By Lee Lau (with much thanks to Kevin Bazar for technical consultation)
In North Vancouver, it’s now deep into fall and a good time to try out tires that do well in mud and rain. I tested the 29 x 2.00 Maxxis Beaver tires on a Santa Cruz Tallboy. Given that I’m not racing, I elected for the slightly heavier and more robust 60TPI Maxxis Beavers. I’ve had 20 days on them mounted on Stans Crest rims; the front has a tube and the rear is tubeless..
From the Maxxis Website:
Specially designed for racing in adverse conditions, the Beaver features a tread design ideal for wet and muddy conditions. The dual compound tread utilizes a hard base layer to reduce rolling resistance and provide knob support, while the siped, softer outer layer provides unparalleled grip on wet rocks and roots. The Beaver is one aquatic-friendly animal of a tire!
|Size (ETRTO)||TPI||Bead||Weight (g)||Compound||Max Psi||Bike Tech|
|29×2.00 (50-622) Black||120||Foldable||490||Dual||65||eXC|
|29×2.00 (50-622) Black||60||Foldable||545||Dual||65|
The Maxxis-stated weights were very close to real weights. I used the Maxxis Beavers front and rear. One measured 550g. Another measured 540g.
Just in case you’re curious the eXC series (which I did not try) is for for “racing” and emphasizes light-weight with 120 threads-per-inch (TPI) casing. The tires I tested had 60 TPI casing and therefore were a tad heavier. The Maxxis site also had this to say on the subject of TPI.
TPI stands for threads per Inch. It defines the number of threads contained in one inch of the tire casing. The lower the number of TPI, the larger the gauge cords in the casing. Thus, the more durable the tire becomes. The higher the TPI, the more lightweight the tire becomes and the more supple the ride of the tire. The majority of our tires are 60 TPI, and our race tires are 120 TPI.
Both versions of the Beaver have a “dual compound” rubber tread – ie two compounds comprised of a hard, longer lasting center and a softer gripping shoulder. I found that the rubber was universally very soft to the touch so was actually surprised to find that the centre knobs were ostensibly a harder compound. A mere 20 days riding in wet soft non-rocky trails doesn’t significantly wear tires so I’m unable to report whether or not the hard compound promotes longevity.
At 540g to 550g you would be correct if you expected the sidewalls to be thin. Like many other Maxxis kevlar-beaded tires I’ve run (previous tires include Ardent, Minion, High Roller, Aspen, Crossmark) they fit loosely on most rims. The upside is that it’s tool-free if you’re installing or taking them off most rims. The downside is that when you’re installing them tubeless it’s nice to have access to a compressor so you can inflate the tire quickly. Having said that I found that the Beaver was fairly easy to set up tubeless on Crest rims and used one cup of sealant per tire. I’ve run one tire with tubes and one tubeless just to compare.