The Maxxis Beaver is a superb mud tyre with a low weight of just 499g contributing to very little rolling weight for fast tyre setup. If you’re struggling for grip on the trails this winter, then it’s time to change tyres, and the Beaver is one of the best bad condition tyres I’ve ever ridden.
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The Beaver was originally designed as a 29er tyre, they’ve since added a 26in version to the range. I’ve been testing the 29er version, where there’s not quite as much choice when it comes to winter tyres. And, with the expensive version here weighting under 500g, it’s also one of the lightest 29er tyres currently available.
A widely spaced tread pattern with small low profile siped knobs and narrow 2in carcass gives impressive grip in a range of conditions. It’s not really a pure mud tyre like Bontrager’s 29-Mud TLR tyres; where that tyre excels when it’s horrifically muddy, the Beaver is outstanding in a wider range of trail conditions.
A 70a compound is used in the base with a softer 60a compound for the knobs, which provides plentiful traction, with good stability through corners. How they cope in a variety of mud conditions, from boggy to sticky, is revelatory. As mentioned, I wouldn’t call it an out-and-out mud tyre; we managed to find its limits on a steep leaf-strewn bank at a cross-country race recently, but it feels faster over a wider range of winter trail conditions. It inspires confidence.
Rolling weight is even more critical on a 29er with all their extra mass, and the low weight of Beaver’s made an epically fast setup on my Tallboy. Typically 29er tyres come in at about 800g. Putting the sub-500g Beaver tyres on was a revelation. Rolling speed is phenomenal, they spin up fast and maintain high levels of momentum along the trail. I’ve used them on trail rides and at a cross-country race and they’ve excelled in both situations.
How the eXC sidewalls fare over time is something I’ll be keeping an eye on, but so far I haven’t managed to pinch flat them. I’ve also successfully set them up tubeless on Stan Crest rims.
Great traction and rolling speed makes them a good choice for the winter. My new favourite tyre.
Huge amount of traction
What Maxxis says:
Specially designed for racing in adverse conditions, the Beaver features a tread design ideal for wet and muddy conditions. The dual compound tread utilizes a hard base layer to reduce rolling resistance and provide knob support, while the siped, softer outer layer provides unparalleled grip on wet rocks and roots. The Beaver is one aquatic-friendly animal of a tire.