Enduro Rubbers – 4 Maxxis DoubleDown Tyres Reviewed & Compared

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Maxxis has a growing range of Wide Trail (WT) mountain bike tyres, including several options with the more robust DoubleDown casing. To make sense of the range, we gathered the Aggressor, Minion DHF, Minion DHR II and Shorty in their respective WT DoubleDown outfits, and gave them to our resident rubber-punisher, James Vincent, for a mini-shootout. Over to James!

Rims, fork stanchions, cassettes, axles, post-Christmas waistlines. You name it, it’s getting wider.

As rims have gotten wider though, tyre design needed to follow. Mount a ‘traditional’ 2.3in tyre (what used to be the go-to all mountain/hardcore trail/enduro tyre width) on a rim that has a 30mm internal width or wider, and the knobs are likely to end up in the wrong place. Those previously perfectly placed shoulder knobs can end up near the top of the casing, with the mohican-like profile leading to poor handling and decreased traction as the barren sidewalls are brought into contact with the ground. This is also known as: Not Good Times™.

maxxis tyres doubledefence minion dhf dhr II shorty aggressor
4 different Maxxis tread patterns tested and compared.

What we’ve got here then is a quartet of what Maxxis has dubbed Wide Trail (WT) tyres – tyres designed specifically for new-school rims measuring 30-35mm wide internally. We’ve got an Aggressor 2.5 WT DoubleDown, a Minion DHF 2.5 WT DoubleDown, a DHR II 2.4 WT DoubleDown, and finally a Shorty 2.5 WT DoubleDown.

In short, these four enduro-capable tyres, and the various combinations they can provide, will cover pretty much any trail condition you’re likely to come across.

Just to clarify for those wondering – these are not Plus tyres – that denomination is reserved for 2.8in and up. Nor are they semi-plus (perhaps also known as ‘Plus-Minus’, or ‘British Plus’ as we prefer to call it), which covers the trendy 2.6in tyre width. While Plus tyres are brilliant for everyday trail riding, they’re not quite so aggressive as a narrower tyre. If you’re racing enduro events regularly, or you find yourself regularly hunting out the steep stuff in your local woods, then these 2.4-2.5in width tyres are the ticket.

manitou mattoc maxxis minion dhf doubledefence hunt
All tyres feature the DoubleDown casing and the latest ‘Wide Trail’ profile.

The other common denominator between our four test tyres is that they’re all equipped with Maxxis’ reinforced DoubleDown casing. One step, erm, down from a downhill casing, a DoubleDown casing is on average 15% lighter than a 2-ply DH tyre with the same tread pattern, yet offers significant impact protection over an EXO casing.

A butyl insert at the bead provides this extra protection, right at the point where most sidewalls get damaged, while the tops of the sidewalls are left relatively unprotected to save a bit of weight. That’s not to say these a featherweight XC tyres though – each of these four tyres tips the scales at well over 1100g!

maxxis tyres doubledefence minion dhf dhr II shorty aggressor james vincent lake district
6 months of testing across a huge variety of trails and riding conditions.

All four tyres were mounted to a variety of rims measuring 29-33mm wide internally, including a set of Hunt Enduro Wide wheels, some E*13 TRS hoops, and Spank Oozy 345’s. We also tested them on both hardtails and full suspension bikes, and over the six month test period they were ridden across a wide variety of conditions from the Lake District, to BikePark Wales, Whinlatter, the Ard Rock Enduro, Dyfi Bike Park, the Quantocks, and finally the Mendips.

So with the tough casing, and wide-rim specific profile, how have these tyres performed on the trail? And perhaps more importantly, which is the right one for you?



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Review Info

Product:Aggressor, Minion DHF, Minion DHR II, Shorty (all Wide Trail, DoubleDown casings)
From:Maxxis, maxxis.co.uk
Price:£69.99 each
Tested:by James Vincent for 6 months

Comments (4)

    I would also add that the Shorty looks the absolute boss , very confidence inspiring!

    Is DHF rear and DHR II from still a respected combo? I have a DHF 2.3 I could move out back if so…

    Also, where’s the High Roller?? Seems an obvious one to include in this B2B!

    @howsyourdad1 – 100% agree with you on that one!

    @d4ddydo666 – For sure, and like James, I prefer the DHR II as a front tyre over the DHF. In fact, I just swapped tyres around on a Giant Trance 29er test bike, putting the DHF on the rear and the DHR II on the front. Very good combo with shit-tonnes of grip for a very broad range of conditions. Recommended!

    The High Roller II didn’t make it into this test, as Maxxis UK don’t stock it in the Wide Trail/DoubleDown combo. Maxxis tyres can be a bit like that – there are so many variants, but certain markets only stock certain models.

    [ST Wil]

    DHF 2.5 up front every day on hardpack, the width and massive bag on it make for an outrageously stable, well damped front end. The DHRII doesnt have the same volume or speed to it…wheras the Shorty is just an unfair advantage on anything with a loose surface. EXO F and DD rear

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