A Useful Review – The Maxxis Minion Tire

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.

The Cycling Independent is sponsored by Shimano North America and our generous subscribers.

Join the conversation
  1. Wyatt says

    Im 100% converted to the same heavy, slow rolling combo because nothing Ive ever ridden eats the trail like these do. I dive into the corners with the front wheel in a way I never would have imagined possible until these and the rear sticks to everything. Want to turn it up to 11–go with the max grip compound on your next set–its frickin’ trail velcro. They wear faster and cost more but worth it if you can swing it because they are ride-away-from-your-friends-good in wet conditions!

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      Wyatt – I do believe you put that better than I did.

  2. dr sweets says

    I’ve (and everyone around here; it’s Georgia FFS) ridden Maxxis forever. Their tires are great. The last combo from them I really liked was the Assegai (of course you can always roll up and say yr an ASS GUY or whatever tired one-line you want) 2.6 up front and a DHR 2.4 out back. The Assegai is similar to the DHF, but slightly grippier. The two negatives with these tires is cost and wear rate. A terrific alternative are the Specialized Butcher and Eliminator. These are generally $20-30 less (and are often on sale), have equal or better traction (T9 up front) and do not wear as quickly. I may seem like a cult member with regular Specialized praise, but they have simply been making a lot of dope stuff over the last half dozen years.

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