Written by Matt DeMeis Wednesday, 12 April 2006 00:00
I’ve been called a “Maxxis Water Boy” but that’s fine by me. The reason I’m such a huge Maxxis fan is the incredible range of tread patterns and phenomenal rubber compounds available. This review is for my favorite dry season XC tire, the Larsen TT 2.0 in the nice and sticky “exception” flavor 62a durometer. Lets start off with the tread pattern.
The Larsen uses a series of tiny offset ramped knobs on the rolling surface and a split square of similar size for the cornering surface. The tight spacing and ramped face of the rolling knobs make the TT incredibly fast on hard-pack, yet the size of the knobs makes it grip like crazy in a wide range of soil depths. It will hold it’s traction in anything shy of the clay and sippy holes we see up in the Maine XC races. Anything that wet and sloppy needs a mud tire, or a hamburger bun. Another great attribute about the tread is that if you still run tubes, the tight spacing of the knobs makes for increased puncture resistance from sharp rocks and trail crud. I do most of my high mileage training on the road bike so all of my MTB tires are the exception race compounds. It’s real grippy so you don’t want to put a set of them on if you do a lot of training miles on your knobs. I do ride them on the road to get to and from the state forest for training rides. This limited road use, along with racing them, gets me about two good seasons out of a tire. I think that’s more than acceptable. They make a harder 70a compound version for higher mileage if that’s your game too. I run my TTs with Stan’s NoTubes so I can get them nice and squishy.
Here in New England we have what I like to call the 2 phases of the MTB season; the wet half and the dry half. The TTs usually go on my bike around mid July and stay there unless there is torrential rain the day of the event. With a dry track and the right pressure, the TT handles like it’s on rails. You can get it leaned so far and even if you break free it’s a very controlled slide. The channels running along the rolling surface give that extra bite on the side of the knobs when the slide starts. Sounds odd but it’s true. The TT shines in those races where there is tight twisty single track connected by hard-pack access or fire roads. Blazing fast. The 2.0 width is the perfect balance of speed vs. comfort for this tread pattern. Any narrower and I wouldn’t ride it in the really rooty stuff, unless you’re on a full boinger.
If you’re looking for an all around tread, there are other tires that will probably suit you better. If you don’t mind changing tires for different conditions, the TT is one of the best dry-medium soil tires you can buy. I give five big red heads for the Maxxis TT.
|Maxxis Larsen TT eXCeption: 26 x 2.00, Black Kevlar. Ramped knob technology on the leading edge coupled with close spacing permits the small square knobs to roll fast. Meanwhile, the trailing edges allow climbing and breaking power on hard to medium terrain...|
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