In our latest series, we’re getting to grips with the brands that you deal with every day. The ‘Five minutes with’ series will present a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week we’re joined by Stephen Robinson, brand manager at Maxxis.
Can you tell us the history of the company?
Maxxis has been around for over 50 years and, alongside the brand’s parent company, ranks as the world’s largest tyre manufacturer by volume. We produce over one million tyres a year, which is a pretty cool thing to think about.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
For me in the bicycle side of the business, the objective is clear. I want Maxxis to be the first choice for riders of all levels and across all cycling disciplines. Working with two really strong distribution partners, Extra and Madison, has certainly helped over the last 18 months, but I’m also keen to keep the guys and gals on the front line happy. Bike shops are really important to us as a brand, which is why we’re dedicated to keeping prices competitive and offering good margin opportunities on tyres that customers will love.
Maxxis dominates the MTB space but we want to replicate that success in each market niche, from commuter tyres to e-bike, road to BMX. We’re already making some impressive progress, with last year’s road tyre sales increasing by 87 per cent compared to 2016.
The performance and quality of our tyres are second to none. For us, it’s more a question of raising awareness of the brand’s new technologies and encouraging cyclists to make the switch from established premium European competitors, in areas such as road cycling.
What gives you an edge over other brands in the industry?
I think there’s room in the market for everyone. We all meet a different set of needs. For Maxxis, the edge comes from our approach to innovation. We have some of the best, state-of-the-art research and development facilities out there, and we invest heavily in our production capabilities. This, combined with our close relationships with partners and customers, helps us anticipate trends and be the first to market with pioneering tyre technology. Examples of this can be found in our Double Down range, Wide Trail tyres, and the ease with which we offer customers tubeless ready compatibility.
What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment?
E-bikes remain pretty exciting, despite being quite a polarising topic! Whether you’re a lover or a hater, you can’t deny that the emergence of e-bikes over recent years has opened up cycling to a whole new demographic of rider. That’s not just great news for brands in the industry looking to capitalise on demand but also new customers of varying abilities and backgrounds, who are entering the world of bikes for the first time.
What does the future hold for the company?
The future’s looking good. We’ll be expanding our product range this year, with new tyres launching in the MTB, road and BMX segments. Each has undertaken extensive review in the design and testing phase to ensure they deliver the utmost quality and performance when they hit the shelves later this year.
The latest MTB tyre was recently revealed as the Maxxis Assegai at the Sea Otter Classic in California. It’s a new 29” aggressive downhill and enduro tyre that’s been designed in partnership with Santa Cruz Syndicate rider, Greg Minnaar. Its tubeless ready and comes with Maxxis’s 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound, dual ply casing and butyl sidewall inserts for additional stability.
The new road tyre will be a game changer for performance road racing and will be pivotal in helping Maxxis take a larger market share in the road segment. The BMX tyre was originally developed for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but will be launched in earnest with the Pure BMX team this season.