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Once again we have one of the single most popular mountain bike upgrades out there, the tires. Whether it's because you've been getting flats or simply want more traction changing out tires can have a big impact on a ride. Our friend Kirt shares his experience with the Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.8 Tubeless Folding Dual EXO Tire. Check it out!
I bought this tire as a replacement for a rear tire on my 27.5 plus bike. I was using the Maxxis Rekon 2.8 which rolls well, but it had two major flaws in my opinion. First, the braking traction was terrible when coming in hot into a corner or on a lot of the loose over hard trails I ride. Second, the sidewalls are too light or flexible, I would repeatedly ding my rims or pinch flat the tire in rock gardens and when pumping through berms would feel the back tire squirm and fold under me. For reference, I am 6 feet tall and 210 lbs. Not a lightweight by any means. I can be rough on tires and rims. I had to run higher pressure than I wanted so I wouldn’t keep pinching the tire and dinging my rim.
Enter the Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.8 tire, it didn’t roll quite as fast as the Rekon but the difference was minimal. It is much more supportive in the sidewall so I am able to run a little lower pressure for better small bump absorption, rollover, and traction. These three things are the reason I like to run the plus tires instead of 29ers at times. With the Rekon I felt like I lost most of the benefits of the 2.8” tire. The DHF also hooks up much better under hard braking and cornering. When pumping through berms it still isn’t quite as supportive as I would like it. I wish they made an EXO+ in the 2.8” tire. It also still pinches when charging through rock gardens, though not nearly as bad as the Rekon did. For me anything more than light to moderate trail riding, the DHF was a noticeable improvement over the Rekon. I am going to try a tire insert to see if it will give the added sidewall stability I want with the wider tire.
Then winter came, I also ride this bike with the plus tires in the snow on packed trails. I thought the DHF was going to be awesome compared to the Rekon because of the higher raised knobbies. I tried it both in front and on the back, back and forth with the Rekon. The DHF tire did not hold traction in hardpack snow, nor in an inch or two of new powder on the trail. The rear tire would lock up very easily, which is fun if you are trying to do this, but not so much fun if you really do need to slow down quickly. When mounted up front it had a tendency to understeer and wash out easily.
After a few rides in the snow testing both the Rekon and DHF back to back, there was no question the Rekon far outperforms the DHF in these conditions. So, I will leave the Rekon mounted until spring rolls around, then undoubtedly will remount the DHF for any and all nonsnow covered trail riding.
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