Maxxis has a pretty deep range of tires, from XC to downhill, the Aspen is their purpose built cross-country race tire that is ridden by the man himself Nino Schurter. We got ahold of a set of these tires for long term testing to see how they compare to the other Maxxis XC treads we have ridden in the past; the Pace and Ikon.
- 649 grams per tire
- Available in 26, 27.5, 29 inch
- Heavier duty EXO casing
- Dual compound
- Designed for XC racing
- Nino Schurter’s tire of choice
- $64 per tire
The Aspen has a fairly unique design that is what Maxxis calls “low profile”, which is an accurate description. Online the tread looks aggressive, but in person it is very minimal, especially the actual height of the knobs. On the outside of the casing are pairs of ramped shoulder knobs, with the centerline getting alternating tread with generous sipes. Maxxis uses a subtle transition to provide added traction going in and out of corners. The 2.25 width that we are testing comes in the EXO casing that is slightly thicker than a Schwalbe Thunder Burt with Liteskin casing. Maxxis uses their Dual Compound for a combination of traction of durability.
We mounted these tires to a set of RideFast Racing Hotwire 29 wheels that have an internal width of 23-millimeters, which has been our XC wheel of choice lately with Orange Seal sealant. The Aspens were very easy to seat and didn’t require any extra work to get mounted. For our first ride we set the air pressures at 25PSI (front) and 26PSI (rear), which is a touch higher than we normally run in other XC tires.
If there is any conclusion we came too on our first ride it’s that these tires are seriously fast. On the long fire road grind to the top of the singletrack, the Aspen’s had very little rolling resistance and didn’t spin out on some of the steeper pitches (which surprised us considering the higher PSI we were running). Dropping into our first descent, we were still surprised at how fast the Aspen’s rolled. The first hard corner we rolled up on, we took with a bit of caution to get a feel for the shoulder knobs and sidewall stiffness, but we found quickly that the Aspen’s have a surprising amount of traction considering the rolling resistance. The tire was easy to lean in and out of corners and held a line more confidently than we were expecting. Out of the saddle the sidewalls felt stiff and didn’t give us any of that “bouncing” feel that other thinner XC race tires have.
We will be playing with the air pressures a bit moving forward and seeing just how many miles we can get out of this tread. Check out our May issue to see a full write up and review.