I'm searching for new tires for my MTB, but I'm lost with the many options available, even within a single brand (like Maxxis). Under "Mountain" category alone, Maxxis lists 22 diferent tires, every one with many variants by size, compound and bead, while the only visible difference for me is the tread pattern.
I understand that big knobs are better for mud, and small/none ones are better for hard surfaces, but how you translate the tread pattern (beside knob size) into handling characteristics? Can you look at a tread and says what it's good for? Is "climbs and brakes with authority thanks to the opposing parallelogram center tread design" (Maxxis Advantage) just marketing speak or it's for real?