MBR Editor’s Choice 2019: Maxxis Minion DHR II WT EXO+ tyre, £64.99
While the classic Minion DHR 2 paddle and block tread pattern remains reassuringly unchanged, this new version gets a beefed up EXO+ casing to better resist cuts and tears. It sits between the burly Double Down and the lightweight EXO, benefitting from an extra SilkShield layer borrowed from Maxxis’s road bike tyres. It adds around 100g per tyre, but there’s still good pliancy in the sidewall, so it’s comfortable, and the extra protection keeps you rolling in sharp, chunky terrain.
Maxxis Minion DHR II WT tyre review
Maxxis Minion DHR II WT arguably offers the most grip of all Maxxis models suitable for mixed conditions, and works fine year round.
With its blocky tread slabs and pronounced shoulder channel, the Minion is a mountain bike classic and regular winner of our group test. This year, Maxxis has developed a brand new casing option called EXO+ with a toughness and weight half way between thicker Double Down models and thinner, standard EXO versions.
This new casing uses the same construction, excellent rubber blends and tread pattern as the popular EXO Minions you see everywhere, but also adds a wrap-around SilkShield puncture/cut resistant layer borrowed from its tubeless road bike tyres.
EXOs already use a densely woven extra fabric layer in the sidewall for extra piercing and abrasion resistance. This reinforcement is very flexible, however, so the tyres retain good suppleness and conformity to really track small roots and edges for more grip. EXO+is marginally stiffer but essentially keeps this advantage too, whereas tougher Double Downs use twin 120tpi plies and a butyl liner, so are much thicker. That means even more protection for enduro racing or uplifting, but DD tyres are noticeably more muscular and solid, which won’t suit less hard charging riders.
The new model should help prevent the kind of small cuts and nicks we’ve suffered in EXO tyres in rocky areas (often at the tread or tyre crown SilkShield now extends to) and the technology adds less than 100g, dependant on tyre size.
The DHR II already delivered class-leading grip and a super-planted cornering sensation. This new EXO+ model doesn’t feel any less comfortable or secure, making it a really good compromise for a minimal weight penalty. This reinforced model isn’t a full-on Alpine-ready tyre, but will likely become the new go-to UK choice for many, especially if you’re riding takes in anything sharper than pure dirt and loam where you’ll benefit from the extra protection.
Reader reviews of Maxxis Minion DHR II
Reader review by Gary Winslow | Trail & XC
How long have you had them?
Used on front or rear?
Durability. How well have they stood up to use?
Surprisingly well, considering they are predominantly used on trail centre hardpack and they are the softer compound. No discernible wear on side or centre lugs, and the sidewalls are still intact despite some aggressive (AKA clumsy) brushes against rocks and roots. Five months and counting, pretty good so far.
Performance. Traction, cornering, braking, puncture protection, acceleration, rolling speed etc?
TBH, my standard front tyre is the 3C Max Terra Minion DHF, but that was out of stock, so a DHR II was chanced. However, I think I’ve stumbled on a new favourite! Front end traction is fantastic in most UK conditions, even passable in off-piste mud. For hardpack, dry or wet (and my local trails are the infamous ‘Cannock Cobbles’, which when wet are slippier than a penguin coated in jelly) the grip is consistent, biting really well under braking and when leant over in hard cornering. I’m running 28mm inner-width rims so not exactly wide, but the all round grip for a 2.4in tyre is fantastic.
What sort of conditions does this tyre work best in? Dry, mud, rock, loose, firm etc
As said earlier, this tyre works well in most UK conditions. Wet or dry hardpack, loose over hard, dry dusty – it seems to excel in all. Okay, it’s no mud tyre, but it’s passable if you’re an occasional mud-plugger and don’t want to swap tyres all the time. Ideally though, trail centres or summer use… Excellent.
How is the sizing of the tyre – ie accurate, bit narrow, bit big etc?
On a 28mm wide it’s not overly wide, no. It’s slightly narrower than the 2.4 High Roller II I run on the rear. But it doesn’t seem to matter. Grips really well, nice profile.
Have you run the tyre as tubeless? If so, how was tubeless installation?
The tyre is set up on Giant XC-1 rim with Giant sealant, and it was a bit tight, but all Maxxis tyres seem the same in my experience. No better or worse than other tyres I have used (eg. Schwalbe) and it inflated okay.
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