Maxxis has an updated iteration of their mud and dust-friendly Shorty MTB tread. I’ve had a few test rides on the gen-two Shorty tread, and first impressions are all positive.
Unlike a lot of Maxxis tires, this new Shorty only comes in a 2.4″ Wide Trail width, for both 29″ and 27.5″ rim diameters. In fact, there are just six options to choose from in total, delineated by their casing, rubber compound, and diameter.
You might notice that all of the heavier gravity casings are wrapped in the brand’s flypaper-sticky MaxxGrip compound, favoring downhill traction over pedaling efficiency or longevity. This makes good sense, as this tread is so aggressive that pedaling efficiency is a largely foregone variable. These tires are made to hold on where others won’t.
On the scale, the 29″ Shorty tire with a Downhill casing that I’m testing weighs slightly less than the above Maxxis chart suggests, at 1,271g. Maxxis says that the new Shorty is 5% lighter than its predecessor when paired with the Double Down and Downhill casings. Is gravity getting lighter? That’s a shift no one will be bummed about.
Changes to the Shorty tread pattern are the result of feedback from enduro and DH racers alike. We saw several riders on the new tread at last season’s EWS race in Zermatt, with the Maxxis “Test Pilot” logo filling in where the Shorty print now sits.
Most notably, the new shorty does away with the big braking block that lined every third row of center tread, replacing it with uniform split blocks that favor mud shedding and soil biting above all else. Maxxis says that they have also fortified the shoulder knobs, added siping to enhance braking and cornering traction, and added raised ridges on the casing to promote mud clearing.
The photo below shows the gen-two Shorty on top with the former version below. The old tire here isn’t a perfect comparison, as it’s a 27.5″, and the other is a 29″, but the stated updates are clear regardless.
After only a few runs on the new Shorty, the tire’s intentions ring loud and clear. I mounted it up front, and after experiencing the traction increase in greasy mud I might be adding one to the rear as well. The revised Shorty hooks up impressively in soft, off-camber soils and manages a decent amount of grip even with its lugs half-packed in clay. Stay tuned for the full review of this sweet trail tamer, where we’ll compare it to the former version and to some similar treads like the Onza Porcupine RC.
Maxxis says that pricing for the new Shorty will be the same as the previous models.