Maxxis Beaver 2.0 29er eXC tyre review

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.

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.

Are beaver’s any good in the mud? We’ve no idea, but these tyres are darn good (get it?).

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.

Well spaced siped knobs clear mud well and provide consistent levels of traction in the gloop. But the sidewall needs some more testing to see how it fares.

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.

Maxxis Beaver 29: narrow at 2in but light at 499g

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.

Verdict

Great traction and rolling speed makes them a good choice for the winter. My new favourite tyre.

PROS

Light
Huge amount of traction

CONS

Sidewall longevity

Price:£35.99
More information: Maxxis Beaver 29er tyres
UK distributor: One Industries Europe

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.

  1. Chris n

    Does an exo version exist?

  2. Pedro

    looks like re-named swampthings..?

  3. neil b

    H Pedro, not in feel, the Maxxis Swampthing is quite the boat anchor on climbs. Super super grip but with horrid horrid drag, especially in SuperTacky which it works best. Swampthing is a great gravity tyre but a bear on the trails if any pedalling up is needed.
    29er fanboy mates say this Beaver is a fabulous easy to pedal light and grippy number. It does look like the old Swampy though.

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