In this review, we will be taking a deeper look at the new Maxxis Wide Trail (WT) tires, specifically the DHR II. For years and years, Maxxis has lead the tire industry with their Minion DHF and Highroller treads. More recently, the DHR II has become one of our favorites. With so many casing and compound options available, the new DHR II can be found on bikes riding in all types of different terrain. With the growing trend of wider mountain bike rims, Maxxis has updated some of their popular treads with the new Wide Trail casing. The Wide Trail tires feature a wider casing in order to maintain a nice round tire profile when used on a rim with at least a 30mm internal width. In general, a narrow tire mounted to a wide rim results in a very square tire profile.
The bike used for this review is a Santa Cruz Hightower CC. These Maxxis DHR II WT tires are 29 x 2.4 and are mounted on 32 spoke Industry Nine Enduro 310 carbon rims with Industry Nine’s famous aluminum spoke design. The Enduro 310 rims are 31.0mm wide and the hubs can be configured to fit almost any mountain bike out there. These wheels are the stiffest I have ever ridden, and slingshot you out of fast corners on the trail!
For me, the DHR II WT will stay on my trail bike for most of the year! In the past, I haven’t been a fan of the traditional DHR II on trail bikes because of their narrow knob spacing. This kept the tire from biting in the corners and gave a skatey feel. This new Wide Trail option seemed to fix those issues! The DHR II WT has a seriously good channel that locks the tire into the turns. I chose to ride the DHR II WT on both the front and rear because of how confident I became pushing the front wheel into turns. The transition from using the cornering knobs to the braking knobs felt seamless and vice versa. The square edge center knobs gave plenty of traction during braking. Overall, this tire is super fun to ride!
The only negative I found using these tires is that they are somewhat slow rolling. For those logging tons of miles on smooth hardpack trails, this may not be the tire for you. At 955 grams, it isn’t the lightest option out there. Over the course of a long day climbing, that does make a difference. I prefer to have the grip descending and don’t mind sacrificing climbing efficiency.
For most of this test, the DHR II WT tires were ridden in Vermont on soft and loose trails. With all of the snow finally melted, most of the trails are very soft, wet and unpredictable. That sure makes for some fun riding and this is where the DHR II excels.
I also gave these tires a go at the Sea Otter classic, where the trails are the complete opposite from what you’ll find in Vermont. Sea Otter, like most of Southern California, has a mix of hard pack blue groove and loose dusty conditions.
For those looking for more grip on their everyday trail bike, the Maxxis DHR II WT is a great option. The larger lug spacing between the center knobs and cornering knobs helps the tire dig in when needed. This specific tire configuration isn’t the lightest or fastest rolling setup out there, but works great on loose aggressive trails.
Max Morgan is 24 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 7 years, competing in the U.S. Pro GRT series and UCI World Cup series. Find him on Instagram @mxmorgan77.
Photo by Josh Sawyer Photography