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  1. #1
    tire to rim ratio tester
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    Maxxis Wide Trail Tires - more questions than answers

    https://www.maxxis.com/wide-trail-wt-design

    I'm still trying to sort through the hype vs. the reality for what width of tire fits on what width of rim.

    Hype or reality? "Maxxis’ Wide Trail line of mountain bike tires are designed specifically with 30-35mm rims in mind and feature a revised tread block arrangement to maintain ideal knob positioning."

    OK...

    Then they give four examples. This is where it gets murky.

    WT tire profile 2.50 on 35mm rim: great
    (OK a bit wide for me, but I'll drink the kool-aid and move on)

    Traditional 2.30 tire on 21mm rim: acceptable but not optimized
    (OK...they do have to market their new tires, I get it)

    WT tire profile 2.50 on 30mm rim: acceptable but not as good as 35mm rim
    (So why did they even mention 30mm in their introduction? Why not just say it's optimized for 35mm, period?)

    Traditional 2.30 tire on 30mm rim: unacceptable --- sideknobs pointed up, cannot corner properly, increased rolling resistance from all knobs contacting dirt at same time
    (Yes, this is what I've been arguing in favor of: too low of a tire to rim ratio is worse than too high.)


    But then...they list their WT tire lines. Four, out of seventeen tire types they currently stock. So are they saying the other 13 tire lines are not optimized for 30/35mm rims? Even if those tires are 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 widths? If so, then what rim should all of those other dozens of tires fit on? Are they admitting that over 70% of their product is not optimized for current rims? This WT thing just seems like a mix of fact and hype, and probably more hype than fact.
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  2. #2
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    I'm going with marketing hype and little more. That's just me.

    I've run the same 29x2.5wt on an i26mm and i36mm rim. Fronts where DHF and rears where Aggressor. I noticed zero difference between the tires on either bike. Just not my jam.

    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    WT is all about knob placement not actual casing size. Choose your desired tyre based on profile you like. If you like a squared off tyre then avoid WT, if you like a rounded profile then WT is for you. If you like actual high volume tyres to match your wide rims then don't choose Maxxis 😂

  4. #4
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    I have both a 2.5 WT DHF and a 2.3 DHF, and regardless of placement the knobs on the 2.5 are simply much burlier. On my 30mm id rim the 2.3 worked fine but I definitely have more grip with the 2.5. I think a lot of that extra traction must be from the taller knobs.

  5. #5
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    I think a lot of people have found they actually prefer to run the WT tires on a bit narrower rims (29-33mm) than what Maxxis recommends.


    In regards to narrower tires: My previous hardtail had 21mm wide rims. With 2.25-2.35" Maxxis tires, I had to run 33-34psi in the rear. On my new hardtail, I have 30mm rims and run a 2.3" Maxxis tire in the rear. I've been able to run 27 psi so far in that 2.3" Aggressor. Maybe I'm getting a bit worse rolling resistance than if I had narrower rims but I think I prefer the traction and damping of being able to run lower pressure. I might try a 2.6" Rekon at some point.

  6. #6
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    Lots of hype.
    There are folks on the board who swear your head will explode if you run a WT on an i29 Vs an i31.

    I have i35s and really like 2.6's on them, but I've run the same tire on an i23 and loved that too (I like the i35 better, but that's my personal preference for more volume and lower pressure, both of which are a bit better on the wider rim).
    I now have a 29er with i27's and love 2.4's on that.

    As to rolling resistance, last year I set a dozen time to climb PR's going to i35 rims and 27.5x2.6" tires at low pressure.
    This year I set half a dozen more (breaking my old records on the same climbs) by going to 29x2.4's on i27's at low pressure. Lower pressure doesn't equate to high rolling resistance on rocky rooty terrain, that's for sure!

  7. #7
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    What Jeremy said is as important as rim width. Tire pressure affects the footprint and how much sidewall support the tire has. Some Maxxis tires have thicker sidewalls and don't respond as much to lower pressures also.
    So the tuning is multi dimensioned. Rim width, tire pressure, tire roundness profile, tire volume and sidewall flexibility.
    You get to choose based on what you need for your terrain and speed.

    I ride shorter ups and downs with rounded rocks/roots that don't cut thinner sidewalls. So I can try lighter, high volume, very rounded profile tires on very wide rims at low pressures down until I get rim hits for the maximum cornering and climbing footprint.
    I don't even look at Maxxis tires.

  8. #8
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    The Maxxis WT tires work exceptionally well on my 30mm ID wheels.

  9. #9
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    I have a couple of wheelsets with maxxis WT on them. One set is 30mm ID and the other 35mm I’d. Both work well but i do feel the extra tire weight and some extra rolling resistance with the WT compared to normal 2.35 maxxis. I tend to run the WT wheelsets in the summer when it gets more dry slick. Fall winter and spring I stick with 2.35’s

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't run the 2.3 tires on a 30i front. But on the rear it doesn't seem to matter to me. Same for the wide tires on a narrow rim on the rim. If your style is to really lean the bike. Than you're fine with WT on a narrower front.

  11. #11
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    Some hype, but also a lot of truth.
    Tires are designed and most of them where designed around 17-23i mm rims. This was fine for 1.9-2.1 tires, but 2.35 lacked sidewall support and required higher pressures.

    Enter the 35i wide rim. Great now we have plenty of sidewall support, but none of the tires have the right profile. Even the new 2.5-2.6 tires used the same small rim tread and casing design.

    Maxxis was the first to design a tire around the wide rims. 35i was still on the wide side and while it works with their WT tires, I prefer the profile on 30i rims. It's more rounded and turns in faster with more predictable grip.

    Normal tires under 2.5 have a very square shape on 35i rims. In a couple years most tires manufactures will have adapted and offer most tires designed around a 25-30i rim, even XC tires.

    FYI All new Maxxis tires 2.5 and above are WT now whether the say it on the sidewall or not. As they should be.

    30i seems to be the sweet spot for trail trail tires, with the prefect blend of weight, sidewall support and profile shape.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I think a lot of people have found they actually prefer to run the WT tires on a bit narrower rims (29-33mm) than what Maxxis recommends.


    In regards to narrower tires: My previous hardtail had 21mm wide rims. With 2.25-2.35" Maxxis tires, I had to run 33-34psi in the rear. On my new hardtail, I have 30mm rims and run a 2.3" Maxxis tire in the rear. I've been able to run 27 psi so far in that 2.3" Aggressor. Maybe I'm getting a bit worse rolling resistance than if I had narrower rims but I think I prefer the traction and damping of being able to run lower pressure. I might try a 2.6" Rekon at some point.

    Wow that's pretty high pressure even in the back. I had a 2.35 on the back with a tube and ran about 25-26 psi and it was pretty firm. Right now I have a 2.40 with about the same pressure. I try to do around 20-22 psi front and 24-26 psi rear with 2.3 to 2.5's (16 psi with a 2.8 in front).

    But yeah the 2.6 Rekon looks like a great tire.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    What Jeremy said is as important as rim width. Tire pressure affects the footprint and how much sidewall support the tire has. Some Maxxis tires have thicker sidewalls and don't respond as much to lower pressures also.
    So the tuning is multi dimensioned. Rim width, tire pressure, tire roundness profile, tire volume and sidewall flexibility.
    You get to choose based on what you need for your terrain and speed.

    I ride shorter ups and downs with rounded rocks/roots that don't cut thinner sidewalls. So I can try lighter, high volume, very rounded profile tires on very wide rims at low pressures down until I get rim hits for the maximum cornering and climbing footprint.
    I don't even look at Maxxis tires.

    It almost sounds similar to lowering the pressure in an air fork until you bottom out. I've tried lowering the pressure down on a plus tire and it simply cannot handle correctly, it literally feels and steers like it's flat. What is your average psi for a certain tire width?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Some hype, but also a lot of truth.
    Tires are designed and most of them where designed around 17-23i mm rims. This was fine for 1.9-2.1 tires, but 2.35 lacked sidewall support and required higher pressures.

    Enter the 35i wide rim. Great now we have plenty of sidewall support, but none of the tires have the right profile. Even the new 2.5-2.6 tires used the same small rim tread and casing design.

    Maxxis was the first to design a tire around the wide rims. 35i was still on the wide side and while it works with their WT tires, I prefer the profile on 30i rims. It's more rounded and turns in faster with more predictable grip.

    Normal tires under 2.5 have a very square shape on 35i rims. In a couple years most tires manufactures will have adapted and offer most tires designed around a 25-30i rim, even XC tires.

    FYI All new Maxxis tires 2.5 and above are WT now whether the say it on the sidewall or not. As they should be.

    30i seems to be the sweet spot for trail trail tires, with the prefect blend of weight, sidewall support and profile shape.


    That's what I thought: I plan on getting an i30 wheelset later, 2.6 Rekon Front, and if I'm lucky in back too, if not then 2.4 Ardent back.

  15. #15
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    Wide Trail is a solution to a problem that the industry helped create. Once tubeless tires became commonplace, consumers decided that lowering tire pressure until they got as many rim strikes as suspension bottom outs was the thing to do, because reasons. The industry then gave us wider rims with lower sidewalls & hookless beads to better survive rim strikes, hyping is better support & tire retention. Which was sort of true to a point, I sure as hell don't miss the days of 17mm rims, but 35mm is too far the other way and brings up its own issues. Such as weight and wonky tire profiles.

    So we get WT to fix the latter but that still leaves weight as a downside, congratulations, you now have a wheel & tire combo that's 60-100g heavier than a 25mm rim and otherwise does everything exactly the same. Any added support or tire security is negligible at reasonable tire pressures, and in some cases the wide rims are less durable since the manufacturers thin them out so much to save weight that they end up cracking at the spoke holes.

    Personal thoughts. WT and all that other stuff is marketing goobledygoop. Understand your own riding style & preferences, that will tell you the type of tread pattern & tire profile you need. If you have a favourite tire(s), you'll know how rounded or square you want it, and can then match it to the appropriate rim. Otherwise, pick a rim and match a tire to it. There's a half dozen major tire makers, it's almost certain that one of them makes a tire that's suitable for your riding style & conditions along with the rim width.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Wow that's pretty high pressure even in the back.
    Yep, I tried lower but the tire started folding. I don't know if it was just a coincidence but when tires started to give on those 21mm rims, they folded hard.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    It almost sounds similar to lowering the pressure in an air fork until you bottom out. I've tried lowering the pressure down on a plus tire and it simply cannot handle correctly, it literally feels and steers like it's flat. What is your average psi for a certain tire width?
    It's not a straight pressure thing. All the factors come into the equation. I run Bontagers. Frank Stacy designed them for Trek for wide rims from the start. Before Maxxis WT just moved the outer knobs.
    They're high volume with a very rounded profile that doesn't square off on a wide rim.
    A 2.35 XR2 on a 35mm rim. My medium speeds and loose over hardpack allows 14 psi front or less 4 more rear. 11psi works fine for the front tire and gives a bigger footprint with more traction. But I can't go that low because of rim hits. Possibly CushCore would help.The tire still works. The sidewall just crinkles down, no folding. These tires work on wide rims at low pressures.
    But the XRs aren't for mountain dh speeds or sidewall cutting shale rock. Maxxis has tires for that terrain.

    The 2.6 can use a 40mm rim.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post

    Maxxis was the first to design a tire around the wide rims.
    😂 That's funny.

    I think you mean, Maxxis had always made stupidly squared off tyres that were behind the times when wide rims were already popular. They then came up with a marketing slogan to sell what other manufacturers were already doing as something new.

    Schwalbe had been making wide, rounded profile tyres for years while Maxxis were making undersized squared off tyre after tyre.

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