Maxxis Ravager 40: Getting Rolling

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Maxxis Ravager 40: Getting Rolling- by Guitar Ted

Just a few days ago we introduced the Maxxis Ravager 40mm tires.  This is a new entry from Maxxis to their gravel road tire line up which includes the Rambler and the Refuse models. The Ravager differs in that it sports a very aggressive tread and is aimed at those riders looking for an adventure on skinnier tires that may take them into mountain biking territory. In this review we will seek to find out just how far one can veer off into the mtb realm and whether or not this tire actually makes a good gravel road tire.

The Ravager has the most aggressive tread pattern for a gravel road going tire seen since the Rock & Road by Bruce Gordon.

What It Is: The Ravager 40mm tires have the same, carbon fiber, foldable bead that the Rambler 40’s have and they fit the rims in a very similar way. Using the trick of “bouncing” while setting the bead with an air compressor to attain the tubeless benefits of the tires was essential. With that done, the Ravager has held air really well, and has not seeped sealant through the sidewalls at all. At 40psi, the tires measure out to 40.3mm at the casing and 40.37mm at the widest point across the tread. This was on a WTB KOM i25 rim. Narrower rims might yield less width. Our samples actually came in slightly lighter than the claimed 485 grams for the 120TPI versions at 471gm and 476 grams for each tire.

The tread is very unique in this genre’. The side lugs are as big as some tread blocks on mountain bike tires I’ve tested. The central rows of knobs are tallish and siped for extra traction capabilities. There is no ramping of the knobs in a nod to lower the rolling resistance either. I was somewhat skeptical of this design due to that feature, or should I say lack of that feature. However; the tires exhibited a really decent free rolling nature which belied its toothy knob design. It does vibrate and the tires do sing a bit but not overly so. While there are many faster tires, the Ravager isn’t being handicapped to a great degree by this aggressive tread design. The theoretical advantage here is that the tire should do things a faster, smoother treaded tire just could not do in more severe terrain.

Ride Performance: So while I was expecting a slower, more sluggish ride feel, I was surprised to find the Ravager to be…..average. That’s better than expected, and actually, a pretty good sign. I tested the tires so far on disintegrated gravel, dirt, grass, and busted up pavement. The Ravagers have a tendency, at least when freshly mounted, to throw stones and this may be due to the toothy, tall center blocks. More time will tell if this goes away or if it does not.

Grip, as you might expect, is very good. On grass and dirt the Ravagers can be leaned into confidently without fear of sliding out as you might with other gravel oriented tires. Perhaps only the recently tested WTB Riddlers and the Arisun Gravel Plus 38’s are in the same category. Whether these Ravagers can surpass the cornering grip of those tires is yet to be determined, but they are very good in this respect.

So Far…… The Ravagers have an aggressive tread, are reasonable in weight, and are true to width. They are excellent in regards to air retention and ride very smoothly. Rolling resistance, considering the tread design, is good in that these tires won’t hold you back on hard surfaces. Cornering prowess seems very good. More time on the gravel will reveal much. Stay tuned for our Checkpoint post in a few weeks.

Note: Maxxis sent over the Ravager 40mm tires to at no charge for test/review. We will always strive to give you our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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5 thoughts on “Maxxis Ravager 40: Getting Rolling

  1. I have one set of WTB Nano 40’s Tubeless on my Van Dessel WTF. There not perfect in every type of gravel or dirt, but I try not to over think everything, just ride. What I’m saying is that your Guitar Ted Productions blog is a lot better (I enjoy your post very much). Riding Gravel is an endless review of tires. Reviews are ok if you change it up a bit. Derailers, shifters, seatposts handlebars, tire, etc…

  2. @Lenny DePane- Thanks for the comments and criticism. I see where you are coming from. That said, we have the benefit of knowing what draws eyes here and also, we know that diversifying a bit is good, but that is not 100% within our control either. So, we are far from concerned about the balance of what types of things we are reviewing currently. In the future, that may change, and that would be a welcomed thing for many, I am sure. Tires reviews are, and will still be, the biggest draw though.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. I rode a Maxxis Rambler in Dirty Kanza and in Race Across Texas. I like the ride quality very much but have had two occasions of tire failure/tread separation. I got bubbles in the tires. Once using Stans and once using Orange Seal. I contacted Maxxis through their website with no response. I like the ride but expect a company to be responsive to problems.

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