Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
For most, the front tire gets the most thought and attention. Just a "basic" rear tire can also give you all kinds of trouble besides grip it's very common to get flats or tears as well. Our friend Christopher shares his experience with the Maxxis Minion DHR II tire. Check it out!
I purchased the Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4” Double Down tire to use as a rear tire on my Nomad 4 in anticipation of the Big Mountain Enduro race in Santa Fe, NM over Memorial Day weekend. I was happy with the performance of the regular 2.3” 3C EXO DHR II as rear tires that came on all of my bikes, and wanted to try the slightly wider Double Down MaxxTerra compound variant for an increase in grip and flat resistance for the race. The trails at Glorieta where the race was held are very steep, rocky, and loose, so I wanted all of the grip and flat resistance I could get. This tire would also be mounted on the first set of wheels I ever built myself, Santa Cruz Carbon Reserve 30mm with Chris King hubs.
After building the wheels, I mounted a regular 3C EXO casing DHF tire to the front wheel and the Double Down DHR II to the rear wheel. Everything went well with the front tire installation; the tire mounted with moderate effort, the bead seated with a floor pump and some soapy water, and the tire spun centrally and true with the wheel-mounted in the fork. This gave me confidence in my wheel building skills, things seemed to be working well. The Maxxis Double Down DHR II was a different story. The tire was extremely difficult to mount to the rear wheel due to the bead being very tight and the extra thick casing sidewall being very stiff. It took me nearly an hour to get the tire on, using various techniques with my hands, arms, tire levers, and even feet standing on the tire. Seating the bead also proved difficult; the bead would seat then pop off shortly after due to its tightness and elasticity. Later, I noticed that I had slightly damaged the rim tape using the tire lever aggressively. Fortunately, the few rips in the tape were not over the valve or spoke holes and the tire still holds air. I plan to re-tape the rim the next time the tire has to come off, but getting it off will be a challenge. I attempted to remove the tire from the wheel in order to re-tape the rim, but it was essentially impossible to get off using every technique I could think of. I got tired and gave up trying to remove the tire, conceding to using the damaged rim tape.
When I mounted the wheel in the frame and spun the wheel, the tire wobbled all over the place. Uh-oh, have I messed up my wheel build? I checked and double-checked the trueness of the rim, and it was very true, within 1mm of radial and lateral runout. I also checked that the bead was seated properly, and it was. I was very confused, what could possibly have been causing the tire to wobble so badly when properly seated on a true wheel? I read up on the topic online, and it seems like occasionally some tires’ casings need to be broken in, or they just have defective casings. I decided to unseat the tire, massage the sidewall, then reseat the tire, repeating about fifteen times, in hopes that it would help the sidewall break-in. This helped somewhat, but the tire still had a significant wobble. I also went for a few rides with low pressure in the tire, hoping this would further break in the casing. Again, this helped somewhat, but the tire still wobbled.
At this point I had a tire stuck on my new wheel and a race coming up pretty soon, so the only option was to ride the tire. Fortunately, Maxxis representatives were at the race, so I ran the issue by them before riding. They were very helpful and recommended that I ride the tire for the race then have it warrantied after it was over. They also assured me that if anything happened to it during the race, they would hook me up with a new tire so I could keep riding. Fortunately, the tire (and I) survived the whole race.
The tire performs well, as I would expect from a Maxxis tire. I do not notice the slight wobble while riding, but knowing it is there does drive me a little crazy due to my OCD. It grips well but I do not notice a significant increase in grip due to the MaxxTerra vs the regular compound. I also do not notice a major increase in rolling resistance or loss in climbing efficiency due to the extra weight. While the Double Down casing may have better flat resistance, I think that if I did flat on the course I would be completely SOL and unable to remove the bead for repairs. While the tire does perform well, I think that this will be my last Double Down casing because I do not think the pros outweigh the cons vs the regular 3C EXO casing for my needs. I also understand that issues like the wobble happen, and I really appreciate the Maxxis guys being willing to help out. Hopefully, when I do get around to the warranty process they will let me have it replaced with a regular 3C EXO casing instead of the DD.