Review: Maxxis Ignitor XC Tyre

Tyre choice is always a tough topic, even more so on the XC circuit, where conditions and courses dictate the choice even more so than on tarmac.

When I bought the On One Whippet frame last summer for the Natwest International Island Games XC Event, I needed a set of tyres that I could mount up tubeless and leave on the bike. They needed to be reasonably hard wearing, good in all conditions, fast rolling and good value. After doing a bit of shopping around the Maxxis Ignitor tyre seemed like a good option. I found them for around £27 each online and mounted them up on the Hope Hoops that I am running with ZTR Crest Rims on the Whippet. Here's what I thought:

  • Speed: These are pretty fast! OK they might not be quite as rapid as Rocket Rons, but I reckon they are comparable almost to Racing Ralph in terms of low rolling resistance and speed.
  • Durability: This is where I think these tyres come into their own, they come in different compounds and with the harder compound option (that I chose) they seem to last pretty well. They have decent puncture protection and as I highlight below are fairly resistant to cuts and tyre-wall slashes. 
  • All Purpose: Because of the nature of tubeless it's a bit of a faff to change between tyres, that's why I wanted tyres that could be used in all conditions. These seem to serve that purpose well, I've ridden them almost throughout the year, only changing them for a Panaracer Trailrakers in the depths of winter. They do well in the dry and the wet, clearing mud well and gripping well in the dust. 
  • Terrain: If you aren't going to use these as an all purpose tyre, but instead use them for a certain condition where they excel, I would have to say it is the dry and rocky conditions. During the Island Games race we had some steep rocky descents with flints and chalk; many riders running lightweight tyres such as Racing Ralphs and Rocket Rons were suffering with flint cuts and punctures particularly on the side-walls. The Ignitors held up well, and have largely avoided flint cuts throughout their use. Admittedly this is with the harder compound option, and I can't vouch for the grippier softer compound tyres, but in my mind there is a compromise to be made between puncture protection and compound/side-wall choice on tyres. These seem a robust option and for that reason I think they are suited to the the rocky terrain often found on downlands. 
Overall a pretty solid tyre, both in terms of reliability and speed. They aren't the lightest, lowest rolling resistance, grip-orientated tyres. Yet, they do a very decent job at ticking all of the categories at more than a satisfactory level, and certainly make a great all-conditions race and training tyre. 

N.B.  I have to say that I have not replaced the Ignitor that I have just taken off my bike like-for-like; but instead have opted to try another similar market tyre, the Geax Saguaro. This is for two reasons: the Geax was on special offer, and secondly the Maxxis' beads seem too lightweight to run tubeless, as I was getting a problem with them "burping" off the rim, even on the Stans NoTubes specific rims. The Geax has a 'Tube-No-Tube' set up, so it is effectively a tubeless tyre, however it remains to be seen how it performs against the Maxxis in terms of grip and durability (future review in the pipe-line).

Available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)

What tyres are you currently using on your XC bike? Comments below.


  1. Spot on review
    except the part
    comparing speed to Ralphs - they are nothing on ralphs for xc speed.


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