Tires aren’t as flashy as new sunglasses, anodized hubs or fancy custom bikes. But, as the only thing connecting you to the ground, they’re obviously a hugely important part of mountain biking and an easy way to upgrade your trail experience.
New treads at Sea Otter 2023 ranged from very fast XC tires to meaty race-specific downhill tires and pretty much anything for any conditions between those extremes. If you’re looking to freshen up your bike, there’s likely something below for you.
Maxxis released MaxxSpeed at Sea Otter
And the new Severe tread
Team-only "Test Pilot" rubber no more
It's an entirely new tread, stepping in where the Forekaster used to sit
The mud-specific Severe has a ton of room to clear muck from the treads
Payson McElveen's Crossing Tasmania bike from Allied Cycleworks was on display. MaxxSpeed's faster rolling rubber was surely appreciated for that effort
Aspens for flat-out speed. Cush Core for security
Maxxis had its full line of new MaxxSpeed tires in the booth, including the new mud-specific Severe.
Trek Factory Racing's smokeshow team Session was on display at Pirelli's booth
B.C.'s Bodhi Kuhn joins Loris Vergier and Kade Edwards on TFR for 2023
Scorpion DH tires for tehe demo bike
The new Race line uses two rubber compounds for a mix of traction and support
A proper DH tire
Trek Factory Racing's Session in team colours
Fancy bits from RockShox
And SRAM's DH group
More traction out back
Pirelli has a wide range of treads, including two mud tires
They're all Scorpions, but there's differences.
The dual compound is noticably softer to the touch than Pirelli's standard tires
The mud spikes include a stepped knob so it's easier for mechanics to cut to rider specifications on a race weekend.
Like DH Mud Race
Or DH M Race
Pirelli is stepping up its race program to support its expanded line of race-specific tires, XC and DH. The new Race line of Scorpion tires (yes, they’re all called Scorpion) uses a dual compound rubber for more traction.
As you might have guessed from the canti brakes.
Classic meets modern. There's roughly 30 years between when these brakes were made and when this tire made its debut
Continental used a beautiful Fat City Cycles to show off its new 26" tires
Continental released a major overhaul of its tires last year at Sea Otter. This year, they released a 26″ version of the Kryptotal for the new crop of more capable youth bikes. Or to refresh your retro ride, like this Fat City Cycles.
Goodyear is one of just a few brands with its own factory to make its own tires (and tires for other brands). It’s newer to mountain biking but had a full line of tires, from XC to the more gravity-focused Newton (front and rear) treads. We’re in the midst of testing the latter, so stay tuned.
Rush is Kenda's new fast-rolling XC tire
Low centre knobs transition to slightly larger side knobs for cornering traction and fast rolling
Very shallow centre treads with slightly more sizeable side lugs
It's a similar pattern to Kenda's existing XC tire, but more focused on minimizing rolling resistance
The Rush was displayed laced to a Berd spoke wheel. The two brands met at Crushar in Tushar last year and hit it off. At Sea Otter, they were sharing booth space.
Kenda had a new fast tire, the Rush, showing at Sea Otter.
Sea Otter 2023:
Canadian manufacturing and Swedish speed
Gas Gas shows off (most of) a new eMTB race prototype
Sea Otter Pt.2: Fast bikes and an athletic take on the Canadian Tuxedo
Five new drivetrains from Sea Otter 2023
Sea Otter Pt. 3: Classic bikes and custom builds
Sea Otter 2023: Road and gravel tech from Laguna Seca