Having a good set of tyres is crucial if you want to push your e-MTB to the limit. They provide grip into those fast corners, on those steep descents and provide the traction to help you on the climbs – essentially, they’re your best friend.
Getting the wrong tyres can lead to a miserable day in the saddle and also lead to crashes. Two of the biggest players in the market are Maxxis and Schwalbe; they accompany many top e-MTBs and always compete for a place on the elite bike setups.
But which one is better? And who can you trust more? Welcome to our Maxxis vs Schwalbe 2023 comparison guide!
Maxxis is a Taiwanese company, founded in 1967, which has a long reputation of creating good quality and reliable tyres. Along with creating excellent bike tyres, they also create products for the automobile industry and construction industry.
Their popularity has blossomed, with the company now employing more than 20,000 people worldwide, across their various different strands of business, and the company distributes to 160 countries. Over the past 7 years the company has posted annual revenue of around $4 billion.
In the e-MTB industry the company is a leader in product development and it’s this reputation of innovation and reliability that’s led to them becoming one of the most trusted tyres partners in the world of MTBing and e-MTBing.
The company has pushed the boundaries on creating lightweight yet durable compounds for e-MTBing – with other manufacturers then having to play catch up.
Schwalbe is a German company founded in 1973, and it’s another manufacturer with a long and trusted history in the industry. Much of the company’s manufacturing takes place in Indonesia, but it has bases across the world, too, and its main headquarters remains in Germany.
Unlike Maxxis, Schwalbe Tyres focus largely on cycle tyres – in 2022 the company had a turnover of $363million. It’s a smaller company than Maxxis, but with 50 years of pure focus on the cycling industry, the company has crafted a well-trusted reputation.
Durability is one of the big draws for Schwalbe customers, the company puts a heck of a lot of time into product innovation to create longer-lasting products. It’s another manufacturer who not only attracts the general customer, but also the custom of many pro teams and top cyclists.
Maxxis Vs Schwalbe – Performance and Durability
Both tyre manufacturers are experts at creating incredibly durable products – it’s what places them both as market leaders. Maxxis tyres are often favoured by downhill riders and people riding on gnarly terrain, due to the aggressive tread the company often features on many of its leading tyres.
These are made to offer excellent grip and bite hard into the dirt. Products such as the Maxxis Minion DHR II are favourites in the downhill riding community and are well trusted partners for the wildest terrain – when you think of Maxxis you think of bold and big. The DHR IIs is the best rear tyre you can go for in e-MTBing.
Schwalbe tyres are more targeted in their approach and the company creates specific tread patterns for specific styles of riding, with various different gradings of tyre protection. The manufacturer’s Smartguard 7 tyre compound is one of the most durable you can find and the company opts for focusing on durability, instead of the most toothy bite they can go for.
The Schwalbe Racing Ray Racing Day Addix Speed is favoured by cross-country riders, due to the consistency and puncture protection, which can handle varied terrain and keep going for kilometre after kilometre.
- Favored by downhill riders due to aggressive tread.
- Offers excellent grip, especially on rugged terrains.
- Popular model: Maxxis Minion DHR II (preferred for e-MTBing).
- Tailors tread patterns for specific riding styles.
- Emphasizes durability with products like Smartguard 7 tyre compound.
- Popular model: Schwalbe Racing Ray Racing Day Addix Speed (preferred by cross-country riders).
Maxxis Vs Schwalbe – Rolling Resistance and Speed
Both manufacturers operate in all areas of the e-MTB market, but they certainly have specialities in the sector and this area is one.
Maxxis are big players in the downhill and enduro markets, with big toothy tyres offering lots of grip when you need it most on those steep descents and sharp corners.
That offers lots of rolling resistance – it means Maxxis tyres are wonderful on descent-orientated styles of e-MTBing but aren’t often as economical, speed-wise, on the flats and more hard-packed terrain.
The Maxxis Minion DHF Wide Trail 3C EXO are kings in the enduro market for the reasons we mentioned above. On the other hand, Schwalbe put far more attention into creating fast moving products, which also offer grip when you need it.
It means their tyres might not be quite as strong in the bite, but they tend to be better over hard-packed conditions and on longer distance rides – helping to maximise your speed and reduce the amount of rolling resistance. Schwalbe’s Magic Mary Super Trail Addix Soft TLs are favoured in the trail and all-rounder sector for their balance between speed, bite and shedding ability.
- Dominates downhill and enduro markets.
- Provides significant rolling resistance, which benefits descents but not as much on flat terrains.
- Popular model: Maxxis Minion DHF Wide Trail 3C EXO (enduro favorite).
- Focuses on fast-moving products with adequate grip.
- Better performance on hard-packed terrains and long-distance rides.
- Popular model: Schwalbe’s Magic Mary Super Trail Addix Soft TL (balanced speed, grip, and shedding).
ℹ️ You may well be thinking, what on earth is the difference between Maxxis DHR vs DHF – the R stands for rear and the F stands for front. The DH stands for downhill.
Many riders run their bike on two front tyres or two rear tyres, depending on the terrain. DHRs tend to be far more grippy, which is why they’re often favoured by downhill riders, while DHFs are lighter and offer a little less traction – ideal for the enduro community.
Maxxis Vs Schwalbe – Puncture Resistance
You aren’t a very good tyre manufacturer if you haven’t considered puncture resistance, but fortunately both Maxxis and Schwalbe have. Maxxis Assegai tyres are some of the robust out there – they’re targeted at the downhill and aggressive enduro markets.
They’re highly reinforced throughout, including down the sidewalls, to prevent pinching and buckling over on those fast and hard corners.
It’s hard to compete with those, but Schwalbe also have a few decent lines at their disposal – the Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity tyres are among the best and also target the most aggressive styles of riding.
They’re a better overall tyre than the Assegai, but don’t have quite the level of puncture protection.
- Offers highly reinforced tyres like Maxxis Assegai targeting downhill and enduro.
- Has products like Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity for aggressive riding.
- While comprehensive, they offer slightly less puncture protection compared to Maxxis’s Assegai.
Maxxis Vs Schwalbe – Terrain and Style of Riding Suitability
You may have noticed a theme in this guide so far. Maxxis tend to be the leaders in the downhill market and for aggressive enduro riding – due to their more aggressive tread and level of stopping power.
Schwalbe on the other hand are far better all-rounders, better for cross-country, general trail and touring. Maxxis styles come into their own in the dirtiest conditions, with thick slushy mud, Schwalbe take the lead on hard-packed, gravel and road.
Maxxis are better on descent-focused riding and Schwalbe on a variety of terrain, particularly climbing and the flats.
- Leaders in downhill and aggressive enduro due to aggressive tread.
- Performs best in muddy conditions.
- More versatile, suitable for cross-country, trails, and touring.
- Leads on hard-packed, gravel, and road terrains.
Maxxis Vs Schwalbe – Price
Unlike some areas of the e-MTBing sector, tyre manufacturers tend to fall within roughly the same parameters on price – particularly Maxxis and Schwalbe. All the tyres we’ve mentioned in this guide fall between $65 and $85. Neither tyre is particularly at the top or bottom of that scale, it just depends on the tyre in question.
Maxxis vs Schwalbe
- Price ranges for both brands’ tyres are between $65 and $85.
- Specific tyre prices may vary within this range.
Best Overall Tyre – Schwalbe Magic Mary
In this Maxxis vs Schwalbe comparison, the best overall tyre for us is the Schwalbe Magic Mary. It’s ultra versatile and can manage to hold its own in the descents, while also being able to climb adeptly and move well over flat ground and on forest roads.
It has enough bite to offer protection into the corners, but also enough shedding ability to move at pace without offering too much traction. It also has decent puncture protection and can be ridden across varying different riding disciplines.
It isn’t the toothiest and won’t be the best for the wildest downhill routes, but it’s the best versatile all-rounder. It’s the best option if you want to take on lots of different riding styles with your e-MTB.
- Extremely versatile and adapts to multiple terrains and riding styles.
- Offers a balance of protection, speed, and puncture resistance.
- Ideal for diverse e-MTB riding styles.
Both Maxxis and Schwalbe are at the top of their game in the e-MTB tyre market and it’s hard for any other manufacturers to compete with the level of experience, quality and innovation that these two have.
Not only do they bring reliability and durability, but both companies continue to innovate and continue to push the boundaries in the industry. We hope you enjoyed our Maxxis vs Schwalbe comparison and now know exactly what tyre to go for in your chosen riding discipline.
All you need to do now is get them bought and get out riding.