Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.3" Tire - Review

May 21, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5x2.3 review

Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.3"

It's been well over a decade since Maxxis' Minion DHF first hit the scene, and despite the passing years, the tire's tread pattern has aged remarkably well. Maxxis has continued to expand the number of available sizes, compounds, and sidewall options, recently adding a 27.5 x 2.3” version to the DHF family. This version uses Maxxis' 3C Maxx Terra compound, which has a harder durometer rubber as a base layer, and two different compounds for the center and the shoulder of the tire. The tires are tubeless ready, and are equipped with an EXO sidewall casing, a material that's intended to protect against cuts or abrasion. Weight: 850g (actual). MSRP: $78 USD. www.maxxis.com

Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5x2.3 review
Tried and true, the Minion DHF's tread pattern remains a predictable and versatile option.

Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesWe 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





113 Comments

  • + 109
 In short, It's just like the 26" version but larger.
  • - 27
flag IllestT (May 21, 2014 at 22:12) (Below Threshold)
 In fact, not even larger than 26"
Because the carcass is smaller, the overall wheel diameter is probably about the same as a 26 x 2.5"
  • + 33
 Ah, no.
  • + 1
 IllestT is totally right.... go measure your wheels right now and see their Actual size...it is all just a conspiracy man. Here is my "26inch" setup with Minion's notice how it is in between 26 and 27.5 lol. www.pinkbike.com/photo/10976948
  • + 9
 But you do understand that a) you're comparing a 2.5 carcass to a 2.3... The 26 version of a 2.3 would be smaller again b) cgalbreath if you measured the 27.5 version it would be closer to 28 inches, probably about 27.75, even in 2.3 form. The 2.5 would likely be about 28 inches.
  • + 1
 This is very true benpinnick, you could also throw rim width into the mix if you wanted to get real fancy, it is all stuff to take into consideration, or to not take into consideration, your choice! and some companies run different, I have found that Schwalbe stuff runs closest to actual size for example.
  • + 25
 For christ sake will you lot stop banging on about 26" wheels and get over it! It's getting very very boring now. I have 26, 29 and now a 650b in my arsenal and they all ride brilliant with their own characteristics. Buy what you want and enjoy what you want. That's what it's all about isn'tit??
  • + 12
 Shouldn't the review be 'well, it's a Minion so you know how it corners and now you can buy one for your 27 and a halver'?
  • + 3
 On a side note, I just swapped rims tonight and my new 2mm narrower rims increased the diameter of the tyre by 5mm.
  • - 4
flag DARKSTAR63 (May 22, 2014 at 4:31) (Below Threshold)
 It's over fellas.......26 lost the war. Let it go.
  • - 12
flag TheDude88 (May 22, 2014 at 8:10) (Below Threshold)
 650b sucks balls
  • + 8
 You kids have no sense of humor.
  • + 1
 CGalbreath you do realize that the tire does add on to the size of the rim. It is a 26" diameter rim. the bead of the tire measures around 26" as well.
  • + 42
 After over two decades of riding and racing and wasting my money trying all sorts of tires, there are only three brands I'll buy: Maxxis, Maxxis, and Maxxis.

The choice of pros - even when they are sponsored by other tire companies.

Maxxis are to dirt what 5.10s are to flat pedals.
  • + 1
 You obviously haven't tried schwalbe magic marrys or hans dampf.
  • + 7
 Hans Dampf is a good tire. I had one on a bike I had long term testing. I wouldn't change it if it came OEM, but I would replace it with the tire above once it wore out.
  • + 22
 Schwalbes are decent but Maxxis sets the standard
  • + 8
 Not a big fan of the HD. The Magic Mary....Lovely tires. But due to the cost, it'll be DHF/DHR and HR2s.
  • + 0
 Maxxis are certainly tried and true and loved by many. Schwalbe have some contenders, and even WTB still has some more than decent entries. Then there's another random scattering of hits and misses from other brands. But Conti is on the game. Trail Kings and Barons and other sh* i havent tried that looks promising... Kaiser DH, Ardent trail.... I've always wanted to try Hans Dampf and some Marys and some Bettys but I see no reason with the existence of the Trail King/Rubber Queen and the like.
  • + 2
 continental are awful tires the sidewalls always go on the xc tyres had a friend happen to them and quite a few customers only after 1- 2 years
  • + 5
 I just torn the sidewall of my 2nd conti, and replaced it with a similar maxxis. The grip was good but the sidewalls on contis are awful. they barely lasted 2 months (keep in mind that I ride very rocky trails)
  • + 3
 I deformed the sidewall of my black chili Trail King 2.4 in a not-so-gnarly crash. No more of those.
  • - 1
 I use schwalbe betty and is the best I've ridden, I find the maxxis softer.
  • + 12
 You ride the same tire for 1-2 years??? Seriously??? any discussion can end right here...
  • + 4
 Had hans dampfs on my trail bike or enduro bike if that's your bag, minions on my dh bike now i run der kaisers on the dh bike and they blow all the others away, it finds grip where you'd never think it could, has to be the best tire out there
  • + 1
 I love maxxis, and I'm running 2 dhf's right now, but I gotta say, conti kaisers are remarkable!!! They last long, they grip excellent, they have pretty darn good puncture resistance, and I haven't had a single issue with my sidewalls! Based on all the comments, I'd assume the sidewall issue is only with their other tires, but if the kaisers can hold up to Atherton abuse, they'll work more than fine for me.
  • + 3
 You guys are so right about contis. They're great on the front of the bike but they simply can't handle the loading from even semi-aggressive riding on the rear. I've de-laminated 2 of them causing a massive hop that rubs the frame simply from boosting tables and pumping through berms on some pretty mellow trails at Duthie. I'm returning the last one and hoping they'll let me pick another brand.
  • + 3
 Got kaisers last year on my dh rig. My confidence went through the roof, the grip blows everything else I've tried out of the water. I ride very rocky trails and I noticed the casing seems to be strong enough for me to ride lower pressure without damaging my rims, where if I were to ride other tires with that kind of pressure, my rims would have been long gone. Can't complain.
  • + 0
 you use tires for a year?
  • + 1
 fuh Q
  • + 31
 "30 psi in my Minions....." Ya'll know the rest lol
  • + 1
 ...I don't care about your opinion!
  • + 8
 "Need to go fast, so I ride clipped in."
  • + 7
 I can't help if i always win
  • + 1
 I'm Faster Than All Of You!
  • + 22
 Tires are one of the few things that will never be electric Amen
  • + 4
 Amen
  • + 17
 You wait till tyres have little compressor in them so you can add/remove pressure according to conditions , we will be running 900mm bars just to fit all the controls on Razz
  • + 4
 Dude, just wait for someone to put little sensors in tires so big flash light will go off on your handlebar when you go flat, because you know, human perspective can vary and this will benefit biking communit greatly, no more false flat alarms. Also comes in 27.5/29 and is enduro specific as well!
  • + 3
 Some BMW motorcycles have a built wireless tire pressure meter, and when tire pressure drops the panel informs the rider. It is a nice feature because most riders (at least here in Brazil) won´t use the bike on a daily basis.
BUT I am not saying this would be useful on a bike!
  • + 1
 Bigburd
That system is already born not with a compressoer in the tires but in the frame, cant remember which HP had test of it, either it was here on PB or maybe it was Singletrackworld, I´ll see if I can find it
  • + 1
 Please do, it was pretty funny.
  • + 12
 After 17 years of mtbing I've discovered that in the wet it's pretty slippery, in the dry it's really fast and grippy and when it's a bit damp it's a bit dicey but sort of grippy/slippery. I can hardly tell the difference between a really good tyre and a shit one. As long as it doesn't snake bite I'm pretty happy.
  • + 12
 I'm holding out for the 28 1/4"
  • + 2
 I dunno, 26.75 might just be the one...
  • + 1
 but only on the rear!, and in the 7Cr EXM St spikable DHRAM compound
  • + 6
 Maxxpro High roller 1 on the rear and a ST minion DHF up front. Always say I'm gonna try something new but always get cold feet and slam another set on every time.
  • + 5
 I don't think you can upgrade from that combo.
  • + 1
 I was running that same setup but recently put a hr2 on the back. Not sure what conditions you ride in but in the dry kitty litter conditions it hooks up better for me than the original hr. The tire seems to last longer too. No experience in wet conditions yet though.
  • + 4
 Thanks for the info. I live in Scotland, so mainly: raining, just rained, or going to rain. Big Grin
  • + 4
 Put this puppy in 26" EXO TR (Tubless ready 2.3) UST it on Enve rims was running Ardent 2.4 EXO/EXC in UST mode same rim, straight away it blew everything else Ive ridden away, being along time Maxxis fan hard to try other brands but Hans Damf Contis HR2s this tire slays em all for me esp in EXO TR compound, done Enduros in the narliest rocky terrain too mud to buff hardpack its been a dream, still not happy on HR2s trying to get me a DHR 2 for rear in 26" I never bother to change the front, I'll take cornering grip over rolling speed up front any day, rolling speed is only important on the rear where I switch between Icons, Ardent 2.4 or Minions for really rocky nearly terrain. Up front this beyotch ain't ever coming off again!!
  • + 2
 No point searching for a DHR unless you're set on it. The DHF's are great on the rear too, better than the DHR's I'd say.
  • + 3
 Minnaar most often runs the new DHR front and rear, so that set up will have its merits as well
  • + 9
 Not sure what you actually said in that rambling sentence but I think you like em, right?
  • + 5
 I agree with psyickphuk, I don't know wether you prefer the contis, HD, DHF, DHR or the HR2. Although I do understand that you like a faster rolling tire on the rear
  • + 7
 Hooray! Another awesome Maxxis product. Thumbs up!
  • + 1
 Im running the same tire 27.5 dhf 2.3 tr eco maxi terra on wtb i23 rim on my 2012 fox float36 fork on my GT Distortion with a 26 x 2.3 DHR on the rear. (B6er!)

What a great combo for the " shore" where I live. Way faster than the nevegals I used to use and grips like velcro.
  • + 1
 *Kenda Nevergrip
  • + 1
 Nevergrip? never roll yes but they do grip like a mofo
  • + 2
 Nevegals would be better if they didn't succumb to so many damned pinch-flats. They're really good on wet wood/roots/rocks, but have no balls.

Minion F in the back...HR2 up front for me!
  • + 1
 any tire pinch flats without enough air, can't blame the tire.
  • + 1
 That may be true, but I run my tires 30-35psi religiously. The only pinch-flats I've gotten were on Nevegals.
  • + 1
 I love my dhf. Have yet to break loose unless I tell it to. HR2 is also good tire bud has one and is considerably little better braking but dhf blows it away in cornering traction. Coming off nevegal front, dhf rolls like a rocket ship!
  • + 3
 Looking forward to the 27.5X2.5. Having run the 26x2.5 for years, the tweener 2.3 has been anticlimactic - it's good, just not as good. Best. Tire. Of. All. Time.
  • + 1
 Hmmm ... my 275X 2.3s (foldable) have stretched and are now wider than my 26X2.5 (steel).
  • + 1
 Great review of a great tyre. The etrto number would be useful. 26x2.35 minions are only 52mm wide, compared to 60-559 for schwalbe 2.35s. 8mm is a heck of a difference for tyres which are nominally the same size.
  • + 1
 The ERTO is 58-584.
  • + 1
 Thanks Mike. Sounds like a great size.
  • + 1
 On my wtb i23 rims they are 2.230 wide wide at tread..
  • + 0
 I am running DHR-IIs front and rear on my Santa Cruz Nomad, and these tires are absolutely unbelievable! I am running the front tire backwards for more grip (by recommendation of my LBS), and it seems to be working great! I am riding on rocks, hardpack, and hard pack with loose gravel on top, and I have not washed out even once yet (then again I only have 2 rides). But know that on the downhills I can keep up or pass the guys who have been riding the same trails for a decade. The front mounted backwards works great! If you look at the tread, the center treads are pointed like a pyramid, and the sides have the "L" for every other knob. The pyramid works like an arrow, and helps the tire to roll better. I am assuming these "L" knobs were made this way to save weight as well as grip better on the gas (pedaling) while slightly leaned over. However, when mounting backwards for the front tire, the center tread are an upside down pyramid, so this makes them stop even better! at a sacrifice of course, because as they won't roll as nice. The "L's" on the side knobs are reversed so for the corners you should roll even better. At extreme lean angles, there is no difference between mounting forward or backwards because the surface areas of knobs are the same. I wish we could upload pics to our posts so I can give visuals!
  • + 1
 Sizing is different on the new 650b and 29er tires from maxxis (other than diameter). A 2.3 in these versions is just a hair smaller than the old 2.5 that they still make in 26. Fyi
  • + 1
 What is tubeless ready?
Does the manufacturer say its ok to put Stans sealant in them with out it weakening the tyre?
Do they have thicker sidewalls than non tubeless ready tyres?
Do they just happen to seal easily?
  • + 1
 Tubeless ready means they can be used with any liquid sealant. The tires use a standard casing, which is why sealant is necessary.
  • + 1
 Thanks Mike. The same goes for tubeless ready rims I assume? If so aren't all rims and tyres tubeless ready?
I have gone tubeless before when Stans strips first came out using a WTB Velociraptor on a Sun Intense Mag 30. One small scratch in the sidewall and I was back to tubes. I want to go UST because I heard they have thicker sidewalls built in but the lack of options is frustrating for my budget.
  • + 3
 I had big bettys but went to whistler with minions and never went back. Such a great tire!
  • + 6
 So you never came back from Whistler? Good for you!
  • + 2
 anyone here knows where is COLIN BAILEY now, or what he is up to? He rode for maxxis, designed and tested the minion DHF, 2001. Best thread pattern mtb tire i have used.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike please measure total diameter. It's helpful to know how tall a tire is. Hoping to get as close to 28.25 as possible!
  • + 2
 27.75 sorry
  • + 1
 hey thanks!
  • + 1
 I would say the most important thing is what are we going to call 27.5 wheels? 650b and 27.5 just sounds crap....mid wheeler? Lets here them....
  • + 1
 75er???
  • + 3
 Wait.... people ride minions? lol
  • + 2
 Now when 27.5 and 29 is a new standards I hope all 26's will be half price cheaper Smile )
  • + 1
 For a little while until old stock runs out. You can already see it happening with wheelsets that are still QR and some 26inch enduro wheels.
  • + 3
 Where the shit is the 2.5" 27.5 tire?!
  • + 2
 onza ibex ...kind of high roller without tne xtra weight
  • + 1
 I agree with jimeg. It sounds strange but these don't seem to work as well as the 26" ones.
  • + 3
 Could it be the different sized contact patch?
  • + 2
 Its a conspiracy. When talking about wheel size - it always is -_-
  • + 1
 reviewing minion tires is like reviewing 15ga. spokes. Just don't need to do it.
  • + 1
 Seriously good product. Super tacky Dhf front and rear. Riding Kenda N. and Schwalbe BB like a Minion - got me in ER.
  • + 1
 why is 27.5 considered "mid sized" did people forget about 24?
  • + 1
 i love the steering it offers but hate the weight... could be lighter.
  • + 1
 The weight helps it to steer so well.
  • + 1
 Now if only the 26" version measured anywhere close to it's labeled size.
  • + 1
 Hmm just bought a set of HR IIs 2.3 rear 2.4 front mounted tubeless
  • + 1
 HR's are the bees knees
  • + 2
 the frogs beard
  • + 0
 the goats cunt
  • + 0
 The dogs sphincter.
  • + 2
 The queens vag blood
  • + 0
 The only tire right now that tempts me to try anything else but a Conti Trail King.
  • + 0
 Is there anyone who has experience with both Minion DHF and Magic Mary and can comment on which one rolls better?
  • + 1
 Yes - DHF rolls better
  • + 1
 In my experience, The Magic Mary hooks up better in mud and doesn't pack up with mud as easily. Rolling resistance, hard for me to tell. They both feel sluggish in the parking lot...
  • + 2
 The Minion DHF does roll better due to less spacing between knobs. I tried running DHFs front and rear. 2.5 x 2.3, the rear was road riding width. So I swapped the 2.5 to the rear and put a Magic Mary up front. Huge difference in my terrain. Everything is dry, loose and hardpack, lots of rock. Magic Mary's kick ass up front. The tire holds on even when you think you've leaned it over just to far and feel like your going to push, traction.
  • + 1
 Minions hands down the best tire. Price went up too.
  • + 1
 About bloody time
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