The Maxxis Beaver EXO is a winter tyre that doubles as a trail centre warrior - fast and grippy and suitable for everything except rocky conditions
Rather than being purely an out-and-out mud plugger, we’ve always found the Maxxis Beaver a better all-round trail tyre. The dual-compound construction sees a softer layer applied over a firmer base, making the Beaver pretty fast rolling for a wet-weather tyre, yet it still excels in damp and slippery conditions.
The rubber compound and tread is surefooted on roots, rocks and wet trail-centre kitty litter, and the widely spaced small blocks are great at continually clearing out cack — they even double up as great loam scrapers in the drier months. Another Beaver highlight is its tenacious climbing traction — its ability to winch up slippery banks is every bit as impressive as its namesake’s.
The Beaver is strictly an XC option in terms of toughness. Even with Maxxis’ special EXO protection, to help prevent cuts and tears to the casing — very useful if wet conditions send wheels offline into sharper edges or rocks — it’s still relatively lightweight and fragile.
In fact we punctured the thin casing in testing, and if you pump it up hard to compensate, the small volume is just harsh on the bumps.
We’ve tried the slightly beefier 2.25in version, which is way more comfortable, but seems to lack some of the bite of the narrower model through deep slop. If Maxxis made a taller tyre with a slightly thicker casing, the Maxxis Beaver EXO would be close to perfect.