A front tire that inspires and seems to be the ultimate synapse connection between rider, bike, and trail.
After years of riding a multitude of tires, including a WTB Prowler – which split in the middle, like when a fat girl wearing tight shorts bends over to grab a piece of fallen cake – a Hutchinson Toro Enduro, a Kenda Nevegal Stick E, and a Maxxis Minon, I went for something totally new…the GEAX Neuron. All have been in the 2.35 – 2.5 size, and on 6” travel bikes with a Fox 36 TALAS 160 and 180 fork.
The Prowler was one of the mean pranks Jamis’ product department played on the XAM 2.0. I “upgraded” to a Hutchinson 2.35 Toro Enduro. That was a nice tire, but the sidewall peeled, like a banana, on the rocky roots trails in New Hampshire. I gave up, and went to the two market leaders: the Kenda Nevegal Stick-E and the Maxxis Minion DHF. The Nevegal was a great tire, but after a handful of rides, I moved it to the rear because the 2.3 Nevegal on the front was a little less connective than I wanted, and was slipping on tight corners like a cheap date after a couple cocktails. Just like that same type of date, I didn’t trust it much when I was in turns that needed side knob connection. Maybe the compound wasn’t right, but I was happy with it on the back. The next move was to put on a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.35. I rode that tire for two straight years. The tire, no doubt, helped my riding advance. It connected to the dirt in ways I had never experienced. It felt like there were spikes in the sides. The Minion was strong, digging into the dirt, and gripping even the wet roots and rocks in New England. I was in love. When I bought a new bike, part of me was just plain excited that the new bike came with a Minion DHF 2.5 on the front. The new bike was slightly larger – a 7” free ride/all mountain bike – that has been ridden well over 1,000 miles in a year and a half on epic enduro rides, bike parks, and the 2 – 3 weekly rides on aggressive New England trails.
Finally though, the wear was starting to show on the Minion’s side knobs. When I went to replace it before a weekend trip to Killington, I decided to grab a new, brand new unknown tire: the Geax Neuron. There were questions on the first lift – people making fun of the unknown tire, my fear that it was a 2.5 but looked like a 2.35/2.4 width, the fact that I had never read a single review of the tire. It was all getting in my head – I had the Minion in the truck. My plan was ride full tilt to the lift, and if it didn’t work, I’d switch. After the first run on the dry, loose dirt and rocks, I scrapped all plans to change tires. Five hours of high-speed abuse on bone dry Killington dirt, loose rocks, baby heads, and roots, followed by about 20 miles of trail riding on wet, rooty, muddy, rocky trails has really given me the ability to say with complete confidence that the GEAX Neuron is the clear champion to the Maxxis Minion. No doubt, the tire is better than me, and gives me confidence to put more trust in the front end of my bike.
Set at 30 PSI with a tube, the Geax Neuron connects at least as well as the Maxxis Minion. The Neuron goes in exactly the direction it is pointed. And, at speed, it holds turns in all conditions, as if you are riding hero dirt at all times.
Maxxis Minion – Wire beaded 2.5 DHF tire 60a compound.
GEAX Neuron – Wire beaded 2.5 TNT
The Minion is a wider 2.5, for what it’s worth. This tire weighs slightly more than the Neuron.
The sidewall of the Minion is very strong, and responsive, but has a tendency to slip when it is pushed too far into a turn.
The sidewall on the Neuron seems equally strong and responsive, if not a little more forgiving and disciplined. When laid into a turn on loose dirt, the tire stays firmly planted and demonstrates more give as the tire and bike is pushed into the turn.
The tread pattern is similar, yet subtle alterations to the Neuron improve its grip and overall traction.
Time will be the ultimate test, but, I can say that I am 100% confident in this tire’s capability as of now.
Ryan Flynn – Excelling at mediocrity, and loving every minute of it.
Avid mountain biker logging 30 – 50 miles on Southern New Hampshire’s toughest tails.