The Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 eliminates the flaws of the previous generation to give a top-marks-scoring ride

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 Tyres


  • Much more versatile than previous generation, Fast rolling for a mud tyre, Clears mud fantastically well, Decent on hard pack too, Maxxis proven compounds and casings


  • Very expensive, especially compared to the Specialized Hillbilly


Maxxis Shorty Gen 2 tyre review


Price as reviewed:


Originally launched in 2014, the Maxxis Shorty is a cut down mud spike in the same vein as Specialized’s Hillbilly. Released four years earlier, Spesh’s tyre brought to market downhill champ Sam Hill’s racing trick – a cut-down mud spike with a lower rolling resistance and better grip on hardpack dirt. 

Maxxis’ Shorty was well-received and for loads of riders has been a default UK wet weather tyre ever since. I’ll admit to never being that much of a fan though, finding the bobbly ride and sharp blocks a bit sketchy, even in pure sopping wet mud it targeted. 

I’ve had my suspicions why the original Shorty was a bit liable to ping off rock and root edges when mixed into muddy stews. Its wide, continuous central paddles alternating in the tread share a similar vagueness in the slime with the Minion DHF – that also has thicker/longer central blocks – so this was one aspect. That, and the reinforcing scaffolding that supported edge blocks on the inner side, always seemed to make the pointy edges a bit too stiff and pingy.

Well this Gen 2 redesign has booted both these tread attributes to touch, and immediately behaves way better for it. Only available in a 2.4in width, to enhance cut through slop, there’s less of a nervous, edgy feel on harder surfaces now the tread is slightly more open and uniform. Each little tread block is also less sharp and spiky, more squared-off on top, and a sipe (cut) has also been added lengthways to the shoulder blocks. To my mind, the whole block pattern feels a bit more flexible and conforming than the last edition in equivalent compounds; especially on those square edge blocks without the old triangulated inner tread supports. 

The Gen 2 Shorty still offers tons of bite into soft soils, and holds on like hell in slimy off-camber turns, but, crucially, it’s more continuously connected with terrain when crossing hard obstacles like roots and rocks. It’s also faster rolling on hardpack surfaces like trail centres, with this latter effect reinforced during laps of Cannock Chase. Its shiny, slippery surfaces littered with polished stones and pebbles are a challenge even for small block tyres, never mind a cut-down mud spike, but the new Shorty took it all in its stride with excellent composure and security and no excessive edginess. Very impressive for such a spaced-out pattern this good at clearing mud.


Overall, the Shorty Gen 2 tyre is much improved with this tread redesign. It has gone from a tyre I’d never choose – however muddy and horrible the trails were – to a near perfect wet-weather option that’s versatile enough to mix it up on bone dry trails, without much more than a penalty in rolling resistance. 


Weight:1,090g 29x2.4in Double Down
Sizes:27.5/29in x 2.40WT
Casings:EXO, EXO+, Double Down, DH
Compounds:Maxx Terra, Maxx Grip