|We ran our pair of test DHFs set up tubeless on a pair of Stan's Flow EX rims, which have an internal width of 25.5mm. In the past, Maxxis' tires have been notorious for measuring narrower than expected, but our test set came in at 2.27", just a hair less than the claimed 2.3" width. The tires mounted without trouble, and we were able to get them sealed and seated with only a floor pump - no air compressor or cursing necessary.|
We've spent countless hours on various iterations of this tire over the years, and from the first turn we were reminded of why the DHF's tread pattern has remained a popular choice for so long. The cornering bite is excellent, and once the bike is leaned far enough over to allow the alternating rectangular and L shaped side knobs to dig into the ground, the tire locks in without any squirming or sliding. Siped center knobs help maintain traction during heavy braking on the steepest trails, trails full of sections where there's a fine line between skidding out of control into the forest, or staying on track and successfully navigating through the loose soil. The DHF's overall rolling speed isn't going to land you on the podium at a cross-country race, but it is reasonably quick for how much traction the tire provides. The DHF is noticeably faster rolling than Maxxis' rather sluggish Highroller II, a tire that is spec'd on many of the bikes we've reviewed this season. The Highroller II is a decent tire, but for sheer versatility the DHF gets our pick, offering better cornering and reduced rolling resistance in a slightly lighter package.
No matter the trail conditions, the Minion DHF took it all in stride, and proved to be a standout performer on everything we exposed it to, from hardpack to sloppy mud. This wouldn't be our first choice for bone dry, concrete-like trails, but as long as there's some amount of give in the ground the DHF will get the job done. In wet conditions the tread compound proved itself on a number of slippery rock faces, sticking to the Pacific Northwest's slimiest granite without faltering. While the Max Terra compound isn't quite as flypaper-sticky as Maxxis' Super Tacky or Maxx Grip compounds, it did seem to strike a good balance between tackiness and rolling speed, and the tread wore evenly, without any major deformations or torn off knobs. Overall, the 27.5" version of the Minion DHF is a worthy addition to the Maxxis tire line, and is one of our favorites due to its stellar performance on a wide range of terrain. Our only request was going to be for a 27.5 x 2.5" trail version, but when we spoke with Maxxis they informed us that one is already in the works, along with a 27.5" DH version, which should hit stores sometime in the next couple of months. - Mike Kazimer
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