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Product Review: Maxxis Beaver XC MTB Tyre – Exception Series

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The Maxxis Beaver XC Tyre – Exception Series Folding Tyre are 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!


  • EXC – The number of threads that cross through one square inch of a single ply of the tire’s casing. Lower TPI gives better puncture, cut and abrasion resistance but is heavier. Higher TPI conforms better to the terrain
  • Foldable Bead – Foldable beads also keep the tire secured to the rim but are lighter weight and easily transported. The bead is made of spun aramid or Kevlar® fibers
  • M321P
  • Wet and mud conditions
  • Dual Compound Technology
  • eXCeption race specification
  • Dual Compound Technology
  • Foldable beads
  • Size: 26 x2.20 TPI: 60a/70a
  • Max PSI: 120
  • Weight: 490g

Maxxis Beaver MTB Tyre Review:

Grip and control. That’s what the Maxxis Beaver is all about. Simply put it is a fantastic bad weather tire. I purchased these to replace my old Bontragers. I bought these for primarily one and only reason and that is that they are a mountain bike specific tire with a secondary reason that is to replace two sets of mountain bike tires I have had to trouble with that were not Maxxis.

During my initial test the tires were aired up and the pressure only set at 30 psi. On the first ride I immediately noticed how much more stable they were compared to my Bontragers. Before I even started riding I was sold. This is not to say that they were uncomfortable or that I did not like them…I just noticed a difference. And they felt different. Now after having owned and ridden them now for several weeks, I can tell you that I have not had a single problem with them and they have exceeded my expectations for these tires.

They were a great deal at the price I got them for and I have not had to fill the tires with air since the first day I rode. Once I got home from my ride I dropped them down to the recommended 20 psi so that I could try them out some more. I did not want to ride them at my usual air pressure of 30 psi in case I possibly needed to ride in snowy or icy conditions. This was in case they didn’t work well for me I could always reinflate them to a higher pressure for my normal riding. But, the soft tread and low profile make them smooth and stable. I even dropped the tire pressure a little more and they still handle nicely.

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The tires were designed for wet and muddy conditions and I have put them to the test in snow and ice along with the wintery slop that we get here on the east coast. They have also got me through 3 days of works and with the exception of a little snow, not much mud. The only snow I came in contact with lasted for about 30 seconds and it was mostly packed ice. I even heard someone say, “I really like those new tires you’re riding”-how’s that for a product review..?

The Maxxis Beaver also has the feature of a dual compound tread which is only found on a few mountain bike tires which also include the Maxxis Ignitor. I have ridden the Ignitor and I prefer the Beacon because it has better puncture resistance, less rolling resistance and I think the tread pattern and profile looks “cooler”-I think the tread is a little more aggressive.

I am amazed at the control these tires give me both braking and cornering. Very little pedal bob occurs when going downhill. I also noticed that in mud if you ride in just the right area the tire digs in and will ricochet you out of the mud pit.

I have not ridden them in snow but from what I have read in other reviews it is not exactly like the Kenda Snow Studs though. For me the fact that they are so low profile makes them great for traction in the mud. If you can pick your line and ride over the mud slick just right you can almost float over it. But you do have to pick your line carefully because it is so easy to bottom out.

I would say that the grip is very similar to the Bontrager XR2 or the Kenda Nevegal. The threads do add a certain level of durability that are noticeably present when watching the grooves cut into the snow, ice and mud. If you are looking for a low profile mountain tire than has good grip then you should definitely consider the Maxxis Beaver.

Great Maxxis Beaver Tires

I have owned 2 sets of Maxxis beaver tires in the last year. One set I purchased when I was in the market for a set of tires. The second set I purchased I actually bought at a discount store because the store on the other side of town did not have them in stock! I have ridden both sets from 65-90 and found them to be very lightweight, fast rolling and clipless. They grip very well – do not roll as well as knobbies but for one who does not ride mtn bikes during the winter who wants to have a tire that will help him/her make it to work on time you have found A very good all around tire. I typically use them in light snow no more than 8 inches of snow or on icy conditions.

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Written by Mark Adams

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