Maxxis Beaver 29 eXC £39.99
Originally designed as 29er only, the Maxxis Beaver is probably best described as a winter, or three-season tyre, rather than an out-and-out mud tyre.
Its shallow, evenly spaced blocky knobs and slender 2.0in profile belie the grip it lays down, proving to be a total revelation in wet, slimy, rooty conditions. Maxxis’s excellent Exception series dual compound rubber and siped (cut) knobs mean the Beaver fares surprisingly well on the armoured surface typical of British trail centres too. No nasty, plasticky, pinging knobs to contend with here.
In fact, the only situation we’ve found where the Beaver doesn’t bite is fresh loam, struggling to sink its shallow knobs deep enough to find grip. Seeing as loamy conditions are such a rare and pleasurable occurrence, it won’t be an issue for most.
More of a problem is that the light, low volume, thin sidewall Beaver is prone to pinch flatting easily on rough, rocky, high-speed terrain — and it’s even more of an issue with the lower profile 26in version. We’ve tested both of the folding 29er casings Maxxis offers and even though the cheaper 60TPI option is 65g heavier than the EXO Protection version, there doesn’t seem to be any more meat on the sidewalls. So, with rotational weight being the primary concern on 29er wheels, the lighter EXO Protection version definitely makes more sense, even if it’s more expensive.
In terms of traction, rolling resistance and cornering confidence the Beaver 29 is easily deserving of top marks but, as with its sister tyre, the Maxxis Crossmark, the sidewalls will be threadbare long before the tread loses its edge, so at £40 a pop it’s not great value. Alan Muldoon
MBR rating: 8
Specification: Size 2.0in / Bead: Kevlar folding / Casing: 120TPI EXO Protection sidewall / Rubber: eXC dual compound / Weight: 503g / Contact: oneindustrieseurope.co.uk