Maxxis Hookworm 29x2.5 first contact review
I finally jumped in today. I swapped the tire this morning and got to test it on my morning commute and compare it to yesterday’s morning commute with my previous tire (WTB Exiwolf 29x2.3). My morning commute is 9 miles long with 3 good climbs.
Here are the common elements to both setups:
=> Rim: KH XC 38mm
=> Pressure: 4 bars / 60 psi
=> Cranks: 125mm
=> Shadow handlebar
To keep it fresh, I will try to break it down FAQ-style.
B What about the clearance ? Will it fit frame XYZ ?[/B]
The hookworm is given for 29x2.5 (63-622) where the Exiwolf is a 29x2.3 (55/50-622). However, thanks to the smooth profile, it fits under my 2006 KH frame with the reinforcement plate. It is only a couple of mm of clearance, but the tire being almost slick, I don’t foresee any clumping anytime soon (no tread to do the lifting and I am not planning to ride in sticky conditions).
Conclusion: if you can fit a 2.3 knobby tire, you should be fine.
B What about the weight ? Is it a dead horse ?[/B]
The hookworm is given for 1230g by Maxxis and I totally forgot to weight it OTOH, the Exiwolf is weighing 800g. On paper, it is a good 1lb heavier. In practice, the absence of tread make for such a smooth ride, it feels like a cloud (yes it is my very first slick tire on a uni). Even a bit tired today, it felt like the tire was asking to roll more than being pushed to. At worst, the extra weight made for a more stable ride (less wobbling ).
Conclusion: smoothness of tire trumps extra weight (at least in my comparison case).
B What about the grip ? Should I ride it only on a race track ?[/B]
New england roads this time of the year are no race tracks. They are now free from snow/ice but still full of sand/gravel on the side with a sprinkle of small snow & ice spots here and there (with a potholes bonus courtesy of snowplows).
When pumping it, I was surprise how hard it seemed even at 3 bar / 45 psi but I kept going for a fare comparison. It behaved consistently on the road, providing cushion on bumps & small holes while keeping a predictable line. The sand and small gravels were not a problem on the side of the road thanks to the contact patch & few grooves. I don’t worry having it on wet pavement (other already reported good behavior) and even taking a shortcut on dry grass should be fine. More than that is where I would personally draw the line (snow/ice/any off-road). I avoided the few snow patches here and there, maybe slush is fine but I wasn’t feeling playful today
Conclusion: it is built for urban assault so any urban conditions are fine. There is enough volume to be comfy, it is rolling smoothly while still providing sufficient grip and is reported to be long-lasting (too soon to test).
B How did it feel ? Was it a fight with camber/turns/other difficult situations ?[/B]
On this short distance, I noticed right away the willingness of the tire to roll and it was a pleasure. I didn’t have to fight it and no over-compensation was necessary making for a slight improvement over the Exiwolf (maybe thanks to the absence of shoulder knobs). I stilll have a weird way to do turns at proper speed but I might be just me needing to learn how to make the most of a smooth tire.
Conclusion: Overall, I am happy of the swap and look forward to using it more. Remember: YMMV