Cross country racing is going big. Maxxis is rolling out two new tires for its Wide Trail line, and both are aimed squarely at the XCO crowd.
Wide rims have been widely embraced for several years now in the enduro and downhill crowd. Now, the trend towards wider rims and wider tires has arrived in cross country racing.
Maxxis is making two of its fastest tires, the Aspen and Rekon Race, in a 29×2.40″ Wide Trail version.
Behind the push for bigger tires are none other than Nino Schurter and Kate Courtney of Scott-SRAM.
“The improved traction from the WT XC tires helps control the bike in difficult sections,” says Schurter, who is notoriously picky about his equipment. “I can ride at the limit while still being in control of my bike.”
Schurter has already used the higher volume tire to great success. In 2019, he rode a prototype 2.4″ to win XCO world championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec.
The infamous MSA course is a perfect example of how the wider tires and rims are a benefit in fast-paced cross country racing. The higher volume allows riders to run lower pressure, maximizing grip – for both climbing and descending – while decreasing rolling resistance over rough ground.
At the same time, more volume makes it less likely to pinch flat at lower tire pressures.
“For me, the biggest two factors in a tire are performance and durability. The WT XC tires are the best combination of both.” – Kate Courtney
Aspen and Rekon Race Wide Trail weights and details
Both new tires will come in 120 TPI casing, dual compound with EXO protection reinforced sidewall, and are tubeless ready.
While increased traction and durability are great, there is one drawback to the bigger rubber. The Wide Trail design and extra volume does add a bit of weight over existing versions of the same tread pattern. The 2.4″ Aspen WT has a claimed weight of 720 g. That’s up from the 645 g claimed weight of the 29.2.25″ Aspen in the same EXO casing. While the new 2.4″ Rekon Race WT weighs in at 760 g, up from 670 g for the 29×2.25″ EXO version of the same tire.
Tech spes and limitations
Maxxis’ new Wide Trail XC tires don’t work with just any rim. They also don’t fit every frame.
The two WT cross country treads are optimized for use with 30 mm internal width rims. Maxxis says they work with rims with an internal diameter as narrow as 25 mm, but does not recommend the tires be used with anything narrower.
The added width means the Aspen WT and Rekon Race WT will not fit every cross country race frame. Mounted on a 30 mm wide rim, both tires should measure 2.40″ wide, at 25 PSI.
Before you go jamming them into you’re frame, check the clearance at all key points. Maxxis is recommending a minimum of 6 mm clearance between the tires and all parts of the frame and fork. Chainstays, seat stays, seat tube and bottom bracket all need enough breathing room so that the tire does not rub and cause damage. While clearance shouldn’t be an issue on most modern forks, Maxxis is also recommending 6 mm clearance up front.
Wide Trail XC frame compatibility
Maxxis has tested its new Wide Trail XC tires with the following frames and model years. They are not the only frames the tires will work with, but you should measure your frame before committing to the WT XC tires.