Review: Delium Versatile Tire - Value & Performance for $45

Dec 21, 2021
by Henry Quinney  


Delium is a brand you probably haven’t heard of, but that might just be a matter of time. They’re available directly from the brand and, honestly, their approach is pretty refreshing.

Sometimes, it feels like to buy a set of mountain bike tires you have to be able to navigate a minefield of whacky jargon and confusing, brand-specific specifications. I don’t think it really works for either seller or buyer. In one brand there could be six different casings, four different compounds, and fifteen different tread patterns. All of that, without even factoring in size or the tire's actual dimensions.
Delium Versatile Details
• 50a / 60a triple rubber compound
• Tubeless ready
• 5.5mm center knobs
• Sizes: 29 x 2.5", 27.5 x 2.5"
• Weight: All-Round 29” 990g claimed (1005g actual) / Reinforced 29” 1250g claimed
• MSRP: All-Round $45 / Reinforced $55 USD
www.deliumtires.com

Delium is using very simple language to describe their tires and a similarly low-key approach to pricing. There are four tires in their entire range - the Fast, Steady, Versatile and Rugged. Each tire is available in sensibly named casings.

The elephant in the room is that some of these tires may well be a dead ringer for tires from other brands. We’ve seen it before and it’ll happen again. It’s a lot like trends in geometry. However, much like the angles of our bikes, there is more to a tire than its pattern. Casing, compounds, and bead also play a very large role in how a tire performs.

Our test tire, the Versatile, comes in All-Round or Reinforced. It’s available in 27.5” and 29” in a 2.5” width. We’ll have the more aggressive Rugged model in its downhill Reinforced casing later in the year. As such, this review will focus on the Versatile model.

Details

It does what it says on the tin.

The tires use a triple compound rubber. Across the width of the tire, there is a base compound. On top of that in the center and edges there are 60a and 50a compounds respectively. The tires use a cut-protection layer in the sidewall and an extra layer for rim protection at the bead of the tire.

The near-kilo weight seems about right for most people’s riding. That weight also makes it a great candidate for those seeking something slightly lighter to be used with inserts.

At the sidewall...
... and then at the widest part of the tread

Tread Pattern

I've been using this tire front and rear. However, if I had to choose what it's better at then I'd say on the front.

The tread pattern looks familiar to other options currently available. The reason that this style of design is just so popular is because of how well it clears - the extra edge afforded by the high center knobs and how the length of the knobs can penetrate loose dirt well, while also not being so sparse that they slip or wash on roots.

The center and edge knobs are offset from one another to protect the rim as well as the tire itself. Both the edge and center knobs are uniform throughout. However, there is a small variation in the pattern with the side-knobs alternating between a more inboard and outboard position. There is also modest siping to help them deform and grip, although this isn't as pronounced as some.

Performance

So, the Versatile is cheaper and, to the untrained eye, looks very familiar to the more expensive options which makes me pose a question: Does this tire need to be better than the competition? Or merely offer the same performance at a reduced rate?

At 5.5mm, the center knobs are pretty aggressive.
After a few months riding these tires I would suggest it’s in the latter category. This is no slight, in fact, to say this tire is as good its doppelgangers is to say it is as good as some of the best and most influential tires ever. So that’s no bad thing.

It does have slightly different performance characteristics compared to something like the Kenda Pinner, the Vittoria Martello or the Maxxis Minion DHF, though. It’s slightly higher in the knobs and I feel it’s a better half way house to a wet weather cut spiked tire. It’s not a pedigree Minion copy, born and bred, but rather a Minion DHF style tire that looks to have been influenced by the Shorty somewhere along the way.

Because of that, and its relatively open tread pattern clears very well and penetrates loose dirt. It doesn't stay as clear as a true cut spike, but it does do a great job of managing to find traction, even when riding claggier mud.

On wet rocks its rubber is soft enough to offer grip, and I very quickly found myself placing large amounts of confidence in the tires. Its casing also seems suitable for what’s needed too. It’s not an extra-tough downhill tire, and it's not meant to be, but it does manage to offer good stability in high load turns and compressions and I didn’t suffer from any significant burping during testing.

Going from edge to edge is possibly the one area where it loses out to slightly to something such as the Pinner or the Mazza. That stack height, which does so well to penetrate loose dirt, does compromise that fast and secure switching feeling a little and it doesn’t seem to fall onto its rails with quite the same immediacy as the aforementioned tires. That said, it does offer a very consistent and gradual feeling so you can adapt and play with where your weight sits on the bike without it ever just switching on you.

Durability

The majority of my testing over the last few months took place in almost entirely wet conditions in Squamish, as well as a brief period on Vancouver Island. So far, the tires are holding up very well. There have been no punctures or any obvious wear or slices to the tire. That said, while we have rocks here none of them seem particularly sharp and I don’t often cut tires in Squamish. It happens but not often.


After a few months, the tires are starting to show very early signs of wear.

As the name suggests they’re very versatile and they would be a good go-to tire for somebody in most locations for any time of the year. I think they offer enough support for most people, but for racers out there or people in rockier locations then the 1200 gram Reinforced option could also be worth considering. It’s nothing particular to the Delium range, but there is just only so much you can do with a 1000g tire when it comes to damping the trail. That said, I have ridden tires in the same weight bracket that have been drastically less supportive under load.

So, back to my original question - Does this tire need to be better than the competition? Or merely offer the same performance at a reduced rate?

It’s not just a mimic, it offers something in its own right. However, I think it’s in the same ballpark as many of its competitors and it’s drastically cheaper. Even though it’s a great example of ‘doing the simple things right’, and delivers on its Minion-esque promise, the fact that it costs around half of its peers means that price will always dominate the conversation. That said, to solely view it as a cheap product would be doing it a disservice.



Pros

+ Live up to their name
+ Great at penetrating soft dirt
+ Work well on most surfaces
+ Plenty of support for a 1000 gram tire
+ Good value
Cons

- Doesn’t change direction as confidently as some




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Delium Versatile All-Round offers simple terminology, consistent grip and ample damping for a tire of its weight. For $45 USD it’s certainly going to shake up the establishment, and with good reason. This isn’t just a good cheap tire. Rather it’s a good tire that just so happens to be inexpensive.
Henry Quinney





103 Comments

  • 98 2
 I've got time for any manufacturer that can clean up the absolute shambolic chaos that is the MTB tyre landscape. Even better if the tyres don't cost more than the rims they're fitted to.
  • 12 6
 Can you elaborate further on this absolute shambolic chaos please
  • 38 1
 @nofu: Have you ever tried to figure out a companies naming scheme? Some are very confusing. I still can't tell which Continentals are DH casing and which are trail.
  • 38 0
 Thats one area bontrager has it figured out...
XR = Cross Country (lightest), SE = Super Enduro (middle weight), G = Gravity (heaviest)
1 (slick) through 6 (most aggresive) to designate the tread pattern. Nice and simple.
  • 2 0
 @schulte1400: Mud to designate... well you guessed it mud tread...
  • 25 0
 @nofu: Henry has alluded to it in the article - Maxxis have a ridiculous number of models, compounds, casings and widths. And they never have the one you want in stock.
Schwalbe are a lot better, to be fair. And WTB are really good - keeping it simple with just high grip/fast and tough/not quite so tough options.
  • 14 31
flag Graywing34 (Dec 21, 2021 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 tire
  • 10 0
 @schulte1400: totally agree, but I have to wonder, who made the decision to call it "XR" vs "CC or XC"....so close to perfection....
  • 5 0
 @RadBartTaylor: I believe it's supposed to be XR: Cross/Race
  • 20 1
 @Graywing34: are you sleepy?
  • 32 0
 I suspect Maxxis doesn't even know how many slightly different versions of tires Maxxis makes.
  • 3 2
 @Graywing34: "Tyre" on this side of the pond, or were you just trolling?
.
  • 4 0
 I wonder how some siping would change how these ride? Could be an interesting experiment to take a razor to the front tire and see.

I tried a Kenda Pinner up front which is fairly similar to these but with some actual sipes, albeit less than a DHF or Assegai and it didn't grip great. Of course could also be the rubber.
  • 4 0
 @schulte1400: just a shame they are all absolutely crap in British weather !
  • 5 0
 Of everyone out there, I think WTB has done the best job of this, even if I don't love all of their tires.

You get your two primary customer questions right in the description "light/tough" and "fast/grippy." Keeps things easy.

Bontrager is my second favorite, as their series and numbering system makes good sense, even if it results in boring tire names.
  • 3 0
 "Even better if the tyres don't cost more than the rims they're fitted to."

I never thought about that, but that's my setup. maxxis $$$ tires and flow rims, odd
  • 2 0
 @schulte1400: couldn't they just call them XC, Enduro and DH to make it even simpler? What's "Super" Enduro? What if I ride my enduro bike downhill, do I go with gravity?

And don't even start with all the compounds and lay-ups from everyone else.
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I've wondering the same thing - I think it could work well if it was relatively shallow, would require a lot of maintenance as you'd being doing it every other ride / race, but performance wise, I think you are spot on.

I'd wager that some of the pro-teams likely do this.
  • 5 1
 @Graywing34: Unless you live anywhere that doesnt speak the Freedom dialect of english
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: You run the same tires in your Dh bike as you do on an Enduro bike so why have 2 categories?
  • 2 0
 @monkeynaut: WTB make great tyres and sensibly named.
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I have done similar, albeit I would recommend using wire cutters. Less chance of slashing your tire and better depth control Wink
  • 2 0
 @schulte1400: Bontrager has the naming down, but their performance in the PNW does not even come close to others like Maxxis and Schwalbe.
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro:
I'm not sure if the term translates outside of Europe (Is it true Kinder Eggs are banned in the US?) but over here, Kenda tyres were generically known as Kenda Surprise around the time of the Nevegal...
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: yup. The fact that he has to explain each category shows the naming could be simpler. Let's say your a trail rider that does 0 research (80% of riders). Do you pick XR or SE? They should all just stick with descriptive names. Light/Tough casings, fast/grippy compound, and I'll let them keep their marketing terms for thread pattern as long as they say dry/wet in the description and on the packaging
  • 20 0
 Nice...decent fresh tires > high end worn tires. The mtb bike tire world is ripe for disruption. I ride moto and the tire choices are far more plentiful and prices are about the same, if not less. I'm going to give these a try. I'd also highly recommend Versus. I've run a pair for the last few months and really happy with the blend of durability and performance.
  • 3 1
 I have also been very happy with my Versus Tires and love that they offer something different with their splatter tires. I have several sets and they have served both my wife and I well with no issues or flats. They are not as cheap as these but reasonable.
  • 2 0
 Those are expensive, almost as much as the others but I haven't tried them. How would you compare them with the other classics??
  • 1 0
 @mae-fr: I would say they are very favorable to the other classics. I just got a new bike with your standard DHF/DHR setup and I do not think it is any better than the Versus I have on my other bike.
  • 14 0
 Wtb has the best descriptions in my opinion. Also, Henry, thanks for showing actual width measurements, every review should have this.
  • 7 0
 Vee Snap is where it’s at for an affordable tyre. I’ve been running their tyres all year and have been really pleased with them. They’re as good as Maxxis DHR and the flow ss is as good as the minion ss. All my bikes are now running Vee tyres.
  • 7 0
 basically every dore/nx build will be rolling those tires within next few year's, which is not that bad considering performance overview;

I find big S tires are quite well priced comparing to Maxxis, however it super hard to not use DHF
  • 3 4
 I won’t use the DHF on the front of my bike any more after a bad crash last summer. MaxxGrip DD Assegai for life. I will throw the F on the back of my Patrol when the R2 is toast.
  • 2 0
 @Rageingdh: nevertheless you are referring to the maxxis tires, the point was depending on your riding conditions top tier tires make huge difference
  • 8 0
 Do you US folks real pay that much for tire's?
Most MAXXIS and Schwalbe or anything else is available for 35-50 and I am only talking about the most expensive tire's here.
  • 3 0
 Indeed, considering proper €//$ conversion, tyres are "cheaper" in Europe.
  • 13 0
 MSRP for DD or DH casings in Canuckistan are 130$ a tire. I'll do mostly anything not to pay MSRP but the shortage had me shell out just under 300$ after taxes for a set of rubber because the shop had them in stock.
  • 3 0
 @m47h13u: CAN$130 is about 89€... hum, for instance a DHRII in DD or DH casing retails between 55 and 60€ here.
  • 10 0
 @m47h13u: buying tires (and many other items) in Canada reminds me of this old Evinrude etec commercial.....
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWaqOnXlUhI
  • 11 0
 @jamesbrant: yeah I bought a red pepper in Montréal once and had to pay $4.50. I told the guy that something was wrong; I thought it was the price per kilo (which is the highest price per kilo you can find here..... in winter!), but no: I really had to pay $4.50 for one single (tasteless) red pepper.
And I won't mention the wine's prices which are.... there's no word for that.
  • 2 0
 Got some 29” minion tan walls from deportvillage (france?) recently. Exo 3c bla bla bla. Front 2.5 and rear 2.4. £34 each. Plus £11 postage and no tax. I thought that was a fair price.
  • 1 0
 @m47h13u: that is crazy man, I just bought a set of Schwalbe Big Betty in Super Gravity for 89€. I didn't even had to pay shipment.

@danstonQ yeah man French food prices are crazy compared to the German ones.
I work just at the border and we actually have the DM with the most cash registers here and they only build it for the french dudes who storm it every single day.
  • 15 0
 @danstonQ: its due to the high availability of recycled Rubber gimp masks that the germans use , keeps the price down
  • 1 0
 @jamesbrant: And they went out of business, or at least decided to exit the outboard engine market.
  • 4 0
 I would said 45-60 it is areal figure in EU. My last DD assegai 57€ and a 2.3 T9 gravity casing Butcher like 51€. If the DD equivalent is like 40 Euros it would be a best seller IMO.
  • 2 0
 @jamesbrant: LOL, they couldn't run that commercial now. The group Save the Testes would be on twitter denouncing the company.
  • 1 1
 Local bike shops have them for around 50 meanwhile online it’s around 35, and I classify it as expensive hahaha
  • 1 0
 @m47h13u: we also get screwed on vehicle tire pricing. Maybe we pay extra taxes on rubber, I'm not sure. Never looked into it. It's common for people here to cross the border to america to get tires installed for half the price.
  • 1 0
 80$ per maxxis is ok norm here
  • 2 0
 @deertrackdoctor: googling what is a "gimp mask" just made my day. Thanks Smile
  • 6 0
 I'd like to give them a whirl. Tires are damn expensive!
I was an evangelist for the 2.6 Rekon rear, 2.6 Forekaster front combo I have on my Ripley. Forekaster was way under the radar, and you could get one under $60, if you watched the online shops. Someone as Maxxis must have heard me talking them up, because now they are like $80, all the time.....
  • 7 0
 I dig it. If you're not a racer, this seems like a great choice. Better a new tire like this than holding on to $100 tires with shredded and folding knobs
  • 1 0
 Just curious, why would you say it's not a good choice for racers?
  • 1 0
 @ThunderChunk: if you're pushing your limits downhill, especially if you have wet rocks and roots, you're going to want softer rubber than 60a
  • 1 0
 @ksilvey10: ah right, they don't have a super soft compound. Thanks for pointing that out, I was going to order these. Need softer compound for riding in the greasy pnw
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney - curious what rims you mounted these to? How was the mounting process compared to more popular brands! Thanks in advance b!
  • 14 0
 @loamhunter08 They went up great! Comparable to a Maxxis in terms of bead tension when uninflated and new. They were on 30mm Hunt Trail Wide wheels. The wheels are about 1800 g I believe and they felt like a good pairing in terms of weight/reliability.
  • 5 0
 @henryquinney: thanks a bunch for the response b! Really appreciate it. Stoked to try some of these with all-around casing paired with some rimpact pro inserts you had recommended and looking forward to more reviews of Delium.
Cheers!
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney: I was wondering the same! Thanks
  • 4 0
 It would be good to have the grippier compound in the all-round construction to use as a fronts trail or enduro option.
Can’t figure out why some brands only give the grippier compound on DH tires.
Hate that I can’t get a (29)DHR2 EXO+ in Maxxgrip for the front.
  • 6 1
 American Classic needs to get into the mtb game. For $35-ish per tire it would make even a Delium seem like a ripoff.
www.amclassic.com/collections/gravel
  • 7 0
 If they can make a DHR II clone, I'm sold.
  • 2 0
 The dream...
  • 4 0
 Unfortunately we can't get these in the UK and most of the cheap tyres aren't that cheap by the time we get them. I can get maxxis for about £50-60 each, specialized are £60 each, Michelin £60 each.
  • 6 0
 Hey, we are doing our best to expand in to other countries when the time is right and of course the UK is on our list. For now we are concentrating on the US market but we will inform our followers through social and email when they become available in more countries. Happy riding! Smile
  • 1 0
 @DeliumTires: any ideas what the price for these might look like in £s if they come over? I think something around £40 would really challenge the competition, as said above tyres seem to be £60+
  • 2 0
 Yeah, no shipping to The Colonies either.
  • 2 0
 @DeliumTires: to echo @melonhead1145 , I think the bulk of UK riders would make you the go-to brand if you could enter the UK market at the £40 price point. Even more so if it came to good versatile tyres!

Where can we sign up for more news?
  • 3 0
 I have a Delium Versatile (softer version) up front, and have also ran minion DHF and wtb Verdict. The Delium delivers-on a grip/price ratio. Compared to DHF, rolls just as good, similar casing, rubber seems similar to Maxxgrip, slightly better braking-but the DHF edges it out on cornering/side grip. Its not quite as square as the DHF, thats my gripe with the versatile, side knobs should be a little taller, and a little "longer" from front to back with a little less space in between. but at half the price, Ill keep running it! I agree it may be a little more suited to softer dirt than the dhf, but its not squirmy at all on firm surfaces. its quite different than the wtb Verdict, the V is a very square tire with very tall side knobs-almost too far the other way, the side knobs were not supported enough so squirmed and shifdted around on firm surfaces/rock. However in the deep loose it rules. Ending up not getting another it wasnt quite right for most of my SoCal riding.
  • 2 0
 I did get 2 of the Steady tires last month. 1 of each casing. Perplexed why the All-around version was actually 25g lighter than the Light casing. The light casing feels significant at 1020g, so I threw that on first to see how the casing holds up. A little heavy than I prefer for a Midwest single track tire for my Ripley, but I have them now..........
  • 6 0
 Hey, the light casing in the Steady is 800g in 27.5" and 850g in 29" whereas the All-round construction is heavier at 950g in 27.5 and 990g in 29". If they for any reason come up any different for you then please let us know by contacting us at info@deliumtires.com. Many thanks and hope you like Smile
  • 2 0
 Surprised it's taken this long for a company to attack the gaping hole in the low to moderately priced MTB tire market. Tires are the razor blades or printer cartridges of the MTB business. Highly profitable consumable product. Tires have been my biggest source of aggravation for years. The prices are ridiculous considering the cost to manufacture and how long they last. I'm looking forward to trying out these tires and hope to cut my costs in half if they work out. Companies like Specialized and Kenda should be very worried! Hopefully, Delium doesn't cash out by selling to another company that will immediately raise the price or shelve the product.
  • 4 0
 I just spent $100 on a competitors tire and it stung to say the least, might have to give these a try next.
  • 3 0
 A decent tire for a decent price, that's a win! I ride DHF 2.5 front and rear on both my bikes, so I'll check these out when it's time for tires.
  • 1 0
 Thanks! Stoked you like them. Look forward to seeing them on your rig Smile
  • 1 0
 Good affordable options are always welcome, but since tires have the biggest effect of any component on your bikes performance, paying for premium tires makes more sense than other things. I'd rather use entry level suspension and top tier tires than vice versa.
  • 1 0
 When we will see tire tests to happen in various conditions (warm / cold) and how these conditions affect tires in a long term? Same in a way of aging which is affects the rubber significantly, especially paired with the conditions mentioned above (cold is a great example).
  • 2 0
 Would be interested in seeing some exploration of front/rear combos with their other tires. But heck for the price, makes it a lot easier to experiment with.
  • 2 0
 I dropped almost 200 on new Maxxis Ikons for my XC bike, that was painful. If they had more XC trail tires I’d gladly swap to those.
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney Do you with these were on your Reign.... vs the Mike Bear's?????
  • 4 0
 Better than "Mike Bear" tires?
  • 3 0
 For $10 more they also do a reinforced version as well!

www.deliumtires.com/products/fast?variant=40289116684496
  • 2 0
 I like the idea of the rim protection at the bead in the reinforced tires--would love to see a review on this carcass too.
  • 3 0
 Ah, yes. The price that MTB tires should be.
  • 2 0
 I'm picky about my front tire, but I'll probably try one as a rear when they are shipping to Canada.
  • 3 0
 Keep an eye on our social for updates on availability in Canada! Happy shredding Smile
  • 1 0
 With tires it is so hard to experiment, when u have what is working , changing for subpar analog is technically hardest design ever
  • 1 0
 Is that 2 month wear pic from the front or rear? If it’s the rear there is no way that compound is anywere close to MaxxGrip.
  • 1 0
 Looks like an old Intense 909. Wasn't a bad tire, but wasn't a super trustworthy one either. Hopefully these have a little more grip to them.
  • 2 0
 I just bought some older Butchers for about this price.
  • 2 0
 Shhhh...
  • 1 0
 I hate when they don't tell your the TPI of the various casings.
  • 1 0
 Almost reminds me of an old vee stout
  • 2 1
 Meh....I'd much rather have a Mike Bear signature model from Compass.
  • 1 0
 Welcome to the show we like to call... Looks Like a DHF
  • 2 0
 Indonesian Pride
  • 6 5
 No 26, no care.
  • 2 1
 Looks like an Oury.
  • 2 2
 Looks like a Verdict.
  • 1 0
 The side knobs on the verdict are wayyy taller, giving it a much squarer looking profile. At least on my 30mm Inner rims.

The Verdict is another one of the “looks like a DHF, crossed with a Shorty” tires. And I honestly love it. It’s perfect for the wet winters here in the PNW.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: it's my new favourite front tyre too. You are right about the edge knobs being higher, that's probably what makes it so versatile
  • 1 4
 60a which is the same as Maxxis bmx tyres for riding concrete.





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