Review: 6 Hard-Hitting Rear Tires Ridden & Rated

Apr 23, 2021
by Henry Quinney  



I decided to run a group comparison of tires from six leading brands. The idea of the test was simple: to compare the different rear-wheel options offered that have a sensible level of protection. Personally, when I think about tires, I tend to choose something that has grip as the utmost priority on the front, often combined with a slightly lighter casing. The more problematic choice can often be what to choose on the rear.

In this comparison, I used a Maxxis Assegai 2.5 EXO+ tire on the front and only changed rear tires. I did this to hopefully better isolate the ride characteristics of the rear tires. But what did I lay out as the criteria for these rear tires? And what is a reasonable expectation in terms of performance?

The first characteristic I thought of was weight. I set a target weight of 1200g. This isn’t obscenely heavy, nor is it particularly light. I wanted a tire that rolled well, but not so fast that it undermined traction, and I wanted something that was going to offer good and consistent performance in a variety of conditions over the Portuguese winter. I wasn’t looking for a mud plugger, but rather something that held its own in the wet and wasn’t a death warrant should I ride in sodden conditions.

In all testing, I ran a small sized Vittoria Airliner in the rear. I ran this because I wanted an insert that would hopefully protect my rim as I experimented with pressures and also to stop any potential slicing on any of the sharp rocks that lie on the trails. It’s a piece of equipment I’ve used before for these very reasons. It’s also not particularly large, which I consider a bonus. I didn’t want to put a large insert in there that would potentially alter the ride characteristics of a tire and then have to present my findings with the caveat of - "you also need to spend X amount of dollars on this insert". All testing was done on a set of SILT Alloy 30mm internal wheels.



The test was conducted in Lousa, Portugal, which has a large array of riding but in general, at least in my mind, is unmitigatedly hard on bikes. There is a great selection of fast natural trails where the loose dirt is soft enough for good rubber to bite in and give you a huge amount of purchase, but conversely there are rocks and square edges to brutalise tires and wheels in equal measure. To give you an idea of the terrain, in my first 3 days here I put large slices in two 'trail' casing tires from two different brands.

In this test, I’ll largely discuss descending performance. These mountains are blessed with some amazing riding but you do winch up a road, a mixture of tarmac and gravel, before coming back down the trails. Sadly there just isn’t much in the way of technical climbing here. That being said, it probably isn’t too difficult to draw your own conclusions from my findings.

I conducted my comparison by riding 4,000m of vert over three days on each tire. In this period I made observations and experimented with setup. I rode largely the same trails. After this initial process, I then did back to back testing on the same day to fine tune, as well as challenge, my observations. I included photos after this initial 4,000m to show different wear rates between brands.



Maxxis Aggressor

I consider the Aggressor as near-synonymous with "fast rolling rear enduro tire". I did consider the Dissector, but the Aggressor offers a more well-known benchmark for the other tires.

The tire was very easy to install and went up without so much as needing the valve core removed, any swearing or a booster tank, but more on this later. Riding along the climbs it does roll well and I even went as far as including in my notes that it ‘zipped along’. High praise indeed. I think that the profile given by my 30mm internal rim width suited the tire perfectly and enabled it to keep on the fast rolling centre knobs. In terms of efficiency, it was definitely one of the stronger performing tires on test.
Aggressor Details
• Casing - DoubleDown
• Compound - Dual Compound
• Size - 29 x 2.5 WT
• Pressure - 25PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1185g / 1172g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 59mm
maxxis.com

When descending it was good, and showed why it’s such a popular option, but it did tend to give that scraping sensation when initially applying the brakes. This isn’t surprising in some ways, this isn’t a particularly soft or aggressively treaded tire, but compared to some of the other tires on test it was slightly inferior in this regard. Once you leaned the tire in it would then pick up more traction. It is worth noting that this tire does offer an ever-so-slightly vague sensation when transitioning between the centre and edge knobs.

Sometimes, a rear tire, in this transition, can feel like a little bit of free fall as you commit to moving onto the edge. The best way I can explain this is if you placed a rope around a lamppost and fell backwards. This tire would catch you, but before the slack is taken up it’s going to feel something like freefall. The characteristic I look for is something like having an elastic cord already under tension that you can gradually lean into as it’s going to give you a consistent feeling. It’s not totally dissimilar from using wider skis on groomed trails and transitioning from edge to edge. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it wasn't class leading, either.

Across roots and rocks, particularly if you had to apply the brakes, it did give a slight shifting feeling as it tried to settle. It did provide good grip, but it sometimes felt like it was threatening to step out.

On looser terrain it was good, and this will be something of a trend in this test, and a topic I’ll revisit later. When the ground was soft, considering how well it rolls it gave pleasantly surprising and consistent braking traction. I think its relatively hard compound sometimes struggled to find purchase when the surface it was trying to grip to is harder still but when the terrain was softer it felt like the harder compound wasn’t so much of a hindrance and it could dig in and the ground conform to the shape of the tire, as opposed to the other way around.

One of the areas this tire impressed me the most was the way it stayed so secure on the rim. Of all the tires on test, it was the only tire never to burp in rougher terrain. This is such a fantastic trait and I put it down to the tolerance of the bead and how it mated up to the wheels. It just seems like such an easy win for the rider - it doesn’t have a weight penalty to offer this security but does have huge implications in terms of performance.

Another thing to make the end user happy is durability. After the initial testing period, this tire still looked pretty much fresh out of the factory. Overall, I would say this is quite a versatile tire that will offer good value over the duration of the tires life and will suit somebody who will happily exchange a little bit of grip for a large amount of durability and a good dollop of rolling efficiency.

Pros
+ Fast rolling
+ Durability
+ Most reliable bead on test
Cons
- Not the grippiest, but certainly not the worst either



Continental Der Kaiser Projekt


The Der Kaiser Projekt was the lightest tire in this comparison. At 1045 it isn't exactly welter-weight, but it is nearly 200g less than the heaviest. The tire uses Conti’s Black Chili compound, which is claimed to yield better grip, rolling speed and durability. It was a mixed bag in terms of setting it up. Once or twice it didn't hesitate, but other times there was jumper removal, swearing, and a few shots with a booster tank.
Der Kaiser Projekt
• Casing - ProTection Apex
• Compound - Black Chilli
• Size - 29 x 2.4
• Pressure - 28PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1045g / 1060g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 61mm
continental-tires.com

The tire’s tread was quite a curious proposition. The chamfered and angled edges of the centre knobs seem reminiscent of a tire with very serious intentions but were clearly shaped with rolling speed in mind. With each of these tires I spoke to the respective companies, explained the characteristics I wanted and took on their feedback and duly considered their recommendation. But how would this tire compare its rivals?

Well, despite its low weight it didn’t seem any faster than the competition, and at times felt sluggish. It's hard to quantify exactly, but whatever potential gains were to be had by being lighter, it didn't feel like they translated into rolling efficiency or snappy acceleration.

I really liked riding this tire, especially the way it transferred between the centre and edge and the way it conformed and gripped to rocks. It felt supple and delivered consistent traction on a variety of surfaces. Paired on the 30mm rim it also seemed to offer decent stability in turns. So far so good.

However, there sadly was one quite significant bump in the road - keeping the air in the tire. Each of the tires on the test demands something different and I went into them all with an open mind. I found that at 26PSI the tire felt great in terms of grip but when I pushed on it really started to burp air at an alarming rate. So up I went to 28PSI but even then over one run it would typically lose 2 or 3PSI. The grip was there and, ideally, I would have run it at something around 26, where it felt great, but then the problems were just exacerbated further, the burping would become yet more regular. Even at 28PSI, after every ride, my rim looked like it had been caught in the crossfire in a paintball fight.

In the wet, this becomes extra problematic because the need to run higher pressure consequently affects how the tire rebounds. The tire worked at higher pressures when it was really rough, albeit for the burping, but the next layer of problems came when you wanted to ride sections that weren't so high speed or compression laden. The tire felt lacking in grip and almost numb.

With the Conti, when you’re coming through a really rough section, and almost overwhelming the tire, then it actually feels really good because the impacts are enough to make the tire deform despite the higher PSI - the problem is if you’re riding a smoother section, and you hit a root not particularly hard and it doesn't register enough force against the high pressure to provide any grip. This is even worse in the wet where the tire can rebound quickly at this pressure and giving an unstable feeling. It's a similar ride characteristic to an underdamped and over-pressurised fork.

I know all this talk of a few PSI might sound trivial but, in what is quite a bulbous 2.4 inch tire on a wide rim, a few PSI can make a big difference. While riding it I couldn’t help but wonder, would I exchange this sidewall instability for 150 grams? Abso-bloody-lutely. Curiously, I didn’t make it burp in the turns, although that might be more of a comment on the ungroomed trails I was riding. On a small length of fire road between trails, there is a rut which I performed something of a “burp test” on all tires and this was one of the ones that didn’t give.

In terms of durability, this tire seemed to withstand wear very well. One thing that is really worth noting is that due to the setup struggles I actually covered nearly 8000M on this tire. In the midst of getting somewhat carried away I completely forgot to take a photo at 4K. So, the fact that it is still in such good shape is a big tick for the Conti. Upon the eventual removal of the tire, I discovered it had burped almost all of the original 70mm of sealant. Topping this up every few days could well become a chore or something you forget to do entirely.

If you don’t live in an area with either the frequency or sheer amplitude of compressions as you find here then it may well be a worthy option, but sadly what often felt so promising was so thoroughly undermined by its struggles to hold air.

Pros
+ Supple
+ Durability

Cons
- Perhaps too supple for its own good
- Burps easily
- High pressures really compromised grip



WTB Trail Boss


The WTB Trail Boss doesn't have the biggest centre or cornering knobs and the tread doesn’t seem particularly aggressive but underestimate this tire at your peril. The Trail Boss comes in a variety of compounds and casings. I chose the Tough/Fast rolling option. To find that WTB organise their tires in such simple terms was something of blessed relief. I have worked in the bike industry for over ten years but I’ve got to say, some of the ways companies use nomenclature to label and brand tire can be so overwhelming. I really like this “do what it says on the tin” approach. It actually talks about what it means to the consumer and not to the brand, and that’s ultimately who’s buying the tire.
WTB Trail Boss
• Casing - TCS Tough
• Compound - Fast Rolling
• Size - 29 x 2.4
• Pressure - 26PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1224g / 1131g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 56mm
wtb.com

During the initial fitting, the jumper was off, the cup of tea went cold and there was ample swearing. Also, and rather curiously, it relies heavily on sealant to become anything like airtight. Every time I fitted or removed tires, being as house trained as I am, I thoroughly cleaned them. In doing so I removed any leftover sealant. Upon re-installation, the tire would really have a hard time staying up. I would shake, I would bounce, I would do any trick you could think of but by the time I got to the top of my run, regardless of my cunning, it would be pretty flat. This was frustrating in two aspects - one, you have to pump up the tire again and check it tentatively on the way down and two, if you just so happen to be doing a back-to-back rolling resistance comparison it can somewhat take the edge off.

This tire isn’t a semi-slick, but rather it’s what the semi-slick should have been. It rolls well, it damps the trail effectively and offers loads of grip. It lacks the initial scrape you might find with other tires under braking and it seems to just hook up straight away on loose-over hard and gives consistent and predictable traction in turns. These factors can have a huge impact on your riding, or at least they do for me, because when you’re confident the grip will return you’ll be more comfortable dispensing of it or letting your speed run for just a little bit longer. I find this particularly in turns - if I know the tire isn’t going to wash then I’m far happier to unweight the rear and slide it through.

Under harsh compressions, I did very occasionally get the tire to burp. It wasn’t so bad that it became a problem but it was something I observed. Also, if I really tried I could get it to lose air in the “cutty test”. It’s also worth noting that the durability didn’t seem great. After the initial phase of testing the tire was showing quite heavy signs of wear.

The side knob traction on turns was very good, if not the best in the test. All in all, this tire rolled well, gripped well and I think will suitably impress anyone that wants a fast tire over their summer that will get them into the fun kind of trouble and out of the bad kind. My main concern would be durability, but what that means to you, and the significance you place on it, isn’t for me to say. All in all, I really enjoyed this tire and what it had to offer.

Pros
+ Fast rolling
+ Loads of grip

Cons
- Setup was difficult
- Struggled to hold air after initial setup
- Durability



Schwalbe Hans Dampf


The Hans Dampf has been something of the Schwalbe line up for several years now. Hopefully, without disappointing any monolingual English speakers, I can inform you that it doesn’t mean ‘damp hands’. The translation means something along the lines of a “jack of all trades.”

Similar to Maxxis’ range, you’re not short of options. There is of course the Big Betty and the Nobby Nic but I chose the Hans Dampf because of a combination of wanting something that will roll well and also has ample sidewall protection. I would say that with Schwalbe, the brand language is still hard for me to get my head around, which is particularly strange as it was all rejigged recently to make it clearer. This is the Super Gravity, which now sits below the Super Downhill and with a gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you what the E-25 stands for.
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
• Casing - Super Gravity E-25
• Addix Soft
• Size - 29 x 2.4
• Pressure - 25PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1195 / 1239g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 59mm
www.schwalbe.com

Out of the box, the Hans was the only tire on test that had me thinking “deary me” as I reached for some tire levers. It also didn’t inflate all that easily. Eventually, it went up and I was out on the trails. It doesn’t feel like it rolls quickly and, as I climbed up the initial tarmac part of the climb I grew accustomed to the gentle rumbling of the tire’s knobs as they tracked the ground. It certainly wasn’t spritely.

When I pointed it down the trail it felt quite unstable. I honestly can’t say I particularly enjoyed riding this tire on anything but soft terrain. Over rocks and roots, it felt hard and seemed low on grip compared to the other tires on test. This was exacerbated in damp or wet conditions and only alleviated if the rocks and roots were ever baked dry under the sun.

One of the trails I conducted a lot of my testing on is particularly rough and makes for happy hunting if you’re trying to track down vibrations on your bike. On this trail I found the Hans Dampf to prompt levels of fatigue that I’ve not experienced before on that particular trail. This could either be because of the construction of the tire, it’s far from supple, or because the lack of grip and somewhat skittish rear end meant that I was riding just that little bit stiffer and, as a result, found myself tiring sooner. Either way, it wasn’t a great thing to associate with a tire.

With a tire like this, it’s no surprise that it isn’t as grippy as it could be. The fact that in other tire lines there is a Super-Soft option available is indicative of that. However, it was somewhat disheartening that this tire is neither the grippiest nor fastest rolling on test.

One place I did like the Hans Dampf though was on softer trails. The tire acted in a similar fashion as a cleated boot as it dug into soft terrain and really anchored into loose wet dirt. That said, I would trade a bit of this expert-level-excavation for something that was more confidence inspiring on things that weren’t soft. In search of grip, and hoping to reach a compromise with the characteristics of the tire, I decided to go down to 23PSI. Immediately the tire felt far better, but on the first run I put quite a decent dent in my rim and lost some air. I’m definitely more of a methodical than a maniacal rider and, in this instance, I don’t think I was being particularly reckless and it was disappointing. Especially considering it was literally 300 meters down my first run with lower pressure. After that, I went back up to 25PSI and just tried to cope with the discomfort and lack of grip.

After the normal 4K of vertical the tire still looks great. I think this tire would maybe suit somebody who doesn’t ride rough trails that require a huge amount of grip. If you want something that puts durability above all else and goes well in dusty dry conditions, then it could well be worth your consideration.

Pros
+ Seems very hard wearing
+ Digs in to soft terrain

Cons
- Struggled for grip, especially in the wet
- Support from sidewall is undermined by the need to run low pressures



Vittoria Martello


Vittoria is an Italian brand that you may well associate more with road biking than off road riding, but I think in the coming years this will be set to change. Not because they’re reducing their road presence, but on the contrary, they seem to be drastically upping the ante in their off-road ranges. You may have seen the release of the Mazza tire range. The Martello is a less aggressive tire and aims to be well rounded and versatile. To look at it, it doesn’t look totally dissimilar to the Hans Dampf.
Vittoria Martello Enduro
• Casing - Enduro
• Compound - 4C
• Size - 29 x 2.35
• Pressure - 26PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1230 / 1242g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 59mm
www.vittoria.com

The tire uses Vittoria’s patented 4C technology, as well as boasting the added benefit of using graphene in the tire. The idea is that the graphene can fill in the small holes, on a molecular level, between rubber particles. In Vittoria’s own words the use of graphene can “achieve a performance boost specifically for speed, wet grip, durability and puncture resistance”. Bold claims indeed.

The tire went up particularly easily. It didn’t require the booster tank of my pump and made for a short process.

On my first ride, where I went down my anointed test track that I both began and finished every test period with, I was amazed by the level of grip it offered compared to its predecessor. Although there was good braking and cornering traction, it really shone over rocks and roots and offered levels of adhesion that some of the other tires, most notably the Hans Dampf, struggled to achieve. It’s almost hard to put into words but, as mountain bikers, the best example I can probably give is that it was like riding in your first set of Five Tens. I think this was a combination of three things - a supple casing that seems to yield both support and compliance, soft-to-the-touch rubber and carefully placed sipes that allow the knobs to deform as needed to the terrain.

I often use the word ‘scrape’ when referring to the initial sensation when getting on the brakes. I know it’s probably not the most scientific word but it does tend to illustrate what I mean. The Martello removed that scraping sensation altogether and felt like it got straight to the point.

Running at 26PSI I did make the tire burp once or twice over the duration of testing but it was only second to the Aggressor in this regard, which seemed somewhat unshakeable. All in all, I felt the Martello was very adequate in this area.

The tread offered good performance in all conditions and is probably the most versatile on the test. Although transitioning from the centre to side tread offers a predictable and consistent feeling, it doesn’t quite have the large side knobs of the Michelin, and probably for that reason, I would say that it isn’t quite as supportive when leaned over. However, it does offer a very reasonable rolling speed, especially considering the aforementioned grip, and also seemed one of the most durable on test. I’m not sure if this is down to the four different compounds or the graphene, and I can only talk about proof and puddings, but it does seem to offer something very tangible. I would love to try the same tire without the graphene, if only to help quantify what actual difference it makes. Mr. and Mrs. Vittoria… if you’re listening…

If you're cynical about rear tires that offer anything less than all-out traction but are still a little curious, this could be a real option. It doesn't have quite the same level of support when you’re really leaning the bike as other tires on test, but it’s ample for me and makes for a very strong candidate for a true pedal friendly and do it all rear tire.

Pros
+ The most well-rounded tire on test
+ Grips well over the majority of surfaces

Cons
- Good, but not exceptional when leaned over



Michelin Wild Enduro Rear


Michelin have enjoyed not inconsiderable success in recent years, most notably with the Chain Reaction - Nukeproof EWS team. At races, you can often see the team running the all-out DH22, but I wondered just how much their other tires had to offer.

The tire on the test, aptly named the Enduro Rear, at the very least looked the part. Large side lugs combined with centre knobs that look aggressive, albeit if they’ve been crash-course diet.
Michelin Wild Enduro Rear
• Casing - Gravity Shield
• Compound - GUM X
• Size - 29 x 2.4
• Pressure - 26PSI
• Claimed / Actual Weight - 1160 / 1196g
• Width on 30mm Rim - 60mm
www.michelinman.com

Getting the tire setup was easy. It required the booster tank but minimal swearing, and I barely uttered so much as “bloodly hell” once.

Setting out, and the rolling speed seemed very good. Possibly not the strongest on the test, but well up there in the order. It largely does away with the dragging and rumbling sounds I have found with varying degrees on some of the other tires. However, it’s only when you get to top of the trails and start descending that what this tire really offers becomes quickly apparent.

This tire quickly became the new benchmark in terms of out-and-out descending grip. I just love the way that it combined good braking traction with excellent levels of support in the turns. It really felt like it offered enough grip to calm the whole bike down, as you could ride safely in the knowledge that it would not only slow down well, but also offer a large helping of traction once you got to the turn. Of all the tires on test, it offers the most predictable feeling and I would say was the out and out grippiest.

Like all the tires, I rode it on the same variety of trails, and it seems to handle all surfaces admirably. There wasn’t any squirm or shifting on rocks or roots and seemed very at home on softer terrain, too. My only gripe is that a tread that offers this much grip means you quickly outstrip what seems to be quite a light carcass. At 26PSI, on particularly rough trails, there just didn’t seem to be quite as much support as I’d like. It was okay but only okay.

After the initial part of testing, the level of wear that the tire had undergone went some way to explaining the high levels of grip offered. I think to show this level of wear after merely 4000M of ascent isn’t great. If you lived somewhere with a chairlift, you could really be going through this tire over a weekend or two. It's probably better in this regard than the WTB but not by much.

I think it offers similar levels of performance to the Martello but, for riders who are more aggressive in turns, I believe this to be the better tire. My main gripe is that I would want a little more stability in compressions. Sadly, I made the tire burp once or twice per ride. If you don’t have excessively rough terrain on your doorstep and aren’t concerned with durability, then this would be a truly great candidate for your next tire.

Pros
+ The grippiest on test
+ Great traction in both braking and turns
+ Good rolling speed considering the grip on offer

Cons
- Doesn't seem very durable
- It would be good if the casing was more supportive



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesOf the six on test, I would say four are good options: the Aggressor is durable and fast rolling, the Trail Boss offers similar rolling efficiency but seems to trade some durability for some extra grip, the Martello really does cover all bases even if it doesn't come out on top in terms of rolling speed or descending prowess, and the Michelin, while ever so slightly draggier than the WTB, is the best descending option on test and excels in turns.

With that in mind, I not only consider price but also shelf life and if I were to buy one it would be between the Aggressor or the Martello. They're almost on par in terms of performance but I can imagine them lasting nearly twice as long. The Aggressor is the faster rolling of the two and the Martello the grippier. That said, the value of the Michelin does somewhat offset its lack of durability, even if only in comparison to the Aggressor.
Henry Quinney



422 Comments

  • 513 15
 So you're saying out of the 6 tires tested the Minion DHR wins, got it.
  • 193 0
 We tested 6 enduro rear tyres.... none of which we recommend you use for enduro racing.
  • 81 116
flag justwaki (Apr 23, 2021 at 1:08) (Below Threshold)
 In my experience DHR2 is a damn slugger, possibly in top 3 slowest rolling tires out there, particularly in Maxxterra and Maxx grip. I wouldn't even use for park. Steep full on DH - yes. General riding on a 140-180 bike - not in my books at least. On front the smooth lean over is none, just like HR2 it is a edging tire for hitting corners or railing them with nothing in between. A personal taste off course. Assegai for instance is a antithesis of this - very precise and much better at high speeds on winding singletrack with tolerance to how it is leaned.
  • 13 0
 interestingly, if you put the der kaiser in DH csg, it's like a total different tire..
  • 15 22
flag headshot (Apr 23, 2021 at 1:28) (Below Threshold)
 Horses for courses. where I ride I run Exo Aggressors front and back. Super durable and fast rolling which I need where I live. I did a 45km 1100m ascent XC ride on my 17/180 mm Enduro last weekend. No burps, plenty of grip on a mixture of terrain from sand to rock. The harder compound in the center maybe doesn't offer grip in certain situations but it rolls fast and lasts forever.
  • 96 81
 Aggressor is probably the worst tyre that Maxxis make, and it won, somehow. Has the braking grip of the SS but doesn't roll any faster than DHR.
  • 54 1
 @honourablegeorge: Maybe if you inflate an Aggressor to 10 psi it won't roll faster than a DHR?
  • 24 2
 @justwaki: I would bet DHR2 rolls a bit faster than the Assegai. Assegai is good front and rear,but in the rear it is too much tire for enduro ridding . I love the DHR2 in the rear,it breaks really well and let you play a little with the rear wheel.
  • 58 12
 @honourablegeorge:
I agree and think the agressor has always been weirdly overrated.
  • 6 2
 @justwaki: if you're after a really slugger try a WTB Judge in tough high grip. 1400+ grams of grip. The R2 is a treat to pedal in comparison.
  • 10 2
 Minion DHR II Maxxgrip excels in the damp and clears mud very well which is very useful in thee UK
  • 8 9
 @Jules15: is this a joke?
  • 31 49
flag justwaki (Apr 23, 2021 at 3:20) (Below Threshold)
 @homerjm: I meant Assegai for front only. For rear I tend to use semi slick RockRazor SG/ Minion SS DH or Aggressor DD. In any case with cushcore inside. Semi slicks are more prone to flats even in thick sidewall version. I may try Dissector this summer. I use Assegai for singletrack kind of riding and in the park but I would prefer DHF Maxxgrip for the park/DH. Assegai doesn't communicate as well as DHF when leaned over to the max. Minion talks more when it is on the edge. Like DHR2. But DHF is a bit more precise on intermediate angles.
  • 8 3
 @honourablegeorge: I agree with you. I replaced a DHR2 with an aggressor last year because I wanted a faster rolling tyre. I couldn’t tell the difference in rolling speed at all but to be fair grip in the dry was not much different either. I sold the aggressor and put the DHR2 back on.
For uplifts next month I will use the e13 TRSR that rolls like it’s covered in glue but also grips in turns like it’s covered in glue.
  • 13 0
 @justwaki: New bike came with DHR2's front and rear. MaxxGrip on front, MaxxTerra on rear. Initially I thought this would be a pig to pedal and was planning to change but over the winter have been out 2-3 times a week and now don't even think about it.
  • 7 0
 Or a DHF.
  • 20 40
flag justwaki (Apr 23, 2021 at 4:04) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: Aggressor rolls faster than DHF and defo faster than DHR2. I flatted Aggie in the middle of the day in Hafjell. Replaced with DHF and started casing a few of the jumps in Rollercoaster. One two pedal strokes, more focus on getting out of berms better and it was fine. Then on DH tracks my friend was riding away from me much faster. I was surprised because it was the first time in my life I was mind of hanging on behind him. After change to DHF all came back to normal. He gone.
  • 22 38
flag justwaki (Apr 23, 2021 at 4:07) (Below Threshold)
 @EcosseHT: perceived rolling resistance is very hard to judge in the woods. Depends also a lot on the surface off course. I do ride a lot on asphalt to the woods and DHR2 Bonty E5/G5 are making me loose will to live after 20mins on asphalt. Again very personal and environment dependent.
  • 30 2
 @honourablegeorge: yeah it’s really too bad the Dissector wasn’t included instead. Feel like it’s everything the Aggressor tries to be but is actually really good
  • 6 0
 @DannyOC:
Put a cush core on it. The sidewall is more supportive and feeling is way better
  • 9 0
 After testing a bunch of tires I chose 3 tires to ride all year long. I think that Dissector is the best fast rolling rear tire that is exceptionally good also in light wet so I use it for most months in the year. In the front I use Assegai for 8 warmer months and Shorty for 4 winter months (in the winter I usually put that Assegai in the rear). Works perfect for me and Middle-European weather.
  • 9 0
 @honourablegeorge: The Aggressor seems to be made for park. The only Maxxis tire with dual compound and double down. So long lasting and works best on loose and dusty surfaces.
I mounted it to my emtb and it's ideal for that use case!
  • 31 0
 Man the Aggressor is so love it or hate it...I agree if you ride wet roots a lot it's not the tire for you, but considering I have to deal with those so infrequently, I think it's a great tire. Plenty of climbing and braking traction, very predictable cornering, lasts forever, goes on without tire levers and seals with a floor pump...what's not to like?
  • 15 15
 The days of just assuming Maxxis makes the best ties are over, plus they are over priced. . I'm running a Vittoria on the rear and they really are great when leaned over.
  • 10 3
 “Thou may strayeth from the flock but thou returneth. “ - bible entry

Always end up coming back to Minions. Same with grips - always end up coming back to ODI Ourys.
  • 14 25
flag justwaki (Apr 23, 2021 at 5:18) (Below Threshold)
 @Pokrowiec: If you know the Borsuk trail from Szyndzielnia, it is where Assegai shines on front. Those fast speed sections with gentle turns is where it's precision pays dividents. I just miss a 2.6" version for Beskidy in general, those huge loose rocks seem to warrant fatter tire. But on Czarna Gora which is much like what I have in Scandinavia, DHF is king for me. Lots of edging there.
  • 2 0
 @honourablegeorge: I agree. I had one on and the only upside (if you can call it an upside?) is that it lasted forever before I replaced it with a DHR.
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: Beskidy mountains in CZ? I did a marathon there back in 2003.
  • 12 1
 @homerjm: the dhr2 is night and day faster rolling than the assegai. That's not even a question.
  • 1 0
 @honourablegeorge: you forgot to mention it cakes with mud on a dry day
  • 5 0
 @BamaBiscuits: I came here to say exactly that and you beat me to it. My new Sight arrived with the Dissector on it in EXO+, and it looked unimpressive to the eye, so I figured I’d switch it out for a DHR2 eventually.

I’ve been so impressed with it, that I’ll probably replace it with another Dissector. I think the writer missed the boat on this one.
  • 11 5
 Should've included the new vittoria Mazza... the same person that designed the minion years ago just designed the Mazza... it's definitely a step above the Martello... minion killer? here's my review> www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xj73xW5L60&t=315s
  • 8 0
 Some jerk is paying $94 for a rear tire right now.
  • 9 0
 @vw4ever: the problem I have with the dissector is the durability. Haven’t found or tried a dual compound but the side knobs in the 3c just fold over after a few hard rides.
  • 6 0
 @honourablegeorge: I'm just as baffled by this as you are.. I also can't figure out why all the rear tire shoot outs recently seem to deny the existence of the Dissector... it rolls just as fast/faster than the Aggressor but it actually has breaking and cornering grip.
  • 3 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: seriously... it's crazy when dirtbike tires are the same price as mtb tires... but try getting the tire you want right now...
  • 3 2
 DHR is a great tire when new, but it wears out super fast. I seem to shred those tires in no time.
  • 3 0
 @projectnortheast: he was testing rear tires. mazza is best used on front.
  • 4 10
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 23, 2021 at 8:05) (Below Threshold)
 @millsr4: HR2 or the magic Mary is the best rear tyres. It’s a fact of life. This article was designed to trigger people into posting loads of angry comments so pinkbike can claim they’re really popular are demand more add money. Don’t be fooled. Wink
  • 5 0
 @millsr4: Aggressor apologist here! For me it has less to do with the tread pattern, but rather that Maxxis offers it in Double Down with their Dual Compound rubber. Last I checked, at least in 27.5, if you want a proper casing, then the DHRII and Disector were both limited to MaxGrip rubber.

I seem to be really hard on rear tires compared to fronts, so it's nice having longer wearing rubber on the back. I'm sure one of their other tires might bite better, but I kind of like being able to float the rear wheel around to wherever I want it so it works for me.
  • 4 0
 I run an Assegai Dual Compound EXO in the front. No sudden losses of traction in super loose marbles and dust, super predictable drift, and it lasts FOREVER on the front and I ride 10ish hours per week in rough conditions.

I wish the DHRII came in DD, dual compound. I'd buy it and run it all the time. Unfortunately, there are only a few tires that Maxxis makes in DD, DC (including the Aggressor). So, it's the Aggressor for me. Other tires wear out too quickly.
  • 4 0
 @makripper: woof, running assegais front and rear right now - and its a damn workout just riding to the trails let alone the trail itself!
  • 5 0
 @gibspaulding: Yeah, I always thought that was kind of dumb that they don't offer dual compound on the heaver casings. It seems to me like the conditions that would warrant a harder, more durable compound (dry, fast, rocky) are conditions that would also likely warrant a heavier casing for many riders.
  • 3 0
 @SoddenDeath: same could be said for an assegai but the mazza is a great rear tire as well. I've run mazza's front and rear for a year, love it in the steeps and loam
  • 2 0
 @justwaki: I agree with the slow rolling. When I put my aggressor back on I felt like I dropped a 50 pound bag of cement off the bike. However I find it leans way easier than dhf and hr2. those producing center tread blocks into the drift channel definitely make it easier to lean over. The 2.4 casing in exo plus is too small for front however.
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: Agreed. Borsuk is one of my favourite weekend trails (I live quite close BB) and that is where Assegai really shines. For BikePark Czarna Góra I choose allways Shorty in the front. These hard and steep trails need exceptional grip especially in wet so I need something more agressive to feel confident.
  • 2 0
 @DannyOC: LOL, seriously what was the purpose of this. No one runs those tires.
  • 8 0
 Aggressor is a great trail bike rear tire. Agreed no place in this test. Trail Bike: dhf/aggressor. Enduro Bike: Assegai/DHR. No need for life to be so complicated.
  • 5 0
 @honourablegeorge: I totally disagree, and I have a LOT of time and vert on both rear tires. The Aggressor climbs substantially faster than DHR - at least when you compare same casing and DHR MaxxTerra to the harder (only rubber option) DC Agressor. But Aggressor is a dry-only tire with that hard rubber - can't have it all.

I'd never run Aggressor year-round, but often run DHR year round.

Dissector is one of the worst tires I ever tried. Side knobs all tore within 10 rides, and completely folder over on anything hard and off-camber. Threw it in the garbage after a couple weeks. Probably an OK tire for super light riders.
  • 2 0
 The DHR feels like a boat anchor compared a few of the tires in this test though.......
  • 1 1
 Just throwing it out there, I’m not a huge fan of the DHR2, maybe it’s just because I’ve only tried them in exo but I’m not feeling them. They slip unpredictably with an empty-feeling transition zone and while they’re great for gripping in a straight line, they don’t handle superdusty conditions very well. The aggressor might not have the most outright grip but it’s super consistent and predictable, and grips well at many angles. Neither of them are good enough for me to settle on them as an all-round tire (which is good, it’s important to buy with variety)
Also I don’t know what mud is
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I'll be switching from DHR to HR2 soon due to availability. What will happen?
  • 2 0
 @EcosseHT: yep, dhr2 front and back, swap front to back and always have fresh tread up front. No brainer.
  • 3 1
 @honourablegeorge: I'd agree, and Vittoria, no offense, makes some of the worst tires I have ever ridden.
  • 1 0
 @transitions-are-neat: Vittoria tires are really well made. However, I have used the Mota for a front and rear and that tread design does not work well for dry loose conditions for me.
  • 9 1
 @honourablegeorge: I run the Aggressor after a year with the DHR II. You are totally wrong. The Aggressor is a lot - REALLY a lot - faster than the DHR.
Maybe you try it out before telling fairytales
  • 13 1
 @riverbum: I am trying to not be snarky... but I too wonder whether I was riding a different DHR2 than all the people who praise it here... it's an anchor. It is designed for one thing: control of speed on steeps and turning on steeps, usually in catch berms. But at the same time there is something to it, I am open minded. That is because it seems it is used by pros on EWS circuit more often than by pro Downhillers.
  • 1 1
 @PocoBoho: ODI Ourys, huh? Sound great.
  • 1 2
 @ReeferSouthrland: some people pay less to do something else to their rear
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: I never try in my bike a SS tire.My last choices were a DHR2 and Assegai DH casings in the rear wheel. Assegai have a superb grip till you reach the end,but it very easy to manage. DHF IMO do not brake so well compared to the DHR2 or the Assegai and the grip it is like on/off all the time.Those L shape knobs combined whit the square one´s are not so good compared to the Assegai one´s.
For a new DHF I would take de side knobs&the little one´s of the Assegai and get rid of L shape blocks. It would roll a little faster than the Assegai but better grip while cornering. Just add more meat on them.
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: not a great deal. They’re very similar tyres. The high roller works better on softer or looser ground where the dhr works better on harder surfaces but there’s a lot of overlap where they’re both equally suited to the conditions and they both brake really well and they both work amazingly with an assguy up front. I just prefer the hr2 because it’s ether dry and loose or muddy and sloppy around here where the hr2 works better with ether a assguy or shorty up front.
  • 1 0
 @gibspaulding: That's not an issue for me since I only run DH casings on my DH bike and due to the terrain her in the PNW I can get some decent life out of Maxxterra rubber tires typically. The one niggle I have against the Dissector is that it seems to wear much faster than other tires with the same casing and compound. That said, the performance is so good I don't mind replacing it a bit more frequently.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Cheers, sounds like a good move for me then.
DHR feels plenty fast in exo to me btw.
  • 1 0
 @honourablegeorge: Agreed. The Agressor rolls pretty fast and is durable but has lousy grip and squirmy sidewalls. The Dissector rolls almost as fast has way more grip braking and climbing and the sidewalls do not squirm around.
  • 4 1
 @SoddenDeath: no it’s not , unless you ride buff trails. Mazza isn’t the correct tyre to review here anyway. Its a trail/smooth park tyre. The Mazza is their Enduro tyre and it rolls almost as fast as the Martello, grips like an Assegai and has the precision of a DHF. Would knock all of these tyres out of the park
  • 2 1
 Rather Martello isnt the correct tyre from the range to review here. No EWS guys race them. It’s either Mota or Mazza.
  • 1 1
 @JustinVP: completely agree. Love the way Disectors roll but in Exo casing are extremely delicate and side knobs are weak. They are a trail tyre.
  • 2 1
 @rickybobby18: you are fortunate you like them as they do
last forever given their hard compounds; or perhaps you haven’t tried a modern multi compound tyre like a Mazza?

The aggressor compared to latest gen Enduro tyres has no feel or precision in proper technical terrain and is dead and gripless when it gets damp. Its like a commercial van/truck tyre. Good for one purpose only and that’s not racing or having fun!
  • 1 1
 @projectnortheast: agreed 100%. Fantastic tyre.
  • 1 1
 @justwaki: loic raced them front/back in 2019 so that’s something.... but who has his skilz ?
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: this man knows, picked my judge in tough casing high grip from crc for £44. The tyre just works, end of.
  • 1 0
 @projectnortheast: So true-- actual motorcycle tires are 99$ at the shop right now.
  • 1 3
 @honourablegeorge: agreed. felt like the tester hit all the negatives of the aggressor, but really went easy in how bad each one is. if it's too wet, it packs. if it's too dry, it might as well be a Conti5000 road tire. And the transition from center to side knobs? there isn't one. the tire has literally no side grip.

I don't get how anyone can like the Agressor. worst. tire. Maxxis. makes.
  • 1 1
 @BamaBiscuits: tread wear on the Dissector is atrocious, and the sidewalls are made of warm brie. I cut 2 in 2 rides, and the third lasted a dozen rides or so before the tread was worn to the point of needing replacing.

that said, If I were running a steep and deep loamer Enduro race, I would mount up a fresh Dissector DH casing and rip it. it's going to be half dead at the end of 4-5 stages though. lol
  • 1 1
 DHR front and rear...
  • 1 0
 @Lagr1980: well that's good to know. I was given two of them in 26x2.4, I ride an old bike. So once my dhrs are toast on the rear I'll try them
  • 1 0
 Yup. I keep trying other rear tires and keep coming back to the DHR II
  • 2 1
 @filmdrew: utter shite ones maybe. Shinkos come to mind...lol

Supercorsas are like $280.
  • 1 0
 @projectnortheast: a rear tire on my dirt bike is good for 2 race weekends. Price isn't everything.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: that's because it's a mud tire...
  • 1 0
 @Jheitt142: true true....
  • 1 1
 @conoat: absolutely shocking tyres. They’re popular with Americans who go on trail rides on coiled up enduro rigs mainly to make their bikes more manageable for the mellow trail riding they do on their over powered enduro bikes.
  • 1 0
 @projectnortheast: Vittoria says the Mota is an all terrain tire, but more geared for mud. Their marketing statement: "Improve the grip and performance of your Enduro and Trail bike on all terrain with Vittoria's Mota tire."

Magic Mary, Specialized Hillbilly, and Vigilante are the best tires I have found for my area for dry loose conditions. Those are considered good mud tires as well. The knobs penetrate through the dry loose stuff on top to grab ground below.
  • 1 0
 @homerjm: Hogwash! Riding an DHRII is like a brake alignment issue that causes drag. Aggressor has it's problems, but it is rolls markedly faster than the Minion. However, if I were at a bike park with lift service, I would ride the DHRII where I need to be able to stop quickly. However, if I'm earning my turns, I'm definitely riding something else. I prefer Vittoria Aggarro on my trail bike and Dissector on the rear of my enduro rig.
  • 2 0
 @danoiz: agarro is a great rear tire. I ran 3 in a row on my trail bike. I just put an exo+ rekon max terra on in place and its quite similar but has a much more damped feeling at the same pressures and I have less rim strikes. Very different tire than regular exo rekon, but a 2.4 exo+ still only weighed 853g
  • 1 0
 @danoiz: Sounds like the Dissector would be a great option for you... Wink
  • 241 2
 My rear Tyre is called the "ex-front"...
  • 20 0
 works fantanstic for Magic Marys
  • 2 0
 One of my favorites also
  • 5 0
 Love my ex front vigilante tough casing
  • 2 0
 I used to be in the same boat. Now I have a mullet bike and I actually have to/get to think about what I want to run on the rear. It came with the DHR 2. I'm taking Disector or Martello next
  • 2 0
 I put a conti der kaiser up front for this reason, so I can graduate it to the back in 6 months (2 years)

Also I run mine 24psi in the rear with a rimpact and I don't have a problem losing air
  • 1 0
 That is the best strategy.
  • 3 0
 I run the Wild Enduro Gum-X Front on both front and rear and call it the Wood-Chipper. I never cared how 'fast-rolling' a tire is claimed to be because if you find you need to use the brakes, it's rolling 'Too Fast', isn't it? I only care about grip going downhill and I don't mind struggling on climbs or flat trails. I still run a 42t rear, so what's the point?
  • 6 0
 @toad321: Yeah never had a problem with the Der Kaiser Projekt or Der Baron Projekt losing air (not the post 2018 version anyway) but they definitely give up some longevity in having such supple side walls. I usually remove the back due to side wall sealant weepage long before the tread is toast. That said 7-800 Whistler kilometres for a rear tyre is pretty decent kms/ dollar as far as I am concerned.
Currently experimenting with and enjoying the Michelin WILD Enduro combo and FRONT on both wheels on bigger bike and liking both set ups. I agree with the review that the WILD Enduro REAR looks to be wearing quickly on the centre knobs, currently at 430 km, but I'll see how it goes. It might suffer serious initial wear and then hold that 50% worn state for ages. The main thing is that the sidewalls and side knobs are still going strong and gripping like a gorilla refusing to let go of his banana.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: usually I find when it starts seeping that it needs new sealant, still never punctured and think the rears been on 18 months at this point!
  • 1 0
 Ha amazing. Well done
  • 1 0
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">andrewbikeguide /font>/font>:
  • 94 3
 Not having the DHR II in here as a comparison/baseline seems really strange.
  • 20 6
 Or a High Roller II, the name suggests what its good for...
  • 18 1
 And not testing schwalbe's dhr2 "big betty"
  • 3 0
 @Noeserd: BB rolls much slower than dhr II. But overall a decent tire with great reaction.
  • 5 0
 @lkubica: yes it's indeed a slow rolling tyre. Changed my rear magic to betty and difference between rolling is not huge
  • 12 4
 @Ruffman: High Roller doesn’t roll as fast as the name suggests. It is slower than DHF. A common misconception. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is comparable to DHR2.
  • 2 1
 @justwaki: High Roller is basically the same tread as the DHR 2, but with smaller knobs, so I’d say your hypothesis is worth considering here.
  • 4 4
 @TheR: But they are ramped which works on paper but in reality it increases space between tops of knobs meaning they engage more against the ground. I can't speak for HR2 vs DHR2 but DHF does roll faster. Less space between knobs, narrow section of center knob pattern. Thanks to this knobs support the tire better and dig in less. Then HR2 wears out super fast... again because of ramped knobs. It has however amazing cornering grip, nothing rails like it. As long as you know what you are doing because they don't exacly communicate when they will let go.
  • 6 13
flag freeridejerk888 (Apr 23, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 Oh god the guy who doesn’t have real world experience is back @justwaki:
  • 2 1
 I'd love to see the Goodyears thrown in the mix. The ultra low price point is attractive.
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: I just bought a bike from a guy with HRs. It didn’t thrill me, but it’s been a while since I’ve tried them, and since they’re already there, I’ll give them a shot. At least I know they wear fast, and if I don’t like them, I won’t have to put up with them for long. Only a couple rides in this aggressors on the back, and I’d say they’re pretty good overall.
  • 69 4
 Wow this was a really technical and well written review about tires. Probably one of the better comparisons I've ever read! Been a Maxxis guy forever but maybe I'll branch out on my next rear tire
  • 9 38
flag lloydyb (Apr 23, 2021 at 4:36) (Below Threshold)
 Don't. I woke up feeling dangerous and bought the Michelins to replace my minions, immediately regretted when I rode them. There's a reason the pros run blacked out Maxxis's instead of tyres from their sponsor
  • 27 3
 @lloydyb: Michelin night and day better than anything Maxxis produce bar the Shorty in mud or loam
  • 15 0
 @lloydyb:
Pretty happy with the Michelin Wild Enduro so far. Maxxis is great but so spendy!
  • 6 0
 @lloydyb: I have the exact opposite experience, and I tend to shred Maxxis casings.
My favourite Maxxis so far would be the Aggressor, but I feel the Martellos are better on everything except hard packed dirt in corners, which is very rare where I live.
I run Michelin DH34 front and rear when I just want absolute grip, nothing I have tried comes close, but I have Vittoria Mazza/Martello currently, which is a very nice compromise for fast rolling and a lot of grip, especially in mostly dry, rooty and rocky conditions, which is what I ride most.
  • 1 1
 @jimmythehat: You're probably right but unfort of my riding is on fast hardpack/dust and roots/lumps. For slower, muddy, more natural stuff I think they would be great but running 22/24 (same pressure an my minions) I could barely get up the same climbs on my single speed ht, upped them to 24/26 and they became like bouncy ice skates. Personally I just couldn't find the right setup for my bike, but I probably want a tyre that damps the trail a bit more than most people. I really like the tread pattern and predictability of when the WE rear would breakaway, but shredded it in less than 5 rides. Sidewall tore on a my first run of the day yday so am pretty unimpressed, but maybe I just got a duff tyre
  • 1 1
 @Losvar: Most people shred EXO tbf, but I managed a winter here then 8 weeks in Pleny/Chatel on my hardtail before my exo minions gave up - but that's mainly hardpack dust and roots. Would always go double down on the back now. I can't comment on the DH34s but I felt the sidewalls of the wild enduros flexing on berms here, so definitely wouldn't want to take them in the bike park
  • 2 6
flag rickybobby18 (Apr 23, 2021 at 7:00) (Below Threshold)
 Michelin’s are fantastic for the 3 days that they last.
  • 4 0
 I've been using Vittoria for the last few seasons and very happy I made the switch.
  • 3 0
 @lloydyb: DH34 are just absolutely amazing tyres. I'm on a set since mid January, riding 4 times per week and they are still like new, while being ridiculously grippy and you don't even need inserts. They're not that sluggish either, except on pavement
  • 1 0
 @jimmythehat: def true from a UK weather perspective !
(Present conditions not included! How dry are the trails at mo?! Its like a Gwin video out there!)
  • 2 0
 @kylemcnulty23 come to the dark side. Tires by the people for the people.
  • 2 0
 You totally should. I have a set of Martellos on my enduro bike and they are easily my new favourite tire. All the grip, better mid to side knob transition feel and less rolling resistance. Oh and they are cheaper too. Highly recommend.
  • 1 0
 @lloydyb: how can you tell when the first hundred reactions to every new enduro tire review is 'looks like a Minion' ?
  • 39 0
 In our shop, we carry equal parts Maxxis, Vittoria and Michelin (in the categories Mish has) and from our own experience, and our customer's feedback, this review is spot on. Good work PB.

The Martello I'm running on one bike is the best tire I've run. Grip for days, good durability, supple casing, no burps. The Michelins I'm running on a different bike are the winter tires (in our rainy winter climate) I was looking for. Solid tread design made for good grip in all conditions. Vittoria compound is better, but the Michelin really strikes a balance to create a burly, tready, tire. We carry Maxxis cause you can't not carry Maxxis.

Here's my description of my own relationship with Maxxis tires: Rode Minions and High Rollers for years like everyone. Figured I'd try something new (Contis). It was not better, and I'd sunk $160 into a set of tires that were worse. Next chance to get tires, go back to Maxxis. Then, feeling saucy (or new bike comes with different tires) try something new again (Nobby Nics). Good, but not as good as the Maxxis. I liked to call them 'predictably crappy' as they lost grip at the exact same spot in corners every time. So once they wore out, I can't help but think that Maxxis makes the best tires. So, I'm back in a safe space on some Minions again.

Finally, we open a bike shop, and I have the luxury of trying out more than one tread pattern and more than one compound from more than one manufacturer. The verdict: There are plenty of better tires out there than Maxxis and on the whole, Vittoria's lineup is superior to them IMO. But the MTB crowd has figured out the best Maxxis ones, so we all start from that good place (Minions with 3C) rather than trial and error like our buying/exploring with other brands. That means we put Maxxis' best tires up against other random selections from other brands all the time.

My advice through this: read articles like this and talk to someone who is jacked on tires at your LBS and get their recommendation. We spend more time in our shop talking tires than any other product category and our input delivers the most value to the customers as we can hear what their goals are (faster rolling, etc) and where they ride, and make a suggestion that fits that plan.
  • 3 0
 OK, so whats the better replacement for a DHF/Dissector with Vittoria in your opinion? I'm far from tire expert. Average rider here in PNW, some on wetter side, some on drier side....maybe not wanting to swap tires all the time. Running a DHF/DHR2, would like a bit faster roll than the DHR2 and was thinking of going with a Dissector but was interested in Vittoria (for front and rear btw).
  • 1 0
 I'd also be curious like the comment from Svinyard about finding a replacement for the DHF/Dissector. I have a DHF/Agressor right now that I like but both are likely needing a replacement. Was planning on going with the above combo but this review has me thinking I may try out the Vittorias because the Maxxis tires tend to wear a little quickly for me. Hows the rolling resistance on the Martello? I was going to go with the DIssector because of the ramped center knobs
  • 3 2
 @kylemcnulty23: Not trying to hound you but look at our tires. Read the reviews (including Pinkbike whenever they get it up). Vital, Loam Wolf, Singletracks, TGR & James Doerfling all love them. People pretty regularly say they're the fastest rolling tire they've ever ridden... and they cost way less than any of tires tested here. (check our buy/sell add for a discount to save even more $$)
  • 5 0
 @Svinyard: All season combo: Mazza front, Martello rear. I run Martello FR/Agarro RR for summer. As noted, Michelin Wild Enduros for the winterbike hardtail and they are rad for PNW winter.

Vittoria does two casings: Enduro and Trail. Same as DD and reg in Maxxis. Except their trail casing is solid. It's pretty much all we sell - with the exception of park duty/shuttle rigs.
  • 2 0
 @kylemcnulty23: You like that faster rolling rear, ya? Go with the Martello FR/Agarro rear in the trail casing. The only drawback to the Agarro: mud. Tread isn't deep enough to deal with mud. But slick rocks and roots? The compound is made of magic.

We like to tell people you shouldn't ride in the mud for the trail's sake. But if you gotta: see Mish Wild Enduros.

We're keen to see how the Mish Wild Enduro AM's go. That'll be a fun comparo.
  • 4 0
 @Svinyard: Try a set of Martellos. They are much better rolling than the Minion so you don't really need to get a lower profile tire for the rear. They are every bit as good as that lengthly entry above suggests!
  • 1 0
 @indycycles: Awesome! Those looks sweet and thank you. Glad to hear about the trail casing because I don't need the DD style heavier stuff but I def need something decent for aggro trail riding. How are the sizes compared to minions? I'm running 2.4/2.5 in the minion combo and like that 2.5-ish size up front. I'm guessing that Mazza 2.4 is pretty close to that? (sizing is so confusing with real-world numbers being different).

Last question - do these tires get rid of that DHF/DHR2 "vague" area when transitioning? I'm not a good enough rider to enjoy that feeling lol. Thanks again man, super helpful
  • 2 0
 @freeinpg: Thank you! Yeah that Mazza 29 2.4/Martello 29 2.35 combo looks to be the ticket in the trail casing (TNT right?).
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: give the Vittoria's a try. They are sweet. One thing about that gets overlooked is the casing construction. They have an insert in the sidewall, down by the bead, that adds support to the sidewall. It doesn't extend all the way up the sidewall, however, so there is a nice flex zone in the sidewall between that insert and the tread cap. This allows for flex, good compliance, and faster rolling. Vittoria knows a thing or two about fast rolling. They won several TDF stages last year.

Last season I tried some alternatives to the above reviewed Aggressor DD dual compound 29x2.5 as I was looking for a faster rolling and lighter rear tire. I tried the dissector exo 3c 2.4. Rolls fast, grips OK, but wore out quickly. Next was the Mazza trail casing 2.4. Its a good one and worth a try. Lasted longer than the dissector, hooked up better, and the rolls well. I am curious about the Martello now...

DD casing is burly. I can run low psi with that casing. But it rolls slow for me as a lighter weight rider.

Maxxis dual compound tires don't hook up as well as the 3c or Vittoria's rubber, but they sure do last.
  • 5 0
 @Speeder01: Is the TDF that freeride competition where the guys try to jump over as many people in spandex as possible while avoiding police? If those tires can hold up to that...wow, "High Praise" - Nic Cage
  • 1 0
 @VersusTires:
As I‘m changing from 26“ to 29“ with my new bike next month I‘m in the market for new tires.
I wanted to try your tires but a) they are out of stock and b) the freight costs to send them to Europe are much too expensive.
Maybe you can set up an European distribution to get the costs under control.
Perhaps the next set will be Versus Tires...
  • 1 1
 My Martello trail casing rear tire lasted about 2 hours, sidewall tore on a rock I barely even noticed on the easiest trail in the area. It seemed pretty nice for those couple hours though.
  • 2 0
 @VersusTires: Colour me curious. We like to try anything new and different in our shop - always keen to innovate for our customers! Do you guys have Canadian distribution setup? Or any LBS's in Canada?
  • 1 0
 @freeinpg: We'll take the compliment (or dig) to our verbosity Wink
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: Glad you asked about sizing actually cause they are a bit odd. 2.4's are close to 2.4's. 2.35 givertake.

2.6's are...2.4's. Roughly 2.45 when fully set and stretched. I was really reluctant to rock a 2.6 but that's what I've got on the Optic: 29 x 2.6 front and rear and it's a nice contact patch on the Crank Bros Synthesis hoops. Your best bet will be predicated on rim width. Either 2.4 and 2.6 are good options as they are really close size-wise.

Vague area...hmmm. I notice that the Martello has a hook up point pretty far over so it feels neutral and then right in the corner it'll grab hard and go. So is that the vauge feeling - on the way over where it's neutral? I haven't ridden many DHFs/DHRs in a while - last set of "safe place" Maxxis tires were HR2's and I found them quite consistent from centre to cornering, but they went from cornering to washing at the limit with no "hook".

I like hitting that hook point on the Martello cause I know I'm cornering hard and got all the grip I can get!
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: having ridden all of these tyres except for the Michelin you can make a big improvement over DHF/DHR etc combo. The minions are a 20 year old design, yes 20 years!!

First decide what you want: ultimate grip? Ultimate feel and precision? Fast rolling or a combination of all?

The Mazza as a 2.6” w Trail casing ( only one 4 c compound) is possibly the most precise Enduro tyre on the market as a Front. Grip matches Assegai Maxxgrip in most cases but its incredibly tactile. Assegai is super reliable and gets the job done but lacks feel. The Mazza rolls significantly better than an Assegai. Equivalent to a DHF. It offers much more grip and similar but better feel than a DHF.

As a rear it’s more complex. Run an insert? Then you can get away with a Martello again in 2.6” and trail casing. No insert run an Enduro casing. Martello as explained rolls very well but doesn’t match a DHR2 for braking grip.

Running a 2.4 Mazza enduro casing may be the remedy. Assegai levels of grip but still rolls faster than a DHF 2.5.

Der Kaizer is much better than reviewed here. In heavy rock/wet and loose terrain it has green grip and feel. It rolls better than a DHR2. Lasts 4 times as long and brakes as well. In my experience its a great heavy trail tyre

Choose your poison but there as MUCH better options than 1990 Maxxis ( CST ) designs .
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: I'm running a Mazza on the front and a Agarro on the rear for fast and dry days or a Martello on the rear if I need more grip. I tried the wider ones but now go for narrower.
  • 1 0
 @VersusTires: any plans for 27.5 sizing?
  • 1 0
 @squarewheel: Yeah, the freight is unreal. We had some Euro Distro lined up for this year but the the supply chain broke. We should have it setup for next spring!
  • 1 0
 @indycycles: We don't, yet. Mainly because of the supply chain. Our plan was to open up Canada this spring but then, well, you know. DM us for more info!
  • 1 0
 @ashwinearl: YES, they've actually been on order since last May! Should FINALLY have our final samples next week, hoping to have production by the end of the year. Best bet is to sign up for the mailing list, you get a discount code & the mailing list gets a heads up / first chance at new product.
  • 29 0
 The Aggressor in the wet is scary AF. Curious about the Dissector, but as a Maxxis fan I keep using the Dhr II

About Lousa: amazing place, lots and lots of trails, and great food. Remember to pronouced it correctly foreign people: it’s not “Looza”, it’s more like “Lowza”
  • 6 0
 Dissector is quite loose in the wet/muddy. I prefer high roller or DHR2. But in dry or moist, dissector is great.
  • 3 0
 Dissector is surprisingly good in the wet, found myself leaving it on much later in the year than I though
  • 3 0
 More like Lowzan
  • 4 0
 Dissector pretty much splits the difference between aggressor speed and dhr braking, but the maxxgrip didnt hold up too well in rocks. Looked pretty chewed up after a month. Aggressors hold up for a season pretty easily for me. DHR's are better in trails where you want/need more confidence.
  • 1 0
 The thread name doesn't matter much for grip on wet roots or rocks, it's the compound. Aggressor is using the Maxxis Dual compound which just doesn't work on wet roots or rocks. Dissector can be had in 3C Maxxterra, which works much better in the wet. DHR 2 can be had in either compound, choose what is best for your riding.
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: ah, a native to the rescue

@Ttimer, good point about the dual compound. Have to say the Aggressor lasted a very long time, and I never, ever had a flat, very impressive because it was the Exo version, with a Pepi noodle inside! I like the dhr II so much that I use it front and rear, in dry summer or wet winter, it just works on both occasions. But we are always trying to find a faster rolling tyre for the rear
  • 2 0
 I agree. I have an aggressor out back and agree that it struggles in the wet. Haven’t been blown away by it TBH and was thinking of trying a Vitoria Martello out back. I used to run them on my trail bike and liked them in the wet conditions we have often in New England
  • 2 0
 I'd believe it, but it is worth noting that Maxxis doesn't even recommend the Aggressor for the wet. They recommend it for hard pack, medium, and loose conditions. It is basically a great tire if you live somewhere dry, but I would look somewhere else if you live in a wet area. It is a great tire for my region (inland PNW) where we do not get much water at all and it can be extremely dry most of the year.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I was reading the review and noted the lack of mention of any mud!
  • 2 0
 @Pyres: i love the aggressor, but it’s the one type of maxxis gravity oriented tire I’ve managed to rip and put unpatchable holes in. Maybe Just bad luck but had happened to me twice.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: Aggressor is very popular in Colorado for that dry reason. One thing I'd say too is the Aggressor climbs super well, rolls fast with good traction at slow speeds, but I find the aggressor to be a tire that breaks out more than others in steep terrain, and for that I've been preferring a different rear tire. I've found Assegai / Dissector combo to be my current favorite for most the year. Corners super well but gives me a bit more confidence braking. And when the rain season comes I plan to throw on a DHR to the rear.
  • 1 0
 @jasbushey: I will probably stick with the aggressor for now on my trail bike since there are days were I get like 2.5-4k of elevation gain. However, if I rode enduro, I might try something like the combo you mentioned to get a bit more downhill performance out of the tire.

Right now I am running DHF 2.5/Aggressor 2.3
  • 1 0
 I absolutly loved the Aggressor, but then I tried it on a rainy week in the alpine bikeparks.

Never again. Hilariously bad.

I'm on a SG Big Betty now, great tire, but it's so damn heavy (1430g). I'm tempted to try an EXO+ Dissector with a Tannus insert, so I would have something decently light. The feedback is really really good on it.
  • 2 0
 Aggressor will try to kill you in the wet. Anything similar to DHR2, E13, Butcher T9, etc work well in the wet as long as you have the softest compound.
  • 2 0
 @WalrusRider: Good thing my trails are essentially moon dust for 10 months of the year.
  • 1 0
 @Yetichon: Had a similar experience with a Schwalbe Rock Razor...so awesome in hardpack but simply diabolical in the wet...it made for some wild rides!
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: The problem is they don't sell them in their maxx terra compound in a beefy casing. I feel like for the dissector and aggressor, there is less of a point to selling maxx grip tires because those models are designed for the dusty conditions that eat away at a maxx grip compound
  • 12 0
 I started using Vittoria tires a year ago because my LBS sells them for around 35€ and i needed a replacementtire for my worn and never actually good Nobby Nic, so i bought the Mezcal. One year later i have tried out almost their entire range and all tires have in common, that they roll really good for the given amount of grip. On the hardtail mazza 2.4 and Barzo 2.6 is hard to beat. Mezcal is awesome on the DJ bike too.
  • 6 0
 Also a vittoria convert because of rolling resistance, there is something to that graphene compound. They be fast
  • 2 0
 My last three trail tire purchases were: Goma, Morsa, and now I'm on Agarro. GF is on Mezcals. They tend to be a shade heavier than the competition, and the current ones run a bit smaller than the Maxxis & Spesh tyres they replaced, but they are pretty solid, well rounded tires. I like em.
  • 4 0
 The barzo is the best xc/ light trail tire.
  • 3 0
 Same here! Bought a mezcal as the rear for my xc bike and it's lasted 3 full season so far, with lots of life left in it. I'm trying a mazza front and rear for my enduro bike this season.
  • 11 0
 I liked the Hans Dampf for dry conditions and on trail centre-y stuff. But to be honest putting a MM on the back in its place has improved grip and cornering in all conditions with little sacrifice in rolling resistance. Not sure when I will ever use the HD again. Can attest to the Super gravity casing being tough as old boots, though. Ripped a set of Martellos to shreds, I think they need to beef up the casing...they rolled well however. On a more general note I find tyres are getting really expensive now. Sigh
  • 1 0
 I run a Hans Dampf on the rear of my trail bike here in Minnesota and it's quite nice for the trails we have. Basically rolling climbs and descents with the occasional short punchy climb and quick steep descent. The trails here are also almost entirely clay and shut down completely in the wet, so wet weather performance is literally not even a consideration. I have an Aggressor on the back of my park bike for the same reason, the parks around here don't open in the wet, so all I have to worry about is dry performance and durability, which I feel the Aggressor is quite good at.
  • 12 0
 Vittoria MTB tires are seriously underrated. The Martello is by far the most versatile tire I've tried. Really good balance of grip, durability and speed. IMO it's the perfect tire for every-day trail bike duty.
  • 10 0
 FINALLY Vittoria getting some praise.

I'm on my second Martello but currently ride the mazza in the rear. The best tire i ever had. In the sense that it never burps on my Spank rim, i never have to think about grip on the side knobs, it's just always good and the center knobs are adequate for everything but hardpack/asphalt.
Add to that that Vittoria just offers 2 casings, TLR for enduro, TNT for trail which means it is very simple to choose an amazing tire, for a great price
  • 15 7
 I am surprised no semi slick is here. Rock Razor in Super Gravity is a gem. It sucks only in greasy mud (UK checks out I guess...) Other than this it provides surprising level of grip despite small center knobs.

I would also throw Bontrager SE4 here although should be very similar to WTB Trail Boss.
  • 1 0
 Bonty 4 is like a lighter TB. Both are good but don't have massively aggressive side knows. Maybe a Minion Semi should have been tested.
  • 5 0
 This right here ^^
I have been running a Rock Razor SG on the rear and a Magic Mary front for a couple years and it's the best set up I've found.
  • 2 5
 @fartymarty: You are right, Bonty SE4 doesn’t have big side knobs but for the rear it isn’t any worse than Aggressor and most tires here. I like it on front for local trails since like all XC and intermediate Bonties it is very predictable which allows for a lot of fun with breaking traction. Hans Dampf will kill you if you try that with it.
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: I did like it but. Am now on a Trail Boss and DHR2 but going to a 2.3 Vigi which should have a bit more bite. Everything is super dry and loose here atm so need some bite.
  • 1 0
 Been running a Schwalbe G-One slick on the back for fun with a Bonty XR4 up front. But I do miss rear braking, so an interesting test for me. I also find the Bontys very predictable and they are all I've run, but time to try summat different I reckon. In the UK it's switched from ultra slop to hardened ultra slop on the trails very quickly.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: I have enjoyed bonty 4 in the past, currently on dissector partly because it kinda reminds me of the bonty 4 tread pattern, but bigger side knobs. And double down. And maxxgrip. Haha
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: drought here. Recently swapped DHRII 2.4 exo/tr for Vigi 2.3 fast/light. 27mm i.w. rim. What they concede in final shoulder grip they make up for in precision, comfort, speed, and pleasure. Intermediate knobs don't force one into deeper corner leaning, and the inevitable straightening that follows. Setup is fiddlier, break-in takes an hour or two, steering when charging sand gardens isn't recommended, and they wear faster, but 27" are on closeout despite pandemic. Enjoy
  • 4 0
 @ceecee: Thanks and will do. That's why I didn't get on with the 2.5 DHF. The drift zone has caught me out once or twice. DHR2 ok for shoulder grip but nothing on Judge / Verdict - now those have real shoulder bite and are my go to tyres for winter slop.
  • 1 2
 @fartymarty: DHF is still better at intermediate angles than DHR2. There is only a small gap just before edging. On DHR2 and HR2 there is nothing in the middle that helps cornering. Center is purely for braking. The upside of DHR2 is that they are some of best tech climbing tires, they hook up fantastically.
  • 2 0
 @lifeofloon: Same here. A great combination.
  • 2 0
 @lifeofloon: I love that combo. On firm fast climbs or on road sections heading to a trailhead, it makes me feel like I’m on a short travel bike, but still enough grip for the way down. But, I’ve always liked a looser rear tire with strong grip up front. I ran a Hans Dampf for a little last season up front. Never loved it. Magic Mary is going back on as soon as my rear shock gets back from service next week.
  • 1 0
 The SE/XR 4 is an okay rear tread and horrible front. For the price (i even get mine 50% off) there are many better options.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: it's no wonder J/V are grippy, as fast rolling seems at least as sticky as maxx terra. I should have put acceleration rather than speed, since despite lower tire weight, unramped Vigi knobs are draggy. Apologies to enduro racers, Luke Cryer, and DHR2 fanatics.

@justwaki: you may be right about DHF. I don't know why I've gravitated away from it. I don't get any better climbing traction from a DHR than an Ardent in same size in dry loose, but SE4 looks interesting for all my non-Hafjell type riding, which is to say all of it. Tore shoulder knobs from a Dampf soft, and Schwalbe are expensive here. New gen must be better, but heavy...what's the best rim i.w. for their 2.35"s?

@bobthestapler: but Trek says it's made for enduro racing--horrible sounds pretty bad
  • 4 0
 @whambat: Everyone always talks about Minion DHF, but for what I ride, Magic Mary is the better tire. Nothing wrong with DHF. Mary is just better.
  • 2 1
 @TheR: solely dependent on terrain and personal preference for the feel. For some perfect, for some too squirmy on hardpack. Great tire overall, possibly inspired designers of Assegai and Bonty XR/SE4, WTB Trailboss. In softer ground, like loam - hard to beat. Like riding on rails. But gosh it doesn't roll in Addix soft and super soft. It just doesn't...
  • 1 0
 I checked the available options and it seems that you can get 29” Rock Razor only in supertrail casing and with speedgrip. Supergravity and addix soft is available only in 27.5”.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: yeah, the assguy seems like the Maxxis tire I’d try up front now for dry dusty conditions. In the right places, a DHF is amazing. It’s always worth checking with locals and local shops to see what they are running. I was a little skeptical when I moved to my new town and everyone seemed to be on Schwalbe. The shop wasn’t even stocking the tougher casings, but our area has a lot of ruts, and moon dust without sharp rocks. Most run the NN on the rear, but I’ve found I can get away with the RR for some extra speed.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: Seems the Rock Razor negates a lot of the drag effect of Magic Mary that Waki was talking about. Best rolling combo I used in a while, but that could have also had something to do with the great set of i9 wheels I had.

Definitely a good practice to check what locals are riding. Out here we are dry — lots of loose dust over hard. We also have this decomposing granite that’s like kitty litter. It gets thick and heavy in spots, and kind of slick at times.. You just have to know how to surf it. Maxxis seems to be the tire of choice at shops, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wonder if it’s because they’re a popular brand, or if it’s because they’re really the best to run out here.
  • 1 2
 @TheR: imho most tires are good these days. It’s a lot about the context. Very few horrific designs like Ardent or Hans Dampf (or every second Conti) are still alive.
  • 9 0
 E-25 Is for usage in Germany: E-25 means the Tire is allowed to be used on Ebikes which are regulated to maximum 25km/h. Want to go faster than 25 km/h -> Pedal with your own Power.
  • 8 0
 For the holdouts on 26" wheels: you can't get the Michelin and the Vittoria tire in these dying size (looked it up so you don't need to). So I guess the recommendation would be the Maxxis Aggressor for us dinosaurs.
  • 1 6
flag headshot (Apr 23, 2021 at 1:30) (Below Threshold)
 Maxxis Ardents work well too. I run them on my 26" HT
  • 5 0
 @headshot: I find the Ardents have very thin side knobs that fold very easily in corners and when traversing off camber roots. I'd pick an Aggressor every time over the Ardent.
  • 1 0
 @StevenJohn: Agreed, I run Aggressors on my Enduro. Its just that Ardents seem to be far more available in 26" than anything else around here.
  • 1 0
 @headshot: Ardents don't corner nearly as well, but like you said, that's what's mostly available for the marathon market here, getting DD casings and aggresors is difficult.
  • 5 0
 @headshot: my ardent rear was so scary. Had to have 30 psi so the tire wouldn't fold over and they will not help you slow down at all. Never again lol
  • 2 0
 @gunnyhoney: My old bike came with Ardents and I found them scary in any but the direst conditions. I replaced them with first generation Hans Dampfs which for the thirty seconds before the knobs fell off were much better...

These days I just run DHRs like everyone else Smile
  • 1 0
 Ardent is a great grippy xc tire... 2.4 still my favorite front tire for the hardtail. Not great for gravity in my experience though. Can’t believe they were selling bronsons with that rear tire a few years ago.
  • 6 0
 @gunnyhoney: ardent could be the single worst tire still on the market...
  • 1 0
 @gunnyhoney: so what are you guys running for 26”? I’m down to my last pair of WTB Vigilante/TrailBoss tough/grip.
  • 2 0
 @EricHarger: I had a dhf/specialized butcher combo on it at the end of it's life but that's just what happened to be in the bike shop at the time
  • 3 0
 I'm running Kaiser rear and baron front in 26er. Sick combo especially in wet. PB tire impressions rarely align with my personal experience tho
  • 4 0
 We have 26" in the works. Would've had them for this summer but there's some pandemic thing going around that's ruined the supply chain.
  • 1 0
 @Naero
Wrong, I am running Michelin wild enduro Front and Rear on my 26". They do make them, simply not advertised on their website.

These tyres are awesome.

Not sure if they are discontinued or not as of now though.
  • 7 0
 Overall nice review, but how on earth can a professional reviewer for one of the largest MTB sites on the web still confuse tire weight with rolling speed?

There is no correlation between the two (within the same class of tires), and this has been basic tire tech 101 for at least half a decade!
  • 7 0
 After numerous wobbly maxxis casings, I have become a total wtb convert. I have only slashed one of their tough casings over the last several years. I don't know what y'all do different but I am constantly pinching tires if they aren't up to the task.
  • 8 0
 Missing from an otherwise excellent test: Michelin DH34 Bike Park. 1.200g, 30€ on these shores, grip for days. Next time maybe?
  • 4 0
 shh don't tell anyone, I love these and i want them to be in stock... Btw more like 22€ which is insane value
  • 2 0
 you know what you are talking about.. buy 4 and stash them...
  • 1 0
 Thought about buying those, but decided on a super gravity Hans Dampf. Was afraid they wouldn't roll to well.
How do they compare to the tires in these test, or to a DHR, in terms of rolling resistance?
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: you don't buy them if you want a fast rolling tire, other than that I can only recommend them. The tread is similar to a DHRII and I think the gum-x compound is similar to a maxxterra. The casing is also thicker than the Michelin in this test, so you get more support.
  • 1 0
 @crashtor: yes, similar to a DHR2, but with taller lugs and wider transition channel.
A bit OT, but the standard DH34 (yes... 1.350g in 27,5", Magi-X and crazy RR) makes for a great front tire.
  • 6 0
 Dissector has replaced DHR and Aggressor as my go to rear tire on my bikes (140 and 115 rear travel). The perfect blend of speed and grip in my opinion. Does seem to wear a bit faster than either the DHR or Aggressor though, which is a bit strange.
  • 2 0
 Aggressor has the harder dual compound, if you're getting Maxxterra or Maxxgrip Dissectors that would be the difference
  • 1 0
 Are you running the 3c or 2c harder stuff? I was thinking the 2c but coming from a DHR2, maybe the extra grip (and wear) from the 3c would be nice?
  • 1 0
 Agreed. My max terra dissector wears significantly faster than a max terra dhr2. The side knobs seem to rip off easier. Great tires though. I am going to get the dual compound dissector next to see if that still feels good and wears better.
  • 6 0
 Tyres are so much down to rider, setup and riding style as well as the obvious conditions. This makes reviewing them pretty subjective.
One persons go to is another persons hate!

The Kaiser is an amazing dry tyre (my fav race tyre), make life even slightly damp and its not very good at best, most racers lower their pressures in the wet by 2psi, not increase them. Or just put tyres on designed from the wet/damp which the Kaiser certainly isnt.
I have raced the Kaiser in Dh casing for many years now in it old little wheel size with good results. Sometimes for Fort Bill the casing is not up to it and a DHR2 has to go on.

The WTB or Wild Enduro look pretty aggressive.
  • 6 0
 The widest marketed tire (Maxxis Aggressor) has the same actual width than the smallest tire in the test (Vittoria Martello). Would probably be disappointed if I was specifically looking for a bigger tire...
  • 7 2
 What gets me is that tyres are still so heavy, and there hasn't really been progression in this area over the last 10 or more years. I'd pay double for half the weight. What's holding the industry back? Surely there is better casing options available now thst are lighter, but stronger?
  • 11 1
 I think someone else mentioned it before, but the general increase in wheel size in the last 10 years has negated any weight reduction in rims and tires, since there needs to be physically more material for the 29" diameter. I expect weight has gone down, if you measure per diameter, but overall it is roughly the same.
  • 1 0
 Weight savings come from tubeless and insert tech. The tires themselves seem to be pretty much maxed out in this regard. Unless someone invents a lighter rubber, but even F1 doesn't have that kind of tech.
  • 4 2
 @Ttimer: Schwalbe invented “less rubber” on Evo amd SS tires but they seem to have abandoned the concept due to the common issue of ripping knobs off.
  • 2 0
 @electricsquirrel: Also tire's are a lot beefier these days as they get hammered way harder than they ever used to.
The average trail bike gets the same (or more) abuse that a full noise DH rig did about 10 years ago, so the tire's have been massively strengthened to compensate for that.
I mean when was the last time you purchased a single ply tire?..... Or even saw a single ply!
Weights stayed down pretty well when you consider how much tougher they are these days.
  • 4 0
 Weight has increased as most riders are sick and tired of slashed sidewalls and other durability issues.

Compare your tyre failures today with that of say 10 years ago?

Sure, Dissector EXOs still disintegrate but Schwalbe retain their sideknobs and you can get through an XC race without a flat ( shock horror) and even an entire Enduro event without a single failure if you have been sensible about set up and race prep.

Who wants to be a weight weenie these days?
  • 4 0
 Just put a proper insert and all your burping and tire pressures issues will be solved. Not to mention how much the ride quality improves with small chatter absorbed by the tires.

I am quite baffled by the review as I have experience with both the Hans Damph and Wild Enduro:
- Hans is not good in the very wet and slimy conditions but good in all other. It also has excellent braking grip. It comes really close to High Roller II with the latter much better in wet.
- Wild Enduro has less braking grip compared to Hans. It rolls significantly better. In the wet it is on par with Hans maybe even with touch more grip but its small threads get quickly covered if the mud is sticky. The Michelin is the best tire I have ridden for cornering! You can initiate a slide with not much effort and on the lean the aggressive side knobs bite hard to the ground. This allows taking some really nice lines around the corners.
  • 8 0
 If you run an Aggressor as a front tyre. YOU WILL DIE.
  • 1 0
 *Shrugs* Darwin's gonna Darwin.
  • 4 0
 To counter the Michelin review, I have had this tyre on my hardtail for over 2 years which included a week trip to morzine (yes everything hurt after) and I have to say this is probably the most durable and tough tyre I have ever used. Decent grip in all conditions too
  • 1 0
 This is what I found as well. It's strange to hear the reviewers tire wore down so quickly.
  • 4 0
 This is a fantastic article Henry & Pinkbike! The "freefall when moving onto the edge" sensation on the aggressor is so so spot on. I'm excited to try some different tires as up to now I've just been riding Maxxis since that's the typical default choice.
  • 6 0
 the schwalbe rear tire to review is the new big betty, I use it with a magic mary ultra soft in the front and IMHO, is the best combo...
  • 4 0
 Unpopular opinion: Maxxis dual compound is actually fine for a rear tire. Lasts forever and yes it will step out, but it's predictable and fun. I wouldn't want it up front but I've got over 200 hours on a DHF DC as a rear tire and the knobs have only lost 2mm.
  • 5 0
 My biggest learning curve in getting fit was noticing the difference that tyres make. Pedalling uphill with a DHR is like pedalling through treacle.
  • 1 0
 You should try pedalling anywhere with a full set of Dirty Dan's... I've never known any tire to suck up so much movement, it's like you're riding while holding the brakes half on!
  • 7 0
 Nice write up! Now give Henry another batch
  • 4 0
 I currently run magic Mary front and rear and it's amazing but feels like it could roll a little faster so have been considering changing the rear to a Big Betty. Anyone tried this combo?
  • 4 0
 Mary front and Betty back is good. I ran it first on my HT and was so happy it's on my FS now as well.
  • 6 0
 HD is a little faster than MM (and in my opinion much better than what this review suggests), also Nobby Nic is not that bad if it has enough grip for you. I'm also curious about the Big Betty, I'll probably try that next.
  • 1 0
 @JanB: Sweet thanks Beer
  • 3 0
 @n734535: I've tried HD and can't say I'm a fan, I prefer the greater predictability I felt in MM. I haven't tried NN though so might have to give that a go, but BB is the one I've read a few times is getting paired in with MM up front for some enduro rides specifically for carrying better speed, so keen to try that first.
  • 3 0
 My trail wheelset are carbon hoops super trail 2.6/2.4 Hans dampfs and my gravity wheels are super gravity magic Mary and big Betty w/Tannus front and rear. Gotta say I like the Hans dampfs a fair bit for ripping trail but it's rarely wet out our way.

But man; the MM/BB combo with inserts feels like cheating.. I just hate pedaling it. When things get Greasy or gnarly Betty's definitely better.
  • 2 0
 @JanB: MM+BB on HT squad!
aaaalll the acronyms!
  • 3 0
 One thing about the Michelin Wild Enduro Rear is that it starts to look ugly really fast but then stays that way for a long time. Very different wear behavior relative to most tyres. Except for the casing, mine lasted really well, even if at the beginning I was doubting that
  • 3 0
 This is a great writeup. I will definitely be considering the martello in the future. Lots of the comments on here are "you should have used "x" tyre in your test", is there any way of making a long term table that compared tyres subjectively as they are released? maybe use the aggressor as the benchmark each time so you know what you are comparing back to, and rate them subjectively on different parameters?
  • 5 0
 According to this review, the new Wild Enduro "Racing Line" version should be pretty sweet, as it's a tougher casing version.
  • 5 0
 Obligatory y u no Kenda comment. Like bikes, the secret is they're all so close to each other in performance it really doesn't matter what you pick.
  • 1 0
 For real though. If you find a style of tire you like, it is pretty hard to find significant differences on the rear.
  • 1 0
 except for the price!
  • 6 0
 would have loved to see the Kenda Pinner in here. reviews seem good and it's a bit lighter than all of these (I think?)
  • 5 0
 Pinner rear rolls just as fast if not faster than an agressor, way better traction, and lighter. It's a great tire.
  • 2 0
 I just started runner the Pinner In front, and Nevagal 2 Pro on rear. Very light weight and so far they are great trail tires. I was running Dissectors front and rear, and I like those as well. Just wanted to experiment and tried the Kenda. The Pinner in front is especially terrific.
  • 1 0
 @bchampig: cool I just picked up a Hellkat front, Nevegal 2 rear combo. hoping it'll be a great combo when it actually arrives
  • 2 0
 I've tried Pinners and Nevegals in back and was surprised that the Pinner didn't seem to roll any slower than the nevegal. Try it out!
  • 3 0
 Dhf at the back for the win
It rolls better than dhr and corners better too
If only they made a harder compound dd casing 2.5

Only bad thing about dhf is it’s poor shedding quality in mud,and the on off feeling from vertical to leaned over(but that is personal preference)
  • 4 0
 Choose your tire and be a dick about it Smile . After reading the comments I am lost, every tire is rated good as well as bad. Back to the review I suppose.....
  • 5 1
 "Michelin have enjoyed not inconsiderable success in recent years..." Why the double negative? "Michelin have enjoyed considerable success in recent years..." Work just fine.
  • 1 0
 Writes like he talks?
  • 7 0
 Double negatives are often used in English literature as a signal for understatement. It's more obvious when spoken, but is a fairly well established literary tool.
  • 2 0
 One thing to remember is the Aggressor comes in 2.5, many other tires that are preferred as a rear tire do not. Now many people like 2.4" as a rear tire, so be it, but for me since I'm sticking with 2.5, the aggressor is the best choice. I wish the Dissector or DHR2 came in 2.5, but unfortunately they don't. And before you say the Aggressor isn't 2.5, remember rim width. My friend and i have identical (35mm internal) rims and his 2.4 DHR2 measures 2.4, my 2.5 Aggressor measures 2.5. I brought my digital calipers to the trail side one day to confirm and measured both twice.

As a side note: I've noticed (for Maxxis anyway) when measuring 2.3-2.4" tires, they seem to hit their actual width when on 30mm rims. When measuring 2.5 and 2.6" tires, they seem to hit that actual width on 35mm tires. Put a 2.5 or 2.6 on a 30mm rim and that is where things seem to be a bit different.
  • 5 0
 Maybe you should have used a different rim since 3 out of 5 tires had burping issues...
  • 4 0
 Great review, now do the fronts! Interesting, WTB tires have been consistently weighing about 100 grams under their claimed weights, why Schwalbe has been weighing over.
  • 4 1
 Does Maxxis actually have a wobble problem? Last two I have purchased both wobble and it's annoying. Or is there some secret trick to fixing the wobble? Beads are set and I run Cushcore.
  • 4 1
 Unfortunately any tire can wobble, but my experience ordering and fitting tires for clients is that Michelin, Schwalbe, Hutchinson, and WTB wobble the least (roughly in that order) - which is to say it's extraordinarily rare. My experience with Maxxis has been much more mixed, I regret to say. If you've done all the key essentials, as it sounds like you have - inflation to near max to seat, ideally non-use of levers (unless you run CushCore or another insert), soap and water on the beads, leaving it overnight, ensuring proper rim taping, etc. - and the tire still wobbles, then it's a bona fide phenomenon. I think Maxxis may have been experiencing a quality control issue on certain tires from a specific factory. I received several wobbly Maxxis tires over the past three years, and interestingly all seemed to come from the same location/country listed on the sidewall and all were knobbier designs and/or DD casing (DHF, Shorty). I have never received a crooked Aggressor or DHRII. Maxxis has excellent customer service and will remedy the problem as fast as they can, but ideally if this was a quality control issue and more widespread than some Maxxis users may be aware (fortunately for them) then ideally they will work to prevent the issue ever occurring in the first place going forward. Tires need to be laid and set methodically in the factory. Of my wobbly DHFs, only one straightened with time, having been left inflated on a rim for many weeks. Tire wobbles are cosmetic mostly, but in extreme cases they can cause frame rub. In any case, what frustrates me as a wheelbuilder is the thought of putting a wobbly tire on a virtually perfect custom wheel - it's really hard to sell that dissonant visual product to the riding client!
  • 3 0
 Manufacturing defects do happen, but two in a row strongly suggests that it's user error, especially if only one section of the tire is affected.

Unless you're warping tires by slapping turns (you'd know), you're probably warping them on install, which is common when setting tires up with inserts. Maxxis casings across the board seem to be less tolerant of ham-fisted setup than some other brands. Unfortunately, there's really no good fix once the damage is done.

Three keys to insert setup: soapy water, finesse, and be 100% sure the bead is fully in the center channel of the rim before you finish spooning the last bite onto the rim. The last point is where most people have issues.
  • 3 0
 @DirtCrab: Interesting, I suppose to could be how I installed them with Cushcore inserts. It's very difficult to install a tire with Cushcore unless you have pushed the remaining bead to the center as best as possible. I don't feel like I used too much tire iron as they are plastic and will only do so much. I keep this is mind in the future. I thought at first my insert was causing the issue but I reinstalled the tire and had same issue. Also saw a lot of comments on line about this issue. Seems strange that I would have enough strength to stretch or damage a tire.
  • 2 0
 Agree with the assessment of the Wild Enduro 100%, except I've experienced pretty good tread life my current set. I do notice the support issues mentioned, but relieved that with CushCore. The tire is so predictable, it's crazy fun.

I also run E13 LG1 "enduro" and "dh" of the MoPo compound on another bike (mullet setup). The LG1 feels slower rolling than the Wild Enduro, but it's got similar grip. Very predictable tire, you can really lay into the knobs, and great traction, but probably not as much braking traction as the Wild Enduro.
  • 1 0
 *~25psi on the Wild Enduro w/ CushCore (on a GG Pedalhead)
*~23psi on the LG1 w/ CushCore (on a YT Capra)
  • 4 1
 In the comments: dozens of knuckleheads complaining their favorite tire wasn't there who didn't read the article and don't know these are the recommended tires by their respected companies for the author's stated needs.
  • 2 0
 Doesn't mean they are the best according to actual riders though
  • 2 0
 Back in 2012 when I first got into mountain biking, the Hans Dampf was the most talked about tire because they blew up very large compared to other tires. Nowadays, all tires blow up large, though, Maxxis runs slightly small. I may try out the Vittoria and WTB tires mentioned in the review. Thank you for this; very well written.
  • 2 0
 Just got my new propain and I got Hans dampf on the rear and it’s seem really sweet but my magic Mary’s on the front I’m really struggling with turning into corners fast,Not sure if it’s because they seem like a really hard tyre compound!
  • 4 0
 sounds like a hard compound, MM's with the right compound stick you to the floor like torys to their estates
  • 2 0
 I've used all these tires but the Schwalbe, and I'd say regional trail conditions should be a big consideration. I like an Aggressor/DHF or Assegai combo. Aggressor DD costs a fair bit, but lasts long enough to offset the cost. Also, it's always better to have the front tire grip more than the rear, and the Aggressor is nice and predictable when it does slip.

However, I live in a dry climate. If I travel to ride, I go to other places with dry climates. I ride exposed rock, hardpack, or loose over hard surfaces pretty much exclusively. I'd probably run the WTB or Michelin as a wetter conditions (but not mud spike wet) rear tire.

Anyway-super stoked to see someone properly work rear tires with burlier casings. Keep up the great work Henry!!
  • 3 0
 Phoenix, AZ: Have been running 'New' Contis since they came out in 2018 with no weeping or deflation issues. Here in the desert I prefer Kaisers front & back. Trail Kings are a close second.
  • 3 0
 Vittoria is looking like a work horse of a tire. Inexpensive and productive. I've got a set of BARZO's ready to mount in place of my Ardents and am excited.

XC tire reviews please @pinkbike
  • 2 0
 Not sure the Hans Dampf was given a fair chance. I used to be a die hard Maxxis fan. I tried some Schwalbe tires and hated them. Then a rep told me to dump an extra 5 psi and let me tell you, completely changed my perspective. Went from running roughly 27 psi in the rear with a Maxxis DHR (with occasional burping and folding at these pressures) to 22 in Schwalbe and the grip improvement was insane, not to mention the sidewall support seamed better despite the lower pressures.
  • 2 0
 Grip on the front, robust but fast on the rear. Climbing traction comes the the riders positioning and application of power. Braking to slow down comes from the front and rear braking is for steering and destabilising of the bike. Big, heavy grippy rear tyres ain't fun.
  • 2 0
 excellent test. thank you. participated in a couple tire tests for german bike magazines including rolling resistance tests etc etc. tire testing is a science by itself, but describing what a tire does change on a bikes ride feel and behavior is especially tough. well done.
  • 3 0
 +1 for the martello though the blow up rather small 2.6 is in probably better real world. Also I think the Bontragr SE4 might be the best all around REAR tire out there.
  • 1 0
 I agree that the SE4 is a really good option, but not where there are sharp rocks. I've got side wall rips on 2 of the last 4 SE4s compared none on the Aggressors for example.
  • 2 0
 Martello 2.6 is a 2.4, 2.8 is a 2.6.
  • 4 0
 did maxxis already learn how to make tyres what does not turning into slippery plastic at +5°C?
  • 11 1
 yes, you will recognize them by the "Continental Der Baron" logo on it Wink
  • 2 0
 @reo-driver: indeed, I love mine. I have used the De Kaiser as a front tyre before. I would not use it as a rear tyre. Would like to see pinkbike do tests on various brands and a selection of tyres of each brand. All the issues they had with the Trailboss, I have not experienced. It is better suited to hard pack to slightly loamy trails. Anything more tech and you will struggle for grip
  • 1 0
 I've read the dual compound is much less sensitive to temperature than 3c options. I believe it. My rear tire has been the same DHF DC for almost two years and it doesn't seem to ride any different at 0° than at 20°.
  • 1 0
 100% with you on the hans dampf and the wild enduro rear.
When I had a wild enduro rear, I had to inflate it to 30 psi and even there I dented my rim. (180 lbs).
Then I installed a hans dampf super gravity. This tire absolutely blows the michelin casing wise, but is too much round so the lateral stability is not good at all and I have to run silly low pressures to improve this...
  • 5 0
 What sealant was being used?
  • 3 0
 Yeah, Conti and their pathetic casing. Hope they will at least notice the problem after this test ... They are so close, yet so far.
  • 2 0
 Good article. I would like to have seen photos of the hot patch as well as the tread - might be useful for some for reference once in the store looking through racks of tires.
  • 1 0
 I bought the Agressor to try after seeing how popular it was in Italy. To me it feels OK on loose dry rocks but compared to the high roller it replaced on the rear it is more draggy and less versatile. For climbing grip on mud I've even found the Minnion SS is actually better because the Agressor just clogs up.

Agree it is easy to mount tubeless but with my Sun Ringle/Stans rims, most things are, even conti.
  • 2 0
 I am married to the 2.5 DHF (DD or DHF maxx terra) in the rear. A backup is the DHR 2.4 DD maxx terra, but I prefer more grip in corners and traction in off camber slippery shit the DHF provides.
  • 1 0
 Great test! I think using a larger insert like CC Pro levels things as far as carcass and prevents burping while allowing lower pressures that perform better, but understand why you wouldn't for the test.

Aggressor is out for me because it hates water and the center knobs are $hit.

Martello was good but the casing tore 1st ride, trail carcass though.

Wild Enduro are the best tires I've ever used all around. Some tires are better in certain conditions but none are better all around and the carcass, while a little flimsy, doesn't tear easily. If you don't use inserts the heavier racing line might have been better, but too heavy for the test. Wear fast but cost less.

Der Kaiser has been good with insert, it's light and maybe a better front tire but works as a rear, very good compound, lighter vs the others, rolls ok, medium-ish resistance. Wear is good.
  • 1 0
 CC pro in a set of wild enduros its a great combo. The front sheds mud really well and with the cush you can run the pressure low enough to no miss the super sticky rubber. Great tires for PNW winter rides also fine in the dry stuff.
  • 5 1
 Lol tha agressor won? Worst braking, can't wait to replace mine with the worn DHF from the front
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see that the 2.5” Aggressor was narrower than most of the 2.4” tyres.

I ran a 2.3” Aggressor on the back of my trail bike for a few years and found it to be pretty decent. It has now been replacing the HR2 from the front.
  • 1 0
 Exceellent article indeed !

Me personally I had those Michelin and they were indeed the grippiest and draggest for the first 2 weeks then zero grip on the rear and yeah the walls suck... I needed more PSI and then it sucked more for the grip...

Anyhow my old school setup remains the best : DHF or Assegai front and DHF back as well.. yeah slides but predictable sliding .... which is the coolest.
  • 1 0
 I've got a Dissector waiting to on my trailbike...trying to push a DHRII to 1000 miles, but it's shedding chunks of knob pretty fast at about 800... glad to read the good comments on it, I'm going for faster than a DHRII but not looking to give up too much on corners or loose climbs. I'm a Minion guy, every time I stray I come back.... so we'll see.

WTB tires are super frustrating. I've been using Byways on my gravel/road bike for a couple seasons, and from a basic tire perspective, I love them. Good weight, durablity, road feel, perfect balance for quiet/smooth/fast on the road while giving me enough tread to work with on dirt and double or light single track... but they just drink sealant. Even the newe SG2 versions. My next tires on this bike won't be WTB, because it's frustrating to constantly loose pressure and top off sealant. I've wanted to try their MTB range, but I haven't based on this experience... haven't used a WTB tire since the old Weirwolf, when that was the first big 29" tire.
  • 1 0
 Vigi front / TB rear (in whatever casing suits best) is a superb combo. That Vigilante seemed to last forever, and SO much grip.
  • 1 0
 I ran a Vigilante up front this winter and did not notice any sealant weep or pressure loss.
  • 3 2
 Pick a tire and be a dick about it...except for the odd tire with leaky sidewalls ( thanks conti) I can't remember the last time a tire ruined a ride. You can keep your new "AI created, MBA inspired pricing, 27 labels that confuse me" tires, I am going to the clearance bin.
  • 1 0
 From these I only don't have a history with the Michelin and the Continental, although I have used more than one Der Baron at the rear, had a Wild Gripp'r2 once, and will install a Michelin AM2 in the rear right after writing this. The Trail Boss is the one that's coming out. It rolls very well, offers sufficient grip in many conditions, but does feel sketchy in hardpack. I had no problems at all inflating it and maintaing air in it. A good fast rolling option if you don't demand a lot of grip, but be reminded that the 2.4 is actually a 2.3. The Martello has a peculiar grip profile that I didn't get to become used to due to an infixable hole (on the less reinforced version). In many tires, you get the side grip from the outer knobs' profile, you feel the give of the knobs and their transition into settling you into the corner. But this tire has the grip profile of a slick tire, it just grips all around. That can also make it feel somewhat slower because you might feel "stuck to the ground". I would gladly give it another try but there's so much fish in the sea... Like the new Mazza for instance. The Agressor is one that I enjoyed back in the days of 26", it seems like I didn't feel much like switching tires when I had it. I think of it as being better than the Trail Boss in the corners, but I don't know, it would be good to try it again but there are other candidates, such as the Dissector, which also happens to be a fine all-around front tire that reminds me of the High Roller.
  • 1 0
 I started riding a 2.6 Ground Control out back and it is amazing. Grip levels are surprising for something with such small knobs and it rolls crazy fast. Conti Trail King in what I think is their eBike casing in the front, I 100% agree with your review of the lighter Conti casing feels like garbage.
  • 2 1
 Overall great reviews. However, I'm a bit confused about the Hans Dampf review because it seemed to be full of contradictions. Good on softer trails and "...really anchored into loose wet dirt." Then "...goes well in dusty dry conditions." And in the Cons list it says "struggles for grip, especially in the wet." So I'm not really sure what to make of this. Is it good in the wet or dry? Maybe all the contradictions was the polite way to say it sucked everywhere?
  • 5 0
 So a rear tire is not a worn out front tire???
  • 1 0
 After riding maxxis for years I tried a hans dampf given to me by a friend (2.6, super gravity, soft) in the rear on familiar trails, which are rooty, slightly rocky, medium/high speed, not too steep but require little braking once you get your lines down, and east coast US clay/dust. It rolls pretty slow (slower than a DHR2 and HR2, imo) but the straight line traction was on par with them. It's the cornering characteristics of this tire that are terrible. If you lean the tire over too far or square off a corner it just washes out. It was frustrating to ride within the constraints of the tire. Quick direction changes in rock or root gardens cause the tire to slide out as well and I took it off after 2 rides.
  • 2 1
 I’ve hit tire utopia!!
Took an aggressive enduro e bike to do it though!
Eliminate rolling resistance worries with a motor
Get the best suspension possible on an e bike (Ohlins Model Commencal for me)
Maxxis Assagai Exo front and DD rear both in Maxxgrip compound

Holy Shit this combo is incredible - so fast and confidence inspiring on all track types and conditions with great braking control.
Mid corner speed and control is ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 scrolled thru comments hoping for some more insert opinions. so far tried cushcore xc's(cant tell difference) and regular cushcores(heavyAF but damn low pressures are addicting) Vittoria airline any better?

still trying to figure out what maxxis tires I want, mostly like them all.

Vittoria Goma(aggressive rear- better in loose dry it seemed but maybe old... and Morsa(semi slick with good side knobs) was a winner in the past.
cheers
  • 1 0
 Can't beat the Aggressor for dry abrasive So Cal conditions. It just goes and goes forever. The soft rubber on the other DD casing Max Terra tires from Maxxis wears off way too fast. I would definitely run a DHRII DD if it came in dual compound.
  • 1 0
 Interesting they consider the Martello a rear tire. I was running them front and back for 2 seasons and absolutely loved them. Especially on the front. I only stopped running then because they wear out extremely fast and the tread knobs tear off on rough Techy DH tracks
  • 1 0
 The Aggressor is a very location dependent rear, I love it pretty much every in SoCal. Also, the 2.5 vs 2.3 the tread is the same but the knob size is so different they are basically different tires, and the 2.5 is where it’s at.

The Assgressor combo is now my go to.
  • 1 0
 good to know, I rode the 2.3 and was not a fan.
  • 1 0
 Fat Rider:
I am running a 2.4 WTB Trailboss in the same casing as tested on a 35mm internal width rim (It kinda seems like wtb tires are happier on wider rims than other brands), I am a heavy rider (225lbs at the moment) and I can get away with just 24psi in the rear. Hands down, my favorite tire. The softer compound doesn't last too long on rocks and hardpack but holy crap are they killer on technical climbs when they are new.

The Maxxis aggressor on the other hand, I am not a fan. Tech climbing anything slightly moist was awful, and the lack of braking traction was apparent for me.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding COntis for 6-7 years now I've never had an issue with air loss and can inflate mine with the average floor pump. Never noticed the bit about suppleness. I ride mine between 17 and 24 PSI, depending on conditions. I weigh 160lbs suited up and like to hit berms hard.
  • 1 0
 I have DHF/DHR and ride tarmac until I get to trails and these tires are great. Roll well. Dry/wet grip is great. If I lean the bike they corner very sharply. Really enjoying them. My trails are desert type so lots of sand and sharp rocks. No issues for these Maxxis tires.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney

Have you been in touch with Continental about the burping issue?

I have experienced the same problem on a Kaiser at 27psi (I am around 170lbs) on a DT Swiss E1700. Both front and rear tires have burped a lot of air on one single downhill and I have eventually exploded my rear rim (potentially because I have lost too much air)
I have contacted the tire seller and they answer me that it is my fault because the tire should not be run below 36psi which sounds crazy high to me...
I have now written to Continental to see what they say as there is no minimum pressure written on the tire.
  • 4 0
 Would have been good to use the new Michelin Wild Enduro rear tyre
  • 3 1
 Right?
It's just so weird that they have the Racing Line Wild Enduros out for a while and Pinkbike not only wont acknowledge that but also fail to include them in a relevant group test
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: Yeh, i've heard really good reports on the new tyres. I know they are hard to get hold of but a mist opportunity me thinks...keen to get some on the bike to give them a go. I've tried the older ones and they were really good.
  • 6 2
 should have been a video (joking)
  • 4 0
 I'll take the one that comes with the free marker.
  • 1 0
 Running an aggressor at the moment. Agree with the freefall in mid-pitch comment. Also noticed it comes up relatively narrow when mounted on the rim compared to its advertised size.
  • 3 0
 Check how many actually compete on the Aggressor, it sucks! DHR2, Dissector or even Rekon over it
  • 4 1
 Should have tested Big Betty instead of Hans Dampf. It's more dedicated as rear tire than Hans D.
  • 3 3
 I ripped the sidewall of my Michelin wild enduro yesterday, on its 5th ride, in the Surrey Hills - not even close to challenging/rocky terrain. The sidewalls never felt supportive, it felt like they would give way rather than the tread of the tyre conforming to the trail - made them feel squirmy in berms and bouncy over lumps. Especially noticeable as I'm on a HT.

Never had that problem with Maxxis's. If you're running minions and you are thinking about changing - don't. It's not worth the pain.
  • 4 0
 What about Specialized Tires?
  • 2 0
 @filoux75 Eliminator in black diamond is not far from agressor but more fragile (tested: 29 x 2.6)
  • 3 0
 I asked Vittoria if they’re going to
widen the 2.35 to 2.4, fingers crossed, the Mazza 2.4 width for the rear is perfect!
  • 2 0
 Get the 2.6. It's a 2.4 exactly.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: I’m running the 2.6 Mazza on the front and it measures 2.5 on my Industry Nine 305 rim but the 2.4 Mazza on the same rim measures 2.4, Martello 2.35 measures 2.35 on these rims, what’s going on with their sizing? lol
  • 1 0
 @arvrs: Their sizing became fubar at the same time they rolled out Graphene 2.0.
  • 2 2
 Tried the Michelin Wild Enduro Rear for a few weeks. Paid $50, which was a lot cheaper than Maxxis or WTB. It had relatively poor climbing traction and when I braked it would loose traction quickly. The corning knobs are excellent and I noticed no wear with it, at all. For me, the lack of climbing traction and braking traction were unacceptable, so gave it to a friend, and went back to Maxxis.
  • 2 1
 Heads up. Those wild enduros last half a season at most. I managed one weekend at Blue before side lugs started tearing off. Pretty much a one weekend tire and not nearly grippy enough to warrant their durability.
  • 1 0
 Three friends and I had the exact same experience. I think I got two months out of mine at a stretch compared to my usual three months, just because I wanted to wait until a big trip before putting new rubber on. The last couple of weeks were sketchy. To be fair our trails are pretty long and very rough so the last sentence in the article's review is pretty accurate. The Fronts are good - I'll order more when stock arrives.
  • 1 0
 I bet no-one has mentioned the DHR2...

Get the 2.3 if you want something that rolls faster than an Aggressor 2.5 AND has more grip. Or the 2.4 if you want FAR MORE GRIP (and it’s still not that much slower).
  • 2 0
 My Wild Enduro Rear looked like trash pretty quickly but months on, it still grips perfectly and I'm getting same life out of it as any other tyre I've had.
  • 1 1
 Wow what an absolute sewer job of the only tire @mikelevy included in his 2020 favourites article:

www.pinkbike.com/news/9-products-i-loved-in-2020-mike-levy.html

It's partly a love letter to the polarizing Hans Dampf ("my go-to 29" tire for doing all the things on my trail bike")

Oh to be a fly on the wall at the PB Christmas party with the stiff-upper-lip Mr. Quinney and Mr. Levy all hopped up on coffees and sprinkle donuts from Tim Horton's.
  • 4 1
 This article is a great ad/plug for DHR IIs.
  • 4 1
 DHR ll for me. Best rear tyre
  • 1 0
 If a tyre co. made a specific rear tyre that was half the profile height and had reinforced sidewalls, we all could be running mullet setups by default.
  • 4 0
 Excellent article!
  • 3 0
 Hellkats f/r
DHR2's f/r
Magic Mary's f/r
  • 3 0
 srsly? comparing trail boss to kaiser? trail vs downhill tire? :O
  • 2 0
 Totally fair. I do enjoy the trail boss as a rear on even my most aggressive bikes. It's fast
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: I've got as front one on my local/city setup. For mountains I'm using Judge, it's more burly & in my opinion better comparision to Kaiser etc.
  • 3 0
 This is how you lose friendships...
  • 3 4
 I have already driven 4 of the 6 tires. Virtually no statement from this text I would sign or coincides with my experience. The worst tire has also still won and one of the most stable with the best damping is supposed to be burping.
Did you really ride the tires?
Just use good rims for a test, then it will work. I have 30mm Newmen rims and on which there was never burping with the Kaiser, even on the enduro bike with 26 PSI. Inflate always went with the floor pump.

Grip always depends strongly on the substrate. On my local trails, which are mostly dry, firm or stony, the Kaiser also has much better grip than the Michelin.
  • 2 2
 oh look, a German says the German product is the best!
  • 2 1
 Aggressor is the best rear tyre hands down. Lasts long, grips enough, rolls fast enough and does it all without fuss. I'm happy with that
  • 1 0
 I am slow up the hills anyway.... Assegai front and rear... Love not really ever having to worry about traction... DHR2 out back when available also works
  • 4 1
 Lost me here; "monolingual English speakers."
  • 1 0
 Because English people are famous for only speaking English
  • 3 0
 Wow. That was a very thorough review. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Dissector knobs are too short aggressor gets better climbing breaking traction and still rolls faster dissector really sucks in the wet
  • 3 0
 At this point, I'll run just about anything I can actually get.
  • 3 0
 Thank you! such a good review. I'm ordering a Martello today
  • 2 1
 never disagreed more with a review, hans dampf durable? it starts loosing side knobs after 3 rides.

not good in the wet? it's awesome.
  • 1 0
 Different compound? Different model year? Different size?
  • 2 0
 I'm running a Maxxis DHF front, and a Maxxis Aggressor rear....it's a great combo for my mixed soil conditions local trails
  • 2 0
 Best combo: DHR II Front, DHR II Rear for all around. Assegai up front when it gets dry and loose.
  • 1 0
 Specialized needs to bring back the Pin it ( DH )and Michelin needs to bring back the Wild RockR2 ( Enduro/Trail ) two of the best dry conditions tires ever.
  • 2 0
 This. I think I got hold of the last Wild Rock'R2 Gum-X remaining in Europe and it'll be on the rear of my new Madonna with Tannus Tubeless as the benchmark for everything else. Hands-down best all-round rear tyre for where and how I ride. Wild AM2 will go on next, hopefully the side knobs hold up better than the Wild Enduro Rear and the casing is strong enough but I have a DH34 Bike Park on standby if not. Currently I'm on a pair of Wild Enduro Fronts (old front on the rear), draggy as hell on long road climbs but rides well so that's an option too whenever Fronts come back into stock.
  • 1 0
 @Lornholio: Nice! I haven't tried the Wild Enduros yet , they look sweet albeit slow rollers.
  • 3 0
 Maxxis Minion DHF F&R.
  • 3 0
 Kenda Pinner ATC all day. new favorite tire.
  • 1 1
 I know I know "my tire wasn't featured, so this is a bad test!" And I get it seems like this was a tire brand test, but no Bontrager or Slesh seems like a miss. Would have loved to see the SE5 in this list personally.
  • 1 0
 Get an ebike and put on the best DH tire you can find. No need to worry about the weight. Stick in something like Cushcore as well - good to go!
  • 1 0
 This "review/test" is a mess. 6 tires!? Talk about dialing it in and then the Aggressor wins!? WTF!? Could you not get a Dissector?
  • 8 5
 Minion front and rear.
  • 3 2
 The aggressor is the only tyre I have torn the sidewall on twice within a month wasting 2 new tyres
  • 1 0
 DD or Exo+?
  • 1 0
 @GSuperstar: exo+ on the rear exo on the front. Other exo+ have been fine
  • 2 0
 @CM999: last time I checked they don't make aggressor in exo+ casing.
  • 1 0
 @Mkrol: Oh yeah does seem that way. If it was Exo I kind of can't blame it for doing so if used as an enduro tyre.
  • 2 0
 what about wolfpack enduro?
  • 4 1
 Michelin all the way !
  • 2 3
 Am I the only one who is still in the dark ‍♂️ Wtf can’t there be a standardized method for classifying tires with all (pun intended) tire companies really need to get a grip on this subject
Sighned
Still confused
  • 1 0
 For real, the sizing too. A Maxxis 2.5 is smaller than a WTB 2.4 and a Schwalbe 2.4 might be a damn 2.6 as measured!
  • 2 0
 90$ for a tire....thx god I'm not living in the US
  • 2 3
 1200 g as a benchmark? And tyre inserts? On alu rims? Why?

Currently riding aggressor/DHF exo casing 27,5 ( target of 900 gr)
Would say Minion SS /HR 2 more preferred comparing to aggressor
  • 2 0
 So they don't get ruined every ride. I'd love to be able to use something less than a DD casing on my rear tire. Trying an Exo+ DHR2 led to a pinch flat 1/3 of the way down one of my favorite local trails.

For people that are intermediate levels riders and up, riding where there are lots of angular rocks and sustained downhills, lighter casings just don't work unless you have a substantial insert.
  • 1 0
 @texag: the only place I did regret Exo was Vallnord in Andorra due insane amount of sharp rocks;
Other then that I prefer 2,3 size on 26 internal with 25 psi orange sealant

I totally agree it all depends on place u ride, your skill etc...
  • 2 0
 If I ran an EXO out back, it'd be sliced open by a limestone or granite flake in under 10 rides. Some of us live where thin casings don't work (and the riding is better).
  • 2 0
 Maybe I'm just old....and CHEAP, but FMG, MTB tires are expensive!!
  • 2 0
 Wanna try the Wild Enduro now.
  • 2 0
 Was I the only one that read the review with a slight British accent?
  • 3 1
 Pick a Tire Tread and be a dick about it.
  • 1 0
 One more thing. Why are Schwalbe tires so heavy now? They used to be the lightweight champions of the world!
  • 1 0
 Because they were fragile garbage. Went through over a dozen one summer,
  • 2 0
 Would've loved to be included in this.
  • 2 0
 i like the versus tire a lot. Felt like a DHR to me. I'm buying more.
  • 1 1
 “Splatter” compound simply looks weird and as if you have ridden through paint...
  • 2 0
 @professed: Definitely a polarizing option but we also have black tires & felt it was cool to give people the option. Changing the splatter & grip color is a pretty easy way to update the look of your bike for well under $200.
  • 2 4
 The reviewer missed the mark here....

All these tires are sluggish, heavy and wear out quickly. Not my cup of tea.

I run 700cc, semi slick on paved walkways and it just do me fine Wink

NB: no dropper, slack HT angle and $500 bike...
  • 1 0
 i liked my michelinswith an insert but without an insert that casing is simply unforgiveable, its awful
  • 1 0
 Even the tire manufacturers are getting their pound of flesh with price increases
  • 1 0
 The title should be, "Six tires you could use if you're not running an Assegai, DHR2 or Dissector."
  • 1 0
 And another thing, the Aggressor is worse than the original DHR... if anyone remembers that abomination from Maxxis.
  • 2 2
 the cult of Michellin are welling up right now, some bawling their eyes out and others... very angry.
  • 1 0
 E25 = e-bike limited to 25 km/h?
  • 1 0
 "six leading brands" Six?? What have I missed ?
  • 4 3
 This a a really well written article. Great review
  • 1 0
 Attention 29ers only

Review: 6 Hard-Hitting Rear Tires Ridden & Rated
  • 1 0
 conti apex TrailKing, fast AF tough AF
  • 2 0
 Wears out fast AF, at least on rocky trails
  • 2 1
 @henryquinney: *exacerbate (vs. exasperate)
  • 2 1
 I was wondering if anybody else noticed that. Mr. Quinney: Excellent work here, but you are exasperated when your problems are exacerbated by your tires.
  • 1 0
 Was this test sponsored by maxxis?
  • 1 0
 Which is best for shralping
  • 1 0
 I keep it simple. Trail boss front and rear.
  • 1 0
 That's a review. Information that a person can really work with.
  • 1 0
 Very disappointed not to see the Thirsty Kirsty there Henry.
  • 1 2
 dhf front and back with 30psi only way to ride a bike
  • 1 2
 "Deary Me"???
  • 1 0
 Well I'll be....
  • 1 3
 Tire or Tyre?

(I want to see an absolute war zone in the comments)

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