Since it was released, the Maxxis Aspen has been a boundary-pushing XC race tire that offers minimal rolling resistance and maximum speed. Traction is attributed to the high-volume casing and more prominent edge knobs, which allow the tire to accommodate roots, rocks, and loose stuff. eXCeption classification by Maxxis denotes it's optimal qualities for XC racing, and on hardpack, slightly loose over hardpack, and semi-soft or medium dirt, the Aspen can flat out fly.
While other Aspen models now feature more technical versions, we still love the eXCeption for the racing tire it was born to be. Colorado offers ample ideal trails for such a tire, but we quickly learned that when we paired Aspen with a front Ardent, we knew we had a great combination of grip, speed, and light weight for fast trail riding. If you want to aggressively go after an XC event on hardpack, or a sweet dirt short track win, we wholly endorse front and rear use of the dual compound center and side knobs that give the Aspen solid grip and amazing speed. Just remember, this is a race tire, in a race tire construction. Durability and protection can be found elsewhere. Speed is paramount.