Testing the Maxxis Rekon aggressive cross-country/trail tyre!
Words: Mike Blewitt Photo: Lachlan Ryan
The Maxxis Rekon. Pitched as an aggressive cross-country or trail tyre, it harks from the classic Ikon tread, but with a slightly wider performance window. With a 2.25” and WT 2.6” tested last year, now a 2.4” WT (wide trail) model fell onto the AMBwork bench. Maxxis state that their WT range work with rims with a internal width of 30-35mm.
The 2.4” model is a 60tpi casing, not quite as supple as the 120tpi casing models we tested last year – but plenty strong. The model I have tested had EXO sidewall protection and a TR tubeless ready bead, our test sample weighed in at 810g on the nose, about 10g above the stated weight. There's another model with the triple compound 3C rubber with the MaxxTerra mix, whereas this model has dual compound. So compared to say the 2.6” Rekon I tested last year, this has a different casing and more basic rubber – and that's why it's a bit heavier despite being narrower.
I mounted this one up on a lightweight wheel set with 29mm internal width, and it inflated to measure 60.5mm across the tread, and 58.5mm across the carcass. That's a really useful size for aggressive XC and trail riding, and given the Rekon tends to roll really well I expected it to be a fast option while providing a bigger bag for a large footprint, along with a good height tread. Make no mistake, if you're after Minion-like traction you won't find it with a Rekon. But if you like an Ardent or Ardent Race and you'd like something a little faster rolling in a 2.4” size – this is the type of Maxxis tyre to look for.
On the trail
For reference, I paired the 2.4” WT Rekon with a 2.35” Maxxis Ikon on the back while testing the Momsen Vipa Ultra frame set tested in this issue. Settling on tyre pressure can take a little while when using a larger volume tyre and a wider rim. You need to match the need for suppleness with the support you need to not burp the tyre or donk the rim. This pressure range gets narrower the larger the tyre so it's highly recommended to get a digital pressure gauge. Some are better than others, but using the one type consistently helps. I used 19.5psi in the front.
The Rekon 2.4” is fast rolling, although the tread height is a lot taller than the 2.25” MaxxSpeed Rekon I tested last year as well. With better edge knobs than something like an Ikon or even and Ardent Race, the Rekon 2.4” felt really good when pushed into corners in the dry conditions that have been prominent in South East Queensland recently.
Thanks to the deeper centre tread paddles, straight line braking traction on the front was good, not so good if you are braking too late while already tipping in a lot, it's like you hit too much of that dead space on the shoulder before the edge knobs are in the dirt – although that has a lot to do with riding and cornering style and of course the trail conditions. It did tend to slide a bit if you were braking late in loose conditions.
If there's a place where the tyre let me down it was when things got a little bit wet. The dual compound tyre doesn't have the same grip compared to a 3C (triple compound) tyre. While the softer compound on the Maxxis Rekon 2.4” I tested was on the shoulders, riding descents crossing logs or wet roots at an angle to the trail doesn't really involve that part of the tyre much. Obviously the slightly heavier 3C model would solve this – and is probably your best bet for a front tyre application.
So who is this Maxxis Rekon for? I really enjoyed the combination with the 2.35” Ikon for an aggressive XC bike with trail capabilities. It's a great match for the 120/100mm bikes that are around. I think with 120tpi casing to drop some weight it would be even better in this use. Otherwise, the Rekon 2.4” WT could be a perfect match on the back for a Rekon 2.6” WT for a fast trail bike, with a whole lot of grip and volume for a reasonable weight, low rolling resistance and compounds matched front and rear for grip and durability – and it's hard to argue with the price.
– Great tyre profile and tread
– Excellent value
– Suits modern trail wheels
– A little heavy
– Lacks the best compounds