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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In mid-December I picked up a new Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.2 (sidewall protection - 570grams, 29er). I know you're thinking a couple months can't qualify for a long term review, but they have been a hard couple of months on the tire.

I am running the tire tubeless (as a rear only) on a Reynolds Topo carbon wheel at 23-26psi depending on conditions. I've been very happy with it so far. I have several races on it including:

45 mile marathon (mostly roots, scattered pebble, and pine)
75 mile marathon (roots, scattered rock, and jeep roads)
40 miles in a 6hr team race (40 miles of XC race pace over rocks and hardpack)
56 mile marathon (rocks, ledges, hardpack)
40 miles in a 12hr team race (roots and hardpack, full xc sprint each lap)
Super D TT course + 4 practice runs (tons of sharp granite rocks, drops, jumps)
40 miles in another 6hr race (sharp granite rocks, drops, tire scrapers. Flatted three other tires that day, but not the Ikon!)

I've also done all of my training Miles between races on this tire. Training miles are very technical rocks and ledges with lots of opportunity for sidewall tearing. The best thing is that it's given me ZERO issues and has proved to be extremely tough and durable for its weight. It seems to roll faster than the Racing Ralph Snakeskin it replaced (which only last me 2 months max as a rear tire before the tread wears off). After all these hard miles, my Ikon still looks almost brand new. I feel it has slightly less straight line grip compared to the ralph for braking and super steep climbs, but that just required a small change in riding style to compensate (push down harder on rear for slick steep climbs). In the corners, I prefer it over the Ralph as it tracks very predictably.

This is definitely my new favorite rear tire, and I'll probably be trying it as a front as well once I kill my current Ralph (still my current favorite for a front tire). I fully expect it to last through the entire upcoming XC series as well as my training rides. For reference, I'm a fast cat 1 / slow open class racer.
 

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Thanks for the info, I just ordered one for my rear tire and it's good to here they are holding up well. I also picked up two Ignitor EXO's to run in the muddy spring time. Once things dry out I want to run the Ikon as my rear tire.
 

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My impressions were slightly different than yours.

I like the Ikon more the the Ralph for the following reasons.
-Smoother Ride Quality (more damped, less likely to bounce or deflect off rocks/roots)
-Cheaper
-Lighter
-Easier to set up tubeless
-Seems to be a tougher tire, in regards to cuts and punctures. (EXO vs. Snakeskin)

Tire Volume seemed to be in the same ballpark. Cornering grip seems similar.

I liked the Ralph better because to me, it seems to have less rolling resistance, confirmed with some rolldown tests. It wasn't much of a difference, but I'm a stickler on rolling resistance (to a fault), so I tracked down some leftover 2010 Ralphs to ride.

When I can no longer find the 2010 Racing Ralph SnakeSkins, I will be going with the Ikon. The 2011 SnakeSkins are up around 700 grams...so 230g more per pair than the Ikon EXO. Not worth it for the small difference in rolling resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Brentos - I agree with just about everything you said.

The rolling resistance for me was more of a seat of the pants feeling. I can't say they actually roll faster, but maybe it's that "smoother" feeling you talked about. It just feels quick and smooth. If there is a difference either way, it's probably negligible in the grand scheme of things, but it's definitely a great XC tire... Maybe the best for my needs. I've tried a lot of tires.

Most impressive for me is the tread life. When you're spending $50-$70 on a tire, having to replace one every two months is a tough pill to swallow. I won't be running the Ralph as a rear anymore that's for sure.
 

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jd1072, thanks for the review.

I ran the Ikon on the front too. It's very comparable to the Ralph, if there's any less grip (maybe slightly), it makes up for it in added control due to it's damping characteristics.

It was hard for the weight weenie that's buried deep inside my soul to take the Ikons off and put a heavier tire back on. :D
 

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OriginalDonk
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Thanks for the info fellas. Hoping you guys can update your thoughts as conditions change and move toward what I'm hoping will be the Ikon's sweet spot. I mounted up a pair yesterday and put them through their paces today. Will see how they perform in a wet race this Sunday on well drained loose soils. Will report back but great to hear about sidewall strength from the OP.
 

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brentos said:
When I can no longer find the 2010 Racing Ralph SnakeSkins, I will be going with the Ikon. The 2011 SnakeSkins are up around 700 grams...so 230g more per pair than the Ikon EXO. Not worth it for the small difference in rolling resistance.
700 grams? Crap. I think I will be trying the Ikons. Any online retailers with the Ikon in stock? I have checked my usual sources and they are out of stock.

Nevermind, found and purchased from Biketiresdirect.com. 15% off right now.
 

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Fishlips said:
700 grams? Crap. I think I will be trying the Ikons. Any online retailers with the Ikon in stock? I have checked my usual sources and they are out of stock.

Nevermind, found and purchased from Biketiresdirect.com. 15% off right now.
It looks like speedgoat has them for the cheapest...
 

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hispanic mechanic
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I
jd1072 said:
In mid-December I picked up a new Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.2 (sidewall protection - 570grams, 29er). I know you're thinking a couple months can't qualify for a long term review, but they have been a hard couple of months on the tire.

I am running the tire tubeless (as a rear only) on a Reynolds Topo carbon wheel at 23-26psi depending on conditions. I've been very happy with it so far. I have several races on it including:

45 mile marathon (mostly roots, scattered pebble, and pine)
75 mile marathon (roots, scattered rock, and jeep roads)
40 miles in a 6hr team race (40 miles of XC race pace over rocks and hardpack)
56 mile marathon (rocks, ledges, hardpack)
40 miles in a 12hr team race (roots and hardpack, full xc sprint each lap)
Super D TT course + 4 practice runs (tons of sharp granite rocks, drops, jumps)
40 miles in another 6hr race (sharp granite rocks, drops, tire scrapers. Flatted three other tires that day, but not the Ikon!)

I've also done all of my training Miles between races on this tire. Training miles are very technical rocks and ledges with lots of opportunity for sidewall tearing. The best thing is that it's given me ZERO issues and has proved to be extremely tough and durable for its weight. It seems to roll faster than the Racing Ralph Snakeskin it replaced (which only last me 2 months max as a rear tire before the tread wears off). After all these hard miles, my Ikon still looks almost brand new. I feel it has slightly less straight line grip compared to the ralph for braking and super steep climbs, but that just required a small change in riding style to compensate (push down harder on rear for slick steep climbs). In the corners, I prefer it over the Ralph as it tracks very predictably.

This is definitely my new favorite rear tire, and I'll probably be trying it as a front as well once I kill my current Ralph (still my current favorite for a front tire). I fully expect it to last through the entire upcoming XC series as well as my training rides. For reference, I'm a fast cat 1 / slow open class racer.
Texas? I'm guessing based on your race calendar.
If so, glad to hear it held up to Flat Rock, limestone and flint sure can be hard on sidewalls!

Los
 

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I have had great performance on previous Maxxis brand tires. I now have 2 aspen's and 2 ikon's in route for a 29'r build . Would not hesitate to recommend the Maxxis brand to anyone thats pondering which brand tires to use,
 

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Some quick questions bout couple of the tires mentioned.

Why did you choose the Ikon over say the Aspen or the Crossmark?

And were you running the Ikon just up front?

Reason I ask as I will be racing my 29er for first time soon and it came with Crossmarks. Was wondering about changing out to a different tire or different combo. Pretty new to racing and riding so dont have a large knowledge base when it comes to tires.

Thanks.
 

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Okie Dokie said:
Some quick questions bout couple of the tires mentioned.

Why did you choose the Ikon over say the Aspen or the Crossmark?

And were you running the Ikon just up front?

Reason I ask as I will be racing my 29er for first time soon and it came with Crossmarks. Was wondering about changing out to a different tire or different combo. Pretty new to racing and riding so dont have a large knowledge base when it comes to tires.

Thanks.
I can't answer for the OP.

Back when the Ikons were officially announced, this thread had some measurements and reviews by some of us that were testing the tire. I threw up some weights and measurements compared to other Maxxis tires.

Just looking at the height of three Maxxis tires, my measurements were as follows:

Crossmark is 51.4mm tall
IKON is 54.2mm tall
Ardent is 54.4mm tall

The Ikon will have more volume over the Crossmark and be a bit lighter. It's the first tire with the triple tread compound from Maxxis. I find it to be an excellent XC race tire. That's not to say the Crossmarks you have are not good tires. They are also excellent XC race tires. So I wouldn't just ditch 'em in favor of something else until you get your money's worth out of them. I wouldn't hesitate to race Crossmarks front and rear - especially tubeless. You might consider picking up another tire or two that is different to mix and match for conditions and courses.

Some good combos that some of us have tried include, but are not limited to...

Ikon up front, Aspen in the rear
Ardent 2.25 up front, Crossmark or Ikon in the rear

Or in my case....I also like Aspen front and rear on a race bike for dry courses or running an Ikon front and rear for dry as well as tacky courses. I've been using the Crossmark UST on the rear of my RIP 9 since last June and like it a lot.

BB
 

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I was thinking of running the Crossmark for my rear tire when riding the Colorado Trail (about 500 miles, mountain passes, roots, rocks, everything) this July. Do you think the Ikon would make a good choice for a rear in lieu of the Crossmark? I didn't know if it would have enough grip, especially on steep ascents.
 

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Trail Junkie
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I have been running the Ikons (front/rear) for a month and half, and put on quite a lot of training miles to go with 2 races. Right now I have 645mi. and very little wear on the inside of the corner knobbies, and are otherwise flawless! I am not sure that there is a better tire out there right now for its intended purpose as a light race tire.

In the last month, while I was building my SS, I purchased 3 more (one for spare), and have noticed 4 bike buddies show up at the trails with my same exact tires. I have a friend that works at the same facility as me who is a "tester" for Maxxis and has been testing them for over a year now, and compliments the quality of that tire.

I think Maxxis really came on with a solid tire for '11, and I think this tire is so good, they could probably discontinue the Crossmark....and the Larson TT (if they haven't already). It is just a stellar performer!
 
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