Tires Update

I’ve had the Panaracer Rampage as my front tire and the Maxxis Crossmark on the rear for a little over a month now. I’ve got over 150 miles on them in that month (yes, I know that some people put that many miles in just a couple of rides, but I’m a recreational mountain biker so it takes a little longer) and I just wanted to do a quick update on how they’ve been for me.

First off, both are in great shape (as they should be). I’ve ridden through the same area that tore my XR Jones a few times and not a peep from either tire. I’ve taken them through some rock gardens, rolled them on a few boulders & did small jumps with them. They’re still good. On a local trail they’re doing some maintenance and putting in a lot of the same rocks you would find next to railroad tracks. I’ve ridden through these jagged rocks a few times without any problems either.

Quick thoughts on each tire: The Rampage definitely increases my confidence. The tire grips so well that I’ve been able to dial up my speed on different parts of the trail knowing that the tires (and in particular, the front tire) would grip. I’ve also begun to rely more and more on the tires getting me through tricky spots rather than my brakes.

One particular section that I’m thinking about has an off camber climb that goes into a downhill. The downhill has a sharp left that leads to more off camber downhill that ends in a sharp right turn. With my old XR Jones, I applied the brakes as soon as I reached the crest to modulate my speed during the quick left/right downhill section. But with the Rampage up front I get to the top, pedal and carve the left/right downhill with ease, lots more speed and no brakes. SWEET!

The 2.1� Crossmark is also a very solid tire. They’re not quite as beefy as the Rampage, but thats what I wanted for my rear wheel. I do find that there is a little slippage during standing climbs but I also need to improve my technique on that as well. The Crossmark seem to be very versatile. They work fine in all but the deepest sand pit or muddiest trail.

I showed my mechanic friend (another 29er aficionado) the Maxxis Crossmarks and he suggested running them backwards for the rear. The knobs just inside the edge knobs have a slanted side and a vertical side. Running them backwards would allow the vertical side to bite into the ground giving the tires a bit more grip for better climbing. I just might try that next!

Keep checking back in as a full review will be coming soon.

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