Test winner! The best enduro all-rounder 2018


Maxxis MINION DHR II 2.4 WT TR EXO 3C MaxxTerra

Grip Directional stability Self cleaning Puncture resistance Rolling resistance Value for money

If you can’t be arsed to spend hours researching endless model ranges and want a tire which can cover 90 % of your riding needs, the Maxxis MINION DHR II 2.40 WT with 3C MaxxTerra-compound and EXO-casing is the answer to your troubles! This tire was originally designed to be used on a back wheel but is also an impressive front wheel option with outstanding braking traction and good lateral stability. The profile with big ramped knobs and staggered side-lugs can dig deep enough into the ground without concern over tire squirm. This makes it work well in both dry/rocky conditions and on soft terrain exceeding the grip threshold only at a late stage and offering great control. The grip of the 3C is great and the wear is relatively low.

With their EXO-casing Maxxis nailed the optimal compromise between weight, puncture resistance and damping. With a weight of around 900 g (27.5”) the MINION DHR II isn’t exactly feather-weight, but is still fully suitable for touring thanks to a passable rolling resistance. It is also suitable for the occasional race provided you pick your lines carefully. Thanks to the 2.4” width and the optimised pattern of the Wide-Trail-version, it perfectly suits 30 mm rims (internal width) and boasts good damping-characteristics, a clear advantage especially on damp terrain. It could also be used on thinner rims but in this case the 2.3” version would be the better choice. Like all Maxxis tires it’s easy to set up as tubeless and holds the air well. The absolute favourite in our ENDURO headquarter!


Strengths

– Very good traction
– Superb compromise of weight and durability for the casing
– Predictable, late grip threshold
– Lots of grip in the wet

Weaknesses

– Price
– Only average rolling resistance


Price: € 69.50
Weight: 957 g

Alternatives

Maxxis SHORTY – More grip on soft terrain
If you spend most of your time on soft terrain and are looking for more braking power and cornering grip than the MINON DHR II can currently offer, the Shorty in 2,5” WT might just be what you are looking for. With its open tread pattern and long knobs, it literally digs itself into the ground, only squirming at a very late stage when riding on hard packed terrain. This makes it also a great all-rounder, especially as a front wheel option. Presumably the 2,3” version is too thin on narrow rims.

Maxxis MINION DHF – f you’re looking for even more volume
The MINION DHF is also a very good all-rounder and can be used on both the front and rear wheels without any problems. Unlike the name suggests, we personally prefer it on the back. The 2,5” WT version is only suitable for wide rims and if you’re looking for maximum grip you better go for the MaxxGrip version as a front-wheel option. The “MINION DHR II vs DHF” has triggered a “faith-war” more than once. We prefer the DHR II because of its more aggressive braking traction.

Maxxis Aggressor – the tough rear-tire
Those who want a fast-rolling, narrow tire that can still offer a good amount of grip, might want to give the Aggressor a go. It is only available in the harder Dual-Compound, but in both EXO and Double Down casing options. Personally we would always place it ahead of the Minion SS.

Maxxis MINION SS – Sfast rear tire for hard packed ground
If you’re looking for a good-rolling rear tire for dry and hard conditions you should consider the Minion SS as a choice. However, the low centre lugs make for poor braking traction and the side grip only really bites when on a certain inclination. Definitely not an option for inexperienced riders or loose surfaces.

Maxxis Highroller II – the Minion’s DHR little brother
If you find the Minion DHR a bit too heavy and aggressive, the Highroller II is a slightly lighter and faster-rolling alternative. The tire still offers good amounts of grip and is generally a bit rounder in shape exceeding its grip threshold quickly and abruptly. We would recommend it on the rear-wheel, but would prefer a DHR II or DHF any time.

Carcass
Tubeless Ready EXO (TR EXO) Reliable carcass, good for trail-tours, not excessively heavy.
Double Down (DD) Extra robust carcass, inspired by the Downhill casing but lighter. Optimal for enduro-racing and rocky trials.
Wide Trail Casing (WT) Specially designed for wide rims (>= 30 mm internal width) with the optimised tread pattern the lugs don’t shape up too square. WT-tires are available in both the EXO and the Double Down casing.
Rubber compounds
3C MaxTerra Maxxis’ best compromise between great grip and low rolling resistance for enduro.
3C MaxxSpeed The focus is more on low rolling resistance than on the MAXX TERRA. Still, the shoulder lugs offer plenty of grip.
3C MaxxGrip A downhill compound for maximum traction and great grip. It wears quicker than the other version and rolling resistance is higher.
DUAL As the word suggests, only two rubber compounds in this case. Highest durability but lower rolling resistance and grip.

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for ENDURO. He’s known as the guy in charge of the bi-monthly magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.