Maxxis Minion DHR II review: the one tyre for EVERYTHING

by 53

Despite its name, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is not just for downhill and it’s not just for rear wheel use. It rules everywhere. Prepare yourself for something of a shameless love letter to a bit of rubber…

  • Brand: Maxxis
  • Product: Minion DHR II WT 2.4in tyre
  • From: freewheel.co.uk
  • Price: £69.99
  • Tested by: Benji for 5 years
Rubber love

Three things I liked

  • Traction
  • Cornering
  • I can finally get on with my life

Three things I’d change

  • Could be cheaper
  • Er
  • Nope. That’s it.
The tread

My name is Benji. And I am addicted to rubber. I used to change tyres all the time. I used to change my bike’s front tyre more frequently than I trim my fingernails. I used to enjoy it. Changing tyres that is. Not trimming my fingernails. But then something happened.

I can’t really pinpoint what it was. Possibly it was pandemic related. During the infamous year of 2020 I rode my bike a lot. An awful lot. Much more so than normal. I’m sure most of you did the same, where possible. During that time I didn’t really mess with my bike very much. I just rode the bejesus out of it. According to The Evil Orange (Strava) I did pretty much twice the mileage of a typical year.

I guess that’s what happens when you can ride a lot. You don’t have to scratch the itch by doing some bike fettling. You just spend every possible spare moment out there on the trails.

There was also another side-effect of the pandemic bike boom. Lots of folk I know got (back) into mountain biking. And what do beginners do after they’ve been mountain biking for a few weekends? They start to wonder if their tyres could be better (which, almost always, they most certainly could be better than the sketchy XC OEM rubbers oft found on bikes). So they ask their more experienced riding peers for tyre advice. Peers like me.

Eventually I realised that the answer they wanted to hear wasn’t a ten minute long diatribe about the importance of specific tyres and how their current tyres were basically a joke.

Apparently they just wanted me to name one tyre to run. All year. Front and rear.

Well, here it is…

Use it on the front too

I’m not even joking. Nor being facetious. Just want a freaking tyre that works well everywhere all the time? Get a Maxxis Minion DHR II in 2.4in WT flavour. Heck, get two.

There are a few different versions of the DHR II in terms of compound and carcass. If you know your tyre nerdery, you already know which to get. MaxxTerra DoubleDown for rear, paired with a MaxxGrip EXO+ up front maybe?

If you don’t want to get all nerd about it. Or you just want a surefire will-be-okay-everything DHR II then get then MaxxTerra EXO+.

You will be fine.

How does the Minion DHR II perform on the trail?

It’s easiest to just tell you where it doesn’t work: it clogs a bit in the sort of mud that clogs up anything. It’s also not as fast-rolling tyre as a tyre that will kill when you ask it to handle anything interesting.

If you’re predominantly interested in a tyre with loads of braking grip, climbing grip and crazy capable cornering (and why wouldn’t you be interested in that?) then you’ll love what this tyre does.

It’s even one of the more friendlier tyres for mounting up tubeless. And holding air decently in between rides.

Maxxis Minion DHR II overall

As most of you will know, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is not a new tyre. So why I am reviewing it now? Because great things get forgotten and they need to be shouted from the digital rooftops again.

I won’t pretend that I run a pair of Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres front and rear for 365 days of the year. I’m a bike journo and tester. I run all sorts of things and I do still do quite like slapping on a set of really specific mud tyres for when I feel like it, or really need it.

But I am genuinely heartfelt when I recommend the Minion DHR II as the simple choice that actually works incredibly well on everything.

They are so good that here at Singletrack World we’re going to start putting them on all our test bikes. To level the playing field. To act as control tyres. Once a useful numbers of test rides have been done on the test bikes’ own tyres, we’ll be swapping them out to some Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4in WT tyres.

Mountain bike tyres really are that important.

Cheers to the good folk at freewheel.co.uk and Maxxis

Review Info

Brand: Maxxis
Product: Minion DHR II
From: freewheel.co.uk
Price: £69.99
Tested: by Benji for 5 years
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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II review: the one tyre for EVERYTHING
  • Premier Icon malv173
    Full Member

    Well, that’s inspired me! Just ordered a 3C Maxx Terra EXO from CRC (🙈) for forty quid.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Rolling resistance? By which I mean surely there are faster rolling tyres that ‘won’t (hyperbole alert) kill you when you ask it to handle anything interesting.’?

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    ^ Could the article have been intended to provoke disagreement and discussion?  Probably should have been released on a working from home day when it may have garnered more attention

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Well, if you’re going to ‘review’ something at least do it in a balanced way unless you want to cast doubt on the objectivity of other reviews on the site would be my take.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Full Member

    Do they wash out when entering mud patches or slice through?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Do they wash out when entering mud patches or slice through?

    It ‘rules everywhere’ 😉

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    Despite the comments above I think this article served a purpose.

    Not the best but good enough and versatile.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Oh, I hadn’t spotted that it was a review

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Not the best but good enough and versatile

    The review or the tyre? 😀

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Despite the comments above I think this article served a purpose.

    What purpose?

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    I agree with Benji (about which tyre is the best fit and forget option to suggest for new riders who just want to, er, fit and forget).

    Comparing bikes using the same tyres should definitely be a thing as well.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    They are fantastic tbh. Especially with the range of compounds and carcasses, the exo maxxgrip is a fantastic front tyre if you don’t want a heavy duty construction but still want super sticky and the dual makes a great rear. Yeah you can be faster or spikier but it’s imo one of the best tyres ever made.

    (and I love the irony that the old DHR sucked, so DHF front/rear became an industry standard. But now dhr2 front/rear is hugely popular)

    Premier Icon Sharkattack
    Full Member

    I need to be strongly persuaded that any single tyre is worth 70 quid and this doesn’t quite do it.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Quite happy with my DHR II and DHF – give surprisingly good predictable grip. yeh they are a bit draggy, but I’m not a descending god, and the grip gives me confidence I won’t die. Paid about £40 each – although bargains not so common now.

    Premier Icon Nigel Leech
    Full Member

    @kelvin

    Comparing bikes using the same tyres should definitely be a thing as well.

    Agreed, also good to see that the originals will still be tested. Annoys me when other reviewers switch to a control without mentioning the stock tyres much. I still need to know if they are plastic OEM jobs so that I can factor another £100 into the total purchase price of a bike! 🤣

    Premier Icon Gribs
    Full Member

    I’ve got a 2.4 dual ply one I use on my hardtail for when I’m riding in rough places. It’s tough and grippy but it’s so nice to replace it with the small block 8 I usually run as the drag is horrendous. 26″ btw so it might be better in larger sizes.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Good caveat Johnny, I agree.

    As an aside, all bikes should come with a choice of tyres when you buy one. Because tyres really are that important.

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Northwind

    They are fantastic tbh. Especially with the range of compounds and carcasses, the exo maxxgrip is a fantastic front tyre if you don’t want a heavy duty construction but still want super sticky and the dual makes a great rea

    Yep, they can be had in a load of different compounds and casings, they have finally bade 3x DoubleDowns available. Just a brilliant all rounder, front and back.

    Sharkattack

    I need to be strongly persuaded that any single tyre is worth 70 quid and this doesn’t quite do it.

    Nobody should be paying £70 for these, I normally pay 50-55 euro.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    I’ve answered some of questions here. But this in one of the weirdest

    The purpose here is:

    We now know that bikes will have to ridden in standard boots as part of being reviewed

    A suggestion for an all round tyre

    Clues as to which compound and casing. This is a huge mystery if you’re new to it

    Of course if your reading it thinking actually I’d rather have a magic Mary up front with a nobby Nick out back and know which casing and compound then it’s pointless for you and you probably disagree. But that doesn’t actually make it pointless for everyone does it

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Agree they are great tyres. 2.4 Max Terra up front and a 2.3 Dual Compound rear. Can’t really go wrong

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    As an aside, all bikes should come with a choice of tyres when you buy one. Because tyres really are that important

    If you buy a bike new, any lbs will fit any rubber you fancy I expect

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Only if you pay them Weeksy, nothing worse than buying a new bike which are fitted with the californian summer tyres, then hunting a deal on DHR2s or the likes!

    I do use DHR2 front and rear most of the time, just change the way you use them in certain conditions, as they don’t suddenly turn into shorty’s in mud, or like Ardents in dry XC runs, but they are a good start point for an all year round tyre if you hate changing tyres/wheels and can live with a bit of a middle of the road tyre.

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    I think I just swapped in a High Roller II for a minion. 😱

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Gribs

    I’ve got a 2.4 dual ply one I use on my hardtail for when I’m riding in rough places. It’s tough and grippy but it’s so nice to replace it with the small block 8 I usually run as the drag is horrendous. 26″ btw so it might be better in larger sizes.

    You’re comparing a full on sticky DH tyre to what is almost a slick road tyre there, no surprise there’s a bit of a difference

    Premier Icon gs65
    Free Member

    I love it as well. I run it up front for summer, and rear for winter. A set of three year round is great. DHR II MaxxTerra exo+ (used to run Exo with insert rear, but I think Exo+ is good enough for my weight). For Winter I run DHF MaxxGrip front, but Assegai is probably replacing it next winter. Summer an Aggressor or Dissector rear.

    Premier Icon ShawConvert
    Full Member

    Tyres confuse the bejesus out of me these days. I don’t know if I no longer care enough to try to understand, or the naming conventions got more complex or I’m plain too busy with other stuff to fill my brain with this crap.

    Whatever……I’ve got one of these….I think. I even specced it myself on a new Bird. I say specced it – at the time of ordering it was slim pickings so it kind of specced itself. It’s a….deep breath…DHR II 2.4WT EXO TR 3C and it’s on the back. There is a DHF with an equally long set of acronyms on the front. I even ventured on to the Maxxis website and came away none the wiser if this was a top choice for ‘my kind of riding’. Then again, who knows what that is. My logic so far is……it’s got ‘DH’ in the name – that sounds bad as I’m no downhill rider gnar badass. Danny Hart and I have exactly zero in common. It’s got a ‘R’ in the name and it’s on the back – this must be good. ‘2.4’ – that sounds about right. ‘WT EXO TR 3C’ – not a fucking scooby. And looking at the website made chuff all difference to my enlightenment.

    How does it ride – quite well I’d say. It’s round and knobbly. This is good. It grips and corners really well. Great. Draggy though – I feel slower between the interesting bits than I’d like. And back in the real world the bit between the interesting bits is longer than you’d think. Existential crisis moment – am I slower and having less fun on the interesting bits with this tyre than I would have on a less grippy but faster rolling tyre because I’m more knackered than necessary getting there on the bits in between?

    Premier Icon Tom Nash
    Full Member

    100% agree.

    Premier Icon rustychain
    Free Member

    Double DHR II has worked for me for the past several years.

    Premier Icon zerocool
    Free Member

    This is the only tyre I’ve found that comes close to the trusty DHF, but I’ve been mainly riding them for almost 20 years so a little bias. The DHR 2 is pretty bonnet fir mist things

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    convert
    Full Member

    My logic so far is……it’s got ‘DH’ in the name – that sounds bad as I’m no downhill rider gnar badass. Danny Hart and I have exactly zero in common. It’s got a ‘R’ in the name and it’s on the back – this must be good. ‘2.4’ – that sounds about right. ‘WT EXO TR 3C’ – not a **** scooby. And looking at the website made chuff all difference to my enlightenment

    You can happily ignore the “dh” in the name, it’s meaningless. And the R for that matter!

    WT = wide trail, designed for wider rims.
    EXO = the carcass, exo is the weakest and lightest of the maxxis trailbike range (then it’s exo+, then doubledown, then downhill)
    TR = tubeless ready
    3C = triple compound.
    There’s probably another patch on there to tell you which 3C it is, they go maxxgrip, then maxxterra. (and then dual compound). Chances are it’s maxxterra.

    So basically it’s good for wide rims, not massively tough but fairly light, and either very or reasonably sticky.

    Premier Icon oceandweller
    Full Member

    after trying all sorts of tyres i’ve come to the conclusion it makes diddly difference. yep, cheap tyres are rubbish, but the clue’s in the word “cheap”. otherwise, conti, maxxis, schwalbe, whatever, as long as they’re top end they all work. truth is, *any* quality tyre is better at handling the trail than i am…

    Premier Icon halifaxpete
    Full Member

    Been my tyre of choice for years. Though have split the sidewalls on afew annoyingly, especially when the tread has loads of life left on it! Though as said above, I’m not a pro rider so struggle to tell the difference between all the decent tyres TBH.

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Tyres are just something you choose over time, you get a bit of confidence, you lose a bit of confidence, trying different tyres can help that. I do flit between Magic Mary’s and DHRs a bit, but the MMs are Super Gravity heavy tyres, and i find over the last year or so i’m less prone to changing tyres than just riding what are on the bike and riding safer with those fitted!

    Premier Icon ShawConvert
    Full Member

    Chances are it’s maxxterra.

    Thanks for that…it was.

    Premier Icon reeksy
    Full Member

    Genuine question:
    Do the side knobs stay put?
    I’ve had issues with Aggressors and Dissectors failing here and the DH Dissector I’m running isn’t long for this world. Should I try a Minion at the back?

    Premier Icon bikesandboots
    Full Member

    This isn’t a review. It’s a love letter.

    Would be useful to hear some comparisons with other tyres that buyers may be considering; that’s where it gets tricky, and reviews of any individual product in isolation only partially help.

    I agree that two DHR2s are a failsafe year-round choice for pretty much anyone in a British-like climate.

    Premier Icon lovewookie
    Full Member

    It’s got a ‘R’ in the name and it’s on the back

    DHR and DHF actually didn’t have a lot to do with front or rear, it was DH Race and DH Freeride (remember that?)

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    DHR and DHF actually didn’t have a lot to do with front or rear, it was DH Race and DH Freeride

    Better tell Maxxis that.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Free Member

    It’s pretty good yeah, but I’d prefer higher corner knobs personally.

    It doesn’t hold a slippy off-camber as well as a Wild Enduro rear – which rolls about the same.

    Premier Icon billoddie
    Full Member

    Anyone seen a 29×2.4 DD Maxterra in a UK based shop recently?

    Looks like they don’t bring them in anymore…

    29X2.3029FOLDABLEEXO/TR1.885MOUNTAIN
    29X2.3029FOLDABLE3C/EXO/TR1.819MOUNTAIN
    29X2.3029FOLDABLE3C/TR/DD2.293MOUNTAIN
    29X2.40WT29FOLDABLEEXO/TR2.105MOUNTAIN
    29X2.40WT29FOLDABLE3C/EXO/TR2.105MOUNTAIN

    Minion DHR II

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