The EXO Protection is a lightweight woven fabric that greatly enhances the puncture protection of the tire. The 3C Triple Compound uses three distinct layers for optimal performance. EXC technology uses a Special compound mixed with a high TPI to create a lightweight, durable tire.
Strengths: seals up perfectly for tubeless use. literally hasn't lost any air since I mounted them 4 days ago>
very durable rubber
corners very well, much more so than my race king race sports
rolls smoother than the race king race sports
Weaknesses: none that i've discovered.
I purchased these tires after a pair of continental race king race sports FAILED on me after 150 miles due to a sidewall puncture on a seemingly smooth trail.
The race king's sidewall on the rear was badly wearing and showing threads after my first ride, albeit a 50mile single track ride.
the conti's NEVER held air from day one and weeped stans massively all over the sidewalls. I went through 6 CO2 cartridges on the first two rides w/ the conti's.
in contrast, the Ikon's sealed up and haven't even dropped a single PSI over 4 days. I used 3 oz of stan's b/c the conti's left me paranoid of the tires not sealing. the conti's burped, and weeped sealant all over the place.
the ikons are just plain solid and work extremely well when set up tubeless on a UST rim (easton ea 90xc).
The conti's rubber felt slippery and smooth.
the rubber on the Ikon's feels sticky and tacky--very grippy.
It's just a stronger tire.
I browsed reviews of the high end xc tires on mtbr, and the only tire I found that actually does what it was designed for and doesn't fall apart after a few rides are the Maxxis Ikon EXO's.
Stop wasting your money on continental's poorly designed tires that utterly fail, and pick up a set of the Ikon's.
I've ridden them around the rocky front range trails, and have yet to see any sidewall wear or notice any loss of pressure.
They roll super smooth and corner very predictably.
Strengths: -Lightweight at 558g and 559g on my scale
-tough sidewall (exo version)
-Good price ($50)
-cornering is good for this low profile tire
-volume is pretty good but not as good as race king 2.2
-long thread life
-no noise on asphalt
Weaknesses: -minimal traction (uphill)
-breaks loose easily when brakes are applied in the rear.
Although this tire is not noisy, it is not that fast for XC. I think crossmark is faster with better braking. Just doesn't have the cornering bite as the ikon's.
Weaknesses: Not the best fit on Crossmax wheelset, very loose, and delamination (see explanation below)
I purchased this tire set 12/2011, but did not use it until 5/2012, as it was used on my summer 29'er. The tires were run on Mavic Crossmax 29er wheels, originally set up as tubeless. I put in excess of 300 miles on them, gravel, single track, & pavement, prior to a hundo event in CO. Prior to this event I aired the tires to 35 lbs. On a fast decent, I braked hard on a rock face to scrub some speed. The tire burped significantly, causing the bead to break free & subsequently dropped me. Fifteen minutes later, after tubing it, all was well, with the exception of my badly bruised shoulder. Three months later, during a 12 hour adventure race, I was decending on a gravel road at speed. The back tire which was still tubeless (front was tubed after the previous crash), developed a delamination or separation of the outer rubber layer from the nylon mesh/fiber, resulting in a series of four blisters, all within 90 degrees on the tire. These blisters ranged in diameter from 1/2 inch to 1 inch, such that the large ones would hit where the seat stays meet. After tubing this tire, the blisters had to be popped such that I could finish the event. At the time of this episode, the tires were aired up to 55 lbs, 10 lbs less than the stated 65 lbs on the sidewall. Goal was to have high pressure, low rolling resistance, durability to finish the race.
I have contacted Maxxis however they have not responsed to my inquiry. I contacted the retailer, who has been in touch with Maxxis. Maxxis informed them that they would not warranty the tire as their stated warranty is only for six months from purchase. The retailer has honorably given me a credit to keep my business. This credit will not be applied to a replacement Maxxis tire.
If you need a basic tire that handles well and is light this might be an alright tire. If you prefer a tire that you can expect to to ride for an entire season, that is safe, this may not be the your first choice.
Similar Products Used: Kenda Small Block 8
Bike Setup: Crossmax 29er's
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2012
Strengths: Super light, fast rolling, plush ride, wear slowly.
Weaknesses: Needs Stan's refills every 3 weeks or so, but haven't flatted out while its got Stan's in there. Floaty over thick sandy areas.
Have been enjoying these tires in the Deep South Texas trails of loose dirt/sand mixed with hard pack thru cactus n thorn brush. They don't like deep soil, but will break loose in a very controlled manner...I fell once, but rode that sideways for at least 10feet before I actually hit the floor on my side...I know this b/c of the trench the tires left behind. I learned theyre limits and tend to drift around corners in loose dirt. super fast on pavement, they drone a little, but no where near all other tires I've used. I can say theyre faster than small blocks and lighter too. They've been wearing evenly to my surprise compared with the small blocks, which tend to wear out the center knobs on the rear tire. I'm 200+lbs so I run them at 35 to40psi just out of habit from other tires...but I noticed I could go lower with no problems.
Duration Product Used: 4 months in dirt and pavement
Purchased At: Bikerbobs
Similar Products Used: Crossmarks, nevegal, small block.
Bike Setup: Pivot Mach 4 on arch EX wheelset
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2012
Strengths: Fast rolling, light weight, great traction,
Weaknesses: I haven't found any yet.
I am using this tire in the 2.2 EXO as a front on my Gary Fisher 29r hard tail and the Maxxis Cross Mark in the rear. I have been riding mtb's for 16 years and have used a plethora of tires and this one rocks. Some people look at the low profile knobs and think it won't be good for a front tire, but they are mistaken. I live in So Cal, and the area in which I live is a mtbing mecca with lots of hard pack with loose over, and other ares have soft mountain loose dirt. In short, a little of everything. With this tire I can rail turns and brake late into corners with complete confidence. It blows away the Specialized Captain control I was previously using, which too slow for me anyway. I do ride aggressive for a 54 yr old, but I also rode and raced dirt bikes for 24 years in District 37 at the expert level, so I'm a bit OCD when it come to tires. Also, some guys say it doesn't work well in gravel or mud, and honestly, not many tires do. If the road has a gravel surface you need to adjust your riding to deal with it, the tire is not going to do that. Remember, a skilled rider can look good on bald tires!
In closing, I am using this tire on Stans crest wheels and running about 25 psi in the front with no problems. So go buy this tire for the front and rear and rip up the trails. As a side note; This tire compliments the Cross Mark in the rear very well. See you on the trail!
Strengths: Fast rolling, decent cornerin treads, smooth transition to side nobs.
Weaknesses: A little loose in gravel, but better than most other race tires.
Make sure you buy the EXO version. I am 160 lb rider and had 5 side wall tears on non-EXO version in 150 miles. I have NEVER had side wall tears until using the non-EXO version. The EXO tire is a little bit heaver, but a must unless you like burning money and getting DNF's.
Strengths: Nice round profile, smooth transition as you lean the bike.
Weaknesses: Packs up between the knobs with dirt if it's even a little bit damp, causes traction loss.
Really a nice front tire as long as it's bone dry as it transitions so smoothly and predictably as the bike is leaned through a corner. Rolls really smooth and is fast rolling in either the front or rear.
Date Reviewed: December 7, 2011
Strengths: Rolls really well and has generally predicatble cornering on hard pack in dry conditions, good also on pavement (if you do that type of thing; but why would you???)
Weaknesses: hopeless in the wet and in the mud. I ran these both front and rear but have washed-out up front and lost climbing traction too many times to count, I have removed them.
If you'r the type of rider who only rides good trails and pavement in the dry this tyre is a good choice.
If you'r a genuine all mountain / cross country rider (as I am) then I would advise that this is not the tyre for you.
Similar Products Used: You name it, Ive tried it. the best all rounder for me and the ones that I keep going back to are kenda nevegals for my duelie and racing ralphs for my hard tail 29er.
Bike Setup: I ran the Ikon's both front and rear on a Giant TranceX, tubeless at 32psi.
from Boulder CO USA
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2011
Strengths: Volume, fast rolling, gription, EXO sidewalls
Weaknesses: price and availability (LBS distributor did not have them)
After reading reviews by 29 inch riders I decided to go for these in 26, intending to put them on new Crest rim race wheels still to be built by LBS. Night before Winter Park Point 2 Point race I decided to mount them with tubes on stock DT rims. I have been riding Crossmark on back since 2008 and Nevegal and Captain up front liking larger side lugs for loose tight corners. I decided to believe the reviews and trust these on the front. Pressure: rear 33, front 31. I weigh 172-4 on my bathroom scale.
I could really feel the larger volume on the back wheel vs. the Crossmark. I like this a lot. Sidewalls took all the loose and embedded rocks on the course fine. Cornering grip was never an issue except on one switchback where I oversteered but was able to correct it. Course was mix of ski area access road, hard packed single track, black mud in some freshly logged sections (it's been raining there on a regular basis), rocks, roots, silty fresh cut single track, embedded river rocks & loose rocks. Most everything but sand. Slipped on a few wet roots but I never stopped going forward. Braking was fine. Finished 3rd, Sport Men 40-49.
I tear sidewalls. Thus I was happy to add some weight for stronger sidewalls vs Crossmark and Captain S Works – I think these are actualy lighter than the Spec. I've DNF'd from my last three xc races due to mechanicals, 2 being tire related (one a pinch - totally my fault due to too low pressure and fix fail - and another a torn sidewall) and really wanted to reach the finish line. In hindsight I never noticed weight yet had faith in sidewalls and once I got turning grew to trust medium tread pattern on front tire. It's good to go hard without doubts. Tires def show some scuffs but no tears or damage.
After the race we had to ride back to the ski area from Fraser on an asphalt and concrete bike path where the tires rolled super easy and were nearly silent. I will prob buy two more for the new tubeless race wheels and keep these on the current wheels, which I'll prob convert with a Stans kit (I'm a latecomer to tubeless). With lower pressure they ought to be more grippy and have a smoother ride
PS: Just did Wednesday night short track: Super tired and thought of bailing but decided to keep going and practice my handling skills while redlined. Tires were very good. Still with tubes. Front: 29, back: 31, or so. Was not too concerned before the race. Feel confident with tubes at lower psi due to sidewalls and volume and no rocks on this course. Sharp turns on loose and grass were fine. On a short steep up with little momentum going into it they had good traction, never spinning out as far as I can recall. Good tires. Too bad discount at biketiresdirect is over.
So far, after two races and a couple of ez rides between these are 5 star tires but costs a bunch so call it 4.
Similar Products Used: crossmark,. this is first smaller knob front and rear
Bike Setup: 2008 Yeti ASR Carbon with XT
from Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2011
Strengths: Fast rolling, strong sidewalls, slow wearing so far, incredible grip
Weaknesses: I bit heavy for a race tire, but it is worth it if you have issue's tearing sidewalls.
If you need a tire with plenty of grip, strong sidewalls, and fast rolling this is it! This tire offers more grip than any other tire I have used, but still rolls faster than any thing else I've used(this doesn't include Furious Fred, Maxxlite, etc.).