Tires Reviews and News


Sea Otter Goodies: Five products that caught our eye


Here are five intriguing goodies that we happened upon during our time in California: new pedals, tires, sealant, a hitch rack, and a bunch of carbon wheels.

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Maxxis Assegai tire delivers big traction


Maxxis has collaborated with downhill racing legend Greg Minnaar to create a new high traction tire.

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Panaracer Romero all-mountain tire on way


Dominating gravel tires in recent years, Panaracer is using their rubber technology knowledge to develop a new all-mountain tire.

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Vittoria Air-Liner tire insert launched


There’s yet another player getting into the MTB tire insert game. This time it’s Vittoria, which launched the Air-Liner at the Sea Otter Classic.

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Kenda unveils new MTB casings and compounds


Kenda Tire continues the revision of its tire line with the release of two new mountain bike tire casings and compounds, and the debut of a streamlined icon system.

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New Terrene Chunk 2.6 trail tire for trail and enduro use


The Terrene Chunk 2.6” tire is designed around a wide variety of trail conditions and tested to ensure that it works in the real world.

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  • Mickey says:

    What’s the point of making this announcement if you can’t buy the product? I need some new 2.5/6 tires, and I’d love to run something new to market. How about some Goodyear’s or Terrene’s. Nope. Pre-order only. Oh well. I need tires now, Maybe next year. Oh right by then I’ll have forgotten Terrene even exists.

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Goodyear launches new line of bicycle tires


Best known for its promotional blimps and extensive line of automotive tires, Goodyear has joined other major tire manufacturers by introducing a line of tires for the two-wheel, human-powered set.

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Vittoria Barzo tire review


Vittoria’s Barzo is ready to take on technical cross-country trails and extreme conditions. And it can win an XC race as well.

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Cush Core – What is it and what do users think about it?


But does it work? Is the extra weight noticeable? Does it make the bike feel differently when out on the trail? All of these questions and more have been answered by Skills with Phil.

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  • Justin says:

    How do they justify $160/pair? It’s foam. Hopefully a competitor will come out and undercut this nonsense.

    • MTB4me says:

      And hopefully you are pleased with your 1997 Huffy that you found “undercutting” the “nonsense” bike you should have paid for….What nonsense it right!

    • Phil Kmetz says:

      Justin, Economies of scales. Let’s say a mould for this product costs $100,000 (100% wild guess). If 100,000 people were to buy it, the cost of the mould across all the customers and would come down to $1 each (assuming they buy one single CushCore). 100,000 customers is most likely unrealistic, CushCore a very niche product for a specific group of riders willing. A more realistic estimation is that ~5,000 people will buy this product. That would bring the cost up to 20 dollars per person. This doesn’t factor in extra valves, raw material costs, office space, operating expenses, labor, R&D, distribution, marketing, and profit margin. Hopefully that helps clarify why a “piece of foam” can be so expensive.

  • Steve says:

    Phil,
    How long did it take to install the cushcore in real time not including adding Stan’s and airing up ?

    • Phil Kmetz says:

      Steve, the first time it took nearly 40 minutes because it was a new procedure. Now it takes me 10-15 minutes, it’s bit more involved than a standard tubeless tire install.

  • Kenny Roberts says:

    MSRP is actually $149 before tax.

  • Joe says:

    I agree, they are expensive — this is a small company and it seems they are attempting to recover their development costs.
    Same questions apply: How does Apple justify $1000 for a phone? How does Cromag justify $4400 for a Steel Hardtail? It is dictated by what the market will allow. Is it worth $160 to protect your $2000 carbon wheelset? Some people might think so.

  • EyeKickBooty says:

    Here is a concept: run this stuff called air in your tires instead of $150 worth of pipe insulation.

  • Josh Robinson says:

    After seeing this I’m tempted to cut a pool noodle in half and put it in my tires to see if I can save $160.

  • Troy says:

    FFS, people, keep your mouth shut (including me now). No one cares about your opinion unless you’ve used them. STFU already, whiny cheap skates.

  • Bill says:

    I have been running Cush Core for about one year. It definitely does mellow out the harsh hits your wheelset would normally be taking. You get a nice soft thud instead of a high pitched smack. I agree that these will definitely help people from ruining rims (both carbon and aluminum) and will save you money on cut tires. Im definitely not having as many sliced tires as before.
    The big thing everyone is talking about…. price. And weight to a lesser degree.
    yes, seemingly expensive for what it is. I do believe they will save the aggressive rider $160 in equipment, but should that be the determiner of price? Im sure there are up-front design and production expenses that are being recouped. I wonder if when those expenses are recovered we might see a more reasonable price for the average consumer.
    I am disappointed they added 1lb to the rotating weight of my bike at the very outer edge of the rotation. I can absolutely feel it. It now makes me want to build a lighter weight all mountain bike for the real “pedaly” days.
    Obviously the trade off is price and weight for more ease of mind and less money in repairs. If you ride aggressive and shuttle more than you pedal, Id say you’ll find this a very good addition to your bike.

  • Brian says:

    I do like it as it helps with cornering, smooths out harder hits, and protects the rim well but I just wish it were like 30 or so grams lighter per insert. Going from Schwalbe ProCore to CushCore, I could really notice the weight difference which makes the bike less playful. Surely they can find away to chisel away some extra weight? Make it a bit lighter and it’ll be perfect!

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VEE Tire Co. going green with eco-friendly enterprise


As part of their new 2018 Responsible for Recycling Program, VEE Tire Co. has collaborated with Tube Thailand to create unique key rings made solely from recycled tires.

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Kenda all in on e-bike tires


Tire maker has further strengthened its e-bike compatible line of tires, including added offerings in multiple mountain bike categories as well as urban/trekking models.

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Vee launches Factory version of Flow Snap


Vee Tire Co. is now offering an updated version of its Flow Snap gravity and enduro tires. The new Factory version continues to benefit from the super tacky rubber compound that’s known for its grip.

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Michelin Wild Enduro and Power Gravel tires launched


Mtbr spotted several exciting new tires from Michelin at Frostbike 2018, including a new enduro model and their highly anticipated Power Gravel offering.

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  • John Williams says:

    I don’t get this gravel brainwash.
    Friends decent MTB riders more XC scared of steeps, glued to ground.
    For yrs never talked tires or grip, nothing of the sort. Sorta weird.
    Now they’re 50+ yrs too much money gravel comes around perfect timing.
    Now all they talk is gravel grip this gravel width gravel gravel that non-stop.
    Multiple wheel sets tires and trading tires like hockey cards.

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Hans Rey joins Vittoria tire team


Famed MTB adventurer and trials star to serve as brand ambassador and assist Vittoria in tire testing and development.

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Bontrager Team Issue XR1 TLR tires review


Forward thinking tread design gives Bontrager’s XR1 wider sweet spot than just cross country racing.

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  • Tom says:

    Agree. Surprising tire. These came on my Procaliber, and I almost didn’t ride them (usual combo is XR2/XR3).

    I’m glad I did. They are faster than the XR2s, but seem to have just as much grip. Stuck with the XR3 up front, though.

  • Teleken says:

    Looks like a Specialized Fast-Trak with smaller shoulder knobs.

  • Flynbryan19 says:

    Sadly I did not have the same positive experience. Perhaps since they were original equipment on my bike (17′ Trek Top Fuel) they are a harder rubber compound… The tire is “reasonably light” and it is a very fast rolling tire. The down side for me though was traction in loose over hard (which an XC tire should be designed for) was very poor. Even with pressures as low as 20/23 front/rear respectively they have very poor traction on the climbs. They would also wash out suddenly and never catch in corners w/ the same conditions. I will say traction in damp dirt was great though. Again why I think it maybe a rubber compound issue?

    Went to a Schwalbe Rocket Ron / Racing Ralph combo and traction is MUCH improved. Also dropped rotational weight. Win/Win. They’re not a “bad” OE tire, but I would not recommend buying them to replace existing tires. There are much better options.

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Kenda opens bicycle tire test track at Ohio R&D facility


Kenda’s new testing facility in Ohio took inspiration from the Sea Otter Classic XC course, and allows for a controlled environment and consistent, repeatable tire testing.

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Vittoria 2018 tires sneak peek


Vittoria continues to invest in the their mountain bike offerings. Here’s some highlights from the growing brand.

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  • jc says:

    What’s the weights of these fancy treads? Thinking Martello front / Morsa rear might be pretty darn great. Better than my HRII front / Rekon+ rear combo though?

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Hot new wheels, tires, and hubs from Interbike 2017


Check out the latest wheels, hubs, tires, and more from Industry Nine, Maxxis, Onyx, MRP, and Wolf Tooth.

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VEE Tire Crown Gem Junior launched


VEE Tire Co. has announced the release of the Crown Gem Junior, a new tire for the junior category created specifically for children’s riding safety.

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Maxxis Interbike 2017


The highly-regarded tire maker continues to expand its popular Wide Trail lineup with new versions of the Rekon, Forekaster, Ardent Race, Aggressor, High Roller II, and more.

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Maxxis adds host of new MTB tire sizes


Maxxis has once again upped its number of available tires/sizes, with plus tires getting ‘normal’ size options, narrow cross country rubber getting wider, and more.

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  • Highway Star says:

    “Maxxis has expanded the Minion DHF’s Wide Trail offerings to include 26×2.5WT”

    YES 26″ = YES SALE.

  • Highway Star says:

    The 26×2.5WT DHF should be pretty huge and as big as any practical rider needs. I’ve got a 26×2.5WT Shorty that is massive and a 26×2.4WT DHR2 that is nearly as big. I’ve been waiting for the 26×2.8 DHF/R2 to become available at retailers, but I doubt I’ll pick one up.

    The 2.5WT DHF 3C and 2.4WT DHR2 DC should be a great combo for all around rough riding.

  • Jason Smith says:

    I have 27.5 x 2.6 DHF and 27.5 x 2.6 Rekon on my Santa Cruz 5010. That combo works really well for my riding style on Pisgah and Dupont state forest trails in NC. Great traction, lower pressures, more confidence on rocky and rooty descents. When I put them on last month, it felt like it added a little bit of travel to my suspension.

  • jc says:

    Forekaster = IRC Mythos on roids

  • Willis says:

    Rekon in a 29 x 2.6? Did not see it on the site, but will anxiously wait!

  • LW says:

    Maxxis Minion 26 x 4.8s just shredded 36 miles of Bend singletrack and lava rocks over the 2 rides this past weekend. I was impressed they held up on the sharp rocks and the float/traction on the loose dusty sections was unreal. Fat Bikes all year long. Keep up the great tires.
    -LW

  • Dickachu says:

    maxxis 2,6 I beat its still going be smaller than continental 2.4

  • Brian McInnis says:

    THANKS MAXXIS!

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Terrene Cake Eater studdable fat bike tire launched


Terrene Tires has released its sixth tire model. The Cake Eater is a versatile, fast-rolling, studdable fat bike tire.

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Top 5 tubeless tire set-up mistakes


Tubeless tires are one of the greatest revolutions in mountain biking, but few bikes on the showroom floor are shipped ready to ride. Here’s how to (and not to) convert to tubeless.

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  • tyrebyter says:

    Good stuff. Soapy water is the most used tire lube, but not the right one. A proper tire lube e.g. RuGlyde, is the correct lube. Ask your professional mechanic. If he says soapy water, get a new professional mechanic.

  • Shred says:

    I’ve been tubless now for about 10years give or take, and I’ve never had to clean my valve stem nor have I ever had a clogged valve stem. I guess I’m lucky. I also don’t add or change the sealant for maintainence. I only add sealant if the tire starts to consistently loose air. More recently, I’ve found that I can even get away without running any sealant! Which saves me at least 4 ounces of rotating weight. With my current setup, I have LB 26+ 46mm, (40i) carbon rims, 12mm Stans tape, (only covers the spoke holes in the channel and won’t get messed up when mounting or dismounting tires) 1 wrap nice and tight. American Classic valve stem and 26×2.8 Maxxis DHRII 120tpi 3c EXO tires mounted dry with my compressor. They have held air and been ridden through everything for about 3 months now with no issues, until last week. I got a puncture in the rear. No problem, I just pull out my Stans valve core removal tool and squirt in 2oz of Stans that I keep in my pack, (Stans 2oz bottle, no syringe needed) reinstall valve core pump up and ride. Still no sealant in the front. Also, prior to mounting the 12mm rim tape, I throughly clean the inner rim surface with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. I also set the rims and tape out in the sun so they can warm up.The adhesive on the tape sticks better and the tape is more playable this way and will slightly stretch when pulled tight around the rim. This setup has been flawless for me thus far.

  • myke2241@earthlink.net says:

    i think a proper floor pump is critical. my air gauge is wack and caused me to add too much air blowing off the tire more than once. i only figured out what was going on after using a different pump.

  • gliderboy says:

    Newbie here who just went through process and has the problems freshly in mind. Many like me may have a more entry level bike without tubeless ready tires. No worries, this is not a problem if handled properly. In my case I used a non TR Maxxis Pace that was a disaster on my first time effort. Success with this non TR tire required removing the radial mold seams on the tire bead with some toe nail clippers. Secondly, my tubeless Presta valve interfered with the tire seating properly about it on my narrow 19mm inner width rim. To overcome this simply loosen and press the valve stem beyond the bead. Visually observe the bead and sidewall coming into place at the valve stem area then tightnen the stem down. Additionally, check the stem periodically during process to make sure is stays tight. The last critical bit was to spray a soapy solution at the bead and rubbing in onto the rim bead with a finger. Once you get a bead seat do the tire shake seen on many videos to distribute your sealant. These steps enabled me to make my first successful ghetto tubeless with even a super weak pathetic $5 floor pump. I have ridden it hard at only 22psi and checked it twice under water finding no leaks

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Can you run Maxxis Wide Trail tires on regular rims?


Are you shopping for new Maxxis tires, but not sure whether you need Wide Trail or regular width version? This interview will help clear things up.

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  • HEMIjer says:

    We need a 29×2.8 with Mid ramped fast rolling center knobs, mid transition knobs, and larger side knobs!

  • ColinL says:

    Great article and great pictures. The last picture of a standard tire on a wide rim is especially instructive. If only we could’ve had that on MTBR about 2 years ago when wide rims started their re-emergence. 🙂

  • Steve says:

    I own a Yeti SB5c with Derby rims. I put a Wide Trail DHF 2.5 on the front and absolutely love the benefits I get. However, there is no discussion here that recommends what “Wide Trail” tire to put on the rear. I was informed by Yeti customer service that the widest tire I can put on my rear rim is a 2.4. Why are there no 2.4 or other size rear WT tire offerings? Why would Maxxis spend so much time and money to produce only Wide Trail tires for the front and not the back??? Why doesn’t Maxxis recommend “Rear Specific Wide Trail Tires” on their website? In my opinion, Maxxis had made a critical error in not developing/recommending a category of rear specific Wide Trail tires. They are losing money from riders such as myself who would fall all over themselves trying to buy a rear specific Wide Trail tire.

    Can someone more knowledgeable about this subject than myself please inform me what rear tire I should buy to go with my wide Derby rim???

    • Shred says:

      Steve, Maxxis does make a rear specific WT tire in 27.5 X 2.4. It’s the DHRII, listed in the graphic above. The R in DHR is for rear, although it can still be used as a front and some people, myself included like it better than a DHF in the front. I run a DHRII front and rear and it’s great. Mine are 26 X 2.8 though.

  • Steve says:

    Shred, thanks for the update! However, I’m looking for a faster rolling tire like the Rekon in a 2.4 size. Too bad they don’t make it in that size. I’ll have to look around because nobody has yet given me an answer as to what fast rolling rear tire to put on my bike. I really want a tire that’s close to 2.4 and looks and acts like a Rekon.

    • Stu says:

      Could give a 2.35 Ikon a go. It’s very rounded profile and low even knob height means it will work well with the wider rim.

      Personally though I’d just go minion (whichever flaovour) front and rear and revel in the traction.

  • Mark says:

    It looks like the new trailbike sweet spot is going to be rims in the i30-35mm range with tires in the 2.4-2.8in range. In contrast, recent Narrowbikes have rims in the i20-25mm range and support tires in the 2.0-2.4in range. I currently own a Plusbike and I like the wider low-pressure tires. However, I think the early Plusbikes with i45mm rims and 3.0in tires is too much weight and to too much rolling resistance to make for a truly great trailbike. I’m psyched to see these new tires.

  • Mark says:

    Maybe bike tires should should now be labeled with the recommended rim width. Such as 29 x 2.6in per i35mm or 27 x 2.3in per i25mm or 26 x 4.0in per i75mm or 26 x 4.8in per i95mm. What do you think???

  • Bob says:

    It’s hilarious to read a Maxxis rep going into detail on rim width down to the millimeter when they can’t come within .25″ of their specified tire width. Meet the new 2.5″ “standard” same as the old 2.25.

  • Scott says:

    So, is 2.6 a “WT” size from Maxxis? They’re listed in that chart but they don’t have “WT” in the name. Point being, what size rims are those tires designed for?

  • gg says:

    Arrghh those tire graphics are horrible and lots of confusion as seen from the comments.
    Seriously the industry needs to stop all this snake oil salesmanship.
    Wallet is healthy, but closed for now !

  • JoelBS says:

    So we are moving back to wider rims, like the ones we had in the 90s and we thought they were not cool enough and needed slim rims. MTB has been too influenced by road biking. The same happened with snowboard and ski in the early years until the have 90-95% become a separate discipline.

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Kenda Hellkat and Helldiver DH tires review


Kenda attacked cornering speed, braking power, rolling resistance, and tested it on the DH circuit. But they did not forget casing technology, or pursuing strength and suppleness.

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  • SteveO says:

    Did you miss the part where these are DOWNHILL tires?

    • MikeG says:

      Clearly you missed, or haven’t made it to the lesson in which nasty terrain and race courses turn standard trail tires into leaking, piles of rubber that even the most liberal pre-race Stans and 30+ PSI setup can’t mitigate. I have spent much of the season watching riders in all classes have tire-related mechanical before taking the weight penalty and racing (if not riding full time) full downhill casings. More people then you would assume run these, or similar tires on trail bikes.

  • toad says:

    Get rid of the DH sidewall stuff and make a lighter 29er trail version and I would totally get the Hellkat. Kenda’s 29er options suck.

  • Kenda_Wake_UPPPP says:

    Kenda PLEASE listen up…

    Take your Small Block 8, stiffen up the sidewalls and make it in a 2.6 / 2.8 size and you will sell a TON of tires. The Small Block 8 is a GREAT tire for the desert and I “used” to buy a ton of them till Kenda stopped at a 2.1 racer weight wennie size.

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