DHF front and Rekon+ rear which are pretty meaty. I don’t ride any crazy trails but on my 27.5+ 150mm hardtail with flat pedals, they’re super fun for getting rowdy on standard xc trails. First to admit that I’m a roadie and rolling resistance and weight hold zero importance to me on my 30lb steel mtb. It’s just for fun.

I was sponsored by the years ago on the road and will say I never got so many flats in one season of racing… hopefully they’ve improved on that.

Schwalbe fan here…never cared much for Maxxis…ran Ikon’s for a while and had lots of scary moments and flats. Alot of people will bag on Schwalbe but I have had great luck with them. I usually run a Rocket Ron in the rear and Nobby Nic up front…not the greatest rolling resistance but tons of traction.


I use Vittoria Mezcals for XC and Maxxis DHF/Aggressor for all mountain. Personally I hated Aspens but have used Ikons and Recons and thought they were fine.

At this point I think all of the major brands are very good and it comes down to personal preferences. Schwalbe just got a bad rep because in years past they were known to puncture more easily. Also I’ve heard friends complain that they wear down really fast.

Running Maxxis DHF in the front and DHR II in the rear. I love this combo. I never tried anything other than Maxxis so cannot comment but I tend to focus on changing things that don’t work well. The tires aren’t part of this category.

I run a Minion DHF and Ardent Race combo on my mtb. They came with it and I’ve never needed anything else.

Same on my gravel bike. Came with Ramblers, and I recommend them to everyone. Super performance on both gravel and road.

Never had a flat on any of the 4.

I’m enormously skeptical of the applicability of those rolling resistance tests to how mountain bike tyres perform out on the trails.


Same here. I have tried a few Maxxis tires, including the Crossmark 1 & 2. The braking performance was really, really bad compared to the equivalent Schwalbes. I don’t know whether it is the tread patterns fault or attributable to the rubber compound, but the end result is the same. They did make a tire I kinda liked, the Treadlite, but they have discontinued it. It is great as long as you use it what it was meant for.

I currently ride the exact same combo, and I really, really like it. You can obviously get lower rolling resistance tires from Schwalbe, if that is your thing (e. g. Thunderburt in the rear and Rocket Ron in the front).

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Agree. Kinda like bikes. Hard to make a bad choice.

That’s why it’s so striking how popular Maxxis tires are (in spite of the above mentioned “objective” data on rolling resistance and puncture resistance):

When I started mountain biking over a decade ago, Maxxis tyres were very popular. The original High Roller was the go-to tyre in my country, maybe with a Minion up front if you were riding steep or loose trails. At the time, Scwhalbe and Conti tyres were more expensive (even when a new generation of online bike shops started to emerge with cheaper prices than your LBS) and weren’t as grippy. That doesn’t seem to be the case any more, but it left a legacy of riders who prefer and recommend Maxxis.

As others have said, I don’t think rolling resistance is as important as grip. That reflects tread design and compound without considering grip under different circumstances. An Ardent rolls quick but won’t grip nearly as much as a Minion.

I have no idea. Probably because a lot of very talented riders use Maxxis and they come pre-installed on a ton of bikes?

I’ve tried Ardent Race/Ikon since they came with my new 2020 Oiz but I can say that I’m not thrilled by their performance in wet/muddy conditions. I know I know, they’re not supposed to be used in those condiitions but IF it starts pouring in a race I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Ran Vittoria Barzo last winter with great results and my usual race combo is Rocket Ron/Racing Ralph however this year changed to Racing Ray/Racing Ralph. No issues there either.

Probably as @grenhall states.

I run with the Bontrager XR series - XR4/3 in winter and either XR3/2 or XR2/1 in summer depending on what I’ve got lying around. Most are the “team issue”. I did have a Maxxis Ardent on the back of my hardtail when I first got that bike but didn’t get on with it so swapped it out. As one LBS commented to me: “If they (Bontragers) had Maxxis written on the side we’d never sell anything else!”.

I’ve been lazy and not swapped out my summer tyres for the winter combo yet, I don’t know what the American term for it is but we’ve had quite a bit of rain so the top cm or so of our local area is slop* and the XR2 on the back is handling it quite well especially given that the tread’s somewhat worn.

I suppose it’s what you get used to, anything outside the normal variation tends to feel “wrong”.

*we Brits have rather a lot of terms for mud :roll_eyes:

Simple, because they are good!

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price lower and Nino Schurter rides on Maxxis

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I think it’s fair to question the applicability of lab tests to outside conditions. That said, I do think there is some value in these results.

Example - for a race like Leadville (where grip is not as important as in an XC race), I would not choose a Maxxis tire as there are other brands with generally better (lab tested) rolling and puncture resistance.

I think the applicability of the tests on road bike tires from this website are better than MTB tires.

Good reasons. Although looks like Schurter’s Aspens are different than the ones tested here - at least in tread pattern.

Yes, likely quicker than a Minion, but it’s on the slow end of the scale for the tires tested here (at least, the version of the Ardent tested here).

E.g. 35W rolling resistance for an Ardent, vs 25W for a Schwalbe Racing Ralph.

Yeah - I also use the XR4 and 3s. I’ve been a bit disappointed with the tread life on the new XR3s. The small knobs wear out very quickly. Would be nice to see the Bontragers tested on this setup.

Tires are pretty location specific, maybe even trail specific because the ground varies a lot where I live. But I’d never run Maxxis on my mtb till I moved where I am now but I switched to running Ikons because they seem to be the most common here and they’ve served me well.

But I run tires here on all my bikes I’d probably never have bought when I lived in other places…

The versions of these tires tested here seem to do pretty well on rolling resistance.

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