Let’s talk about the Maxxis Minion mountain bike tires, specifically the DHF and DHR II. I should start by saying this is a lot of tire for me. I’ve preferred narrower, faster rolling tires for trail riding mostly, but my buddy Andrew at Cascade Bicycle Studio, who built my Ibis Ripley for me, recommended these. He rides them and promised I’d like them. He was right.
I’m running 29 x 2.5 front and 29 x 2.6 rear.
First and foremost, because these are tires and the number one job is traction, I’ll say I’ve never had less rear tire slip or front tire skitch, that sort of sideways slide, than with the Minions. They grip wet rock and roots like nothing else. It helps that I run pretty low pressure, but as I’ve embraced flat pedal riding, the predictability of traction I’m getting has really helped my confidence.
The other obvious criteria for any tire is: How fast does it roll?
I am always curious about that balance between pressure, traction and speed. And to be clear, I’m not worried about how fast I am, but when you’re riding technical trails, momentum is everything. You have to be able to carry speed in order to clear difficult obstacles. And again, despite some aggressive knobs, the Minions have a high centerline that lets me roll through a lot of nonsense.
Here’s where things get murky. The Minions come in a LOT of sizes and widths. 24”, 26”, 27.5”, 29” diameters, and then 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6” widths. Then there are various casing options. It’s a real blank slate of a tire, defined, I think, by its tread pattern, which as I’ve said, is brilliant. Obviously though, you will get different results with different sizes and diameters, so do pay attention to those if/when you order.
The prices range from $33 to $112. If you’re riding a 29er, you can assume you’ll be in that $100+ range per tire. They’re worth it though.