After about a year-and-a-half of consideration, I finally picked up a pair or two of Maxxis Ignitors. I’ve ridden a fair number other tyres (note that while some of these tyres were purchased in the U.S. as ‘tires’, I’m writing this in Australia, so they’re now ‘tyres’), but I haven’t been that happy with any of them.
Of the tyres I’ve recently ridden, the Larsen TTs were fast on hard pack but way to unpredictable in loose corners and mud. The Hutchinson Toros were nice on the front, but too slow on the back. The WTB Prowler 29 SLs were predictable but slow and heavy, the sidewalls proved a little weak, too. Finally, the Crossmark came the closest, but they still gave up too much in the mud and didn’t seem to offer much over the Larson TTs.
While in the U.S. (or the ‘States, as it were) I rode Eric’s Turner Burner with 26×2.1″ Ignitors in what I’d call moderately-slippery mud as well as dry-ish hardpack. I was so impressed with the Ignitors that I finally decided to buy some. I got a pair of Ignitor 120 tpi ‘Exception Series’ 26×2.1″ tyres for the Eriksen and a pair of Ignitor 29×2.1″ 60 tpi tyres for the Kona.
The 26×2.1″ Ignitor Exception measures in at a predictably-puny 1.785″ mounted without tubes on Mavic 819 rims. The missing 0.215″ of tyre width certainly explains some of the 260g (a little over a half pound) weight savings over the old Crossmark/Toro combo. Aside from the sizing discrepancy, the 26″ Ignitors mounted easily and inflated with some Stan’s sealant without too much coercion.
The 29×2.1″ Ignitor measures in at a shockingly-accurate 2.039″ mounted with tubes on Fulcrum Red Metal XL 29er rims. Even with an honest tyre size, the 29″ Ignitors saved 200g (a little under a half pound) over the old and notoriously-heavy 2.1″ WTB Prowler 29 SL tyres.
In the process of swapping the tyres on the Kona, I also removed a link form the chain (the Kona is a SS with sliding Paragon-like dropouts) and shortened the wheelbase by more or less 1″, assuming the PC1 chain didn’t already stretch too much.
I took the Kona out to Fox Creek (home of the Foxy 1000) and had a unplanned riding buddy for the entire one-and-a-half-hour ride. He kept cutting the switch-backs so I couldn’t always keep up, but I did pass him on the downhills.
Overall, the changes were transformative. I don’t know if the shorter chain stay/wheelbase or the Ignitors made the difference, but either way I’m very happy. I’ve yet to take the Eriksen out on the dirt with the new tyres, but I think I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I do.
Update: I swapped the 26×2.1″ Ignitor Exception tyres for a pair of 26×2.35″ Ignitor ‘Maxxpro’ tyres. I don’t know what ‘Maxxpro’ means, but I’m guessing something along the lines of ‘heavy’. Anyway, the Ignitor 2.1s, which were actually ~1.8″ wide, were just too small, and these Ignitor 2.35s measure in with a nice 1.97″. Aside from the increased size and weight, these new ‘Maxxpro’ Ignitors seem to have much thicker sidewalls, and as a result sealed up much more quickly and required about half the Stan’s sealant that the smaller Exceptions took. Here’s a comparison of the key specifications:
Tyre Size Measured Width Measured Weight
Ignitor 2.1 Exception 26 x 2.1" 1.785" 490g
Ignitor 2.35 Maxxpro 26 x 2.35" 1.970" 740g
Ignitor 2.1 29 x 2.1" 2.039" 600g
Ignitor 2.1 Exception (left) & Ignitor 2.35 Maxxpro (right)
Ignitor 2.35 Maxxpro (left) & Ignitor 2.1 Exception (right)