The Ritchey SpeedMax BetaTire is a fast rollingTireThat features an updated version ofThe Ritcheys original SpeedMaxTire with center "digger"Tread and Z-Max inspired side knobs for improved cornering. Published weight: 470g(Pro), 568g(Comp) Bead: Kevlar(Pro), Steel(Comp)
a Cross Country Rider
from Jerusalem, Israel
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2010
Strengths: Very fast, low rolling resistance. my previous tires all seem heavy and slow in comparison, especially on pavement and roads but also on trails. I've even managed to chase some roadies (although of course they won in the end...)
Good traction on pavement, dirt tracks, hardpack. Reasonable traction on wet roads and dirt tracks, acceptable performance on light mud - although the tire is not meant for this use.
Easy to convert to tubeless, at least for Mavic Crossmax rims. Could be run with low pressure at front wheel (25-30 PSI).
Low wear: I've been running the same front tire for some 2500+ miles now, and it's still very good. My rear tire is newer (only some 500 miles) but seems to hold up as well.
Ah, Also lighter than manufacturer's claim: I run the PRO 2.0 version, said to be 470g per tire. The actual weight is around 450.
Mud magnet - and the mud sticks to the side threads.
For XC use only - don't try aggressive trail riding and rock gardens with this tire, it's not for such conditions.
Puncture-Prone as rear wheel. I'm around 165 lbs., and usually carry up to 10 pounds of water and/or equipment, especially when commuting (laptop etc.). Under those circumstances, I found out that running the rear tire with lower pressure than 45 PSI with tube or 40 PSI tubeless just invites trouble. This, in turn, means quite a hard ride, and in tubeless mode - extra sealant to prevent punctures.
Very fast tire, with good performance in many different terrains. Great one-tire-does-almost-everything (except deep mud and wet grass, I wonder how good it is on snow. Probably not much). However, it's expensive and puncture-prone. Still, my favorite all-around tire. A compromise, but the best compromise I've had in a tire.
Similar Products Used: Many tires; among them IRC Serac, Maxxis Larsen TT, Bontrager Jones XCR, Kenda Nevegall and Komodo, etc. etc. etc.
Bike Setup: Sling-Shot Fold-Tech, see here:
a Cross Country Rider
from North Vancouver
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2010
Strengths: Light and Fast
This is a good tire for road and hard pack, but I found them to be pretty sketch on steeps or loose. Minimum pressure is also quite high(45lbs) so you can't run them soft for technical terrain or you will pinch flat... end result is a very rough ride and poor traction, especially when wet.
Strengths: Surprisingly good grip in moderately loose conditions, Low rolling resistance, Reasonably priced
Weaknesses: None so far
Traction is more than adequate in most conditions. Even in moderately sandy terrain they seem to hold their own. Turns are more fluid due to the rounded profile and they have less of a tendency to pull me into a loose corner vs knobbies. Noticeably less effort needed to pedal on the hardpack and road. The best "all around" tire i have used.
Bike Setup: 95 Mountain Cycles Mojo, 94 Barracuda A2MS, 97 A2E, 95 Comp, 1993 A2x and 97 XX team, 96 Jamis Dakar team, Proflex 856, Trek Fuel 100
a Cross Country Rider
from San Juan, RP
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2010
Strengths: Light and Very Fast Rolling!
Weaknesses: its a semi slick, so traction in the rough
I got this tire because it was dirt cheap, and I needed a XCish tire for the dry season. It is quite light, rolls like a road tire due to the well rounded profile. What was a bit surprising was that they actually had some decent traction in the loose and damp trails and in cornering. I havent tried them in mud, however, and I dont really plan to. An excellent choice for pure XC trails with a smattering of loose over hard. A good choice for raceday.
Similar Products Used: Kenda SB8, Ritchey Zmax, Maxxis Larssen
Bike Setup: voodoo Wanga HT SS or Litespeed Ocoee
a Cross Country Rider
from Morgan City, LA
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2009
Strengths: Competent on AND off the road. Great compromise b/w pavement/hardpack/mud!
Weaknesses: Kind of expensive, but cheaper than two sets of tires!
I'm a student, on a budget, and I ride both on and off of the pavement. I can't afford a dedicated road bike AND mtb, so a compromise was in order. I ride a singlespeed fully rigid mtb, and I've tried all kinds of tires from 1.5" Kenda Kwests (I like these on the pavement!) to Kenda Nevegals (I like these on singletrack!) However, changing wheel sets (I do have two) was kind of a hassle, and since I chose singlespeed for its simplicity, I didn't want "hassle."
So I figured that the logical step was to try and find a tire that worked equally well on pavement and singletrack -- easier said than done, I know! But lo and behold, the Holy Grail Ritchey Logic Speedmax Betas! I happened upon these by accident actually. I was test riding a bike at the LBS to try out saddles. However, the Trek that I was riding had Speedmax tires, and so I completely forgot about the saddle.
I was intrigued by the tread design of the Speedmax, and figured that it would be a GREAT dual purpose tire. Initially I thought that it WAS an off-road tire due to its aggressive tread, but I noticed that the center portion of the tire's tread was actually a bit below the surface of the surrounding "center ridge." Aha! Niceeee.
I can't say that I noticed any compromises at all. I'm still a beginner XC guy, but I can say that my confidence on, and off, the road has improved since I switched to these tires. They seem to roll about as nice as the Kwest semi-slicks, and "grab" almost as well as my Nevegals!
Of course on the singletrack trails that I ride there aren't any rocks or major inclines or declines. However, there are a lot of roots, hardpack, gravel, wooden bridges over ditches/swampy land and clay/mud after daily showers. I would say that that is quite a bit of terrain to throw at a tire, but the Speedmax handles it all. The only time I felt like I realllly needed my Nevegals was after a 1.5 hour downpour and the trail was swampy/muddy up to about 3 inches deep! Alas, the Nevegals probably wouldn't have helped anyhow!
All in all, DEFINITELY worth the money! I bought the WCS dual compound, by the way. A friend has the Pros and I actually may go that route when it's time to change these tires out. I'm not sure how they'll hold up since I only have about 30 miles on them (about 50/50 pavement/dirt.)
Similar Products Used: Tons of tires 1.5" to 2.0". Slicks, knobbies, you name it!
Bike Setup: Rigid Singlespeed 26er
A K Rider
a Weekend Warrior
from Anchorage, AK USA
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2008
Strengths: Pavement performance, speed, quietness, off road capability.
Weaknesses: None compared to any other tire used.
I ride to and from the trail most of the time. If I transported my bike to the trail I probably would have a more aggressive tire. Don’t compare this type of tire to a dedicated off road or road tire. It is a compromise.
That being said, it is the best compromise I’ve ever used.
I got tired of fighting heavy knobby tires on the road.
Smooth road oriented tires are scary off trail and you STILL can’t go fast on the road with a mountain bike, no matter how skinny , smooth and hard the tires are. Face it, Mtn. bikes are slow on pavement. Wanna go fast on the road? Get a road bike!
I have the Ritchey Speedmax Beta Pro tires so they don’t have the dual tread compound that the WCS tires have. They are Kevlar beaded though.
These tires are pretty darn quiet and fast on pavement, much better than any knobby. You don’t feel like you are loosing too much energy through the tires.
Trail performance has been very good. The more you lean in corners, the more knob bite you get. Even going uphill in a straight line, the tires grip very well. I have not felt like I was missing any traction at all compared to knobbies. Even deep gooey mud isn’t too bad because aggressive knobbies pack up anyway. Sand performance is great. Greasy hardpack is fine. Gravel and dry hardpack performance feels as good or better that full knobs.
Semi-slick tires like these are noticeabley faster off pavement that knobbies.
Many small hills that I used to have to downshift all the way to low on with knobbies, I can now speed all the way to the top and over with these. They make that much difference.
I have several sets of knobbies in the closet that I can put on my rims if I transport my bike to a ‘serious’ trail. They may stay unused for a long time……
Similar Products Used: Continentals: TravelContact, Town and Country, and many aggressive Conti knobby models.- Specialized: various S-works knobbies.- Bontrager: Jones ACX. – Tiogas, Onzas, Michelins.
I've used every size from 2.3 Ultra-mega-moto-diggers to 1.5 'racing' slicks on a Mtn. bike.
Bike Setup: Fisher HiFi Plus.
Koobi PRS saddle.