Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II (Which Tire Is Best?) [Video]


Maxxis Minion DHF vs Maxxis Minion DHR II, which tire is best? This is going to be a bit like asking Coke vs Pepsi or Ford vs Chevy: there might not be a factual winner. With this Maxxis tire comparison we are going to look at the facts first, then opinions. There is a slight difference in both sizing and weight. Nothing too drastic but it's worth noting when going over the facts. Our opinions vary and also come mostly from SoCal riding, which is much different from other mountain bike destinations.

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog

Maxxis DHF tire

The Differences

While there are a few size differences, the main difference between the two tires comes down to the center tread. The Maxxis DHF has a bit of a taller and skinnier siped knob, with an alternating solid knob. It's also good to note that the center siping on the DHF runs in the direction of the circumference of the tire. The DHR II has more of a slightly shorter center knob that is also a bit wider than the DHF, reaching closer to the side knobs with less gap. The siping is also alternated, but on the DHR II, the siping runs side to side. The side to side siping should help get more grip under braking on rocks and roots, where the DHF siping running long ways should help get some grip on those same rocks and roots when cornering. I mentioned it above, but take a look at the tread again and you’ll notice the DHF is more open between the center knobs than the DHR II. This could also make a difference in feel from one person to another.

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog

Maxxis DHRII tire

The Similarities

There are also some major similarities between the two tires.  All tires in the Minion range (Minion DHF, Minion DHR II, Minion SS) share the same side knobs. This is a very iconic pattern that works very, very well. It has an alternating pattern of one L shaped knob followed by a square knob with a sipe that runs long ways. The combination of these two provides great cornering grip while also keeping you up and not giving way, causing you to slide out. Another thing to note about both the DHF and DHR II is the center tread and the side knobs are offset or don’t align with each other. This is a huge performance part of the tire because as the center tread starts to slide, the side knobs grab and hook up.

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog
CEO/Founder Jeff Cayley's custom built Yeti SB4.5, outiftted with a Maxxis Minion DHRII on the front.


Now that those boring facts are over, let's get into the opinions. In our video, we interviewed some of our staff with varying results. Most of the guys said DHF while a few said DHR II, but their reasons for choosing either was very much the same. That being said, it always comes down to rider preference because there really isn’t one person that is right.

Many of the guys said DHF because it rolls faster and provides more cornering grip. Jeff, Zack and I said the same thing about the DHR II. If we had a treadmill with a computer to test grip on a loose surface and could tell you exactly when the tire broke loose, we could probably pronounce a winner. But we don't, and there isn't a winner.

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog

On The Trail

For our local riding, I personally choose the DHR II over the DHF. My reasoning is that you get more grip when transitioning into a corner because there is less gap between the center tread and the side knobs. Living in SoCal, most of our dirt is more like concrete with some loose dust and pebbles on top. I feel that the DHF wants to bite into the dirt, but there isn’t any dirt to bite into. Instead, the DHR II does a great job floating over the top and providing a predictable drift. I have ridden the DHF front and rear and think that it’s a great tire. I like to put DHFs on when going north where there is actually some dirt for the tire to dig into.  

Jeff’s reasoning between the two is similar to mine but also factoring in weight. Jeff likes a fast tire with predictable traits. While he and I both think the DHR II is faster, we really can't test that. However, the model DHR we normally choose is about 80g lighter than its DHF counterpart. If weight does matter to you that much, the DHR II is lighter in every comparable version. It may be only a few grams but the rotating weight adds up!

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog

So there is anywhere from 50g -100g difference between the corresponding models of the DHF and DHR II. I don’t really think of myself as a weight weenie, but I will consider tire and wheel weight in my choice at least a little bit. When accelerating, I do think it is possible to notice a 100g difference in a tire. If you don't believe me, try riding a DD or DH casing tire and then go to an EXO casing. Your climbing will feel much more effortless.

Final Thoughts

Now if you ride where you have real dirt, it’s wet, and you are looking for traction all the time, the DHF could be a better choice for you. The taller, skinnier knobs in the center combined with the DHF siping, could provide more grip in different scenarios. I'm not totally sure that this rings true for me, however, as I'm mostly riding loose over hard dirt and drifting is the only thing happening.

Look closely at some of the World Cup DH pro bike checks. There are a few more DHR IIs up front than you might expect.  But, if you also look at Enduro pro bike checks, you will see many bikes with DHF front and rear. I am nowhere near a pro rider, nor am I riding in their conditions, but it makes you wonder, is one better or is it all about personal preference? This could come down to rolling speed, overall grip one rider gets, and braking traction. Really each tire is going to be a great tire for most people in most conditions. The best way to know is to try both!

Maxxis Minion DHF vs Minion DHR II Blog

Facts on both tires:

Available sizes for DHF:

  • 27.5” - 2.3, 2.5, 2.6
  • 29” - 2.3, 2.5, 2.6

Available sizes for DHR II:

  • 27.5” - 2.3, 2.4, 2.6
  • 29” - 2.3, 2.4, 2.6

The main difference between the two so far is just the middle size, a 2.5 for the DHF vs a 2.4 for the DHR.  

Weight is another difference, which I wouldn't say is huge but the DHR is lighter on average than the DHF.  



  • 27.5” - 2.3 EXO/3C = 870g
  • 27.5” - 2.5WT EXO/3C = 945g
  • 27.5” - 2.5WT DD/3C = 1170g
  • 27.5” - 2.6WT EXO/3C = 925g
  • 29” - 2.3 EXO/3C = 925g
  • 29” - 2.5WT EXO/3C = 1005g
  • 29” - 2.5WT DH/3C = 1295g


  • 27.5” - 2.3 EXO/3C = 805g
  • 27.5” - 2.3 DD/3C = 1005g
  • 27.5” - 2.4WT EXO/3C = 900g
  • 27.5” - 2.4WT DH/3C 1190g
  • 27.5” - 2.6WT = 910g
  • 29” 2.3 EXO/3C = 825g
  • 29” 2.3 DD/3C = 1040g
  • 29” 2.4WT EXO/3C = 955g
  • 29” 2.4WT DH/3C = 1265g
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Liam Rider Bio

If you're one strange human and would like to read a transcript of the video above, continue reading below!

What's up guys? I'm Jeff the founder of Worldwide Cyclery and today we are going to compare two of the great Maxxis tires: the minion DHF versus the minion DHRII -

So right off the bat there's not really much of a contest here. DHF is significantly better. The knobs are a little bit closer to the side lugs, it just works way better in the dry, the way that this center lug works, basically how it kind of just rolls over it just hooks the ground better, it's like no contest. Put this on your bike. Versus the DHR - significantly more traction so right off the bat no contest DHR - it's a way better tire it's typically lighter than a DHF, it's got more spacing in here, it clears mud better, it has a better transition between the side lugs and the corner lugs when you're leaning it into the corner, and man those right there the rolling resistance the weight [ __ ]

Comparing these two tires it makes me feel like I just got shot in the jugular with a tranquilizer. So I don't actually have a strong preference over either one of these as you can tell that was kind of a joke I do actually have a slight preference to the DHR - mostly because it's typically a little bit lighter and for whatever reason I subjectively feel like it has better traction and that it does actually clear mud better. I used to ride dhf forever and then when the DHRII came out and Greg Minaar won the South Africa World Cup running it as a front tire and a rear tire I started trying it out because I thought that was awesome and I kind of fell in love with it and also I'm a slight bit of a weight weenie. This is my bike right here, the DHRII has kind of been my front tire of choice for a while now. man it's so hard to compare these. so both of these tires have the exact same corner lugs, they're just slightly different as far as the center lugs. There's the thing about tires is a lot of it is kind of impossible to test right, like a fresh tire versus a tire that even has five rides on it is gonna feel different. Your terrain, how wet the soil, the pressure that you have in your tire, the way that you know specifically weighted your body position in that corner, it's really hard to compare tire versus tire and when they're nearly identical especially. The most important part of the tire which is the corner lugs it's even harder to tell which one of these things is better they're super similar they're both amazing I mean either one of them is full of traction, and again you look at the knobs and you kind of make assumptions about it and that's a lot of the way people judge tires and then the way that you judge it and perceive it then definitely plays a role when you go out and ride the thing and you kind of like overanalyze and overthink how the thing is actually performing. So my opinion I kind of way towards a DHR - mostly because the weight and it just feels like in my head and when I ride it that it has more traction and rolls faster that's definitely an opinion right so we're gonna dive around and interview some of the different guys at the shop and see which one they like almost everyone runs one of these as their front tire we all kind of switched it up a little bit play around with different tires especially WTB they're making some cool stuff these days, e*thirteen, Schwalbe, but everyone kind of eventually rolls back to Maxis and it comes stock on so many bikes that they're just a super popular tire brand and these are there to you know at least in our eyes the most popular front tires for a trail/enduro and even downhill bike so let's go see what everyone has to say.

Raymond Maxxis minion DHR - or minion dhf why as well as faster it's cooler I like it more I mean no yes thr who's filming you're filming th are better for breaking dhf faster faster faster tyre better how can you prove it's faster because I'm faster they just feel faster or you have any scientific research stating that it is a roll faster yeah hey come over here good how are you Jared Erik Jared Erikson yes sir Max's minion DHR - or minion dhf your preference dhf why DHR - I think any minions I wanted to get for whatever reason it's not my favorite tire I like DHR - it feels like it's got better knobs and for my type riding in the trails I Drive simple is that right just ridden them both and one's better than the other I've written various sizes and styles of both and compounds personally like a DHS better I like it pacer Cheers

[Music] over here over here yeah tell me later Jarett Brady Maxis minion dhf or DHR to go via Chuck why I like the knobs on it oh cool Jarett same same same thing I don't like good talk

Jordan is that box heavy over Max's minion dhf or DHR to DHR - why because our sins are racing and racing needs to go fast [Music] easton max's minion DHR - or dhf one or the other yeah which one you like best I think I'm gonna have to go with the DHR - because when I ran a dhf 2.5 on the front it was too wide and kind of gave me a weird slipping on like not so aggressive course you just like the 2.4 DHR - then more of a size thing huh and a little bit of slipping thing yeah size matters yes the size and slippage you do matter very much so I agree thank you [Music] Zach Max's minion DHR - or dhf EHR why cuz sir what's better about it in the DJ it rolls fascinated dhf and working really great in the front over loose over hard stuff yeah it's just a faster tire good talk thank you I got chance Maxis minion thr - or d hf d hf y bigger knobs everybody loves fingernails the knobs are exactly the same on the corners they look bigger they look bigger

how are you busy guy she's Maxis minion DHR - or dhf can't tell you the difference be honest that's the best rep I've got all day thank you

Patrick Maxis minion DHR - or dia Maximus hookworm that's a slick tire yep good talk [Music]

Farva DHR - or dhf are we talking front or rear both Roger to clarify that the rest of this time pretty much I just run a dhf on the front and DHR - on the rear and I love that setup so that's work that's what I'm currently running with I also like the aggressor on the rear so maybe switching up to an aggressor and thr on the rear th I'm on the run that's my jam on my transition and smuggle it's for sale his bikes for sale somebody buys bike Dominik any thoughts on the DHR versus DHA goodbye Cyrus yeah

there you have it ladies and gentlemen the feedback from real live people real people here we go so as you can see tires are widely personal preference and people's opinion on tires at least in my brain widely has to do with their particular overanalyzing and assumptions on the tire and what the tread pattern looks like and then how they think it feels on that particular day when they ride it it's just kind of a hard topic and these things being so identical you shouldn't overthink it you should just buy one because they're both really tan good tires and they have a ton of traction let us know what you guys think do you prefer one over the other or do you prefer an entirely different brand than Maxis or a different front tire from Maxis share and subscribe and we'll see you guys in the next one

July 28, 2019

Maxxis › Minion DHF › Minion DHR II › Tire › Video ›

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