Tested and Abused!
After a summer full of injuries and being off the bike I have managed to stay on the bike long enough to crank out another tire review.
Check out the new Maxxis Minion Single Ply 2.5" with EXO technology. Review inside
,The Tire :
Maxxis Minion (DHF) Front 2.5" Single Wall with EXO TechnologyCompounds :
Available in a 2.5, Max Pro 60 A
Compound (tested) and the Grippier 3C
The new minion tire is aimed at the aggressive all mountain riders who are looking for maximum performance out of there tires without sacrificing their rolling speed and tire weight.The Technology:
The tire features Maxxis's new EXO
side wall . Aimed at adding sidewall rigidity and puncture protection without adding the weight of a thick DH sidewall.Weight:
3C = 855 Grams
Max Pro 60A = 845 Grams
Unfortunately at the time of the test I couldn't get my hands of a set of the 3C tires. All I could get was 2 Minion fronts in a Max Pro 60A Compound. This wasn't too much of a concern as I am already familiar with the feel of both compounds. What I was really looking to test was just how well the side wall would resist rolling and punctures.
My plan for the test was to run the tires on my all mountain Giant Reign for the first two weeks, riding the most aggressive all mountain trails Whistler has to offer. The third week I would toss the tires on my Giant Glory and see how they held up in the Whistler bike park. I even managed to squeeze in the first Phat Wednesday race aboard the test Minions.
Whistler Bike Park Phat Wednesday B-line race
Doing the climbing thing
Having an aggressive DH pattern helped the Minion climb very well over even the wettest and loosest of terrains. It's easy to just toss on a ridiculous amount of rubber on any tire and have it grip on climbs and corner well, but it's at the sacrifice of rolling speed. The 60A compound managed to balance to grip and rolling speed exceptionally well, but no different than the rolling speed of a Minion Max Pro 60A with a DH casing. Having ridden the 3C compound on my DH bike for years I think that a 3C Compound on the front and rear of an all mountain bike would be noticeably taxing on longer rides as it rolls so slow. Always a question of what is more important to you ? Rolling Speed or downhill performance?Punctures and Cornering:
For the first two weeks of all mountain riding the tire performed awesome. I didn't get a single flat, which for me this year is saying a lot. I usually run my tire pressure for all mountain at 40PSI in the back and 35Psi in the front. I never experienced any tire roll on even the most aggressive of trails while riding all mountain, but that changed as soon as I tossed the tires on my DH bike. After a few days on my DH bike in the Whistler bike park, I realized I had to be more aware of sharp rocks and square edges as the tires would flat noticeably quicker than a DH casing. Over a week I got three flats on sections of trail I have ridden hundreds of times and never flatted on.
With my regular Maxxis DH tires I usually run 30 Psi in the back and 25Psi in the front. After hitting the first few berms aboard my DH bike with the tires at my usual PSi I knew I would have to pump up the tires a lot more to prevent the tire from rolling off the rim. It felt like anything under 35 Psi and the tire would roll and slide affecting my cornering ability.
For the Phat Wednesday Race I had to run my tire pressure at 35 in the front and 40 in the back in order to prevent tire rolling too much in the hard-packed corners. Remember though that these tires are intended for all mountain riding and not downhill racing, but I felt like it was necessary to test the limits of what this tire was capable of.
Cornering, the Minion performed exactly like a Minion front should; amazing grip and extremely predictable when sliding or braking. As expected the Max Pro 60A compound couldn't be pushed quiet as hard as a 3C compound on the roots or corners, but the fast rolling of the Max Pro was great for all mountain purposes.
Tire after a month of riding
The pictures of the Minion featured above are after almost a month of riding in both the Whistler Valley and in the bike park. The Max Pro compound held up awesome over the month of riding which would have no doubt left the 3C's with no center knobs and cornering knobs falling off, but that's the trade off for the soft knobs and superior grip that the 3C offers.Overall:
Overall I was pleased with the new offering from Maxxis. I wasn't blown away by the tire, it just did exactly what it is intended for. For those looking for something a little bit burlier than the 2.35 on their all mountain bikes, I think these tires would be a great option. Myself I would probably run one of the Max Pro in the back for rolling speed and then run a 3C up front for better tracking. It's hard to attest to the performance of the EXO Sidewalls as they felt just like any other single wall Maxxis tire, but I never flatted while using them for all mountain, during a period of time I usually would have flatted at least once or twice. As far as running them as the newest, coolest, light weight, race tire for DH, I would advise only running them on smooth and pedally courses where high tire pressure and rolling speed are important.
-MantleBig Thanks to
:Coast Mountain Photography Todd Hellinga
for some awesome picsSombrio Dunbar Cycles
In case you missed my previous reviews:Tire Review 1 - Continental KaiserTire Review 2 - Schwalbe Wicked Will