Donnelly MXP vs. PDX tires for cyclocross - how to choose

Donnelly MXP vs. PDX tires for cyclocross - how to choose

One of the top FAQ's I receive is "what's the difference between Donnelly MXP and Donnelly PDX cyclocross tires?" That question isn't surprising, as the two tires look similar, are both in widespread use, and are both generally labeled as all-rounder tires for racing and training.

One tire for every race day

Pros have multiple wheelsets and can choose the perfect tread shape for the conditions of the day from 3 or 4 options - file tread, mud, and so on. For the rest of us, we often ride the same tread all season, regardless of conditions. All-rounder tires: the Donnelly MXP and PDX, Challenge's Grifo, Schwalbe's X-One series and others - are good choices for riders who plan to ride a single tire all year.

Let's take a look at which characteristics these tires share, and how they are different.

What the Donnelly MXP and PDX have in common

  • both come in a modern, tubeless-ready casing for tubeless use with sealant as well as traditional tubular options
  • both share the same MSRP price
  • both can be considered "all rounder" style tires, depending on your local conditions

How the MXP and PDX are different

  • The PDX has fewer knobs, and the knobs are further apart. This means the space between the knobs is less likely to pack up with mud.
  • The MXP has more knobs, spaced closer together, with a "paddle" shape in the center for driving power transmission on the rear tire.
  • PDX is slightly lighter, claimed weight 426 grams vs. 446 grams for an MXP, likely because there are simply fewer knobs and thus less rubber

Visual comparison of the MXP and PDX

 Donnelly MXP tread pattern

Donnelly PDX tread pattern

How should I choose between the MXP and PDX?

Carefully consider how likely your local courses are to be wet and muddy. If you ride consistently in wet and mud, the PDX is a better choice, because it clears mud better, but still works well in dry conditions. If your races tend to be on dry courses, I like the MXP better - it has more knobs for grip.

Whatever you choose, good luck this season.

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