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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Product:||Minion DHF 29x2.5in 3C MaxxGrip DH Tyre|
|Tested:||by Barney Marsh for 6 months|