The Maxxis Shorty is designed for wet conditions. It excels where grip is sparse, but that’s not to say that its mid-length spikes don’t hold up when things dry out. However, it is noticeably draggy, which becomes more of a downside on the driest days.
The Maxxis Shorty sits in the middle ground between a full-on mud spike and tyres best suited to dry trails. As such it features lower cut knobs that are widely spaced which are intended to cut into soft ground while being usable in a wider range of conditions than a full-on wet tyre.
What we have here is the Shorty with Maxxis’ 3C Maxx Terra compound and the EXO casing. Maxx Terra sits between the hardwearing Maxx Speed and the soft Maxx Grip compound.
While it’s available in 2.3” width, we went for the fatter 2.5” Wide Trail model. On a rim with a 30mm width, the Shorty sits reasonably round, but not overly so. This means good things for pedalling. With the shoulder knobs out of the way that only leaves the centre knobs to contact the ground, meaning less rolling resistance. When you lean into a corner, it doesn't take much before the shoulder knobs engage.
However, while those widely-spaced knobs clear mud brilliantly and are slightly ramped for speed, they do make for a noticeably tougher time on the pedals.
Point it downhill and you’re graced with a shed load of predictable grip in the wet. Those shoulder knobs offer a ton of confidence in the corners, and their lower-than-a-spike heights means they don’t roll in harder-packed or dry corners.
You can happily push them in not-so-wet conditions, where more spikey tyres like the WTB Verdict Wet get decidedly nervous. Granted you may not be able to push quite as hard in the dry, as it still needs something substantial to dig into.
The obvious downside, though, is that proper slop slop will see its shorter knobs quickly overwhelmed. But then, that's the compromise it offers.
As such, the Maxxis Shorty is prime for the UK’s winter conditions, especially if your riding blends natural trails and trail centres. If you're just riding trail centres the high drag isn't justifiable – something like the Maxxis Minion DHF offers a friendlier time when not going downhill.
The Maxxis Shorty's particular versatility makes it an excellent choice if you're looking for a fit-and-forget tyre for UK winter trails. Just be prepared for a tougher time on the pedals.
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