Maxxis Minion SS Tire - Review

Nov 19, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Maxxis Minion SS review

The concept of a semi-slick mountain bike tire isn't exactly new - XC racers were using them over twenty years ago, and there were a number of DH oriented versions, including Maxxis' High Roller semi-slick in the early 2000s - but there's been a resurgence over the last few seasons, with the latest batch aimed at enduro racers, or anyone looking for a little extra speed. The idea is that the low profile center tread reduces rolling resistance, while the tall, aggressive side knobs provide cornering traction. Schwalbe's Rock Razor and Specialized's Slaughter have been the two most prominent options, and now Maxxis is entering the fray with their new Minion SS.

The Minion SS has the same alternating rectangular and L-shaped side knobs as the popular Minion DHF and DHR II, but the center tread is comprised of much smaller blocks, with ramped center knobs and a set of smaller L-shaped knobs. All of the folding bead models use Maxxis' dual rubber compound and include EXO sidewall protection, and for riders seeking extra puncture resistance Maxxis offers a version with their Silkworm protection. Silkworm uses an additional layer of material under the tread to help keep rocks and other pointy objects from poking through, and adds 20 grams of weight.

In addition to the 27.5" x 2.3" and 29" x 2.3" versions, there are also also two DH casing options that measure 27.5" x 2.5". What about a Minion SS for 26" wheels? Maxxis says they're on the way, and should be available in the spring of 2016. We tested the 27.5" x 2.3” non-Silkworm version, which weighs in at 740 grams and retails for $62 USD. www.maxxis.com / @Maxxis


Maxxis Minion SS review
There might not be much center tread, but the Minion SS's handling remained predictable even in steep, loose terrain.
Maxxis Minion SS review
The tall side knobs are what make this tire work, digging in and holding tight during hard cornering.

On the Trail

The Minion SS arrived just as the dry and sunny summer weather began to slip away, giving me the chance to try it in trail conditions ranging from bone dry to perfectly tacky and all the way to wet and greasy. Setting the Minion SS up tubeless didn't pose any problems, and I typically ran between 25 – 27 psi with it mounted to a 23mm internal width rim. I paired the Minion SS with the new Maxxis 2.5” Minion DHF in the front, creating the mullet of tire combos – business in the front and a party in the back. The more aggressive front tire ensured that the bike stayed on track in loose terrain, leaving the Minion SS free to shift and slide around when necessary. It's a very enjoyable tire combination, and even in the steeps there was more control and traction than I'd expected. The tall side knobs are what make the SS perform worlds better than a worn out 'regular' Minion would – they prevent it from breaking free too suddenly, and keep the wheel locked into the turns.

The most obvious benefit of a semi-slick tread pattern is the reduced rolling resistance, which was especially noticeable when spinning out the miles on a dirt road or smoother sections of singletrack. The Minion SS gets up to speed quickly and helps take the sting out of those long approaches, a welcome alternative to meatier tires that can make it feel like you're riding through molasses. I'd expected any shortcomings to arise on the descents, but it was actually on steeper climbs with loose dirt over hardpack that the Minion SS faltered slightly – that low profile center occasionally had trouble finding purchase, and it was easier to spin out compared to a tire with taller center knobs to dig in and grip the trail.

There are limits to the trail conditions that the Minion SS will perform well in, but even in slightly damp weather it was still reliable, as long as the mud didn't get too thick. That's when the tire's performance drops off, since the minimalist center tread can no longer grip when filled to the brim with glop, but deep mud is well out of the realm of its suggested usage.

As far as durability goes, even after a couple months of regular use the small center knobs, the area I expected to see the most signs of wear, are still holding their shape, and there hasn't been any cracking or tearing of the side knobs. The Minion SS's total lifespan will depend on terrain and riding style, but it doesn't seem as if it will be drastically shorter than that of a fully treaded tire.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThe Minion is a specialty tire, but it's also one that's usable in a wider range of conditions than its appearance might suggest. Paired with an aggressive front tire it's an excellent option for riders looking for additional speed without sacrificing much in the way of control. - Mike Kazimer



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206 Comments

  • + 86
 Looks quite a bit like a specialized slaughter. However, I'm glad to see the competition occuring between tire companies. Hopefully that continues to give us rubber that are the best of both worlds, grip and rolling energy, at a price range that is less than selling an arm and a leg (looking at you Schwalbe).
  • + 31
 A lot of companies kinda took the minion knobs. The butcher is a good example. Also the WTB dissent. More, i'm sure. So I could kinda not care less if Maxxis borrowed a concept from specialized tires, because they've done the same.
  • + 12
 Oh yea absolutely. The butcher is a minion clone essentially. I can't quite remember his name, but the person who designed the minion dhf now works for specialized and had lots of input on the butcher, aka he sort of copied his own design. I have no problem with them borrowing the concept either, I think it's good and shown that small tweaks can make big improvements such as the slaughter/ss vs the rock razor. The latter just gets shredded up way too quickly
  • + 7
 The difference between the minion and butcher is that one of them works (minion) and the other doesn't. The cornering knobs on the butcher are too soft and flexy.
  • + 5
 @martinizer I've found that out the hard way
  • - 10
flag el-nombre (Nov 19, 2015 at 23:25) (Below Threshold)
 Hmm, schwalbe was the always the cheaper option last time I looled. Granted they don't last very long but when I was looking maxxis and conti were significantly more. Maybe it's changed recently?
  • + 12
 Maxxis was first to do a semi slick with big and fat side knobs - Lopes Bling Bling and Highroller SS. Then came Rock Razor, then came Slaughter. I don't give a damn all I care about is that I want that minion SS as sson as I get a 650B bike! martinizer - Butcher gives up more predictably than Minion. Max grip may be lower but you feel it breaking away better. Having said that, I still prefer Minion
  • + 2
 Is the Wordmdrive not kind of the father of all of them?
  • + 8
 The difference is Specialized sues your ass if they have the patent.
  • + 2
 Pretty much Jim,can't see theres much else to say re these kind of tyres! Cheers
  • + 8
 Wormdrive? That thing has side knobs which role is to look aggressive to give an XC racer a confidence boosting illusion of cornering grip but they fold anyway to minimize rolling resistance in corners. These are not side knobs, these are piss flaps. Maxxis learns only now with Beaver and Ikon how to design an XC tyre, things Schwalbe knew for ages. When it comes to MTB performance tyres, be it XC, 24h Marathon Enduro or DH - the only working shape of knob is square or square-ish, set in line with riding direction, you only alter the size, length and spacing depending on application, eventually ramp center knobs. Everything else is a geeky wet dream of an ex web designer who mistakenmy ended up designing tyre patterns. Everything else is a basterd legacy of Continental Diesel and his btch trekking tyre.
  • + 7
 Lopes bling bling that´s 10 years ago...what is new???
  • + 3
 The first rear tire I had on my all mountain bike was a Brian Lopes and it was one of the best rear tires i ever had to use in the summer time/dry conditions. The only problem was that I was always slicing it on the rocky trails near my house. Make it for 26" tubeless, with a carcass similar to the "SuperGravity" under 1 kg and I will buy it!!
  • + 0
 @wakidesigns aka motorcross tread

Minion DH2 is in my mind the best tyre ever, closely followed by the Shorty and i'm sure the Minion SS will be added to this exclusive club of the only tyres I'll ever put on my bike.
  • + 4
 FYI...guy from Maxxis helped with modernizing Specialized tire designs, but does not work there any more. I think the biggest thing he did was also haul ass, so the tread designs were tested by him for real burly, fast fun. Hillbilly was a XC tire he moved over to DH. He did awesome work for both companies.
  • + 9
 Colin Bailey, if my old memory serves me right.
  • + 2
 For my purposes, Maxxis Exo is a nice sidewall. Specialized Control sidewalls are way too flimsy and Specialized GRID are way too heavy. This is a nice Goldilocks compromise. Curious if anyone has ridden this and a DHR2 and could compare.
  • - 3
 With such a flat center, you wonder if it was designed around a certain rim IRD...
  • + 3
 @graeme187 the high roller is the greatest tire ever... Wash your mouth out.
  • + 2
 @glenward Nope. Colin was a rider for Maxxis and I'm sure he had feedback during the design phases there, but don't recall him working at the Big S (not that he didn't, but I'm not aware). He's no famous, just a humble tech guy and vicious shredder.
  • + 7
 Well seeing as I got so neg propped, I decided to actually check again. There isn't as big a difference in price as I remembered but scwalbe certainly aren't the more expensive.

www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/schwalbe-hans-dampf-evo-snakeskin-trailstar-27%2C5x2%2C35-tl-easy-folding-230765/wg_id-8913

www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/maxxis-highroller-ii-27.5x2.30-tr-exo-dual-60-folding-88243/wg_id-8913

Pretty sure those are more or less equivalent and its the same story on CRC too so I don't really get why people are moaning about schwalbe prices.
  • + 1
 @bizutch I'm definitely not trying to start a pissing contest, but below are quotes and and links stating that Colin was the man behind the design. If they're wrong and he didn't design it, I've been living a lie for over a decade.
Cheers

Bailey also brings the passion he races with to the R&D table. Drawing on his years of riding experience and his design skills, Bailey teamed up with Maxxis engineers to design the Minion DHF, Maxxis’ best new downhill tire. -pinkbike 2003
m.pinkbike.com/news/article1130.html

If you've ever ridden a Maxxis Minion DHF--arguably one of these most popular gravity tire tread patterns of all time, then you have this man to thank for that sublime design: Colin Bailey. -pinkbike 2014
m.pinkbike.com/news/people-of-the-world-cup-part-3-2014.html
  • + 2
 Quite honestly Butcher is quite different from Minion. If you want a real copy cat culprit, look no further than Bontrager
  • + 1
 Ok, I just did a check for 650B tyres for my next bike. I would have to wait until the end of march for real mans tyres to become available in EU, right now all I can get is some 2.3" versions at insane prices. I am affraid that if I need to ride 2.3" tyres then I am going for Butcher GRID and Slaughter GRID combo... they cost almost half of the price. When Minion DHF 2.5WT EXO and this SS come along I will consider buying them. So far - all hail Specialized!!!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns I'm currently using the butcher/slaughter GRID combo, and was able to get both tires for 100 bucks total through a shop deal. Really happy with the performance of the tires for the price. They've held up to all the Santa Cruz area downhill trails and I tend to be riding faster than the average trail rider. They're a bit heavy at 1000g apiece, so after your comments about the minions and looking at the weights in the article I may end up giving the SS a try to cut about 200g. But I like the GRID casing, feels much more supportive than the control casing and the butcher/slaughter GRID casing is actually beefier than the GRID casing of the ground control/purg/other xc tires which is good for more abusive riding
  • + 2
 Cool to hear. I had Butcher/purgatory in control combo. I will see. Minions in 2.3 are really small, they are narrower than Nobby Nics in 2.25. Rock Razor 2.35" is as wide as my Minion 2.5". So far the only Maxxis tyre I have seen to truly represent it's size is HRII in 2.4"
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns - Yeah the Butcher is like a Minion DHF with tiny floppy ill-supported side knobs.
  • + 3
 @el-nombre

It's different in the us. A cheap schwalbe tire is like $95 in a shop. Plus they're terrible and not worth it.

I cringed when i bought the dhf in my garage for just under $80 but they last and they're the mtb tire designed by god and you can't put a price on devine tire design/engineering.

The minion ss silkworm i have was like $65 and at that price, it's reasonable.

Butchers aren't great tires unless you get the grid casing but then they're heavy. But, for the price i havent found a better tire. Front and rear in grid for less than 120 out the door is a good deal in my mind. When I'm done chewing up this pair maxxis tires, i might stick to maxxis if the wear is good.
  • + 1
 @glenward Keep in mind, Colin is a rider, not a mechanical engineer. The LITERAL Maxxis and Specialized employee, not the rider, is who I'm referring to. I am speaking about the guy in the lab coat/polo shirt/scrubs using computers and rubber compounds and castings. I'm sure you could put a pro rider in a design lab and something might happen resembling work...

The guy I refer to is just that, an engineer who happens to be a pro rider on the side, not the opposite.
  • + 0
 Intense DH FRO tires were the 1st semi slick....?
  • + 2
 @Bizutch - but who designed the pattern, Colin or the engineer you know? Cam Zink designed grips, drew them in a silly CAD program. A real engineer redrew them in a real program for production. Which is the case?

@Alias530 - Butcher's side knobs are as close to HR ones as a knob can get. Start HR vs Minion discussion and you may as well prepare yourself to face angry mob
  • + 1
 Butcher heavy? DHF is 825, Magic mary is 800 and the butcher (grid) is 900 for the 2.3ish versions. It is heavier but not by a significant margin. Spent a season on the butcher riding the whole gamut of terrains in all conditions and I really like it. My only beef is that it doesn't offer as much support as a magic mary does. When you get some loaded square edged rock hits at slow speeds and low pressures, it feels like it collapses too easily and sometimes the front burps. The upside is that it makes it conform to the terrain pretty well. I prefer the progressiveness of the butcher over the minion though. Wear on the butcher hasn't been an issue so far while the MM goes to shit within seconds.

Keep in mind the butcher is like 60$ and the 2 others are over 100$. The MM is better overall if price isn't a factor but if you're looking for the best value/money ratio, the butcher outshines the other options.
  • + 0
 I would never run MM in Evo SS. If you are pushing your bike hard enough to need such level of grip then that casing is not going to hold. it barely does on Rocket Ron for what the tyre allows you to do. Also Minion DHF is a better all round tyre. MM rolls so badly that I would never wish to take it for a multi day trail riding with tons of climbing.
  • + 1
 The evo TS w/ SS casing holds surprisingly well so far for DH purposes but I've noticed the rear one behaves in a wobbly fashion when you push it to the limit in corners. I would definitely give tires like slaughter/minion SS or ardent/hans dampf a go on the rear for AM rides but the problem is that I also ride DH with the same bike so I'm really not convinced those would fare too well on proper DH courses. The MM are a bitch to pedal (and I really need all the help I can get when it comes to pedaling) but the upside is the slick rock traction when climbing, probably the best I've seen so far.

I really have no clue of what would be best as a rear tire for what I'm doing. It feels like there is no happy medium for me.
  • + 2
 Evo casing for DH is... Wait... What?! Big Grin maybe on a rigid HT Big Grin as to slick rock, I have plenty of it here, and I'd say root ladders are worse and I bet there's plenty of them where you live as well. And for both purposes my Minion DHF in 60a works more than well. Not to ruin the party here but semi-slicks are worthless on rooty/muddy climbs, even in softer compounds. We have one 30m climb here that is just roots and the only tyre I saw dealing with it in wet was Shorty in Maxx Grip. The uphill grip increases DRAMATICALY if you use any kind of pro-core kind of system since you can lower your pressure stupid low. Actually if I was about to make an hour long single track climb in total gloop (which I don't have in 5h drive distance) I'd lower my pressure to 20PSI and pump it right on the top. It is undescribable how the bike climbs with half deflated tyre, it is ridiculous.
  • + 2
 Evolution is their top line. All the tires we're talking about are in the Evo line, both trail/DH. You probably are confusing single/dual ply or foldable/wire. I'm 150lbs and relatively smooth on the handling and I prefer slower tech trails to highways and so far, I can't say the single ply/foldable tires let me down. I usually rode DH tracks on the full DH spec bike but I hit a few bikeparks this summer on a trail riding road trip and I haven't had problems with the small bike. The DH bike died so I DHed a few times toward the end of the season with the trail bike and honestly, I'm not buying a DH bike again. So right now I'm looking to get the best of both worlds on a single bike. So far, trail tire on a bike that does DH every now and then seems to make a lot more sense than DH tires on a trail bike.
  • + 1
 Ok, but on their site they used to have Evo and Evo Snake Skin for a long time. Both Super Gravity and DH casings had no Evo by their name. Maybe it changed since I lost interest in Schwalbe. All I know is that MMary Snake Skin will not hold up, even under loser like me for what this tread pattern allows me to do. Maxxis Exo is ok for me in the park but only above 30psi on wider rim. Otherwise I fold and burp it. I am truly amazed and impressed that NNic snake skin can survive under Nico Lau on the rear. Guy must be swift like a cat and meticulous with line choice like Macchiavelli was with chosing friends Big Grin
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns - I ride trail, not park, but at 235-240lbs and moderately aggressive I'm riding ~20psi front and ~25psi rear with DHR2 29x2.3 front and rear. Never folded or burped.
  • + 1
 I ride park once a year for a weekend. I ride xc/trail for 99% of time on my bike. I don't fold or burp maxxis tyres, even if I go riding AM to the mountains. II did it a lot with Schwalbes though. I used to say: I don't skid cuz I have Schwalbes. I burped Maxxis only in berms in the park.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic all comes down to preference, lean angles and breakaway points, minions have always drifted more predictably than HRs.. Most people are either in one camp or the other, if you're not a minion guy that's fine, but if you are the DHR2 is better than the original DHF. Greg minnar won PMB world champs on them
  • + 1
 @graeme187 high rollers til I die!!!!!!
  • + 1
 In Sam Hill domination days people rode High Rollers for everything. Herode them in gloop and won World Champ title. Now 90% of Maxxis riders are on Minion DHF
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns - I think there's quite a few on the Magic Mary now. Specialized riders on the Butcher, many on MM, but yeah quite a few on DHF's.
  • + 1
 I meant Maxxis riders not all riders...
  • + 1
 And the athertons won on contis too. Don't forget that the DHF eclipsed everything for a while and a lot of people still swear by them even though they've never ridden anything else so I wouldn't be too fast to associate popularity with quality. At this point I feel a good rider could probably make any tire work.
  • + 1
 Well, Continental changed a lot since Athertons came in, their tyre patterns were a joke. They were a laughable. All of them. You can't deny the fact though that most tyres made in recent 5 years took form of Maxxis/Schwalbe moto tread. Michelin was the only company going head in head with Maxxis on DH front, with their Mud3 and Dh32 - and then they stopped making them... Intense did some stuff too but at that time their tyres were crazy expensive - Pretty much what all top tyres cost these days. As to pros and tyres - Troy got third in bone dry Val Di Sole on spikes, while Gwin rode Butcher Grids... Was there, saw the bikes with my own eyes. Maxxis riders used High Rollers extensively until ca 2010, then they went full mongo on DHFs.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns I'm seeing a lot off shortys these days. I've got one on order for the front for the loam... never see minions round here though.
  • + 1
 Shorty has unbelievable grip on softer ground and on rocky bits, it is just silly how grippy it is. It also rolls ok in my view. The problem is rock slabs and we have many here. It fails really badly on them. I mean, you can always compromise and adjust. I've been to The Forest of Dean once and the kind of mud there was so vicious that I would come for another visit, I'd run nothing else but Shortys Big Grin Slate mud on off cambers, holy shyte...
  • + 0
 I don't really ride slabs its either super rocky sharp slate or loam and roots.
  • + 2
 Got one, mounted on a DT swiss rim (20 mm IRD). Really flat profile, this is @ 30 psi.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/12970894
  • + 56
 Pumped to try one in 26" flavor!!!
  • + 18
 26 x 2.35 would be tasty as all hell.
  • - 15
flag poah (Nov 20, 2015 at 1:31) (Below Threshold)
 you'll have to make your own then
  • + 25
 It's strange that 26" gear lags behind in consumables like tyres when more people are still riding 26" bikes than 650b or 29" (according at least to the last PB poll I read). Therefore surely the market for 26" tyres is at least as big as the market for the other 2 sizes at this point?
  • + 18
 Reason why I only use maxxis, there are still 26' available
  • + 6
 I wouldn't complain too much - at least they're making a 26"!
A lot of us are still riding 26" at the moment but whenever someone buys a new bike now the majority are going 650b/27.5" and some 29".
  • + 3
 @alexhyland we of the 26 crowd are conservative guys and they know it, it's much more likely we'll continue to buy our beloved Minion DHF ST 2.5s. There's no reason for them to make all those new fancy patterns and compounds in 26, as we probably won't buy them.
  • + 12
 I haven't had a problem getting Schwalbe tires in the 26" flavor. I bought 3 of them during the season with an issue
  • + 6
 *without an issue
  • - 11
flag poah (Nov 20, 2015 at 7:48) (Below Threshold)
 maxxis are unlikely to start making any new 26 tyres but they will continue to make the older ones. rockshox are also unlikely to make any new 26 inch forks either. most of their sales come from OE probably which is 650b/29er. So as long as sales of 26 are way down they ain't going to make any more in that size.

Personally I'm not bothered as I'd not want to run such a tyre but even if I did I could always trim a normal one
  • + 13
 hey poah........

reading comprehension is a wonderful thing....................



"What about a Minion SS for 26" wheels? Maxxis says they're on the way, and should be available in the spring of 2016."


reading the entire article is also an amazing experience. try it sometime.

lol.
  • - 7
flag poah (Nov 20, 2015 at 11:39) (Below Threshold)
 Thats contradicting the info from an interview from another site. cant rember which one but it was only a few days ago.
  • - 6
flag poah (Nov 20, 2015 at 11:51) (Below Threshold)
 its in the uk mag what mountain bike - the uk importer extra uk says the minion SS are 27.5 only. can only assum that either he has the wrong info or they are not going to bring them into the UK.
  • - 5
flag Alias530 (Nov 20, 2015 at 12:59) (Below Threshold)
 @alexhyland - Because the rest of the world doesn't ride 26. Check MTBR. Pinkbike is dominated by the freeride/DH crowd. The trail/XC crowd (more people) rides 27.5/29er.
  • - 3
 Pretty easy to make your own as what your really buying is a pre worn tire. You could basically save your skidded out rears for days where you feel you need a tire like this as long as your not using it to race on.
  • - 4
flag Rubberelli (Nov 21, 2015 at 10:01) (Below Threshold)
 The economic reality is that people who ride fast, hard and often buy a new bike every couple of years, meaning they are on 27.5 and they are the ones who go through tires. Most dedicated racers I know use a set for about a week during the season.
  • + 8
 Lots of people shred on 3-4 year old bikes. Not to mention the new 26 bikes like the Process 167 or Suppressor. People dick swinging over wheel size are as boring as people who care what pedals you run. I'm pumped to have this as an option for the rear of my trail bike or a front on my Ticket for hitting trails once and a while. Best part of 26 is I have 3 spare wheel sets lying around for when shredding goes wrong and I blow a wheel. The best bike is the one that works, spare parts are king.
  • + 2
 did a group ride today , 5 out of 12 of use where on 26" wheels , 1 29" and the rest 27.5"
  • + 36
 Thanks Maxxis for remembering 26" riders! Development might be dead, but high quality tire availability will keep these bikes ripping for years!
  • + 23
 A little extra speed? So this alone will improve strava times?
  • + 10
 Strava is love, Strava is life
  • + 3
 I think you mean Shrek^^
  • + 22
 I'd slaughter that tire!
  • + 10
 With a rock razor...
  • - 12
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 20, 2015 at 1:58) (Below Threshold)
 There's a lot of bling bling factor in razors
  • + 3
 guess you didnt get the riddler
  • - 2
 Oh stop being someone's minion!
  • + 18
 Now they need to come up with a new front tire called the Seargent, just so I could say I run the Seargent Slaughter combo.
  • + 1
 Thank you for that.
  • + 1
 Or the Gru, that would be despicable
  • + 9
 Ive been running a rock razor in the rear for a year now, in torrential rain, inches if dust and everything in between and its the most fun ive ever had on a bike! So much sideways then bam grip when you need it! This semi slick tyres are the best thing that has happened in a while!
  • + 1
 It's an incredibly gripping and rolling tyre but durability of Evo and SGravity version leaves much to wish for. After two tyres through two years, each with 4 patches on the inside due to torn off knobs and pinch flatted sidewalls, I leave for slightly heavier, slightly less grippy and slightly worse rolling Maxxis. As a father of two small kids having little time to ride I need reliability
  • + 3
 As a father of two small kids I find that Schwalbe lasts quite a lot longer than they used to.
  • + 0
 That is my biggest disappointment - I ride way less than normal and sht gets destroyed... It must be my feminine side coming into life
  • + 1
 rock razor pacestar on the back of my bike , only one flat and that was my own fault , even rode it flat for several KMs in a race , slapped in a new tube at the start of the next stage and am still running the tire and tube today .
  • + 11
 Waki, you would have a lot more time to ride if you didn't post on this website constantly.
  • + 12
 wait, didn't you forget anything... how does it brake? if it does at all
  • + 4
 my thoughts exactly. i realise its specialist and all that but damn, thats never gonna give me enough braking performance. also with less rubber on the carcass its not gonna absorb much trail vibration and leaves it exposed to cuts. thats why i stopped running ardents, the cuts just went straight to the carcass. now with a dhr2 its the chunky nobs on top of the carcass that take the beating.
  • + 0
 It's a rear tire, how much braking are you expecting to do with it?
  • + 2
 granted, the front provides much more effective power, having said that, when push comes to shove, the option to add a whole whack of rear braking grip doesnt half help when things are getting a bit squirrely.
  • + 2
 @scottzg check your pads wear and get back
  • + 2
 Mleh. Rear braking grip really doesn't matter that much. I'm riding some steep trails in slick conditions and it's been spot on when combined with the Shorty up front.
  • + 1
 I have yet to try the SS but I've been pretty happy with the Tomahawk on the rear, even in wetter conditions. Seems to roll quite well but definitely has a bit more grip than the Rock Razor when things get soggy. Not sure why the Tomahawk hasn't gotten as much press but I think it's very underrated as a rear tire.
  • + 2
 Tomahawk has got intermediate knobs and no clear channel between the centre and sideknobs. Bad sign...
  • + 1
 I don't know if that's a bad sign or not but it rides quite well. Curious to know your thoughts if you ever try one.
  • + 1
 My theory is that you use the rear brake more than the front on a mtb despite it being the opposite of what everybody claims.

Why else do the rear brake pads wear out before the front every time? It's like someone took what happens to cars (70front/30rear) and said "wow, mtb must be the same". The truth is that we can't often put much force on the front brake because we are using it to turn corners for much of the time.
  • + 2
 I guess it could be that it's used more but provides less stopping power... I don't know.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic - Exactly. I go through 2-3 sets of rear pads per set of front pads. Rear braking is very important and I challenge anyone who says otherwise to do their next ride with zero rear brake. I'd rather have only front if I had to choose but both are very important.
  • + 4
 For lots of riding, you don't use the front brake except for killing lots of speed quickly, where as with the rear brake, it is often dragged to control your speed more finely. The logic that because you use the rear brake more, and go through more brake pads, you need more rear wheel grip is false. I never said rear braking wasn't important, but you ultimately need less grip, because when you really need to slow down quickly, you go to the front brake.
  • + 6
 Rear wheel grips as important as the front I have no idea why people would even suggest that it isn't.
  • + 0
 You are wearing out rear brake pads because you are dragging the rear brake more. Pad wear is less dependent on how hard you brake and more dependent on how long you are on the brakes. Bad form equals more wear on the rear pads.
  • + 2
 Rear brake use is for control. It doesn't matter that much how much ultimate grip you have, just that you can make it be more/less than the front. As such, it's not super important how much braking grip the rear tire has, so long as it can be more or less than the front.

This style tire works fine until the edging knobs stop working.
  • + 11
 Guys, the point was not if rear brake matters or not, but whether you can write a tire review and call it such without dropping at least a line about how it brakes. Unless you're trying to pass unnoticed over an evident downside. To me, front brake is for power, rear is for control. Both equally important. And if the rear tire doesn't brake (i.e. skids as soon as you touch the lever) you don't have any control.
  • + 1
 @mtnbykr05: what's your opinion on this style of rear brake usage? Good or bad form?
  • + 4
 I've been on one of these tyres for 3 months now and God, it's good. It'll be staying on for the whole Scottish winter(with a Shorty on the front)! So much fun slapping corners with this bad boy.
  • + 1
 Have you ever tried the Rock Razor? Curious to know how they compare.
  • + 1
 I haven't, sorry.
  • + 3
 I haven't used this tire, but I ran the Spec Slaughter for quite some time in many varied conditions. I don't care what anyone says, you are compromising big time when running these type of tires, ESPECIALLY after it starts to wear. The center tread is so low that when you want to pitch the rearend sideways, it will blow past the center tread so quick that the outside knobs never have a chance to grab and you will be rewarded with an unexpected snap-oversteer. Braking traction is almost non existent as well if you're riding steep DH trails. I mean they still work and are good tires, most tires these days work pretty well. I decided that the little bit better rolling resistance wasn't worth the lack of braking traction and the surprise lose your rear tire off the edge of the trail snap-oversteer. When brand new they will surprise you how well they work with such low center tread, but as time goes on they just become stupid. Great tire for specific races, and also a good tire for flattish more XC single track. But for a 150+ enduro bike, in my opinion get a real rear tire
  • + 1
 Have you tried a Dhr2? It has excellent braking and very predictable drift.
  • + 1
 Love the DHR2 and according to my Strava times it's faster than a Slaughter GRID on climbs (backed up with heart rate data). The DHR2 is a little lighter but looking at the tread you wouldn't expect that.
  • + 1
 That's funny I've just swapped to a dhr2 from a slaughter grid and I was expecting a slower rolling speed but was pleasantly surprised and a little confused as to how fast it rolled. I nearly looped out when I went to do a wheelie or manual. Might be keeping this one a secret from now on.
  • + 1
 Yeah it really is an amazing tire. I'm running it front and rear ever since my last DHF wore out.
  • + 1
 Are you running the same compound front and rear?
  • + 1
 3c front/dc rear
  • + 1
 Thanks, that's what I was thinking.
  • + 2
 I've been riding this rear tyre for the past 2 weeks with a DHR2 up front. It's a fun tyre, has lots of straight-line speed and more braking/climbing traction than i was expecting, but the best thing about it is how fun it makes the rear of the bike. Leaning into a corner gives this mild drift which you can lean further over or initiate a bigger drift with the brake to get onto those side knobs which dig and dig.

Reminds me of running an XC tyre on high speed groomed descents on the rear except you know once you get to the sideknobs it's gonna really corner unlike the sideknobs on an xc tyre.

You do have to modulate your braking a little more but I was coming off a DHR2 3C rear so you'd expect that
  • + 2
 I'm curious as the the trail conditions that people ride whom have Schwalbe knob issues? I've never had an issue with knobs actually ripping off. Tears in the knobs, absolutely, but never a complete tear-off. The area that I live doesn't have a big bike scene so the trails aren't really hard packed or ripped up and maybe that has something to do with it. I noticed that after a weekend of racing at Killington, a week old Schwalbe tire was in worse condition than a few months old tire under my normal trail riding. The Killington trails are a bit more ripped up, exposing rocks and roots. Maybe, I'm just lucky
  • + 1
 I ride mostly loam trails with sand underneath and schwalbe side knobs get ripped off in weeks on my HDs, the design is all wrong. Minion knobs are where its at!
  • + 2
 What do Pinkbikers think about this as far as "bike park tire?" I don't live in the goodness of North Shore loam, the only DH riding I'm fortunate enough to do is at the bike park. The trails are packed hard as cement, and sometimes I think the DHR is overkill. Would this be a good alternative?
  • + 1
 It will brake worse, but there will much be less of a difference on cement like bp trails than on loose trails, and if you are of average gnar level that may be acceptable. It will make you go faster than the DHR - is that going to be a good thing? The rear of the bike will drift more as you initiate your turns even on hard trail than DHR and then catch as the side knobs engage - and you may really like that (I do) or be freaked out by that. It will wear faster that the DHR.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the info. I probably need to freshen up on my bike skills before worrying too much about making the switch.
  • + 2
 Assuming similar durability to the Slaughter Grid, and I'm guessing they are similar for the silkworm version since they didn't go Double Down for this tire, then the big difference is the weight for those who care about that. I had a Rock Razor Supergravity Trailstar 26 last year for a few months, and this year I ran a Slaughter 27.5 Grid for a few months. Weight is about the same for those versions of the Slaughter and RR (900-950g), so the Minion SS silkworm at 765g is a decent amount of savings. I'm a skinnier guy and do a lot of uphill slogging on my AM bike, so I do care about that.

The Slaughter rubber has be very durable with minimal wear over several months and around 800 miles, and in my experience it is similar to Maxxis "dual compound" that I have run on other tires and they have on the Minion SS. The Rock Razor trailstar rubber was much less durable and this made a big difference since when the center knobs wear down they get small fast and braking and climbing traction suffers from an already tenuous state. I felt cornering traction was about the same, but climbing and braking traction a little better on the Slaughter. Anyways, this type of tire works really well where I live and ride the most in the intermountain west. As stated in the review, it's going to suck in the sloppy wet and suck when you really need a lot of rear braking.
  • + 2
 everyone mentioning maxxis as reliable. I had a set of new highroller 3c trail trail tire where the knobs were splitting and almost tearing off. That only happened once, but it still happened. But does anyone else feel maxxis tires are consistently too narrow. I mean its widely thought that a slightly plumper higher volume tire improves grip, stability, impact absorption, reduced rim damage. Yet many of maxxis tires especially the minion dhf 2.5 dh, are extremely narrow. I guess i dont really get it. Shwably tires are usually perfectly sized for the task at hand. But many of the maxxis tires i see ( especially dh tires ) seem way to skinny. Anyone else notice this, or am i crazy
  • + 3
 You're not crazy, but some people love the size of a 2.3 Maxxis for their trailbikes. The Highroller2 2.4 is a much more voluminous tyre if you want something larger. Also the minion 2.5 you mentioned is an older design and does size up small by modern standards
And the cracking of the side knobs on your Highroller2 3c isn't normally anything to worry about as the cracks should only be through the top layer of soft rubber(40a) and there is a harder 70a layer underneath that should support the knob until the tyre is worn out.
It's also a high performance tyre and yes in some cases you will be able to destroy them in a short period of time.
  • + 2
 I have to think this is one tread where too wide of a rim would be a bad thing, as it would square it off, make the side knobs engage rolling on flat and slow it down. The point of this tire is to roll fast.
  • + 1
 No direct comparison to the Rock Razor? I liked the RR but wished the side knobs would hook up just a little sooner than they do. There's also the issue of the Super Gravity casing being damn near impossible to mount on my Enve M70s without a significant fight. Has anyone compared the two? Also a little surprised to see that this isn't available in the DoubleDown casing, which I've really liked on the Tomahawk.
  • + 1
 Running this tire on rear Ibis 741 rim at 22 psi (I weigh 165lbs) and on its third ride it just punctured by tearing the base of a side knob too big for the sealant to work. Was hoofing round a berm at the time. Hoping its a freak incident, will fit another one and up the pressure a couple of PSI. If it happens again though I'll be moving on to something else on the wide rims...
  • + 3
 Was literally just looking at ordering one for my winter/off season riding. More xc than DH but with plenty of time to get rowdy. Classic PinkBike, always reading my mind...
  • + 1
 As a long time loyal maxxis user I'll be happy if I dont have to run slaughters anymore....Im just hoping these last a little longer....3 weeks and the slaughter is smoked...braking edge of the sideknobs gets undermined pretty quick
  • + 2
 Use your front brake more. Seriously, I've been using slaughters rear, butchers front this year and they've worn much better than expected and for the price I've been super happy. My slaughter is worn 50% in the middle and my side knobs are holding up well but are worn. It has 400 miles on it.

I've got some maxxis minion dhf for the front and one of the minion ss for the rear. Going to wait until the end of winter before i throw them on, but im super curious to compare.

I like the exo casing, as it's lighter than the grid casing, but beefier than control. I've shredded a few grid casing tires but been ok on grid/exo. Also like the traction from the beefier sidewalls.
  • + 1
 Im riding extremely hard rocky dirt/rocks....HR2's in dual compound are usually getting real worn after 4 weeks when Im riding allot but I can run them longer than that because the side knobs are the last thing to go.....slaughter's should have harder durometer side knobs...the one on my bike right now the backside of the sideknobs are chewed up and cracked but the center tread still has some life left...Ive got a pile of em in the garage that all look the same...
  • + 1
 Yep. Consider me sold. I have been in love with the concept of the Schwable Rock Razor, but its the side knob cracking that gets me. If this tire does not crack like the Schwable, I will be buying many of these in the future.
  • + 1
 yeah, schwalbe has serious durability issues. HDs, Magics and RRs have all had knobs tear after a couple of rides. They really dont offer good value for money in Australia.
  • + 2
 Overpriced for sure. Maxxis is better value here and the Minion is a very very good tyre.
  • + 1
 That issue has been gone for a while now. Schwalbe does warranty tires in which the knobs tear off prematurely. All mine this year have been great. In fact, I ran a Magic Mary Super Gravity as a rear tire last weekend and my friend ran a Maxxis DH casing and my tire is in good condition, his tire is done with all the knobs worn off. He is faster than I am and I was on the brakes a lot more. Neither one of us could believe it.
  • + 0
 which compounds were you running? Tire casing means nothing in terms of knob durability
  • + 2
 Mine is vertstar and his is 3c.
  • + 1
 that is indeed surprising
  • + 1
 It isn't anything new for Maxxis, they made semi-slick tires for almost 20 years ago. I rode Maxxis Kraken tires that rolled almost exactly like the review stated above.

www.mtbr.com/cat/tires-and-wheels/tire/maxxis/kraken/prd_358303_151crx.aspx
  • + 1
 I'm surprised he said he was surprised the centre knobs had minimal wear. That goes without saying as it's the side knobs that take a beating on these tires. The slaughter is great, a bit heavy, but should compete well with the dual ply Minion.

Also, once again Canadians get boned, or it's the bike shops getting pretty liberal with the markup. $110 retail at most shops in North Van---GET bent! Than you to North Shore Bike Shop for having the best prices, 30 bucks cheaper!
  • + 1
 Will probably never see this in South Africa unless one imports privately. Maxxis bicycle agents in SA don't realise that there are more options in the Maxxis lineup besides the Ikon & CrossMark ... Frown We don't even get the HRII here.
  • + 1
 I've been using Kenda Happy Mediums on my slope bike, front and rear. I use that bike for riding bike park, jumps, trails and they have held up awesome. Only real issue is steep rock gardens that require turning (side knobs don't grab rock, and I don't use a front brake, so really its a no win in that situation), but everything else is great. I'll potentially try these, but I'm really happy with the Kendas.
  • + 3
 I personally dont ride with a tire. I find you get a true feel for the track only on bare rims
  • + 4
 Yay, 26 coming. Looks great for the back...
  • + 0
 I'm at a loss here (maybe it's the language barrier):

"The most obvious benefit of a semi-slick tread pattern is the reduced rolling resistance, which was especially noticeable when spinning out the miles on a dirt road or smoother sections of singletrack.

...

I'd expected any shortcomings to arise on the descents, but it was actually on steeper climbs with loose dirt over hardpack that the Minion SS faltered slightly – that low profile center occasionally had trouble finding purchase, and it was easier to spin out compared to a tire with taller center knobs to dig in and grip the trail. "

What was the bike used for the tryouts? Was this DH tire used for XC? Fire roads and steep climbs??

Please explain
  • + 3
 " - but there's been a resurgence over the last few seasons, with the latest batch aimed at... enduro racers,... or anyone looking for a little extra speed."

For going up and down
  • + 1
 And still corner well, at least the slaughter grid does! Great all around rear tire.
  • + 1
 If the rubber hasn't 'gone off' or excessive wear,then part worn tyres do fly! Fast tyres usually puncture,rip or tear easier,let's hope the sidewalls can maintain that float and help keep pressures real for grip
  • + 3
 Look forward to trying one of these in 26" flavour when they arrive.

Well done Maxxis for giving us the option.
  • + 1
 That's hot. It looks like the crossover enduro/trials tires that are starting to come out for dirt bikes. Little grippy center knobs for the rocks, big side knobs so you can go around a loose corner without dying.
  • + 3
 Mike Kazimer, by new minion 2.5 in the front you mean the WT version? Is it suitable for a less than 34mm rim?
  • + 4
 The new WT casing is optimized for a 35mm inner width rim but has been tested successfully on narrower rims.
  • + 1
 Hi Maxxis, I'm about to build a new wheel set with 35mm inner width rims. The WT Minions currently available are DHF & DHR 11 EXO 3C 2.5.
I usually run a Minion 2.5 front and 2.3 rear. I'll be buying the Minion DHF WT 2.5 for the front. I have two questions regarding the rear:
1. Will the non WT Minion 2.3 be ok on the 35mm rear?
2. How will the non WT Minion SS perform on a 35mm rim? Will the side knobs become so pronounced that you are riding on them all the time?
  • + 1
 @rstwosix: yeah, I tried the shorty 2.3 on a 35 internal Derby rim and it workd well (upfront)
  • + 1
 @mudfish: I decided to hold off on my wheel build and read more reviews on rim width. Stan's (after much testing of widths) recently released their Flow Mk 3 with a 29mm inner width which in their opinion is ideal for up to at least 2.5 tyres. I'm glad with my decision - the tyres look noticeably wider with a nice profile. The side knobs on my minions are more prominent and the setup handles great.
  • + 1
 Time will tell, its usually all about the front tyre for me,as long as the rear goes first,I aint fussed. You guys have a lot of tyre experience,gonna check out some combos based on the info here,so cheers guys, thanks
  • + 2
 Hey!..I've got a few dozen burnt up Minions and HR's, er, 'semi-slicks' for sale, Cheap!
  • + 1
 I dig that style tread pattern... used several tires like it... got a set of WTB Ridders on my shop demo now --- great all round tread for the type of locations I ride
  • + 2
 I have a dhr 2 that looks just like this. I'll put it back on when things dry out.
  • - 1
 not sure how long this tyre will last in a mixed terrain. definately not an all around tyre.i think its better sacrificing a bit of rolling resistance than having that thing on your wheel......Or you could pray for the desired weather conditions in order for this tyre to excel.
  • - 1
 Maxxis you are late with that tire. Yesterday I bought some Maxxis tires a Shorty 3C and a High Roller 2 cause there are no other in the size I want. Mounting them on my new bike they where ridicolous OIT of true. Mounted and mounted again and all that twistt wobling oh my good what a shity quality tire. Went to Mtbr fórum and there are people complaning about the same problem with wobling Maxxis tires on rins that are perfecly trued. They have to send it to warranty. I will never buy Maxxis tires with that shity construction
  • + 2
 'looks out window at the sleet' ........I shall come back to this article in the spring :-)
  • + 0
 Hope it is more durable than the WTB Riddler. Although maybe the Light Fast Rolling wasn't intended for EndurBro racing. Less than 30 days of ownership and probably only 100ish miles. Poor tire, I abused you....
  • + 0
 Teerythemessinger , isn't that the point of having a patent , to stop other companies copying ! The spesh butcher grid has harder sidewallsfor better grip ( lower psi ) and at half the price of minions !
  • + 2
 switched out my rock razor for a for a hans dampf, holy shit I noticed drag right now
  • + 2
 It's a reliable tire?... maybe we should wait until anyone actually has any miles on it before calling it the next coming.
  • + 1
 Nice looking tire but I'm not sure how long that would last me. My last set of Ikons only lasted 2 months. Frown
  • + 3
 Ikon is more for xc use whereas the ss is slated to hold up for enduro so...
  • + 1
 Look for some slightly harder compound tires then.
  • + 1
 Reminds me of the bling bling brian lopes tire...I hope it lasts longer though
  • + 1
 I will never ride non Maxxis tires. I'm running the Ardents front and back, and I absolutely effin love them.
  • + 2
 2.5 3C folding EXOs please
  • + 1
 looks like a great tire for next summer! I wonder if these will come in the new WT format?
  • + 1
 all you gotta do is skid for a couple rides with a regular minion and you have the same tire
  • + 1
 I very much doubt it. The side knobs on the Minion SS are slightly taller, stiffer and wider spaced than a standard Minion.
  • + 1
 +1, read the article before commenting Pokadot Wink
  • + 4
 I don't think you get the humor of the pokadot post.
  • + 1
 lol touche, I did read the article, was still expecting people to whinge about about it
  • + 1
 basically, a minion and racing ralph had sex
  • + 1
 can't climb really technical with these IMHO
  • + 1
 could do with a set of pontoons in this uk weather at the minute
  • + 1
 Anyone know of an equivalent 24" tyre?
  • + 1
 Think I'll stick with my schwalbe rock razor
  • + 3
 These Maxxis versions are cheaper and last longer.
  • + 1
 The Maxxis' creativity !!!
  • + 2
 Whats so creative about doing what everyone else is copying from 15 years ago?
  • + 1
 It's the perfect rear tire, can't wait to get on one.
  • - 1
 Tell you what, lets not bother with a tyre at all. Lets just ride around on the rim instead. Even better if it was a carbon rim!!
  • + 1
 I wonder how this tire would do front and rear on an XC bike...
  • + 2
 Minion DH F never die
  • + 1
 SS for Super Scam.
  • + 1
 Perfect Bro-cal tire
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