Maxxis Rambler 40mm Tires: Getting Rolling-
The tubeless tire supply for gravel riders has really been opened up for 2016. One of the new players in the market is Maxxis who are offering what amounts to a big file tread road tire in the 27.5 X 2.00 Re-Fuse, and this new Rambler in a 700 X 40mm size. The Rambler comes in two versions, both with dual compound rubber, tubeless ready capabilities, and carbon reinforced beads, but one has a 60TPI casing and features Maxxis’ bead to bead “Silk Sheild” puncture protection technology while our test model is the 120TPI version with the EXO sidewall protection. You can find out weights and a bit more by going back to our introductory post HERE.
The Rambler, with its EXO sidewall protection, was a bear cat to get set up correctly, or at all, on a few rims I had in hand here. The best luck I had was with a Bontrager TLR rim, and in the end, the Velocity USA A-23 rims. I have put in many e-mails to my Maxxis contact and the report I got back was that they were able to get their samples to air up on WTB TCS rims and some American Classic model they had. The tires are tricky to set up- you will likely need an air compressor with good air volume- and the beads should be lubricated liberally with a solution of soapy water. Or……just have the bike shop install them. Honestly, that’s probably the best way to do this. I will say these tires are by far the most difficult tubeless tires in this class I have tried to set up tubeless. These tires will live out the rest of the review period here on these rims, I can tell you that right up front!
This may get modified as time goes on, because of my recent experiences with the Teravail Cannonball 38’s, (review here), which was a very stiff, unforgiving tire. The Rambler seems, at least for now, to be at the opposite end of the spectrum here in terms of ride feel. Damped, smooth, and fast are my initial impressions. I might add “fragile” to that list as well, as I had a freakish pinhole puncture on my third ride on these tires that the sealant didn’t seal, (sealant’s fault, not the tire), so I’ll also be keeping an eye on that as well. Oh, and by the way, the Rambler measures out to a 38mm on my A-23 rims, so that is a bit less than claimed. In fact, this tire looks about the same in volume as the Clement 36mm tire we also have on test here.
So Far….. The Rambler is a difficult tire, in comparison to the other gravel class tubeless offerings, to get set up tubeless. It is a light, fast, supple tire with decent grip. Perhaps a bit fragile? time during this review will tell on that front. Stay tuned……
Note: Maxxis sent over the Rambler 40mm tires to RidingGravel.com at no charge for test/review. We will always strive to give you our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
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