Gear Shots: Maxxis Minion DHR 2
Off the bat I’m going say that I think the naming of this tire is a little strange. I think it’s pretty well agreed that the Minion DHR wasn’t Maxxis’ best work. Rarely do folks take a product that is marginal and think, “I know what we should do, we should make a sequel!”. Surprisingly Maxxis has done exactly that and come out with the DHR 2. Although the naming is a bit odd, the concept of the tire makes perfect sense to me. Copy the side knobs off the popular Minion DHF and tweak the center knobs to improve braking performance.
The downhill variant is available in 2.4” width and 26 inch diameter only. Three compounds options: 60a single, Super Tacky (roughly 42a), and 3C Maxx Grip. I tested the 3C Maxx Grip version, which weighs in at a claimed 1,265 grams. “Mountain” versions are also available in a multitude of compounds, widths and diameters, more info here. Using a durometer I tested the 3C Maxx Grip tire hardness and determined the center knobs are roughly 45a and the side knobs 33a. Gooey! The 2.4” sizing is similar to a 2.5” DHF / High Roller and 2.35” Schwalbe Muddy Mary.
Off the top I’ll be perfectly honest, I was never a huge fan of the Minion DHF. I’ve personally always preferred the additional braking and cornering bite of the original High Roller. The first thing I noticed is that the more aggressive center knobs do as advertised and offered up good levels of braking traction. Maybe not quite as aggressive as the High Roller or High Roller 2, but definitely more than the DHF. The slightly chunkier side knobs (in comparison to the DHF) paired well with my riding style and inspired confidence when leaned over. I’ve noticed the DHF works better with more than normal lean angle when cornering and the DHR2 was no different. The ultra soft knobs gave excellent traction over wet slippery things like roots and rocks and tracked high lines like a boss. I was happy with how versatile the DHRII was, it offered up excellent traction on wet greasy days on the Shore, and felt very consistent when pushed hard in the bike park. The DHRII isn’t going to win any fast rolling competitions, but considering how aggressive it is, I thought it rolled relatively well.
Construction-wise the tire inflated with no issues, the tread runs true, and the overall quality of the tire is per the usually high Maxxis standards. Thumbs up so far.
The only real area of weakness I experienced was in thicker, almost peanut butter mud, where the High Roller and Muddy Mary seemed to provide substantially more bite and traction. That and with the knobs being so soft on the 3C version, I wouldn’t expect them to last long. Pricing is in line with all other Maxxis offerings and can be found at the local bike store for around $100.
I have to say that overall I’m impressed with the DHR2. So far I like it far more than the DHF, and would seriously consider running the DHR2 front and rear as a general purpose, all condition tire. The DHR2 was predictable to ride and offered good traction in a wide variety of conditions. The only downsides are performance in mud and don’t expect a long life out of those gooey side knobs. If you’re a fan of the Minion DHF or like to run the same tire year round, I’d recommend you check out the new DHRII.
The DHR 2 looks like it might see use at both ends of the bike, just like the venerable DHF…