Maxxis Aspen 29 x 2.10 Tire. Maxxis has done it again with its latest XC race tire. The new Maxxis Aspen pushes the limits of a lightweight XC tire designed to have minimal rolling resistance. The Aspen is designed with a high-volume casing to smooth ou
Strengths: Low rolling resistance, low weight (530 and 545 grams) and great traction.
Weaknesses: None so far.
This review is for the Exception version. I was looking for a great all-around tire that I could race with and that would handle the local hard/loose-over-hard pack terrain. Coming from a heavy pair of Nevegals that came with the bike, I think anything would have been an improvement. That said, the tire was extremely smooth-rolling, gripped when I needed it to and didn't lose traction on seated or standing climbs. Would recommend to anyone in similar terrain. This has been the single most effective upgrade for my ride.
Strengths: Lightweight, grippy in a surprising range of conditions and rolls really fast.
Weaknesses: Definitely not a mud tyre you need something toothier for winter
These came on my 29er and at first I thought they would be rubbish as they didnt seem to have any tread. They grip on hardpack, trail centre kitty litter and loamy singletrack. On the road they are quiet without that annoying buzzing noise most MTB rubber grinds out. They are definitely going to be a summer tyre though.
Strengths: Light and fast rolling. Good traction but good for the tradeoff for racing. Price.
Weaknesses: Sidewalls are thin as a tradeoff for the lightness
Was recommended these by my shop owner when my Specialized Fast Tracks blew and I needed something quick for low cost. I assumed I would get something really lame and cheap but he had a pair of Aspens sitting around. In his own words, "These used to be so popular I couldn't keep them on my shelf. They have fallen out of favor, but they are a darn good tire." I went with them and loved them. I finally did tear a sidewall in a race, but it was in the middle of a rock garden that felled many other racers that day. I am getting new ones put on right now. Love these tires!
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2013
Strengths: 120tpi exception version: Low rolling resistance, low weight, low cost, good cornering in dry conditions, accurate sizing, fast!
Weaknesses: Volume is a little small, not really an issue on 29er, pressure sensitive (what tires aren't), durability (intended as a race tire) These are not mud tires! Don't air up as easily on stans rims as TLR tires
I run these tubeless on black flag pro (stans rim design) front and rear on a 29 hardtail for xc racing, mainly on groomed bike park trails. Dirt is usually a mix of dry hardpack, sandy loose over hard, gravel over hard, with a few mud holes and deep loose sections thrown in. Aspen handles all these conditions well, but excels at hard and shallow loose over hard (the tread pattern speaks for itself). Sidewalls are race only in 120tpi, with similar durability to the 500g racing Ralph evo pacestar. I haven't cut a sidewall yet in four years of running lightweight race tires, but I use 60tpi or tires with sidewall protection for trails.
Most noticeable thing is the aspen gives you great feedback when you're pushing the traction limit, with great controlled two-wheel slides made easy. This contrasts with the racing Ralph evo pacestar 2.1 that I have been using on the front for a while, and the specialized fast trak 2.0 control on the rear, which grip to a point then let go. Aspen deals with hard pack better than the RaRa too, but the the RaRa handles wet dirt better.
Overall, this is a great race tire that should perform well if you ride 'light' on the bike - if you sit and spin through rocks or smash through rocky trails on a dually then you may cut sidewalls and be disappointed.
Weight 530g 29er 120tpi EXC, 580g 29er 60tpi (matches maxxis claimed weights)
Width at 60psi (pre-tubeless stretch!) Casing 52mm, sidelugs 55mm
Width at 25 psi on 19mm internal rims: casing 51.5 mm sidelugs 54mm
Strengths: Super fast and light XC race tire. The tire is very capable as a front and rear for XC racing - at least here in the Midwest. I ran my pair tubeless on wider rims (28mm external rim width) to widen the tire's profile for singletrack racing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Weaknesses: Tread wore pretty quickly, but not any faster than other low tread, light weight 29"er XC tires I've ridden. These tires are for dry hardpack racing, pine needles, etc... . Not for wet conditions, but tacky is fine.
Super fast and light XC race tire. Thanks to the wider tire profile I had using a wider rim, these tires really surprised me in terms of how well they gripped, cornered, climbed and were very predictable. Would I buy a pair again? Yes.
Similar Products Used: Raven 2.2, Crow 2.0, Racing Ralph 2.25, Maxxlite 2.0, Karma 1.9
Bike Setup: Salsa Dos Niner, Niner JET 9 - raced the same wheels tires on both bikes for 2 seasons (Salsa Delgado Disc rims converted to tubeless with the Aspens)
a Cross Country Rider
from Tierrasanta, CA
Date Reviewed: March 5, 2012
Strengths: Fast, light, plenty of grip on hard packed or rocky terrain.
Weaknesses: None, if you use them for what they are intended to do.
Like I said in the strengths section, fast rolling, light and good grip on hard packed dirt. This came on my Giant XTC 29er 2. I tried to make them tubeless on the stock PXC giant rim using stan's tape and sealant and the would not inflate. I had the air compressor cranked to way higher than I should have, and this things wold not give. I didn't list this as a weakness because its a light tire with thin side walls so it was a bad idea to run them tubeless any way. I have use them in most of the trails in San Diego with no problems. I ran the aspen in the back during the Snow Valley Xterra Du-athlon and it was all over the place on the super loose down hill section. I ran a Nevegal in the front so that save me from eating some dirt. Over all I like this tire for San Diego trails and I'm gonna run them till they wear out.
Similar Products Used: kenda slant 6, Kenda Nevegal
Bike Setup: Giant XTC 29er, the wheels, saddle, stem and the Aspen Maxxis are the only thing stock. XT/XTR drive train Easton carbon handlebars and seat post. XT disc brakes. Down to 24.9lbs. All with some patient ebay and craigslist shopping $1700.
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