Review: Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5in 3C DH Tyre

by
April 22, 2017

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless

Is the 2.5in Minion DHF the burliest 29er tyre out there? At 1300 grams, Barney thinks so. But it's also one of the grippiest too

Brand:
Maxxis
Product:
Minion DHF 29x2.5in 3C MaxxGrip DH Tyre
From:
ExtraUK, extrauk.co.uk
Price:
£64.99
Tested:
by Barney Marsh for 6 months

The Minion ‘DHF’ was originally designed as a front tyre for downhilling, but it’s more versatile than that. It’s available in loads of different sizes and flavours, but they all have essentially the same tread pattern. It’s ramped for rolling resistance, but the DHF still supposed to provide loads of grip in straight line and hard cornering scenarios. ‘FLD’ is pretty obvious; this is a folding tyre, and the 29×2.5 bit means that there is a whole lot of tyre here to love.

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless
The Minion DHF is one of Maxxis’ most popular tyre options, being available in 26in, 27.5in and 29in sizes.

3C? That’s a triple compound construction. There’s a harder base layer for longevity, with a couple of progressively softer layers on top for traction. But it doesn’t end there, oh no. There are 3 different 3C layups – speed, terra and grip. This tyre is the ‘grip’ one, which will therefore sacrifice some longevity for lots of – er – grip. It’s a specifically downhill mixture which also offers slower rebound and better characteristics at speed. EXO refers to a material added to the sidewalls to make them more cut and abrasion resistant; good for rocky Yorkshire, then. And TR simply means that the tyre is tubeless ready.

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless
This is the Minion DHF in 29×2.5in size. It features the 3C rubber compound, EXO sidewalls and a heavy duty DH casing.

Let’s shuffle one particular elephant out of the room as fast as our stubby little pins can carry it; this tyre is enormous. And yes, it is also heavy. 1300g of heavy on our scales, to be precise. But this just means that there is a whole lot of tyre to love.

I confess at this point that I’ve only run the Minion as a front tyre, for a number of reasons. I like my front tyres super-grippy, that the extra weight wouldn’t be as much of a problem there, and any putatively softer compound wouldn’t wear as fast. It set up perfectly easily tubeless; beads seated and remaining inflated with the minimum of hassle.

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless
The Minion DHF has traditionally been a front tyre, but there’s nothing stopping you from running it on the rear too.

Riding it for the first time, there does seem to be a fair amount of rolling resistance. It’s difficult to determine whether this is to do with the tread pattern or the weight of the tyre – it’s a good 300g heavier than most things I tend to run, and that weight is on the rotating mass where it has most influence – but it feels only about as tough to pedal as, say, a Super Tacky High Roller. It’s never going to be floaty like a Quaver on the ups, but then, this tyre’s strength is in descending, and it delivers in spades.

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless
At 1300g, the DH version of the 29er Minion DHF is weighty. But it’s also mega tough, and mega grippy too.

There is scads of traction, and the 3C compound, stiff controllable sidewalls and pronounced cornering shoulder means it’s predictable. The weight may also add to a feeling of stability; perhaps I imagined it, but I felt like I had to push into things slightly harder than I would on a lighter tyre, but with the benefit of a much faster exit speed. The tyre handled everything I threw at it beautifully, and with poise. It’s perhaps slightly more of a poor weather than a dry and dusty tyre, but hey, this is the UK we’re talking about.

maxxis minion dhf 29in 29er downhill tyre tubeless
You want dependable grip for your long-travel 29er? Put the Minion DHF on your tyre short list.

Overall

If you can handle the weight, and thus some minor climbing disadvantages, this tyre will hurtle you down the other side in a controlled and startlingly swift fashion.

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