Everyone has their preferred tire of choice, and with so many different tire choices and combinations we decided to look through back through the archives to find some of the tire choices of the world's top riders, everything from the tried and trusted tire combos to the more obscure options from the first years of the EWS.
Goodyear Newton ST // Newton
Goodyear launched their new range of MTB tires back in 2018 and we spotted Charles Murray opting to run a combination of the Newton ST and the all-rounder Newton tires at the final round of the 2020 EWS in Finale. The Newton tire out back has plenty of L shaped knobs to provide grip through corners and a lower profile center tread keeps things rolling fast.
While the Assegai was first developed as a DH tire it has seen plenty of popularity at the EWS, with it being fitted to a number of pro riders bikes in all sorts of combinations. For a quite a few riders a double Assegai has been their preference with plenty of grip, control and all-round performance across a range of stage types.
Schwalbe Magic Mary // Hans Dampf
The Magic Mary and Hans Dampf pairing has been another popular choice among riders as it provides predictable traction in most conditions. The Magic Mary up front provides plenty of grip even when things get wet and the Hans Dampf keeps things rolling fast out back.
Maxxis Assegai // Minion DHR II
Just like in World Cup DH, a very frequent tire choice among pro riders is the Assegai, DHR II combo. While 2 Assegai's can provide plenty of traction, with a weight of 1,300 grams and a super tacky compound its rolling speed is never going to be something to write home about. This could be why some riders opt to match it with a DHR II so they aren't having to haul 2 Assegai's around a day of riding.
Maxxis Minion DHF // Minion DHRII
While not as popular as it used to be, the DHF and DHR II is a classic combo. The DHF is great to have at the front bike, where its dedicated channel between the outside cornering blocks lets the tire bite down into turns, and the DHR II on the rear helps with braking traction where you need it most.
Schwalbe Magic Mary // Big Betty
The Big Betty made a return to Schwable's line up for 2020 and we spotted it already being raced at this year's short EWS season in Zermatt as a rear tire. The new offering features rectangular center knobs that are designed to dig in for braking traction, and side knobs that offer plenty of support in corners. This makes a great pair with the reliable and grippy Magic Mary all-rounder on the front.
The Hutchinson Toro provides consistent levels grip with a tread pattern optimised for lateral grip and braking. With aggressive shoulder knobs, the Toro bites into the loose ground while also offering decent levels of rolling speed for when the trails aren't as soft and loose.
Maxxis DHR II
Unlike at World Cup DH races where the DHR II can be seen front and rear on plenty of bikes it is less frequent at EWS races. This could be because of the better cornering properties of an Assegai or DHF. The DHR II still provides plenty of traction and its blocks designed to enhance braking still make it a good choice on the steeper tracks.
Schwalbe Magic Mary // Dirty Dan
While the Magic Mary provides plenty of traction and grip as a front tire, during the 2019 Trophy of Nations Martin Maes decided to run a Dirty Dan mud tire designed for deep mud and soft terrain as a rear tire.
Michelin Wild Enduro
The Wild Enduro tires from Michelin offer two slightly different tread patterns for the front and rear tires with larger blockier side knobs for the front and a lower profile rear design. The front tire offers plenty of traction through corners and through tricky terrain while the Wild Enduro Rear runs faster than the front tire and also receives additional reinforcement around the bead to help prevent pinch flats.
WTB's Vigilante is another all-round tire that is popular on the EWS circuit that offers predictable performances across a range of surface types. With a prominent tread pattern it can dig into most trail conditions and it is able to clear quickly. The tread isn't quite as aggressive as some of the other options being used by riders.
The High Roller is a classic tire from Maxxis, with it firmly sitting as a great all-round tire with good levels of grip, control, braking, and rolling resistance on most surfaces. The HR II has become far less popular in recent years with more and more riders opting for DH oriented tires like the Assegai.
The Butcher from Specialized is another DH tire that has been adopted by EWS riders and with plenty of blocky knobs it is able to bite into the ground for plenty of traction. The latest version of the Butcher has been revised to improve rolling speed and grip, as well as control under hard braking and cornering.
Used mostly by the Trek Factory Racing team, the all-rounder G5 tire uses a tread profile that's intended to provide maximum grip at different lean angles with center knobs designed to increase braking traction. The more open tread spacing lets any trapped mud clear off the tire for better grip in tougher conditions.
Bontrager G5 // SE5
Another combo used by the Trek team is the DH-oriented G5 paired with the faster rolling SE5 tire. The SE5 bases its tread of the G5 but aims to roll faster, making it a great rear option where you need the least rolling resistance.
Schwalbe Magic Mary // Nobby Nic
The pairing of the Magic Mary and the Nobby Nic is another combination which looks for all-round performance, as the Magic Mary provides consistent levels of grip up front and the Nobby Nic provides a fast roller rear tread to keep things moving at a pace.
Featuring big blocks in its tread the Shorty works best when digging into soft, muddy trails and its outwardly angled tread pattern clear mud making it a great choice when the conditions are very tricky.
With a rounded shape the Goma from Vittoria offered plenty in the corners and because of a minimalist tread pattern it was also fast rolling. The Goma works great as a rear tire but without larger side knobs it could suffer for grip at the front when up against other options.
Maxxis Shorty // DHRII
To keep maximum grip in the wet and muddy conditions but still retain a good level of rolling speed some riders choose to pair a Maxxis Shorty up front with a DHR II for the rear. This pairs the excellent traction of the Shorty in soft conditions with the braking traction and lower rolling resistance of the DHR II.
Maxxis HRII // Ardent
You definitely don't see this combo much if at all in 2020, but back in 2013 for the first-ever EWS both Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat rocked up on their Santa Cruz Bronson rocking the Maxxis High Roller II as a front tire and the all-round trail tire the Ardent out back.
The DH22 tire from Michelin may not have seen quite as much success as a downhill tire, but under Sam Hill it has seen plenty of success in the EWS. For most races in 2019, Sam ran this as a front and rear option for maximum grip and braking traction.
Michelin DH22 // Wild Enduro
Another Michelin combo is the pairing of the DH22 and the Wild Enduro tire. This was a choice Sam Hill made for the Maeaira EWS in 2019.