There’s often a pretty significant difference between gravel and cyclocross tires, but after several months of testing, it’s clear that Maxxis’s Speed Terrane tires are exceptionally versatile.
This review has to start with a major caveat: As a file tread tire, these won’t do you right in slippery, wet conditions during the fall races. However, if you’re like us, lots of midweek cyclocross training takes place off the course, sometimes on roads, making a file-tread pattern a nice choice for all-around training.
Similarly, once ‘cross season is over and your bike does double-duty on adventurous gravel rides, having smooth tread is better for rolling resistance.
Maxxis didn’t skimp on cornering knobs though, and that helps the Speed Terrane perform well in everything from midweek ‘cross practices to singletrack detours. Once you lean the tire onto these stiff knobs, the traction materializes, and allows for faster cornering than you might expect with a file tread tire.
The tubeless-ready casing is another key feature that encouraged us to keep riding these tires long after the autumn. It was relatively easy to set up these tires with some sealant on Zipp 30 Course wheels, and as such, we were spared the indignity of pinch flats on a number of occasions. The robust 120tpi casing has yet to fail us, which is also impressive given that these tires have nearly 500 miles of wear.
At 395 grams, the Speed Terrane isn’t the lightest ‘cross clincher you can find. That may be in part due to the tubeless-ready casing, but that’s a sacrifice we are happy to make.
There are a few changes you need to make to get a ‘cross bike ready for gravel cruising (like gearing, perhaps), but in the case of tires, we saw no reason to swap out the Maxxis Speed Terranes, a testament to their versatility and durability.