I’ve been tired of Surly and Vee-Rubber tires which seem to make up about 90% of my rubber collection (not counting my Trojans but they are all past their expiration date) so I picked up a used Maxxis 120tpi Mammoth on ebay for $50 that had been “installed and ridden” only 3 times. Although the tread depth was much less than what I usually like to ride with, I was pleasantly surprised at this tire’s performance on single-track trails. I tested this tire with a ghetto tubeless setup at ~8psi on the front tire of my BBS02 based Green Machine.
The Mammoth has much bigger lugs on the outside edges of the tires than the tread in the center. This tire also has very little rolling resistance but still bites quite well when cornering on the trails. I had no trouble mounting it ghetto tubeless on a 50mm rim, and the tire width did not disappoint. When I initially set the bead and took the bike out for a ride I ran it at 20psi and it performed very well just riding around on my lawn and on the road at that pressure. For single-track trail-riding I dropped the pressure down to 8psi and there was a tiny amount of counter-steer that was not present at the higher pressures.
Rating system is 5 (best) to 1 (worst)
Powder – Unknown : Will update in winter.
Mud – 3.5 : The lugs didn’t fill with mud as much as I thought they would, probably due to the distant spacing between lugs.
Ice – Unknown : Will update in winter.
Singletrack – 4 : This tire performed surprisingly well, it was incredibly predictable, light and felt quite nimble. It was a little slippery on wet roots and logs but performed better than expected in the mud. It didn’t clog up the way big lugs like the Surly Nate do.
Road – 4 : This tire performed better on the road at 20psi than at lower psi. It was a decent choice for the road although it is clearly not designed for such. It also performed well at high speeds (35+mph ) on loose gravel, even on sharp turns.
Rolling Resistance – 4.5 : I was shocked at the lack of rolling resistance for this tire, especially at 20psi.
Weight – 4 : Surprisingly good for the size of the lugs at 1300g
The Maxxis Mammoth was the first tire that I had ridden that I would classify as a ‘good all around tire’. Most fatbike tires are optimized for deep snow (Nate, Bud and Lou) or singletrack (Bulldozer) or the road (Vee 8), the Mammoth is the first tire I’ve tried that seems to excel in a variety of different conditions.
For $50 used only 3 times (Street price is $65 for the 60tpi bought new) it was worth every penny.