Maxxis Mud Wrestler EXO TR cyclo-cross tyre review

We've been using the Maxxis Mud Wrestler tyres through typical UK winter conditions to see how they handle muddy off-road as well as on-road riding

(Image credit: mike prior)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A good winter cross tyre, although the low central tread profile results in some slipping in muddier conditions.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Wide tread spacing avoids clogging

  • +

    Roll well on road

  • +

    Fortified sidewalls

  • +

    Range of tyres with same tread at different price points

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite low profile central knobs result in some slipping in deep mud

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Maxxis’s Mud Wrestler has a classic tread pattern for winter conditions: well spaced knobs for mud shedding with sharp edges for grip in loose conditions. The central knobs have a slightly lower profile than the side ones so that the tyre rolls reasonably smoothly on tarmac but has enough bite for traction off-road.

>>> 15 year old tyres used to win cyclocross world championships

Maxxis makes four models of the Mud Wrestler. They all have the same tread and quite narrow, UCI-compliant 33mm width. There’s a wire bead and a folding-bead single-compound version, with the range topped off with two carbon-beaded tubeless-ready dual-compound tyres (hence the TR in the name). The Exo refers to an extra, cut-resistant, layer in the sidewalls.

The Mud Wrestler range includes two tubeless-ready models
(Image credit: mike prior)

The top of the range that we’ve tested has a 120TPI (threads per inch) carcass and there’s also a slightly cheaper 60TPI version. The tyres aren’t as tight a fit on tubeless rims as some, but nevertheless I was able to get them to inflate and seal using just a standard track pump. It’s nice to be able to set up tubeless without too much of a fight.

>>> Should you change to tubeless tyres?

Watch: Are tubeless tyres indestructible?

Maximum pressure for the Mud Wrestler is 75psi. They’re quite happy at 40psi although they don’t feel quite as compliant as some other tyres at this pressure, probably due to their beefier sidewalls. However, the extra sidewall protection is always reassuring when riding rockier paths.

>>> Cyclocross bikes: a buyer's guide (video)

The tyre does well in muddy and loose conditions, retaining grip and not accumulating a lot of extra mass from mud and debris or being too prone to sideslip, with any mud which does stick soon clearing once on firmer ground. So overall, the Mud Wrestler is a good choice for UK winter riding off-road.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1