Ridden and Rated: Six Tires for Rugged Trails

Mar 2, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



When upgrade fever strikes, many riders skip straight to obsessing over the latest and greatest suspension technology, forgetting that something as simple as a tire swap can have a significant impact on a bike's handling. After all, tires are the first point of contact between your bike and the trail - how that rubber interacts with the ground shouldn't be overlooked.

When it comes to choosing an appropriate tire, tread pattern, compound, and casing are the three most important traits to consider. Picking the tire that best suits the trail conditions you most frequently ride is key; for instance, a more open tread pattern with taller blocks may work well on muddy, mucky trails, but probably won't be the best choice for desert dwellers whose trails are rock solid with a thin layer of gravel or sand over the top.

In the same vein, a tire with a super soft and sticky rubber compound is nice to have in wet weather or on steep trails where traction is of the utmost importance, but there are tradeoffs, namely in the form of a reduced lifespan. For that reason, it's not uncommon to run a softer compound up front, and use a harder compound on the back wheel to increase its lifespan.

The growth of enduro racing, and the fact that more and more riders are riding their trail bikes at an extremely high level, has led to an increasing number of tires with reinforced sidewalls designed to help prevent punctures and pinch flats. Schwalbe's Super Gravity and Maxxis' Double Down casings are the two most prevalent examples. There is a weight penalty that comes with the thicker casing, but it's still not as much as what would be incurred by running a dual ply downhill tire. All the same, in many cases running it's possible to get away with running a tire with a reinforced casing in the back and a lighter, single ply tire up front.
Should I go tubeless?

In a word, yes. If you haven't already converted, you should. Running tubeless tires makes it possible to run lower pressures, and reduces the chances of getting a flat. Modern tires are easier to set up than ever before, and in many cases an air compressor won't be necessary to get everything seated and sealed. All of the tires selected here are tubeless ready.

The six tires profiled below all have their individual strengths and weaknesses, but they share one common trait: their intended usage. These tires were designed for venturing into rough, technical trails, places where traction has a higher priority than weight or rolling resistance.




Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5x2.3 review

Maxxis Minion DHF

• Available for 26", 27.5" and 29" wheels
• 2.3" or 2.5" widths
• Multiple casing, compound options
• Weight: 850 grams (27.5 x 2.3, EXO casing)
• MSRP: $78 USD
www.maxxis.com


The Minion DHF is an absolute classic, a tire with a proven track record that extends back more than a decade. There's a reason for its longevity – it simply works, offering predictable traction in nearly any condition. You can run a matching set front and rear, but for the highest amount of traction, a blockier rear tire, something along the lines of the Minion DHR II is a good bet. In really thick, gloppy mud the DHF doesn't clear mud as fast as option with a more widely spaced tread pattern, but otherwise it's an outstanding contender.

Maxxis Minion DHF full review




• Extremely predictable in a wide range of conditions
• Multiple compound and casing options




• Tread can clog in extremely thick mud








Schwalbe Magic Mary

Schwalbe Magic Mary

• Sizes available: 26, 27.5 and 29 inch
• 2.35" width (folding bead)
• Carcass: Evolution-Snakeskin, Super Gravity and Downhill
• Compounds available: Trailstar (intermediate), Vertstar (soft)
• Weight: 795g, 1045 or 1190g (dependent on carcass)
• MSRP: $93.25 (Super Gravity)
www.schwalbetires.com


Schwalbe's Magic Mary was first introduced to the DH world, chalking up World Cup wins even before it was available to the public. Since those early days it's become a mainstay in Schwalbe's lineup, with a wide footprint and aggressive tread pattern that makes it able to find traction where other tires falter. The Magic Mary is especially well suited to loose, loamy terrain, where the tall knobs are able to claw into the ground. Downsides? The angled side knobs do make the tire a little more likely to slide out when faced with wet roots, and there's also the fact that early runs of the tire suffered from a less-than-ideal lifespan, especially considering the asking price, although the more recent versions do seem to hold up better.

Magic Mary full review



• Excellent grip in loose terrain
• Wide footprint provides plenty of traction


• Expensive
• Not the longest lasting option









Bontrager SE5 tire review
Bontrager SE5

• Available for 27.5" and 29" wheels
• 2.3" width
• Weight: 935g (27.5"), 990g (29")
• Core Strength sidewall / sub-tread protection
• MSRP: $74.99 USD
www.bontrager.com



Bontrager's tire lineup tends to fly under the radar, which is a shame, because their current lineup is chock full of worthy options. The SE5 was derived from their G5 downhill tire, with alternating rectangular and L-shaped lugs on each side combined with a blocky center tread. As I wrote when originally reviewing the SE5, “The most noticeable trait of the tread pattern is just how predictable it is. As long as there's something for the knobs to dig into, there's no sense of vagueness or any on/off feeling when leaning into a turn.” It's also a relatively fast rolling tire despite its aggressive appearance, which can help make those long approaches feel like less of a chore. It's not quite as puncture resistant as other tires in this category in rocky terrain; riders with trails full of sharp, jagged rocks may want to look elsewhere.

Bontrager SE5 Full Review


• Fast rolling for how much grip they provide
• Supportive cornering knobs
• Sheds mud well


• Can be flat prone in rocky terrain





Maxxis Shorty review

Maxxis Shorty

• Available for 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheels
• 2.3 and 2.5" widths
• 3C MaxxTerra compound
• Weight: 880 grams (27.5" 3C EXO casing)
• MSRP: $78 USD
www.maxxis.com



The Shorty's tread pattern is another tire designed to act like a cut down mud spike, with a blocky tread pattern that resembles what you'd find on a dirt bike. Out of all the tires mentioned here, the Shorty is probably the closest to a wet weather specialist, and “although the range of conditions it works well in is broader than its full-spike relatives, for most riders it won't be a tire that they put on and forget about for the rest of the year.” That being said, the Shorty has an uncanny ability to hook up through slimy turns, keeping you and your bike from being spit off the trail and into the woods.

Maxxis Shorty Full Review




• Tenacious grip in sloppy, mucky conditions
• Also works well on loose, dusty trails



• Slow rolling
• Tall knobs can slide out on wet roots






Continental Der Baron 2.4 Projekt Tire

Continental Der Baron

• 'BlackChili' compound
• 240 TPI (60 TPI x 4) under tread
• 180 TPI (60 TPI x3) sidewalls
• 'Apex' sidewall inserts
• Weight: 1,035 grams (29x2.4)
• MSRP: $85.95 USD
www.continental-tires.com




Continental used the tread pattern of a cut down mud spike for inspiration when designing the Baron, giving it plenty of room between each knob to help keep it from getting clogged with mud. The tire's overall profile is more square than round, allowing it to act like a serrated knife as it cuts through the slop. It's not the fastest rolling tire, and the casing can feel a little stiff on firmer ground, but those quibbles are more than overshadowed by the excellent wet weather performance. The Baron's Black Chili tread compound was grippy even on wet roots, making it a good option for riders based in the Pacific Northwest or locales with similar terrain.

Continental Der Baron Full Review



• Outstanding wet weather traction
• Unphased by wet roots
• Sheds mud well


• Casing feels stiff on firmer ground
• Not for gram counters






e13 TRS Race

e*thirteen TRSr

• 27.5" or 29" options
• 2.35" width
• Folding bead, reinforced sidewalls
• Triple rubber compound
• Weight: 920 grams (actual, 27.5")
• MSRP: $69.95 USD
www.bythehive.com


A relative newcomer on the scene, the TRSr is e*thirteen's first entry into the tire world. It's available in two different tread compounds, Race or Plus, with Race being the grippiest, and Plus being a little harder and longer lasting. As I noted in the original review, “The generous width (the tires measured almost exactly 2.4”) and the tall side knobs provides a nice solid platform to push into during hard cornering, and even when running pressures in the low 20s there was plenty of sidewall support.” The TRSr has one of the lowest durometer tread compounds currently on the market, giving it incredible grip on steep rock rolls and anywhere that traction is crucial. The price is reasonable too, especially considering the performance they deliver on the trail.

e*thirteen TRSr Full Review



• Ultra-sticky compound
• Supportive during hard cornering
• Reasonably priced


• Soft rubber compound can wear quickly





Which Tires Should I Get?

All of these tires work well in rugged terrain, but some stand out above others depending on what you're seeking. Here's a quick synopsis:

All-around: The Minion DHF has the widest range of operating conditions, remaining predictable in everything from mud to moon dust. The Magic Mary can be used as an all-rounder too, but those tall side knobs can cause it to be less predictable when cornering on hardpack.

Grip: e*thirteen's TRSr takes the cake for being the grippiest, stickiest tire in the group, and if you're looking for something that feels like it was constructed from climbing shoe rubber, this is the one to pick. It falls into the all-rounder category as well, but it is slightly slower rolling than the Minion.

Muddy / Wet conditions: This is a close one, but I'd pick the Continental Der Baron over the Shorty, at least for the trails I regularly ride. Why? Because of the Der Baron's outstanding performance when faced with wet roots, which is typically where cut spike style tires falter.


438 Comments

  • + 278
 You know somethings not right when a bicycle tire costs as much as a car tire.
  • + 141
 Sworks Demo- $8500
Ford Fiesta- $1300

There are a lot of wrong things in this world
  • + 168
 13000 for the Fiesta, forgot a zero
  • + 1
 Check CST Rock Hawk.
  • + 77
 In fairness, only as much as a budget car tire. Look at the prices of high performance car tires and you'll realize we're paying a fair price for the R&D and fancy rubber compounds.
  • + 98
 Used v10- $5k
Used Honda accord- $2k
  • + 21
 I know people always say this, but this is the best of the best possible bike tires with a fair amount of money into r&d and molds and all. Also, no way you're paying anything like list, my HRII's are always 50$ for folding bead, EXO with dual compound.

For 75$, I can maybe get something entry level without a good warranty from federal or cooper (online, without shipping fees) for my car, which isn't even a great tire. Or, I'd be stuck with a barely dot-approved chinese knockoff which is what came with my car for around 60$/tire.

To get a brand new tire from a reputable brand like bridgestone from a legit supplier like tirerack, it could be easily 150$/tire. Bike tires are expensive and all but I'm not running 20$ wire bead, hard compound kenda nevegals for a reason.

@Husker2112 My 2012 CPO chevy cruze 6spd was 8650$ with 37k and the warranty lasts longer than the demo's
  • + 52
 @GVArider: There is much more R&D involved in producing a car tire and requires at least 20 times the amount of rubber. Even a budget tire must handle a minimum of 210 km/h. Yokohama is a premium brand tire. The Yokohama's I have on my car are built to handle over 270 km/h and cost me only $18 more than the Schwalbe Magic Mary's. Like I said, something just aint right!
  • + 12
 @parkourfan: but a Demo is more fun....
  • + 12
 @Husker2112: Naw, get an old Fiesta, gut the interior and any unneeded weight and it makes a bitchen homemade rally beater/farm car. You can get a nice one for a grand.
  • + 18
 @Rocky-Urban - get a life mate, the bicycle equivalent of the tyres on your tyres is at best Schwalbe performance series, while most people drive around on what would be Kendas. A set of quality moto tyre costs double the price if high end bike tyres. A set of High end moto gp tyres cost a grand. A set of racing tyres for a touring car will buy you a motorbike.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Maybe in Sweden where everything is taxed to the stratosphere.
  • + 15
 But a car needs four of these Smile
  • + 69
 I run no-name "Ironman" tires on my honda minivan-$85 each installed. Nothing but the best for my kids.
  • + 5
 @GVArider: Exactly people always say this but you can still go to a department store and buy a $12 tire for your bike. Decent car tires start at $130 each plus balancing and all those other fees so in reality more like $180 each. You can find Minions for $60 or less relatively easily.
  • + 94
 Cheap bike tires at Walmart - $20
Cheap car tires at Walmart - $100

High performance car tires - $300+
High performance bike tires ~$90
  • + 12
 you realize these are all top end tires, right? go look at top end car tire prices and compare. also compare the market of bikes and cars. believe it or not, the premium car tire market is larger than the premium bike tire market. who would've thunk!
  • + 13
 @Husker2112: i bought a used v10 for $2k and my used honda accord for $9k
  • + 18
 Obviously pinkbikers don't understand supply and demand
  • + 4
 @GVArider: truth - I use to sell automotive tires - average price for BGF All terrain TA KO $200+ /each. these however last about 50,000 miles tho
  • + 79
 @Husker2112:

Sworks Demo- $8500

Ferrari LaFerrari - $ 1.4 million

That would be more of an apples to apples comparison. A Ford Fiesta is more like a Walmart bike Smile
  • + 6
 @Rocky-Urban: nope that is in Denmark
  • + 5
 @Dustfarter: lol thats true. But the p1 beats la Ferrari all day Smile
  • + 3
 @Rocky-Urban: Big brand company also sell a lot more car tires than they sell high performance mtb tires...
  • + 23
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm not sure someone who comments as much as you on PB is aloud to say "get a life mate" lol

You aren't wrong in your response to his comment but you could have easily just said, "Nope, you're wrong." From what I have gathered on PB saying that someone is wrong will more than likely piss them off more than telling them to get a life... AND! you won't look like as much of a dink... As much... lol
  • + 12
 when I used to own a car, the cheapest set of tyres 17x205/55 that I could get would cost 350€ with installation. A set of decent Michelin tyres would cost me 800€. A set of tyres of SUV costs double. I spoke to a guy who owned Nissan GTR, he had to change tyres every year and they costed him a fortune. If you ride single compound Minions and change to 3C Maxx grip/terra you'll see that there is simply no upgrade that can change your bike so much. They are worth every penny.
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: But one model of car tire comes in at least 20 different sizes. That's 20 different molds. Very expensive for the manufacturer. Most of these premium bike tires are available in only about 4-5 sizes.
  • + 0
 not sure what kind of crappy car tires you guys run, but no, the conti's for my E91 were more than DH tires per pc, my blizzaks well over double more. If you're comparing top of the line bike tires to mass produced crappy car tires, yea. Compare them to track tires, or other high end tires and it gets expensive. it's well over 1k to fit a new pair of tires on in some cases (an M3 for instance).
  • + 4
 Economies of scale. Any popular model of car tires gets made in quantities that dwarf those of a popular MTB tire. That's why the relative prices are what they are.
  • + 2
 I read somewhere that the cost of any tire is in production not the amount of rubber or size of the tyre
  • + 3
 like anyone pays MSRP on tyres, they are almost always discounted as places like CRC always have 30-50% off.
  • + 3
 I assume Schwalbe tyres are a lot more expensive outside of Europe, they're some of the cheapest available compared to the others reviewed here.
  • + 3
 A better comparison could be motorcycle tires. Similar designs and construction. Market size could be argued as similar. Similar life expectancy. 4+ times as much material per tire.

Name brand moto tire ~ $90
Top tier bike tire ~ $90
  • + 19
 @Dustfarter: I agree with your logic but bike prices are way the f*ck out of line.

Sworks demo $8500
2017 honda cr450 $8800

How the hell does that work? A bike is cheap shitty version of a dirt bike that is missing the motor.
  • + 5
 @tack836: how much is a top of the line moto that you can take to a national event and win on? according to pro's it's in the 15k region for a basic build up using off the shelf parts, and costs a lot each race. The pros like Steward have been on record of saying in the 60k range in the past, for one bike... Factory bikes are regularly estimated at over $35k usd. motocross.transworld.net/news/factory-sale-jgr-built-yz250f/#p4F9U5wzHoJb51au.97

So, comparing the same bike that's won multiple WC races to an off the shelf moto that would put you square last in any national event (not even SX or international events). Not comparable.

compare the cheapest DH bike you can find, and it's more fitting to the kind of product you get OTS.
  • + 2
 @Rocky-Urban: the 'quantity' of R&D/rubber are both pretty irrelevant when you compare the size of the market. If the high-performance mountain bike tyre market was even half that of the consumer motor vehicle market then prices would be considerably lower. But alas, it is not, and economics of scale and all that...
  • + 9
 @atrokz: not saying thats not true but comparing two products you can go and buy off the showroom floor there is no way any bike should be anywhere close in price. Literally every single component as is beefier and of high quality. Plus computer, Motor, transmission, fuel and ignition systems there is no excuse other than morons are willing to pay anything they ask.
  • - 3
 @atrokz: Forget about it. Too expensive and quoting a price of a high end bike is nothing more but a recreational outrage, there's no logic in it, just a desire for gettign props for posting a fun fact. Maybe some minority complex

What I do find fkd up though is some E-bikes like Stealth Bomber. KTM E-SX costs the same. The only reason people buy those contraptions is because they are A-affraid of riding a moto, and B-hope for being perceived as more OK on non-moto trails.

@tack836 - so the question is: which price is wrong? Are bicycles too expensive or are motorbikes too cheap? I am affraid you have to bring in a third point of reference and still please compare a 450 OTS moto to Spec Status or cheapest Tues...

Mazda MX-5 costs 10k, La Ferrari 2mln. Please motivate the second one, I can't get my head around it... Have you seen the price of a BMX at Walmart and a carbon race BMX?
  • + 1
 @tack836: I agree that is has gone wild, and too high, but bear in mind there's scale of economics at play. I also find lower end motorcycle components to be pretty basic, not light, not made very well, and riders aren't as demanding. It seems like we all NEED pro rides, and the market acts accordingly. Can't really blame them like you said, the consumers are culpable in it. We demand uber high end suspension with a bunch of dials, special coatings, light bikes made from CF that won't break, brakes with ceramic pistons and cooling fins, etc etc. Bikes would be much cheaper if they were made as simply as motos (barring the motor, it's a pretty simple pc of machinery) and were made in the same volume. it really boils down to those two things: what we expect (pro level rides for everyone!!!), and how many are made.
  • + 7
 I just looked up the price of 'raw' rubber. about a dollar a pound. If there is 10 times as much rubber in a car tyre, that has little bearing on the price.
Making the correct compound, making the mould, RandD, marketing.... must make up 80% of the cost of any tyre.
At $2 per tyre, surely all the moaners in this thread can have a go at making their own, and report back to us.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: No recreational vehicle is too cheap. The manufacturers will charge as much as they can get away with.
  • + 4
 @AyJayDoubleyou: I will give $200CAD to anyone here who makes their own rubber tire, and tests it on a DH course.

Jump in if anyone wants to sweeten the pot!~
  • + 5
 A set of BFG AT KOs ran me about $1000 CDN installed, balanced, taxed and lasted 100,000km.

I spent way more than that on bike tires in that same time period.
  • + 6
 @Husker2112: choices man

my car is 3k
my bikes are 20k
  • + 2
 @atrokz: hmmmmmmm.........where have have I heard a similar challenge?
  • + 3
 @atrokz: The bike i posted is not a low end bike (pro level no) but its the best moto bike honda makes. I raced moto for years any one of the manufacturers top 450 mx bikes would absolutely destroy a demo as far as suspension capability is concerned. Besides anybody serious about either sport is going to get their suspension reworked to their liking.
  • + 0
 @Doomsdave: haha. the pic is on my IG Wink making a tire is the last thing I'd try to do for fun.
  • + 1
 @Rocky-Urban: Think about how many of those Yokos they sell vs boutique MTB tires, a better comparison is something like a BFG Krawler in the sticky compound, still lopsided, but at least we're comparing low production offroad tires. Also, start buying your tires from Germany, MMs are like $35 US.
  • + 2
 @atrokz: Those aren't even the expensive ones, the stickies are about twice that much, allegedly. They don't actually sell them, it's a sponsorship only tire. Baja T/As are also a good comparison, these prices are again, for the cheap street legal ones www.4wheelparts.com/Tires/BFGoodrich-Baja-T-A.aspx?t_c=13&t_s=156&t_pt=100786
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Owning a sports car, a sports bike and I DH I can say that this man speaks the truth. Preach it Waki!
  • + 5
 @Dustfarter: I am horrified Ferrari charge $1.4M for that. Don't they realise they're killing the car industry by making cars so expensive. It's ridiculous, the only people who can afford it are dentists who can't drive....
The mentality of the average pinkbiker who wants champagne performance on a beer budget.
  • + 1
 Why do people keep making these comparisons. You can get a 2 year used YT Tues for like 1500. You cannot get a high performance car used 2 years under, I dont know I´m not a car guy, but I´ll just say several ten thousands? This is high end. There is NOTHING on earth better than the tires discussed here. This is diamond premium super deluxe level. Theres loads of cheap tyres, available in most supermarkets of your choice.
  • + 3
 @tack836: Not really... the suspension on both are pretty comparable as far as the sophistication of the valving, only the bike has a much more complex problem of also having to pedal well, and also has to be light.... pretty much any moto you kind buy (dirt bike, street bike.. etc) is made pretty crudely compared to a high end bike. Try making a mx bike with a full carbon frame and every single last component optimized for weight and strength (no cast parts, no cheap steels, no plastic, carbon everything), and see how much that will run you. There really isn't a market for that, so they aren't manufactured. But if you were to build dirt bikes like you build mountain bikes, they'd be pretty incredibly expensive too.
  • + 2
 been thinking this for ages! foook!
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: beats the crap out of my $250 per tire BF Goodrich TA KO's, except I save money on rims when I ram curbs, potholes and everything else with their big fat casings. I try to convince myself they are saving me money on rims, exhaust and frame members. In truth...I just think they're awesomely huge and angry.

Granted, the first time I bought a set, I didn't like them the first week and went back to the shop to see if they'd buy 'em back. Guy looks and says "you may want to learn to love them" and I said...why? "cause they're gonna last a lonnnnng time buddy!"

DH tires on the other hand...skid, carve, grip...dispose. Repeat.
  • + 2
 @Rocky-Urban: Your car tires don't need to weigh 1100 grams and bounce over rocks at 30mph.
  • + 2
 @Rocky-Urban: My barely street legal track tires on my m3 were almost 300 a pop. Not to mention, I'm a technician at a dealership and got them at cost..
  • + 1
 @cdmbmw: I've got some E91 Q's!
  • + 4
 Those prices are whack anyways. Magic Mary listed here is $100, but with a little bit of Google you can easily find one from €30-40. Also weird how everyone says they're fast wearing, my trailstar one in the front is only coming off now and it'll be the first time taking the bead off in two years!!
  • + 3
 It's about scales of economy.
1 car car model like a Fiesta = millions produced a year.

Consumers are fickle, we expect changes constantly. Tire molds cost more than $20k per mold.
So testing new treads and producing new treads is really expensive when you consider how many tires they may sell.
  • + 2
 We all start a tire Co-Op, use Kickstarter or GoFundMe... make awesome, cheap, Non-Profit tires (DHF Knock Offs). Then Pinkbike (and every other Bike Mag) will do a review that points out a bunch of flaws (even if they don't exist) then everyone buys name brand's.
  • + 3
 @Husker2112:

10-15 year old Accord? Versus a v10 from when?

No one is paying that for a 10 year old v10.
  • + 3
 @patrick2cents: Never said anything about sophistication just said it it would destroy it. A gnarly world cup whoop section like cairns has would be nothing on a moto at twice the speed. Bike is just a scaled down moto thats human propelled. Moto is not built like a bike because everything they do is bigger faster and gnalier and would disintegrate if it was. Think if were to drop the driveline into a demo and try to sell to some moto guys. They would probably think it was some ridiculous Chinese moped.
  • + 2
 @tack836: Yes moto and scale... on a Fest series they need a giant run in to do what Eli Tomac does after accelerating for 30ft...
  • + 3
 Economies of scale I would think but still hurts the wallet after going through a set of tires in a year...
  • + 1
 @Husker2112: I'd take either just fine.
  • - 2
 I'm the first to call bullshit on the prices the mtb industry throw about but a decent set of tires is worth every single penny.
  • + 0
 Stop bitching about price. There is no trail in the world that will deny you acces for having a cheaper bike.
  • + 0
 @witica: and economies of scale
  • - 1
 @daweil: Did you just compare a YT Tues with a high performance car? Big Grin
A YT ist more like a Dacia, not a Koenigsegg!
  • + 5
 Just put car tires on your bike, duh!
  • + 3
 @atrokz: I consider $80. For a top level mtb tire fine. I forget what Schwalbe named it, but they sell a not so pro level MM tire one can pick up online for around $30. It costs approx 60% less, but performance is probably 15% less than the pro level MM. Not a bad deal if you're lookin to save cash.

By the way........I checked out your website. Amazing knives. The Canadian SF. was my favorite.
Pro level for sure.
  • + 3
 @atrokz: Buddy has an E36 M3.... Michelin Pilot Sports price tag could feed a lot of families for many years lol.
  • + 2
 @tack836: Not really. An S-Works Demo is pretty darn close to what the pros race.

If you price out a moto that will be competitive at the highest level of racing then you're looking at a LOT more $$$'s.
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: Rock Hawk has to be the worst name EVER for a tire unless mounted to a Cove bike.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: *Walmart bike from 1998.
  • + 1
 @MoeMcDirt: yes I did, I think in this case yt is maybe a gtr and yeti a Bugatti, but dacia? That is Walmart level, you know the stuff below Bulls :p
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: Perfect response! Ever since I started riding/racing in the eighties, bike tire prices have always been the biggest joke of the industry. The spending in the sport is driven by testosterone, needing to have the best at any cost obsessing over the smallest differences in tread patterns.
When racing, I would replace my tires at remaining 60% wear at max. I run my auto tires to 20% wear. Km for km, bike tires of similar quality are easily 50-100+ times the cost.
  • + 1
 @Husker2112: you have Fiesta's in the US ?
No classic American cars to look forward to in the future
  • + 2
 Economies of scale, supply and demand.

The mx bike argument is valid.

Yes you can buy a world cup worthy mountain bike as opposed to a stock mx bike... but the tech, R&D, raw materials, manufacturing processes etc in that stock mx bike absolutely dwarf anything any mountain bike company can even dream about.
  • + 2
 Would people stop comparing vastly different industries, for a start the bike tyres at this price of top of the range tyres for racing, try getting a race car tyre at anywhere near that.

Its all economy of scale, there's 30+ million cars just in the UK alone all using 4 tyres getting replaced fairly regularly (based on average mileage) so worldwide you could safely assume hundreds of millions of car tyres are made and sold each year, if not in the billions. my point being if mountain bike tryes were selling in the millions and billions they'd probably be less than £20 each, just guessing that amount but they'd certainly be a dam sight cheaper so these comparisons are pretty irreverent.
  • + 2
 @Doomsdave: thank you sir. Appreciated!


Yea that park version is super hard rubber compared but would be fine for half of the trails out there id imagine.
  • + 2
 Meh, tire prices seem high only if you are swapping them out every few months. I would make a large wager that most of you are swapping out perfectly good tires with plenty of tread life left just to have whatever the latest model the pros are running. This sport isn't cheap, stop blowing money on things you don't need.
  • + 3
 $80 for a tire? No thanks - not when I can buy the schwalbes or contis for ~33 euros direct from the Germans... That's $80 for two, including shipping and duty...
  • + 2
 @jaame: Manufacturing process and raw materials are significantly more crude on a MX bike than on a top level mountain bike.... Chris Cocalis ( founder of pivot) even noted that. Basically, assembly methods and materials of a dirt bike (he rides KTM enduro's IIRC) are about equivalent to a starter aluminum mountain bike. The R&D costs are more, but when you realize they make one size per model, and make a lot more of them, the R&D per bike is less.
  • + 3
 My car tires are $275 a pop. Just like you can get $30 bicycle tires and $300 car tires.
  • + 3
 A set of tires for a Bugatti Veyron will set you back $30k... and the wheels must be replaced every 4th tire change at a cost of $120k... I googled that!
  • + 3
 @patrick2cents: KTM is the worst example you could've picked. They'd be the most Mtn bike equivalent in the MX world with all their engine choices and models: 2stroke/4stroke, 125,200,250F,250,300,350F,450F etc. SX, XC,XCW, EXC and all the F equivalents of each model.

Mtn bike industry has a complex. It's cute and sad all at the same time.
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: not unaware of the KTM line up, but even so, there's one size and spec for each model (excluding things like the six days versions).

Also, companies develop products to the point consumers are willing to pay for them, and there's a diminishing point of return in each. Max for two wheel dirt toys (pedal or not) seems to be around 10k (average probably 3.5k for pedal, 8k for a motor). You could design and manufacture a carbon everything special edition 500cc 180lb dirt monster (equivalent to a top spec mountain bike), but I doubt you sell many as you'd likely be over 50k. It's a lot easier to sell a tricked out 10k mountain bike because folks are willing to pay that for a hobby.
  • + 0
 @bogey: If name on the tire is the most important thing then you're right. But if you're looking for aggressive universal, very good quality tire for excellent price you just don't care.
  • + 3
 I work in the automotive business and I'm very familiar with tire pricing. It's all about volume. The most expensive sizes tend to be the oddest ones ..... With that said, truly good automotive tires aren't cheap either, costing sometimes upwards of a couple hundred per wheel. Even your lower volume car tires exceed the mountain bike industry in number. I think a lot of people often forget how small this industry is and how much that impacts the economics.
  • + 2
 my tires are 129 front and rear rock razer and hans dampf love them but my car tires are 110 each and my racing motocross tires are 90 and 100 for pirelli scorpian mx race tires. guess wich ones use the least amount of rubber
  • + 2
 compare apples to apples. Yeah they cost the same as a cheap car tire. My 37" Super Swamper Iroks cost me 350 a piece for my off road rig. They are essentially designed to do the same thing these tires do for bikes and they only last a couple seasons. . So I think I can justify 70 for a tire thats going to hook up well and be puncture resistance on my bike.
  • + 1
 @patrick2cents: Do you know a CRF450R has an engine with like, titanium valves and stuff? It's got a titanium exhaust pipe and stuff. Really, do you believe that more R&D went into a Pivot frame than a whole motorbike, and the material cost was higher than a motorcycle with an engine? Really?
  • + 1
 @tack836: If you think about it World Cup Downhill bikes can be bought buy the average joe. That's like an average joe being able to buy an F1 car. Hence why these bikes are so expensive. You are literally buying the TOP OF THE LINE SHIT. idk just my thoughts on the topic.
  • + 1
 By the same token, would you pay ten grand for a top of the line electric screwdriver? It's literally the F1 car of screwdrivers!
  • + 1
 @jaame: no, but how many crf450rs does Honda produce? And in one size and spec (OK... There's the x version as well). So you would have a lot more hours for the bike overall, but per bike built, your development costs are a lot less.
  • + 1
 I just bought new tires for my honda rancher for $240
  • + 2
 How about we compare pricing of Ohlins MTB suspension and their Moto suspension... bicycles may be overcomplicated by trying to reach level of "F1 tech", that may eventually be the problem and the concern. BUT you can't say that someone is just making huge margins, it's rather unintelligent, considering that big companies make most money on simple bikes, not on halo bikes and components. One who thinks that someone makes big money in the mountain bike biz is the first one to get his head checked. And mountain bikes are still more than ok in that department. Look at road bikes. Like compare S-Workls Demo at 10k to Venge McLaren at 18k. Well the difference in performance between Status and S-Works Demo is far bigger than with 1k Allez and 18k Venge. Could you build a race BMX for 100k?! Off course you could. 1sq cm of Graphene costs 100$. YOu can use it. Or You can take guys at Pirelli who work for F1, pay them for 6 month research to make you the best bike tyre ever. Yes you can.
  • + 1
 @patrick2cents: a 350F would have a SX, XC, XCW and EXC models all off the same engine.

I don't know how much r&d goes into licensing a suspension patent off someone but according to you it's a lot.

Bike companies did this shit to themselves. No need for company x to have six or more price points of the same bike model.
  • - 1
 @gonecoastal: so basically what you mean is that their segment differentiation and level differentiation within segment doesn't work? I'm sorry but what are the sources of your statement? Is it at least an owner of a large bike shop? BY the law of evolution it simply impossible, since this practice takes place since like 1990 or earlier...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no need for sources. It's the internet bruh. Just make shit up to fit my narrative.
  • + 0
 @daweil: There is only one tire thats usable and its the Maxxis. Schwalbes sent me to ER. Slippery crap. 80$ for a downhill tire is ridiculous. Knobs are rounded off after one weekend and grip goes south. A YT is just bling - not really a serious bike its a - typical "Geiz ist geil" product without reedeming qualities or resale value. High performance car - you talk Golf GTI?
  • + 1
 @wakaba: Different brands for different people I guess. Its not like the Magic mary / new Nobby nic / Racing Ralph / their commuter Marathon stuff is generally bashed on if used for the right riding. In Germany Schwalbe is actually one of the cheaper brands to choose from.

And why should YT not be a serious bike? because it does 98% of the expensive brands bikes for half the price? (again, comparing to Europe prices..) But this LBS / direct selling is a whole another discussion. Anyways. There are cheaper LBS brands too, every one of them is absolutely "serious". Resale value is also a whole different topic, of course a premium product loses value slower, just look at apple or HiFi products or Cameras. (not arguing that expensive brands dont have a place; carbon manufacturing, linkages, stiffness, geometry, customer support etc etc I get it that they do put more money in, making the product more expensive. Sometimes higher profit margins but I´d just give the benefit of the doubt and say that they don´t).

And no I am not talking Golf GTI. I just did not want to say "above 6 figures" to avoid people telling me that "you can get a used GTR for less than half of 6 figures" or similar, which in my eyes is a high performance car. So it kinda backfired there Big Grin
The point I´m trying to get across: there is a BIG difference between a cheapest option get from A to B (e.g. Dacia), to a "budget minded racecar" (whatever GTR, Corvette, or insert what you think fits), to a Pagani or Bugatti, which is the highest possible ever. Same thing with bikes: Supermarket bike for 100€ (is a bycicle and does the job), Radon/Commencal/Canyon/YT/Rose (is the cheapest option out of high-end bycicles, compromises somewhere) and a Santa Cruz for 10k. Everyone should choose what he wants. But in the end personal experiences are always only anecdotal and if a company is selling their stuff well and making money out of it, they probably did something right with the product.
  • + 2
 @daweil: Schwalbe did loose a bit of ground though, at least in Sweden. Few years ago everyone had Hans Dampf Evo famous Pacestar/trail star combo. Not anymore. Schwalbe is excellent for XC riding (no other company makes so light and so grippy tyres for XC, they are the fkng best) on slower bikes like hardtails or short travel fullys. Their full on DH tyres are great too, for DH riding or Parkduro. But when it comes to AM/mixed riding, Schwalbe tyres just can't cope with it, because of poor durability of both EVO and SG casings. I mean if you can relatively easily tear a knob off a super gravity tyre which weighs over 1000g, then something is fkng wrong with their rubber. Grip wise I would pick Schwalbe no probs, they are also much cheaper than Maxxis, but I can't live with poor durability.

They are good for the trails though, they made me develop fear of skidding in dry, because this is how I tore knobbs on numerous occasions. Maxxis is awfully expensive. No doubts about it. Spec is durable at a good price but they need to make a grippy version of the BUtcher. I would love to try E13 and Michelins. But... they are too expensive to just try something, when DHFs and SSs are so damn good. Continental is a joke in my books. Haven't tried their DH tyres for DH but X-King, MKingII and TrailKing are a laugh. Heavy, expensive, not grippy and hard to setup tubeless due to very hard and stiff compund on the casing to top that.
  • + 1
 It also has a LOT to do with tolerances and labour. I believe that only Pirelli has a full automated tire production, and for only a select few models. Try spinning an unbalanced auto tire up to 60kph to see what I mean re: tolerances.
  • + 1
 But the bike tire is IMPORTANTER than the car tire!!!
  • + 1
 @Leethal-1: yep... I pay 52 for mine. 29x2.5
I don't get why people can't find the deals.... never hard for me to find better than dealer cost on most items.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm running Hans Dampf wiht Nobby nic / Rock razor depending on weather without problems - but in the wet they are not all that good. HD thread pattern made for dry, where I do like it, and rear tyres Pacestar is just caution slippery when wet. Also now after roughly 2000km knobs on HD are starting to get torn apart (I dont really ride lots of bikepark with fast berms and big compressions). Will try Magic Mary front next. But on both rear Snakeskin casings I got punctures first days of riding so big the sealant wouldn't fix them. Good to know Supergravity does not really fix this problem, will probably get a different brand rear tyre then - never even once got a problem with the front. (Minion SS? I LOVE Rock Razor feel in turns and uphill/braking its enough grip)

Conti.. Big Grin Ive so far only tried MK2 and TK, and for me they only have 2 things: good grip when going up muddy mountains, and very low wear. Tubeless did not even try because it was the paper-racesport sidewall, and also tore sidewall in a week.
  • + 2
 @spinto21: in a year???? i go through them in 2 months
  • + 0
 They cost much more than a car tire, pound for pound.
  • + 4
 @enduroelite: oh for fks sake did you read anything of what people wrote above?! It is really hard not to be a dick to a guy like you. You literally make me want to come up with the meanest sht I can come up with. You are probably not an idiot, you may be a likeable guy but what you just wrote was fkng retarded considering the discussion that took place. WTF...
  • + 1
 @MoeMcDirt: The Dacia 1100S R8 Gordini version is pretty rad, but your comparison to YT is not really valid.

I'd say YT is more like the upstart US/British Ford GT40 winning Le Mans in 1966 driven by 2 Kiwis.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I love all of these tires. Its hard for me to choose between them ( though I am partial to Conti ).

I was simply stating a fact. bikes tires are mad expensive for how long they last. I dont give a shit what anyone else commented, I'M SIMPLY STATING A FACT.

I didn't mean to piss you off, ( not sure how that was possible especially with the close minded comment put on this site ).

prove me wrong.........
  • + 2
 @enduroelite: get a Minion in 60a compound, it will last a rather long time. They also don't last as long as car tyre, because car tyre has at least 1cm to go through to get worn out... and it's a rather large contact surface, not knobs sticking out. Now once you round knobs on a bicycle tyre, it's worthless on the front and barely usable on the rear. 3C compound is what top pros race on. Please try to put a Pirelli Zero tyre in race compund on a car like Nissan GTR or Impreza or Lancer Evo, drive a bit on race track or on gravel and you'll see how long they last... if you want to compare those tyres, get a Schwalbe marathon plus and I assure you it will last you for at least 1.5 year... please remember that regular car tyre compounds are designed with wear and low rolling resisitance in mind (fuel consumption). Grip is always a compromise further down the list. Bike tyres, especially gravity tyres, are designed for grip grip grip and then durability. Do a hard braking causing wheels to lock up for a few meters in a proper race gokart and you can bin the tyres right away.

The *fact* you are stating is not SIMPLE. You are greatly simplyfying it.

Enough...
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Thanks dad.
  • + 2
 @enduroelite: come with me and you'll be in the world of my imagination
  • + 1
 @txrider1: t
Trust me i get what your saying its almost exactly what the pros use I get it. But what you get for the money is not close. Pretend your not into either sport no bias because you know nothing about either but you have $8500 in your pocket and are looking for a new hobby to get into. You can buy a really cool bike that only works well on really steep hills and doesn't even pedal well something a bike should do. Or you could spend the same money on something that outpreforms it in every single category (actual downhill track is debatable) uphill, downhill or flatground.
  • + 2
 @Rocky-Urban: not many people really but MTB tyres tho. my fatbike tyres were 400CAD with spikes cos they don't sell many I think
  • + 1
 @DC1988: schwallbe are the most expensive and most revered in Canada. I remember them being cheap and avoided in uk few years back
  • + 1
 @SamRouss: my car 900CAD my tallboy 12k bucksaw 9k and aurum 4.5k ha ha = 25.5 k vs less than one for the car
  • + 0
 @Nick-Marotta: certainly not revered here. Maxxis all the way, on most bikes, by far. Most schwallbe owners here end up back on maxxis.
  • + 2
 @atrokz: my friend described it best: 5-7 years ago we got Nobby Nics for our trail bikes and we were like: wooooow how much grip. Then Hans Dampf came up: Whoaaaaaa, that Trailstar/pacestar combo, just woooow. And then someone said... 'xcuse me? Why the F aren't we riding Minions EXO? And people went, holy fk that guy's right... have to give it to Schwalbe though for introducing Rock Razor and Super Gravity. Both are sht, but they gave way to Slaughter Grid and Minion SS DDown. Ok the Procore was a good spark too.

I think Schwalbe is just stuck catering to Lake Garda/Trans Alp folks... these guys definitely don't push the tyres to the point where lack of durability comes up and quite frankly you have to suck real bad to not find that edge.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: yup. had a lot of friends who were on them but ditched them because they both didn't hold up in rocky environments, and the tread patterns weren't as good as maxxis. Michelin's new stuff looks great, so I got a wild rock'r 2 to try out this season. I've got schwalbes fwiw, so it's not just a belief but an experience. they will go on the hardtail where I am not riding as hard or in as technical terrain as my FS. When people defend them it reminds me of the mobs of people who were defending Nevegals back in the day....
  • + 0
 @daweil: :-) YT, and I watched them since inception, are catering to a group of german consumer magazines that are averaging out competition with their test point system. Its favoring the german assemby corps and not the consumer and it makes it difficult for foreign mfg to enter that market. Its an overtly marketprotectionistic mechanism. Similar practices in the car industry. It leads to a very special german product catering to a perceived superiority of german products. Remember those german bikes are catalog bikes made in asian sweatshops - just like their foreign comps. Thats why I do not buy german bikes and german cars.

My last open performance car, sold it in Dec., had close to 500 hp and weighted 950kg and was as high as my knee cap. That was a performance car. From that spoiled perspective - I would not even consider buying a Pagani. It would be a step down. Bugatti is 3 GTI VR6 and VW Piech had his fingers in it - it must be broken..
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I disagree. I think schwalbe's casings are solid, and the magic Mary is a great tyre. Steve Smith used it to destroy everyone in 2013.

Also I had a pair of wicked wills that lasted two years and never flatted, with tubes, including one time when I hit a boulder with my front wheel so hard it bent the wheel into the fork arch. It buzzed all the way down the hill bit never went down. I would regularly hear the wheel rims pinging off baby head rocks with the wills, Marys and dans. Never flatted one. I would still use them now if they weren't so wide and heavy.
  • + 4
 @jaame: I agree, the Magic Mary got a bad rap because of a bad batch and, IMO, misuse.

Many people used the softer, flexible casing for DH and paid the price with ripped knobs and torn casings. I put a couple of them through their paces as front tires and they both lasted me a full season.

Schwalbe has yet to disappoint me, they are fun, fast and predictable. When using a Procore system, they are near bombproof. Damn I miss the sound of side knobs .........
  • + 1
 @enduroelite: My SuperGravity TrailStar quad-ply casing MMs have been great and I would run them again. Will probably go bigger next time though.
  • + 1
 @enduroelite: anyone else ever get the special edition " Tumour Tamara" Magic Mary tires, or was that just myself? Outer layer and casing would delam and a bulbous air pocket would form. Fun times.

Only reasons to run schwalbe in Canada: they came stock on your bike. You were upsold them. You buy them in bulk out of Germany on the cheap.
  • + 0
 @jaame: Wicked Will is a piece of sht, sorry... it can go to the same basket with Continental Deisel. Thread design philosophy: "let's see what happens". Sam as the latest Nobby Nic and Hans Dampf. Only DH and XC race tyres from Schwalbe are worth something. For a ride or two. My buddy was flatting Wills regularly. I don't buy Stevie Smith Danny Hart won this and that on them etc, because these guys get a new set for the final and then mechanics bin it afterwards. I don't have money to buy new tyres every month, not to mention every weekend in the bikepark (if I was doing that which I don't). And i defo don't have a mechanic to swap tyres for me and get covered in white shit. I have been in Hafjell and watched people looking at half torn out knobs of their MMarys, going "well, but the do grip better than minions" - I do believe they do. Good luck with that durability though
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I found the wills to be pretty good on bone dry dusty loose over hard. Like I say, I have never flatted one.

I admit that durability is not an issue for me. I only ride a couple of times a month and literally spend more time looking at my bike than riding it. Sitting on it and pedalling backwards in the house doesn't count as riding.

For example, it's Saturday morning now and I'm watching my kids having a swimming lesson instead of out riding my bike.
  • + 44
 So for all year riding in the Pacific Northwest, still hard to beat DHF/DHR combo?
  • + 32
 I'd say so - that's a great combo for any wheel size.
  • + 98
 30 psi in my Minions. I don't care about your opinions.
  • + 23
 @tbmaddux: this isn't a good rhyme so I won't waste your time. But that's way high pressure and you should lower your compressor.
  • + 18
 DHF/DHF for the win.
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer: Stupid question. Do the "F" and the "R" stand for "front" and "rear" respectively with the DHR and DHF?
  • + 7
 that's not a stupid question
  • + 4
 @Dustfarter: yes, but a lot of people run DHF/DHF (not so sure why, but someone might have an answer to that)
  • + 5
 I'm very happy running DHF/DHF right now, and a buddy of mine seems just as happy running DHR/DHR. Neither of us has run the other tire yet, but it seems like you can't go wrong. I am pretty curios about that Der Barron too.
  • + 6
 @Dustfarter: theres never stupid questions,just stupid.......
  • + 6
 @Dustfarter: yes, but many run the DHF on both front and rear, and some run the DHR2 front and rear
  • + 7
 I prefer the DHR II Front and Rear. The DHR II seems to roll slightly faster than the DHF, it weighs ~80 Grams less and it has a better transition. Less of a gap between the center knobs and side knows.
  • + 2
 Me and a few mates now run double shorty 3c maxx grip dd or dh super tacky. The grip is better than anything else Ive tried and the rolling resistance isn't to draggy. Certainly as fast if not faster than double mary. We ride in slop all the time though.
  • + 2
 @tbmaddux: I scrolled through the comments looking for this...
  • + 5
 Magic Mary SG TS F, Hans Dampf SG TS rear for the win in the PNW! Unlike the DHF it handles the wet much better, without compromising grip in the dry. That said though, it depends on what you value. I value Schwalbe tires because they provide better grip and durability(puncture resistance) but with decreased longevity and higher cost when compared to a Maxxis combo. The DHF/DHRII hits the grip and durability a little poorer, but your tires will last twice as long and likely cost less too! So again, depends on what you value most!
  • + 3
 Vigilante front and rear is unbelievable.
  • + 1
 Yes
  • + 8
 DHF/DHF means you only have to stock spares of one model of tire. Plus you can move them front to back to maximize wear.
  • + 3
 @rideorange525: I also run DHR II front and rear. I really really like it on my trail bike. Even on my V10 I run a DHR II on the front and a High Roller II in the rear. Amazing grip especially on the V10 since they both are ST compound. I don't ride my DH bike that much so I don't mind if the tire doesn't last too long. They last a whole season with the frequency that I ride.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: There is some debate about whether it stands for front and rear or freeride and race. DHF are popular as front and rear tyres, but some racers do use DHR front and rear in the right conditions.
  • + 5
 @mikekazimer: Have you ever compared 2.35x27.5 Mary/Mary to 2.5 DHF/DHF, same bike, same wheels, same terrain?
  • - 6
flag southoftheborder (Mar 2, 2017 at 15:20) (Below Threshold)
 @Dustfarter: nope. They actually stand for "Freeride" and "Race". Oddly enough, I just explained this to a close friend a few hours ago. The DHRs brake better, while the DHFs corner better and have a slower wearing compound, or that's what Maxxis stated when they presented them.
  • + 3
 @rideorange525: I prefer a DHFized DHR. If you cut them a bit and open up the tread pattern -opening up the channel between the shoulder knobs and the rolling/braking center pattern- you get the best of both worlds. Great rolling speed, good braking and decent cornering.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: vigilantes came stock on my bike and I've never hated a tire more.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: I have heard people claim F is for Freeride and R is for Race in the Minion names. Can't seem to find info on Maxxis site to back this up though... I always assumed Front and Rear
  • + 5
 @southoftheborder: no they don't, maxis own website says they are front and rear, the tread pattern also indicates this, paddles for traction and braking at the rear and more radial style tread for cornering at the front
  • + 3
 From maxxis website: The Minion DHR II is a complete redesign. Acceleration, cornering and braking have all been improved. The shoulder knobs were borrowed from the legendary Minion DHF and then beefed up to handle duty as a rear tire. The center tread has been heavily ramped and siped to roll fast and track straight under braking. Pair the DHR II with the Minion DHF for the ultimate aggressive riding combo.

They do state they can be used front or rear though
  • + 1
 Danny Hart rocks two dhr2s or two shorties to win world cup races. Nuff said.
  • - 1
 @ctd07: this holds true for the DHR 2, but if I recall correctly, in their conception, many moons ago, they weren't designed as front and rear. In fact, still today a lot of people prefers riding two DHFs or two DHRs.
  • + 1
 @ctd07: Yeah, my only note to that would be the DHR II "redesign" refers to the changes from the original DHR.
  • + 3
 For the Shore and North PNW riding, I've found the Specialized Butcher/Purgatory combo to be phenomenal. The new Butcher rubber is even more grippy. And the overall price is much better than the DHF's. Compare the tread pattern and construction when you get a chance and ride them if you get the opportunity. I'm not sure how they do in the square edged rocky stuff down South or the grime of the UK, but these are great tires.
  • + 1
 @rrolly: i used Butcher/Slaughter combo and while Slaughter is excellent, Butcher just cannot match Minion DHF 3C on the front, especially the Maxx Grip version. Yes Butcher is 200g lighter and rolls faster but you lose any advantage in every single corner
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Try the 2017 compound on the Butcher. Haven't tried the 3C, but the weight just makes me cringe on some of the climbs we do.
  • + 3
 @rrolly: I haven't tried 2017 compound. But as to tyre weight, I am actually considering bulking the tyres up to double down... why have aggressive tyre pattern when sidewalls can't provide stability for the lean at speed.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: yep. Another tubeless myth, you can run single ply tires at lower pressures... if you can handle horrendous tyre roll that is.
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: five years ago, brand new hope hoops with Stan's rims and minion single ply tyres. Literally under five minutes riding time, hit a jump, tyre ripped off and grazed the rim to shit on landing in gravel. Never again with those shitty condom-like tyres!
  • + 1
 @bgee: which compound do you use? I run DHF ST front and DHF dual on the rear and I wouldn't ever move the front back or viceversa. Also supertacky wears way faster than the harder compound so I usually wear out a couple of ones before having to replace the rear tyre.

I run DHF on the rear because it's the only tyre that I don't cut at every ride on the rocky terrain where I live. Never tried DHRII though.
  • + 1
 @justgivemeanavailableusername: ST or 3C depending on time of year and what is on sale. I'll move them front to back every 4-5 days of riding. So each tire gets about 9-10 days of park riding.
  • + 0
 @bgee: it's still better than Slow Reezay which would survive a day at the park at best...
  • + 3
 @bgee: If I had to buy new tires every 10 days of riding not only would my wife kick me outta the house, I'd kick me outta the house.
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: I guess you're getting downvoted out of ignorance? You are absolutely correct, the "F" and "R" do not specifically signify front and rear, though that's how many people choose to run them. Maxxis only muddies the situation by, yes, suggesting the DHF as a front and DHR as a rear; however, in trying to get a true definition of what the "F" and "R" stand for, it is not simply 'front' and 'rear' as most of the public thinks.
  • + 3
 @mikealive: too many young people here I guess. Back in the day I recall one of Ridemonkey's users who worked for a long time for Maxxis as a tire designer explaining this very question.

Anyway, I'm not here for the applause, but to share knowledge. Thanks for the support!
  • + 1
 I tried DHR 2 last year but thought they were not good on wet roots so came back with DHF front and rear! On maxxis site, it says ''wet'' for the DHF but not for the DHR 2 so maybe I'm not so crazy..!? They were even better for braking though!

So if you guys are right, I now have a freeride and a race tire on my fat bike! DOHH !!
  • + 1
 @tbmaddux: why don't you like grip?
  • + 3
 @SILENTNINJAONE: because I'm fast. I'm faster than you.
  • + 0
 @tbmaddux: that's not a real reply... let's RACE!!!! Lol
  • + 42
 Get the ones Jenson has on sale
  • + 29
 No Specialized tires so this comparison is null and void. The Butcher Grid and Slaughter Grid are the shit.
  • + 12
 this. also the michelin wild rock'r2 should be in here.
  • + 3
 I agree. Butcher and slaughter in the Pac NW, year round. AND they offer 26, 650b and 29.
  • + 7
 Butcher Grid up front, Purgatory Grid out back (new gripton rubber is pretty rad, too). Also, full retail price on both of those tires is like $60. Hard to beat Specialized tires for price and performance. As much as I like the Minion DHF I get comparable grip, weight, and rolling resistance, a better price, and have had better luck with the GRID casing than Maxxis EXO.
  • - 1
 i would say specs have low puncture resistance but price, grip (compound), and durability are pretty good. should have def been in there for comparison
  • + 0
 *Are Shit*
Fixed it for you.
  • + 2
 Butchers are a solid tire. I think they might have better traction than the Minion at a fraction of the price.
  • + 1
 meh, I used to run double butchers, until i found the maxxis DHF. So much more stable at high speeds.

The butcher was simply designed as a lighter version of the DHF (by the same guy, IIRC). I'll take on the extra weight for the better grip and stability.
  • + 1
 @esmith223: That Butcher Purgatory combo is fast as hell when the conditions are right. I switched to DHF's last year and have already had better luck with the EXO casing than I did with the GRID. What are your thoughts on DHF/DHF vs. Butcher/Butcher? I haven't ridden a Butcher since I started riding these DHF's, and don't really know which I would prefer overall.
  • + 2
 @pacificnorthwet: Here in the Rocky Mountains, I have had bad, bad luck with specialized tire.. way too many ripped sidewalls.. Maxxis have been much better for me.
  • + 1
 @billybobzia: I'm also in the Rocky Mountains. I stick with the grid casing for my rear tires, and that helps quite a bit. The control casing is a bit flimsy for me in the back.
  • + 2
 @pacificnorthwet: So much of tire choice is location-based, my opinions come with a grain of salt. I think Butcher/Purgatory rolls faster than Minion/Minion - probably mainly due to the Purgatory in the back. I haven't tried Butcher/Butcher. I haven't noticed a significant drop in grip between my current Butcher/Purgatory setup and the DHF/DHF I ran before. Plus, Spesh just released those tires with the new gripton rubber - so far it feels super grippy. I've run several Maxxis tires in different combinations over the last view years - Minion DHF, Ardent 2.4, Ardent 2.25, Aggressor - all in EXO casing. Switched over to Specialized last fall when I kept cutting sidewalls on the EXO casing. So far I've had slightly better luck with GRID. Either way, I live in northwest Arkansas and with our limestone sidewall cuts are kind of part of the game. If I get the same or slightly better cut resistance with GRID, similar grip, and it's $20 less per tire I'd much rather go with that. Unless I'm running full on DH casing I'm likely going to cut a tire before the tread wears out anyway. Maxxis DD casings would be a good solution in the right location, but they're heavy and the terrain here is rolling.
  • + 2
 @TheR: I am pretty sure I had the grid casing.. mostly I think its a little bit of dumb luck, but when you get burned you tend not to go back to that tire..
  • + 1
 @esmith223: I have never tried an Aggressor, how does that stack up against a Purgatory? They seem like fairly similar tread patterns, although you can't get an aggressor with soft rubber like tou can woth the Purgatory now.
  • + 1
 @pacificnorthwet: The Aggressor was a good tire. Bites kind of like a Minion in the corners but still rolls fast. I personally still had trouble with cutting sidewalls like I did with other EXO tires, though YMMV. The one I ran got trashed before I was able to spend a whole lot of time on it. Rolling resistance felt about on par with the Purgatory (fast for an AM tire).
  • + 1
 @esmith223: I like the Butcher, but I thought the Purgatory had really poor braking performance on anything dry. What conditions did the Purg work for you?
  • + 2
 @fgiraffe: It's typically dry here, with a layer of loose rock over top of dirt. Braking traction hasn't been insufficient for me, but it's also not very steep around here in most places. I definitely get better braking traction from the Purgatory than something like an Ardent that has (IMO) similar rolling resistance. Doesn't drop an anchor like a HRII or DHR though.
  • + 2
 @fgiraffe: The Purgatory isn't very effective in loose conditions because of the shallow tread pattern, but because those shallow center blocks have square edges they brake very well for their size in tacky, hard, or slightly loose over hard conditions. On certain trails the loss of braking traction is more than regained in overall speed (like trails that require more pedalling than braking, or trails that just aren't steep enough to require huge braking power). All of this is really only refering to the Purgatory as a rear tire. As a front tire? Good luck...
  • + 3
 @billybobzia: My experience is the opposite in Phoenix, AZ. As soon as I mount an Exo Grid the side wall basically slices itself it seems. I'm open to try DD casing, but I'm getting feedback about that casing not being so robust either. I have ran the knobs off many Butcher and Slaughter tires in the Grid casing without a slice. I did put a hole in the tread on my Purgatory recently, but I wasn't running enough pressure. I'm on the 2.6 Butcher 2.6 Purgatory combo right now and it's awesome. Other than the hole in the Purgatory (since patched and holding up fine @ 23.5 PSI), the Grid has been my go to tire as I can pedal all day or go bomb bike parks without needing to switch wheels and tires. They are not invincible - no tire is, but they last way longer than Exo Grid in my experience.
  • + 2
 @fgiraffe: I didn't care for the Purgatory, same poor braking issues as you mention, I think it is a bit too round on my rims (23mm internal). The Slaughter is awesome with a file tread pattern and shallow knobs, the rubber is harder and the biting edges of all the mini knobs hook up surprisingly well. It rolls fast too. The side knobs are the same as the Butcher so it corners awesome and has more predictable braking vs. the Purgatory. I've paired the Butcher up front with the Slaughter in the rear in western WA and it works really well. I've done a Butcher on the rear as well, which also rolls fast hooks up great on the wet roots and mossy rocks. It does wear out quick (about 3:1 vs. the Slaughter).
  • + 2
 A lot of comments on the Specialized tires. I think you are correct... they should have been included.
  • + 1
 @CyclingThe425: Glad you mentioned rim width, I'm running older skinny-width rims too.
Also was running tubes @ ~28PSI.
  • + 1
 @xeren: I've got both, and the Butcher Grid is about 100g heavier than the 3c exo tr minion.
  • + 1
 @jaame: yikes, good to know - i only have experience with the control version, which has much less sidewall support
  • + 0
 @jaame: Grid is noticeably thicker than Exo TR. Slaughter GRID is an awesome tyre already in 2.3. It is way more stable than Exo TR. I have Minion SS Exo TR on the rear right now and I can burp it for you on demand on gravel road, having it at 30Psi (25mm internal rims). I would have to try real hard to burp a Grid tyre at that pressure on asphalt.

How are those compunds on 2017 spec tyres? Any softer? Butcher Grid and Control are rather bad compared to 3C Minion DHF
  • + 1
 No actual spikes either. It's either bucketing rain here or loose and sandy pea gravel. Slightly worn wet screams are the best I've found. Running spikes on hardback is way less dangerous than running hard pack tyres in the mud. I have the scars to prove it.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I have also noticed the stiffness of the grid casing in comparison. I think the Maxxis rubber is a bit better at gripping, but the specialized tyres last AGES even with a lot of road miles like I was doing the past few months.

I cannot find anything about Spec having changed compounds though.
  • + 0
 @jaame: My Minions EXO in 60a lasted ages as well Smile And were still slightly grippier than Butcher Control/Grid. No way to go around those meaty side knobs.
  • + 1
 I'd love to try Butcher/Slaughter combo in 2.6
  • + 22
 Fully disagree - the mary corners great in hard pack. As well as when it gets wet, silty, rocky, dusty, loose. That tire does it all.
  • + 0
 I've found that that depends. On just hardpack, sure it corners very well. But if it's hard pack with a thin layer of dust or sand the grip is pretty bad in my opinion. Worse than some other tires
  • + 1
 @natemeyer: "Just hardpack" is found on BMX tracks doggo. The harder you push that tire the better it works.
  • + 19
 Magic Marry front / Highroller II rear
  • + 2
 Just put this combo on my bike, really interested in seeing how it works.
  • + 7
 High Rollers are definitely not for everyone. They have much more of an on off feeling going into corners than I prefer.
  • + 31
 You cross brands!? He's a maniac!
  • + 3
 MM Front, Aggressor Rear
  • + 2
 @pacificnorthwet: Had High Rollers, they were pretty awesome, wore them right out. Really never had a bad set of tires I can remember.
  • + 2
 MM front and WTB Vigilante rear at the moment. Working really well. Aggressor rear for some trails.
  • + 3
 Great bike park combo, I run this most of the rear. if it gets real sloppy I will put a mary out back. The high roller is a great tire for blowing up corners
  • + 2
 @pacificnorthwet: Agreed, plus the side knobs wear extremely quick compared to anything else I have ever ran.
  • + 1
 I highly prefer the minions to the highroller.. That being said, the highroller is an excellent tire, just not as good IMO
  • + 1
 I used HRII/DHRII F/R combo before heading to MM combo for DH bike
  • + 2
 @cdmbmw: I think the side knobs wear quick because the tire breaks away so abruptly due to the large gap from center knobs to side knobs. As @Bigernmcracken said they are great for blowing up corners beacause of their on/off behaviour. The cool thing is that even though they break loose a bit easy the full size corner knobs catch again just as quick as they break loose. I just never got used to that feeling enough to ride them very fast.
  • + 2
 Been running MM front, SE5 rear. So far so good.
  • + 2
 @pacificnorthwet: completely agree. There seems to be a no-mans land when you start to roll them over into a corner where there is no grip.
  • + 1
 Been running MM front / DHF rear for a while now, works well for most NZ conditions!
  • + 11
 Glad to see the SE5 up there. One heck of a tire in my books. It has very similar characteristics to the mInion but I find the SE5 a better rolling tire and hangs on in the corners better. To be honest though, come this summer Ill be running twin SE4 2.4s on my bike. I set em up a few weeks back when we had a few days of non shit weather and... holy crap, what a fantastic tire. far more predictable than I expected and probably one of the most stable tires when hard braking is required in steep sections.... But for now being as the PNW is juts a cluster fuck of every possible weather pattern Ill stick to Shorty up front and SE4 out back.
  • + 1
 try the SE2 out back, sort of their version of a rock razor. loved it at DH parks
  • + 2
 @dukeneverwinter: I think you meant SE3
  • + 2
 Try a Shorty Front and SE5 rear for this time of year. Apparently 2.5 WT DD Shorty front and 2.5 WT DD DHF rear is amazing too.

I think I'll try SE4 front/back this summer too after hearing nothing but good things. Or maybe a set of the new Nobby Nic EVO DD 2.35 (27.5) coming out soon.

I've been running Mary SS Trailstar front SE5 rear and it's been good (27.5) The only time I question the SE5 rear is when climbing steep slick rocks...can't help but wonder if another tire would grip better. Reviews keep saying that the SE5 is prone to flats in rocky terrain but I am a heavy rider, riding PNW and no issues yet. I haven't had a single flat since mounting this set and wear has been great, no torn knobs either.
  • + 2
 @RollinFoSho: Nope, Se2. I have no idea why trek doesn't promote their tires more...I want a 29er se2 bad...

www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equipment/cycling-components/bike-tires-tubes/bontrager-se2-team-issue-tlr/p/13406
  • + 3
 @dukeneverwinter: Oh, never noticed that one. Thanks for info
  • + 10
 All look like great tires but kinda sucks not all come in 26". Have three bikes all chambered in 26" wheels still.
  • + 9
 Q: What's the difference between a used tire, and 365 used rubbers?
A: One's a Goodyear, and the other is a great year!!
  • + 6
 Stoked to see Bontrager tires on here. I've been running SE5's or SE4''s paired sets for a couple years after switching from Continental and I have just loved the hell out of them. Zero complaints.
  • + 2
 Agreed. I run G5s on my Voltage and they are fantastic
  • + 8
 Magic Mary doesn't last long?! I've had mine for well over 1000 miles in my bike.
  • + 4
 Yep that perception is just no longer true. I've tried to tear off the side knobs on my MM SG trailstars and cannot do it. And that MSRP is way off real world prices - I paid 70 max.
  • + 1
 Which compound Thomas ?
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: the nobs are so strong. And $93 bucks! There's no way!
  • + 3
 @endlessblockades: Way cheaper if you buy from bike shops in Germany. Great exchange rate right now. I use bike-discount.de or something like that.
  • + 2
 @TucsonDon: that's exactly where I buy my stuff from. Can't get sram anymore tho shock sucks
  • + 3
 A year of hard riding and my MM SG vertstar in front on my AM bike, tire is starting to need replacement, Im ok with that.
  • + 3
 Yeah I paid $40 shipped from Merlin Cycles over the holidays... really quite cheap for a top-flight tire. Love them tons and they seem to wear quite well.
  • + 1
 @patrick2cents: yep Merlin cycles is a good site to
  • + 1
 @bigburd: I've got the trail star compound
  • + 1
 At the back I recon it would be toast pretty quickly. My MM front is still great after several hundred KM of enthusiastic riding. Slight side nob wear is all i see.
  • + 5
 Got a Shorty for Christmas and stuck it up front on the DH and yes, very slow rolling but grippy as fuuuuuck.

The whole root thing though... Not had a problem. I find almost that the knobs give a bit of "step-over" action and hook on the back side of the root.
Definitely an ideal tyre for the winter.
  • + 4
 Shortys are great tyres, love them to bits they are perfect for the steep sloppy mess our trails currently are,can't really comment on the drag as we have plenty of gravity to assist at our spots, no issues on the roots for me either, no more than you would expect on a wet polished, kashima coated root anyway.
  • + 1
 @bigburd: tried the shorty out back at the end of last season when the bike park trails were blown out, im amazed with the amount of grip but i dont see the knobs lasting very long in dry conditions.
  • + 8
 All the people bitching about prices ... try another hobby
  • + 5
 Like anyone pays RRP on tyres anyway haha!
  • + 6
 Can we get a budget tire shootout? Or a trail tire shootout (limited to mostly fast rolling but tough tires).
  • + 1
 My whole bike is an old cheap 2nd hand nothing, but for the tyres I need to have the best. It can make a bike great or ruin it. They're not cheap but worth the investment. For the rest i really don't care much wether I ride Hussefelt parts or carbon RaceFace Next.
  • + 1
 Specialized has some good options at $50-$60 price range. Is that budget these days?
  • + 1
 @Mattin: Yeah, Hussefelt or RaceFace...whatever "2nd hand nothing" you come across. Gotta make due with what you can in the slums of Amsterdam. Sounds rough
  • + 1
 @Warburrito: lol, you kind of missed my point. What I ment to say is that tyres are the best investment you can make in ride quality. As in price to extra ride quality ratio.

An average bike with proper tyres will give you more confidence while riding than a proper bike with cheap shitty tyres.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: I should reread that jerk blog from a few weeks ago
  • + 3
 Definitely appreciate a solid tire review. But, I feel like you completely whiffed on a few choices. No butcher/slaughter, no Michelin, no WTB, no Hutchinson, no Vittoria, even kenda and onza. I'm not saying they would be any better or any worse, but would've been nice to see a more thorough test.
  • + 7
 I'll stick with my WTB Vigilante.
  • + 11
 WTB has a strong following but are often left out in reviews like this. Frown
  • + 6
 @swamper1: Agree. Vigilante and Convict need a bit more attention!
  • + 3
 Vigilante - the tire that keeps surprising. To bad the convict is only 27.5.
  • + 3
 I would be interested to find out how Vittoria Vittoria is doing in enduro/ downhill tyres. Their road and XC tyres are pretty much some of the the best money can buy.
  • + 2
 @Mattin: I've been riding their Morsa front and rear this summer and find them very good for everything except deep loose over hardpack and sticky mud/clay. Wear has been very good as has durability from hero dirt in Rotorua to shale rock in Nelson. The sidewall feels similar to the Maxxis Exo and grip somewhere between Schwalbe Trailstar and Vertstar compounds. Read up on their 4C compound which has a compound called "Graphene" added to it to improve grip AND durability!
  • + 1
 @Kiwikev: Thanks for letting me know! My experiences with Vittoria have also been amazing this far.

This year I'll be joining the Megavalanche, which is about 20% on snow and 80% on big loose rocks. Would you recommend the Morsa there or should I rather go for the Minion?
  • + 3
 @Mattin: I've ridden minions on wet rocks/roots/snowy roots and rocks, not my choice. My vigilante grips where the minion falls (outside of fast dry dh parks), perhaps check out some of e13 super tacky tires too? Haven't tried the Vittoria yet, will look them up.
  • + 4
 @rnm410: +1 on the Vigilante gripping where the Minion doesn't.
The Minion was my go-to choice for a long time. Now it's the Vigilante. It is not as good on hardpack, but the difference in wet conditions far outweighs that.
  • + 3
 It would be nice for these lists to include some other brands IMO - WTB, Michelin, etc. Even if to say "oh they're horrible" (which they're not anyway). For example I like some of the Michelin because they're CHEAPER yet offer same or better performance than, say, the DHF.
  • + 3
 On-One Dual Compound Chunky Monkey (2.4), actually a Maxxis tyre, a dual compound that resembles a MaxxTerra (42a sides with 50a center) only much more affordable, ATM less than half the price of any 3C, thought On-One prices fluctuate a lot, that is probably the best bang per buck available at least on 26". Maxxis own dual compound are way too hard (70a/60a) and Supertackys melt superfast as rear tyre.
  • + 2
 Not a real well known tire, but they are great. I love em here on Vancouver Island year round, but especially in the winter. I like them better than DHF/R if its wet.
  • + 6
 Wouldn't maxxis tires with the DD casing be more relevant for this MBA shootout "for rugged trails"?
  • + 2
 Yeah but then you wouldn't be able to point that competition is heavier and has stiffer sidewalls. To make this relevenat do dd vs protection vs reinforced vs tough vs... Soft front, medium back and let's see how they Rollin
  • + 1
 @kanasasa: totally agreed, I just don't know SFA about any other tire brands
  • + 2
 My thought exactly.

I've punctured repeatedly through exo maxxis, trailstar snakeskin schwalbe, spesh butchers and nevegal DTCs casing on my trail bike... So far the michelin wild rock'r 2 reinforced/advanced are the only ones that survived what I make them go through (weight penalty though). This is a major disappointment for me because most of those tires are marketed for trail/enduro but none of them can survive enduro conditions. I was really looking forward to that shoutout because I'm currently debating if I'm getting another michelin or if I should try a DD maxxis or a SG schwalbe so I'm a little bummed out.

Also, what is the point of reviewing a tire if you're not going to push it to its limit? I feel that's like reviewing suspension without ever using more than 60% travel.
  • + 1
 Also, they've compared tire weights in different wheel sizes. e.g. the Der Baron would be 100g lighter, if they used rhe 27.5 version
  • + 3
 I have a DHF 2.5 3C MaxTerra in 29" and it rolls so slow. Switching back to a Hans Dampf with TrailStar and Snake Skin was a night and day difference on speed going down and effort going up. Disappointing because the traction was awesome. the 2.3 is really narrow too which would be a better size. Probably gonna try the Bloody Mary next Smile
  • + 2
 On low angle trails the Hans Damf is faster, but braking and cornering traction are lacking when things get steep. That's where the DHF is king.
  • + 2
 I have the same tire. i don't find it rolls slow. I just have it on the front, have an SS on the rear, so maybe the easy rolling of the SS just makes the whole combo feel fast. I found the 2.5 just rolls over stuff like mad. I wasn't even trying and I set PR's on my first ride with it. Just felt like free speed.
  • + 1
 A Minion on the feont doesn't feel too slow at all, but having a faster rear can make a big difference.
  • + 1
 Completely opposite experience. DHF is ramped and rolls way faster than the non-ramped blocky HD, front or rear. Magic Mary is just a HD on steroids and also slow roller, similar feeling to Shorty. I like all of them but the Shorty wins in mud and the DHF is fastest by a good margin.
  • + 3
 Tried most of these out. Live in Oregon and get to ride the wet sides and the dry side. Totally agree with the reviews. The der baron is awesome front or back for winter riding and this year has been wicked wet. Magic Mary pretty amazing all around even in wet except hard pack. Trs to me is as good as magic Mary (my Mary did premature rip)maybe heavier. That being said the hr2 which everyone seems to love is not even in the same class except in the Summer time and when riding hard pack.
  • + 1
 Re the HR 2, last winter I was looking at giving Maxxis a go, got a Shorty for the front which was fantastic, using this chart:

media1.alltricks.fr/ckfinder/images/Maxxis2.jpg

The next best thing for general wet winter riding was the HR2 . Put that on the rear and it was useless. No braking grip and no climbing grip. The tyre just clogged and stayed clogged until you got to a wide open fast section. Really didn't work for me in the wet and mud.

However I then switched it to the front in the summer and it was great.
  • + 2
 Very interesting read, thanks for the good reviews / comparison!

The only thing that got me wondering now is how well the Minion DHF in the SuperSticky compound would compare to the TRS? Would it be able to beat the TRS in that game as well?
  • + 2
 Keep in mind that it's not just about outright grip, predictability is just as important IMO. Never tried the TRS so I can't really comment on their performance but you can't go wrong with a Minion. I would go for a 3C Maxxgrip at the rear though, as the knobs tend to fold over less than the Supertackies. ST would be great for the front as it rebounds a bit slower than the 3C version.
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: thanks for the advise Smile
  • + 2
 I find the shorty in a 2.4, exo casing to roll surprisingly well, very similar to a dhrII on anything other than hardpack. Paired with a rock razor on the back, it's very good combo. Trying out the 2.8 dhf and dhrII on the front this year (30 mm rims, non-boost regular fork), as apparently it fits quite well and measures closer to 2.6. And german bike sites are crazy for deals on tires, especially schwalbes.
  • + 1
 @tgreid The 2.8's are apparently a couple months out yet. I'm interested to try them too.
  • + 2
 @cstishenko: they're available now, I've got then in my garage, waiting for spring. Got them off Amazon
  • + 1
 Gonna defend the Shorty too. When I bought them I was quite wary of their grip on the roots because of reviews like this and I can honestly say that in my experience (!) they're not that far from the Minions I run during the dryer months. Never had it step out without warning, even though I ride some pretty rooty techy stuff and really like cornering.

Must say I did find them pretty draggy, I run the Maxxgrip dualplies though.
  • + 1
 @tgreid: no way! Two LBS told me they are a while out. SMH
  • + 7
 Get the rubber ones
  • + 3
 I wish that PB would comment on which tires are most appropriate for wide (30mm+) internal rims. I've found that my magic mary 2.35 tires don't have enough cornering traction unless I'm running really low pressure.
  • + 6
 Rubbers, Ribbed for Maximum Pleasure.
  • + 5
 Maxxis Pleasure
  • + 2
 ...or studded rubber. ...for winter use of course.
  • + 5
 I still don't know who is able to run low 20's PSI in there tires without burping?
  • + 21
 Riders with wide rims?
  • + 1
 Even sealant hardly ever works. I mean it does the job when seating a tire but I've never seen tire sauce stop a leak during a ride...ever. Typically you'll hear the hiss, get mad, stop, freewheel the wheel to get the sauce in the hole, leak stops, put air in to replace lost air, sealant plug lets go, wheel comes out, tube goes in.
  • + 3
 I run 19 F 24 R no problem. Have run as low as 17 F and 22 R without issues, but I also run 32 mm ID rims as well.
  • + 2
 I've ran the e*thirteen at 14 psi on the front by accident and it still felt solid enough.
  • - 3
 @Tmackstab: That's why I've always been slow to adopt tubeless. Once you get a flat (and we've all had plenty) you jam a tube in there. Then when you get home I guess you have to patch the tire. If patching doesn't work, buy a new one or run tubes, I suppose?

I accept there are performance benefits, but it seems possible you'll end up riding with a tube most of the time or shelling out for new tires on the reg.
  • + 2
 @GMAN1 : Riders with Procore Wink
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: Orange seal or stans race sealant stops leaks really well for me.
  • + 4
 You can with ProCore. I personally favor 22 psi in my 2.35" Magic Mary snakeskin in front, and 26 psi in my 2.3" Maxxis DHR EXO dual compound in the back with a riding weight of around 235 lbs. I usually add around 2 pounds on this for faster bike park style trails though.

I tried these pressures before procore but was constantly burping and getting snake bites, even with a 30mm inner rim.
  • + 3
 With Stan's Arch MK3's and a Magic Mary front/Nobby Nic rear I run 15psi/16psi without any issues.
  • + 3
 @Tmackstab: At the end of last Summer I pulled a Rocket Ron off of my bike and it probably had 10-15 buggers inside the tire where the Stan's had plugged up punctures through the season.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer:
Exactly. I'm running a DHF 2.5WT on 38mm rims and I run 18psi-20psi, and thats even on steep gnarly terrain.
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: I'm in the same boat as you. Sealant never worked fast enough to prevent me from walking.
  • + 1
 I run 18psi front on a Dhf 2.5 DD, including in Enduro and downhill races. I'm a lightweight rider and the casing is sturdy. Yes it's very possible.
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: i just cut a tire about 1/8" this past weekend and thought it was too big to seal. Stans did the job, but it did take a couple of stops to put in air before it fully sealed. It helped to take off the wheel and really let the sealant cover the hole with some pressure on the outside of the cut. I was about to put in the tube when it stopped completely - I put another 15 miles on it (below 20psi)

Once home, i took off the tire to check if repairable, and the scab of sealant was pretty impressive.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: wider better rims.
  • + 1
 @Xorrox: I run Magic Mary snakeskin casing front at 14-15psi with procore chamber at 75psi. Used to run 18psi with supergravity casing with tube for comparison. Rear run Surly Dirt Wizard 2.75 (singleply casing 27tpi) at 13-14psi with Procore at 75psi as well. Front rim is 30mm internal and rear is 39mm internal.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: I find it helps to replace the sealant frequently to keep it fresh. That said, I have failed to do that in the past, and have had the same trouble you describe.
  • + 3
 @WaterBear: Personally, I get flats a lot less frequently with tubeless. I've only had to replace a tire twice -- once because something cut a hole in the sidewall so big it that the tire was worthless tube or now, the second time because, quite honestly, the tire was just too worn. Time for new ones anyway.

Now that we have the choice, I would never ride some place rugged like Moab (which I do once or twice a year) with a tube. You're practically guaranteed a pinch flat at some point.
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: Also, I wonder -- you're only seeing the times when the sealant DOESN'T work. When it works and does its job, you don't notice, which is the point. It's possible that you would have flatted a few more times over if you didn't have the sealant at all.
  • + 2
 @TheR: Thanks for the feedback. It's interesting to read the comments and hear people's experience with tubeless.

I will probably switch over and give it a shot soon, since the performance benefits (lower pressure = more grip) are more than worth the experimental risk.
  • + 1
 I guess it all depends on where you ride. I can see the sauce sealing up needle punctures from cactus etc and it does reseal when you burp a tire. Maybe the new race sauce will work better, I'll give that a go.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I did go lower for a while but with my weight I just found the tires too squirrelly and there was too much drag at lower pressures. 22 psi / 26 psi is a pretty good compromise for me.
  • + 2
 @Xorrox: I'm pretty light at around 62kg with kit so I can get away with the low pressure. I did try even lower at the beginning but found that unless I was riding slow tech stuff 11-12psi was too low. Tire squirmed too much. I can't ever go back to a normal setup since the grip is insane and I love the bulletproof feel. Riding offcamber root sections is now a piece of cake. I can straightline anything without worrying that I'll slip or flat!
  • + 2
 @WaterBear: I'm 205 out the shower and and run 2.35s Schwalbe at just under 20 on the front and just under 25 on the back using i25 WTB rims. I'm not the shreddliest shredder, but I have burped tires years back, but WTB rims have never let go since and I jump more now. I've had one flat that didn't seal since going tubeless and that was from a piece of glass, where as I used to get at least a couple a year. Sure, putting in a 3$ tube occassionally is annoying, but it's well worth for the performance benefit and decrease in flats. I have punctures all over my tires that weep yet lose little pressure. Tires feel better and flat less, what's not to like? Bit more work to get up, but if you don't change your tires for months at a time the bit of pain to get a tire up is worth it when you ride through gnarl worry free. Nothing is perfect, but it's a lot better than tubes in my opinion.
  • + 1
 @JesseE: I'm 20lbs heavier than you, but have burped a DHF on WTB i25's at 30psi, and have put several dents in the rear rim at 32-35psi. I wonder if we just do different riding, or if the bigger difference is in the casing of the Shwalbe's you run vs. The DHF's I run. I've never tried a Shwalbe tire because of the price, but I may have to give em a shot.
  • + 1
 @pacificnorthwet: well, you definitely could just be shredding harder than me (which wouldn't take much). I too have dented my wtb KOMs, but they still hold air well and my tire on too. Do you burp a lot? If I was having to run high pressures and burping the benefits of tubelessness would be kinda lost. I have only had good experiences, at least with Tubeless Ready tires and Rims.
  • + 1
 @JesseE: I've only burped it twice, so thats not such a big deal, but denting the rim isn't fun. Still holds air and a tire fine, but the wheel requires frequent truing now. I just run tubeless to avoid the pinch flats i used to get with tubes.
  • + 1
 @pacificnorthwet: Sounds like running tubeless tires is a good thing, you just need some beefier rims. Frequencys? Or maybe one of those rim strips or procore or something.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Ok ya got me.. I'm going arc 40's and around 11 psi. I personally find a tubeless DHF in the front and a DD in the back with a tube works for me. Around 27 psi front 30 rear on stans flows.
  • + 1
 @JesseE: I actually was on the Frequency Team rims. Didn't realize you were talking about KOM's. I might actually be a perfect candidate for the foam inserts to protect the rims. I am on Flow EX now and hoping I just always have enough air to prevent denting and burping.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I'm the same weight as you and had the same experience. Used to ride 25-30psi but now ride 12-18psi and the difference is night and day. Haven't burped yet and when I ride other people's bikes with higher pressure it feels like skating on ice.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: Yeah I know what you mean. I ride in the Alps both natural terrain and bikeparks so the added security of procore prevents burping and rim denting. I don't trust simple tubeless.
  • + 3
 DHF WT 2.5/Minnion SS works great for me in Utah's dry conditions. Will likely switch to an Aggressor on the back as a better all arounder when the SS wears down, as it does relatively quickly.
  • + 2
 Currently running 2.5 DHF with a 2.3 Aggressor and it's my favorite tire combo I've yet to try. I intended this to be my dry weather setup, but even with all the rain here in socal, these tries inspire so much confidence. I'm most impressed by the aggressor... so much grip and yet it rolls so fast. It replaced a HR2, which replaced a new NN. The aggressor grips like the high roller but rolls as well as the Schwalbe.
  • + 2
 I'm using this combo at the moment in the UK mud, but on wide (35 mm internal) rims.

The DHF is great- apart from the fact it seems to have warped, but the SS is just too narrow and square for wide rims. The side knobs ("side knobs! Knobs! Side! Side knobs! ") just constantly touch the ground even upright so it doesn't roll that quickly. However, climbing and braking traction is very very good for a semi slick.
  • + 2
 @SoDiezl350: Thanks for the info on the Aggressor! Helps solidify my choice.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: I'm running wide 34mm internal rims as well and know what you mean with the SS. I don't mind it that much though as the square profile just engages the big side nobs a bit earlier. Probably not as quick rolling as a narrow rim with a more rounded profile, but I totally agree with you that it's too narrow of a tire for the rim.
  • + 1
 @tgent: the Minion SS died over the weekend, swapped it out for an old Rock Razor 2.35 I had. Much much better profile. The Rock Razor is significantly wider (nearly as wide as the DHF 2.5WT) and rounder than the Minion SS.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: Lol funny you should say that, my Minion SS with all of 40 miles on it blew out over the weekend as well. More my fault, but took a square hit to the rim, dented the rim and put a snake bite hole in the middle of the tire. I'm probably going to patch it up and keep riding it since it's brand new, but these aren't super durable tires. Good to know about the RR, I haven't heard great things, and was thinking about switching to the Maxxis Agressor in the back, but they don't make it in the HV 2.5, only 2.3 and I want something that's 2.5.
  • + 1
 Awesome article. I was just thinking about this with the wet/sloppy post-snow conditions here in Vancouver. Only thing I'd like to hear a bit more about is the actual width of these tires. Mike mentioned the actual width of the e Thirteen tire as 2.4, does this mean the other tires don't measure what they advertise? I have looked around online and have heard from riding friends that the Maxxis 2.5 width tires are actually 2.35. I'm stepping my rims up to 30/35mm internal/external and trying to decide what to pair with them and what will fit in my new frame.
  • + 4
 Old Maxxis tires used to measure VERY small, but the measurements these days are much closer to what is written on the tire.
  • + 2
 Think about the Der Baron as a front tire. I'm currently running that and the Baron grips really well in the wet (also roots) and in loose conditions, so should be perfect for you. I'm running a HR2 in the back though, because it rolls better
  • + 1
 I have DHF 2.5 WT and they are only very slightly wider than a Schwalbe 2.35. They perform fantastically though on wide rims. Also have a Minion SS 2.3 and that comes up much smaller than a Racing Ralph 2.25 on my wide rims. If you're using wide rims I wouldn't recommend the Minion SS, it's too square. I haven't mounted my Rock Razor yet, but it's wider and rounder so should work better. Same with the 2.3 Shorty, it's noticeably narrower than a 2.35 Mary and squarer, so I doubt it'll work well on 30mm internal.
  • + 1
 As someone that spends $500 + a season on new tires, I only have one question: Which one lasts the longest?

Once you're down to 50% tread or less, the tires lose much of their performance characteristics anyways, and for most that ride lots, that happens within about 2 weeks of buying a new rear tire.
  • + 1
 I'll add my (limited) input. I have been on a 29er for about 6 months and ride 'enduro' I'd say.

The best set up overall has been the DHF 2.5 up front and the DHRII 2.4 in the rear. Really worked well all around although I tore all the side knobs off the DHF in the 2nd month.

Then I tried a Shorty 2.5 up front and a DHF 2.5 in the rear. even though I ride dry rocky conditions I have nothing bad to say about the Shorty, it worked everywhere as well as the DHF in spite of looking so different. The rear DHF 2.5 had mad traction except when trying to brake on long loose steeps, but the rolling resistance was pretty awful. It became a limiting factor.

For a very hot summer I wanted better rolling resistance but ended up going too far. I bought the new Addix Nobby Nic 2.6 up front which lacks side traction by a lot but rolls killer; and a rear Addix Hans Dampf lacked traction and also the casing was too mushy and required extra psi to not move around constantly. Great trail tires, not so great enduro tires. That mistake was on me. One of the Schwalbe reps even told me to buy the MM but I didn't listen.The HD is salvagable as a good faster rolling spare tire, however the front NN isn't something I can use.

I now have mounted some old tires up but have ordered the E13 Race for up front and a WTB Breakout tough/ fast for the rear. I ordered them because it's my current best guess as to the best all around combo for my tastes but also I try to test something different every time. I could be way off (again!). We'll see.

It's all a trade off unless you are lift served then you just mount up the most traction and most heavy duty and forget about it.
  • + 1
 I ran the e*13 TRSr tire on the front and the plain TRS on the rear and the cheaper harder compound TRS tire lasted pretty much the entire season with riding a couple times a week. Lots of grip but might not be the fastest rolling tire.
  • + 4
 What about claimed width vs reality ??? (not targeting anyone ***MAXXIS***)
  • + 1
 On the chance that tire designers read this far into the comments....Please make me a 29 X 2.8ish front tire with some bite and shoulder. I frightened myself everyday this winter. Something like a Dirt Wizard with casing support.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer

Cool article... although, aside from the E13 (which I am currently running and really like), they are the usual suspects in the wheel cover arena... I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the lesser run options. Michelin Wild Rock R, Hutchinson Cougar, etc. basically the ones that aren't in every bike shop that we can go get our hands on and make an educated guess. All the on line Hail Mary's... Smile
  • + 5
 WTB Convict 2.5 would've been a nice addition to this article.
  • + 2
 i think it is interesting that they suggest a meatier tire in the rear to be paired with a dhf yet all the enduro pros are running a lower profile tire in the rear like the aggressor (team yeti)
  • + 5
 It depends on the conditions - a 2.5 DHF up front and a 2.4 or 2.3 DHR II works extremely well for those wet winter days when you want all the grip you can get, but when things dry up a bit something like the Aggressor or even a Minion SS / Specialized Slaughter / Schwalbe Rock Razor are all good rear tire options.
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer: i am not in as good of shape as you are mike so i have started opting for the low profile rear. i like my bike to feel like a mullet where the front stays planted and the back end is a party.
  • + 3
 Every time I stray from Maxxis I am expensively disappointed. Now I just alternate between DHF, DHR2 and HR2 and life is good.
  • + 1
 In a somewhat related topic: Does anybody know how to blackout or remove the logos on tires effectively? This could be useful when you're using mismatched tires or if you perhaps worked at a Specialized shop but wanted to run Bontrager tires etc.
  • + 2
 Sharpie?
  • + 1
 fine-grit sand paper and/or rubbing alcohol
  • + 1
 I would use a black Sharpie wide point oil-based paint pen marker, but first I would come to grips with the fact it will probably look like shit after 5 minutes of riding.
  • + 2
 Plasti dip. You're literally spraying liquid rubber over the rubber. It works great, just mask off the bead and anywhere you don't want liquid latex. It will rub off however with repeated rock and root abrasions.
  • + 3
 Another negative they forgot to add to the tires tested from, e*thirteen, Bontrager, and Continental...
•Not available in "26
  • + 1
 I was always under the impression HR is better all around tire, when things get semi-muddy and that Minion works better in dry conditions. Shortly, HR being more versatile of the two.
  • + 4
 No Michelin Wild RockR 2 !! Wtf mate
  • + 3
 We need a Plus sized tire shootout... then maybe an axle width shootout next.
  • + 2
 I'd like to see a couple reviews or comparisons of some of the more obscure tires out there. Tioga, Vee Rubber, Nokian, etc. Keep it funky.
  • + 3
 Got a SG Rock Razor and a Snake Magic M for the equivalent of $80 for both, last month...
  • + 1
 You guys should've included the newer gen 2.4" width Continental Trail King Black Chili's with the Apex Sidewall. They're absolutely fantastic tires, and always get looked over. Huge high-volume sizing too.
  • + 3
 Isn't the rubber from a MTB tire a softer durometer than climbing shoe rubber?
  • + 1
 Haven't seen or heard of anybody running Schwalbe's Fat Albert front and rear specific tires. Nobody whinging about them not being included in this test so I imagine most have given them a pass as I have.
  • + 1
 They may be expensive, but at least we're not the guy who needs to get new tires for a bugatti veyron. 20 grand for a set every 500 or so miles. 50 dollars a tire doesn't seem too bad
  • + 1
 Just rode at Gisburn Monster demo day in piss poor conditions. And I can honestly say the best tyres for the conditions were the E13 TRsr. Just grippy as hell. Race on the front, plus rear.
  • + 1
 I am running\ a Maxxis 2.3 DHR !! DD on the rear, and a snakeskin trailstar Magic mary 2.35 on the front.. I love the combo and the added protection of the DD casing on the rear DHR
  • + 3
 Every guy should have a Mary in his life!
  • + 2
 It seems these reviews always enforce the dhf as the tire to get, for summer the ss is fasterror rolling option too
  • + 3
 Im too tired to read all these comments.
  • + 1
 Been running a pair of E13’s this winter, awesome combo, and I’ve just ordered a Bonty SE5 so good to see a positive write-up.
  • + 2
 Thank you Pinkbike for this comparative review, that's what we need to find out what suits our riding best!
  • + 4
 Cheng Shin, for the win!
  • + 2
 Cost almost as much as my moto tires and yet they flat 100000 times more hmmmmm lol
  • + 3
 holy crap a shootout!!! Nice work PB
  • + 1
 Excellent review, can anyone comment on best 24" tire
Available??, my kids are riding very technical trails with me and need some food rubber for their bikes!!
  • + 2
 Wait so 27 and 275 are different wheel sizes? I didn't know that there was a 27 size
  • + 3
 I think he meant 26. But actually 27 was an old school road bike tire size
  • + 1
 @sampolicky: oh cool. Thanks
  • + 3
 @sampolicky: 27, 27.5, 27x1 1/4" or 27x 1 3/8 which one? Lol
  • + 2
 minion dhf front and rear on my dh rig always . never had anything but beauty rides
  • + 2
 Minion DHF is now in a 2.8 flavor. I run it on a non boost fox 36 and its fuhmazing
  • + 1
 I wish they would make the rotation sign clearer so a blind bat like me can see it!
  • + 1
 Minnion on the front and nobby nic on the back is a pretty solid setup for me
  • + 1
 Magic Mary front/ Shorty rear has been my go to combo lately. Provides way more grip than I have talent on proper trails
  • + 1
 lets review tires so people can make apples and oranges comparisons about price vs other entirely different things
  • + 2
 minions, rocking since...
  • + 0
 How very informative. Comparing three tyres that everyone already knows are good against three tyres that no one is actually interested in running. Keep up the good work.
  • + 1
 There's something else that's less rubber but more fun. But the kids are still awake
  • + 1
 I run Used the run DHFs front and back, amazing set up..... doesnt slow down to good but by fcuk the grip is awesome!
  • + 1
 in my experience Continental Der Baron is not so good in mud, at least 2.5 version. Its good in wet but again not in mud.
  • + 1
 Just slap a dhf 3c dh casing on the front and dhr2 3c dh casing on your huck wagon and call it a day....
  • + 0
 the baron is awesome in the wet, no issues on roots or rocks or mud. perfect tyre for Scotland. not as good on loose over hard though but can't have everything.
  • + 1
 Was the continental tire review on the der baron or der baron projekt tire?
  • + 1
 Hey @mikekazimer
I was wondering this too. Weight surely looks like the Baron project, as does the slightly wider thread pattern...
  • + 2
 DHR2/DHR2 for winter. DHF/DHR2 or HR2 for summer.
  • + 1
 Der Baron up front DHR II in back both 2.4 on my Trance SX slays all conditions
  • + 3
 DFH/DHR combo for me
  • + 2
 ONE MORE MAXXIS YOUR FORGOT THE IGNITOR !
  • + 5
 THAT'S AN xc TIRE FOR FANS OF OF PRIEST AND MAIDEN and other cheese!
  • + 1
 So Cal dust or sand over hardpack. Ignitor front and Highroller rear. But not for the bikepark.
  • + 2
 Downside to the Shorty......Too tall? WTF??
  • + 4
 I take it you are a skimmer...try reading the article or even the entire sentence and you will see that is NOT the downside of the Shorty.
  • + 1
 What's the best tire combo these days for Colorado front range trails? Thoughts anyone?
  • + 1
 nothing it is all just gravel drift out here
  • + 1
 Ghetto tubeless is great when you don't switch tires too often. But if you do OKO X-treme tube sealant is the way to go.
  • + 1
 SE5 solid intermediate tyre, rolls pretty fast vs others and when it's wet/sludge conti baron ride the wet like it's dry Smile
  • + 1
 Whatever you do, don't get Specialized Ground Control.
  • + 1
 Well now!!!! This thread blew up!!!!
  • + 2
 No Kenda?
  • + 11
 Are they still made of a substance that feels very similar to plastic?
  • + 1
 I would have liked to see WTB added also.
  • + 1
 Im tired of my old ones, I'll look into these!
  • + 1
 Shorty's are a bit pricy, but hot damn, fine tire.
  • + 1
 Supply and demand dictates the price of a lot of products
  • + 2
 Love my shortys
  • + 1
 Marry's came on by new Anthem SX, looking forward to testing them out!
  • + 1
 more reviews like this! thanks Mike!
  • + 2
 Missed WTB Convict......
  • + 2
 Yep
  • + 1
 rugged trails need fat tires like 2.5. why stay in 2.35 tires????
  • + 2
 MBAction SHOOTOUT!
  • + 2
 Missing the dhr2..
  • + 1
 Yep
  • + 1
 2.5 doughtys on my Trail/xc bike
  • + 1
 I love that the Mary shown appears to have the centre knobs cut.
  • + 1
 Anyone still running a Tioga DH?
  • + 2
 Haha, Tioga Factory XC 26x1.95 on my retro hard tail. Tioga was bomb back in the day.
  • + 1
 Cool article. Id like to see something like this for plus sized tires
  • + 1
 Performance Forte Pisgah/Tsali combo.
  • + 1
 vee tire co?
  • + 0
 Schwalbe all day, every day! Won't ride anything else!
  • + 1
 minions come in 2.7 too

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