24 July 2006 - 19:53Exiwolf vs. Ignitor
It is a question that is just as hard to answer as the chicken and the egg quandary.
While the jury is out on which tire is better, I do have some opinions on each.
Exi or Ignitor?
WTB Exiwolf 2.3
It’s a directional high volume tire, with shallow lugs, I’m running the kevlar version.
My first impression was instant love. I have long been a fan of WTB rubber, but I’m always leery of trying anything “new”. After running Weirwolfs on my 26ers for many years, I thought Exis would make me just as happy. Though light they are not (around 820g for a kevlar bead tire), they’re not a far stretch for someone who was pushing around a 750g 26″ tire.
One of the cool things about this tire, is that on a wide rim, they become quite round. There is no transition point form the center knobs to the side knobs, making for a tire that you can really push without that squirmy feeling once you reach the point where the side lugs give up.
Of course, that also means, when you are out of grip, they slide.
They excelled on roots and dry off camber stuff, on wet they slid, predictable however, and regained their grip quickly.
I was also very surprised how well they gripped in the mud despite the shallow lugs, and relatively close tread pattern. They actually throw mud really well, and only spin if you unweight the saddle.
Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
Another directional tire, but lower volume. Despite this, the casing is only a bit smaller than the Exi. Tread is ramped, tightly spaced series of pentagons.
Well after spending most of the spring on the Exi, I really needed to be wowed to make a permanent change. Needless to say, I was wowed. The Ignitor rolls fast! And it’s quite a bit lighter than the Exi, over 100g in some cases. It is not as high volume as the Exi, but almost the same size when comparing how the tread fills the chainstays.
The grip is all there – to a point. By this I mean, that the profile of this tire is more square, once you compromise the knobs, you slide. This tire exhibits a “tipping point”, and also I feel it doesn’t have as much traction on actual obstacles the way the Exi does. My first experience on this tire was at Catamount during the weekly race. I felt as if the tire could only be pushed so far before slipping on roots and rocks.
They also don’t shed mud as well, but for some reason, they still hang on.
That being said, it is falling into line. Either I am learning, or the tire is breaking in. I am running lower pressure now, and it seems to be making a big difference.
Exis – Good all around grip in most conditions, slide controllably when pushed. Kinda heavy, but full of surprises when you think traction is not attainable.
Ignitors – Fast. Good grip. Light. Unpredictable in rooty sections, but extremely able tires in any condition, once you know the limits, they do not disappoint.
Yeah… I didn’t really pick one did I?
Can’t I just like both of them? Geez, it’s almost like picking which one of your kids you like more…