The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running [Video]


There is always talk, fuss, and opinions about what tires you or friends are riding, so we are going to dive into the top performing enduro and trail tires for your bike. This will be a two part series, first will be front tires, and second will be rear tires. When talking about tires in general, there are lots of opinions on how you should choose a tire from how you ride, to the terrain, and to the type of dirt that is local to you. Some tires perform better in loose soil or offer better braking if your trails are super steep. At the end of this, you will either know exactly what tire you like or be more confused about everything. I will say, I often find myself over analyzing tire choice, and for good reason. Tires will make a bike ride differently and could adapt to certain trails or terrain much better. Whether I'm going on a trip, or the seasons are changing, I think tires are my favorite part on a bike, and trying them all to find your personal favorite isn’t a bad thing.

Maxxis Minion DHF:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Starting with the Maxxis Minion DHF is not a mistake, as it is commonly the most spec’d front tire on all heavy duty trail bikes, enduro bikes, and DH bikes. With its many widths, casings, and rubber options, there really is a DHF to fit just about any bike in those categories. This tire really just works great in almost all conditions.  If you get along with this tire, you could run it just about year round. It works in mud, not amazing, but it works. When it comes to loose soil or hard pack, the DHF has a great tread pattern with an alternating center and cornering knobs. The Minion DHF is now offered in lots of different casings: EXO (trail), EXO+ (heavy trail, light enduro), DD (enduro), and folding DH (enduro/DH). Between these four options, there is something for everyone.  Recently our riders have been loving the EXO+ up front with something a bit more protective in the back. But let’s stick to front tires here. Available in a 2.3, 2.5WT, and 2.6WT options!

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Maxxis Minion DHR II:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

While we wouldn’t consider any of our reviews or blogs biased, this is one of my all time favorite tires, so I won’t try to over sell it. The Maxxis Minion DHR II was designed to be typically run as a rear we think, and the Maxxis website suggests to pair it with a DHF up front, so it sounds like this is a “rear” tire. But that is all subjective, and we have found the DHR II to perform amazingly in the front. It has a very similar tread design to the DHF, but with a widened center tread.  I feel you really get a great transition from center to side knobs. It could also be suggested, not proven, that the DHR II has a bit less rolling resistance than the DHF. One of the best DH racers, Greg Minnaar, raced the DHR II front and rear to a World Championship win, so I guess it can perform up front pretty well… While it is offered in all the same casings, EXO (trail), EXO+ (heavy trail, light enduro), DD (enduro), and folding DH (enduro/DH), not all are available in every size. DD casing only comes in a 2.3 width version, for example. The 2.3, 2.4 and 2.6 width options are available in the rest of the casings and have the option of different rubber compounds as well.  Rubber compounds alone are an entire video/blog, so I won’t go into that. We do have a funny video on DHF vs DHR II where we ask the shop guys what they prefer, and the results are a variety. Some couldn’t even keep their answers straight. To sum up, they are both amazing tires.

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Maxxis Assegai:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

I mentioned Greg Minnaar above with the DHRII, but he’s really worth mentioning here. The Maxxis Assegai is the culmination of Minnarr’s desires in a tire. It’s something that will perform in just about all conditions no matter the dirt or weather. With tall knobs poking out like spikes, the Assegai lives up to its name.  It’s named after the iron-tipped spear used by the Zulu people of South Africa. While this tire was only available in a folding DH casing to start, it is now offered in Maxxis DD casing, and will soon be available in both EXO and EXO+, so there are sure to be options for everyone. There is only one width at this time (2.5), and I think it will stay like that as it’s a tire made for racing. This is a tire I am extremely excited about because I love the tread pattern. I rode it a bit in the DH casing, but as I’m not a DH rider and I do a fair amount of climbing, a DH casing is overkill for me. I took it off to save some weight and rolling speed on my bike. Even though I decided not to keep it on my bike, the traction I had on the bike while going downhill was second to none. This tire really bites the dirt all the time. From corners to braking and anything between, the Assegai can help keep you glued to the trail. I have a feeling this tire will really catch on once it’s fully available in all options and be some riders “go to” tire for all conditions.

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Maxxis Dissector:


The Maxxis Dissector is also a newer tire to the Maxxis lineup, designed in collaboration with Troy Brosnan. The Dissector is the aussie’s solution for a fast rolling tire that still has enough grip for the demands of aggressive downhill riding. I like to think of the Dissector as a mini DHRII, its extremely versatile and great at pretty much everything the Minion DHRII does but in a faster rolling package. The Dissector is available in all the options, EXO, EXO+, DD, and DH casings while most of those are in 2.4” width, there is also a 2.6” option in EXO and EXO+. We reviewed the Maxxis Dissector awhile back and have been impressed with it ever since. In the lighter casing options, it makes for a great fast rolling front, you can find a lot of us at Worldwide Cyclery riding this tire on our xc bikes or light trail bikes with either a Dissector out back or something a bit faster. We also like to ride it on the rear of our enduro or dh bikes for a fast rolling option. While it might not last as long as some, the speed and grip you can get from this tire is hard to beat!


WTB Vigilante:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Next up is one of our favorite brands: Wilderness Trail Bikes, or WTB.  These are some of our employees go-to tires. They are not new to making tires by any means, and in fact have some of the earliest mountain bike tires ever. Most recently their Vigilante tire is proving to be an amazing choice for many riders. Our shop rider and product tester Troydon will only ride the WTB Vigilante 2.3 tire with the tough casing and high grip for the front. No matter the bike, there is a Vigilante option that will suit the bike nicely. Offered in 2.3, 2.5 and 2.6 widths, a light or tough casing (really easy to understand those), and Fast Rolling or High Grip rubber options. With all those options, you can really get a good combination that works best for your bike. I personally agree with Troydon as I think the 2.3 Vigilante High Grip is my favorite, but I also rode the 2.5 for a while and that tire was also really good. The Vigilante tire does great in all conditions of hard pack, loose soil, or mud. It’s a versatile option that you could run all the time.

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Magic Mary:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Ah, the classic Magic Mary. This has been a go-to tire for many DH and enduro style bikes for a while now. With the alternating and spaced out tread pattern, the Magic Mary makes itself useful in so many conditions, specifically loose soil or light mud. We found the the soft rubber and taller knobs really like the softer dirt types and if I lived where the dirt wasn’t like concrete most of the year, I would most likely have a Magic Mary up front all the time. It’s available in two casing options, Snakeskin TL or Super Gravity TL. Snakeskin is a lighter option, while Super Gravity would be the more tough option. With Schwalbe’s proprietary Addix rubber compound, you could be sure this rubber is going to stick to everything. Our most popular size is the 2.35, however they do make a 2.25 and a 2.6 in this tire.

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Nobby Nic:

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Last, but certainly not the least, is Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic. The Nobby Nic is a bit lighter on the tread pattern and is mostly a great front tire for trail riders. While it shares many things with the Magic Mary, we really like how the Nobby Nic mixes the combination of speed and traction. It rolls very fast, but you end up with some amazing traction as well. While only available in one casing version, the Snakeskin (lighter casing), it has three width options, 2.25, 2.35 and 2.6. This should give you enough sizes to fit the trail tire you need on the front of your bike.

The Top Enduro/Trail Bike Front Tires You Should Be Running

Delium Rugged:


A new tire brand that is making both amazing tires that are also much more cost effective than much of the competition. The Delium Rugged is the brands most aggressive tire, looking like some of the very popular tires on the market today, except one major difference. The tire retails between $48-58 at the time of this article. That about 40-50% cheaper than some of its direct competitors. We have a full review of the Rugged tire, so make sure to check that out. In short, the Rugged really impressed us with its grip, predictability, pinch flat protection and of course all that at the lower price. At home on the front or even front and rear, the Rugged is a solid budget option that gets you extremely close to the performance of the best tires out there, but for half the price. 


Honorable Mentions:


From Left to Right: Teravail Kessel, Continental Kryptotal, Specialzied Cannibal, Maxxis Shorty

Some honorable mentions in the Enduro / Trial front tire category are the Terravail Kessel, Continental Kyrptotal, Kenda Pinner Pro, Michelin Wild Enduro Front, Specialized Butcher, Maxxis Shorty & Victoria Mazza. The Terravail Kessel is a great all around tire that provides a ton of grip and has a great look. The Continental  Kyrptotal is a new and updated tire for Continental, with a new casing, rubber compound and tread pattern, the Kryptotal has had a great first year of success at the Downhill Worldcups with multiple podiums, we expect great thing from this tire in the future. Next we have the Kenda Pinner Pro and Michelin Wild Enduro Front, both tires have great followings and the people who love them swear by them! Same goes for the Specialized Butcher, when Speicalized re-did their tire casings and compounds the Butcher made a huge improvement. The Maxxis Shorty is a great mud tire and also can be used for extremely dry and loose conditions like the Pumice on Mammoths Mountain. Last is the Victoria Mazza tire, Victoria has been stepping up their mountain game and the Mazza is a result of that.  

Final Thoughts:

Well, there it is.  We broke down why we love some of these tires for the front of our trail or enduro bikes. With the all time classic like the Maxxis Minion DHF, Schwalbe Magic Mary or the WTB Vigilante, or some of our newer favorites like the Maxxis Assegai, choosing a tire really comes down to your own preference. Take a look at your home terrain.  Do you have soft soil and no rocks? Or maybe it’s more like our Southern California dirt, hard packed with marbles and big sharp rocks, in which case you would need to choose a tire that will survive its life riding in those conditions. Reviews and friends opinions can help narrow the search for your best performing tire, but it really comes down to trying them out and seeing what you got along with best. And with that, we say good luck and feel free to ask our customer service wizards what their favorite tires are, because you never know what they might say.



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

I'm Jeff and I'm Jared and we are addicted to the smell of fresh tires

In this video we are going to tell you all about the best front tires that you could put on your mountain bike over the years things have changed we made this video what three years ago over three years there's been a lot of new tires that have come onto the scene that are very notable and important and we are going to do this video in order of most popular tires which are basically the tires you could put on the front of your bike show up at the trailhead and people would say that's a legit Tire exactly all the way to the ones at the end of the video which are that exactly to start off none other than the most iconic front tire in the mountain bike scene which is the Maxxis minion dhf that thing I think is the most winningest Tire winning of all time absolutely yeah and winning is downhill World Cups yeah the downhill world cup scene which is the fastest riders in the entire world going as fast as they absolutely can that's where a lot of Tire development happens it's kind of like the formula one of the mountain bike industry I guess you could say and that trickles down to your Enduro trail bike even light trail bike but dhf you can never go wrong with putting a dhf on the front of your bike you like the DHF I do like the dhf yeah I like it a lot every possible variant in terms of sizes casings and compounds and widths you can get the dhf in and Maxxis has done that over the years because it's such a popular tire so if you're looking for a rare size and really good front tire kind of like that's the best possible one definitely a DHRII so that tire I personally really like running in the front because you can get it in a 2.4 yep whereas that only comes in Two Three or two five and it's a little lighter yep it's got the same Corner knobs as a dhf slightly different Center knobs remember that video we made about the DHF versus DHRII oh do I yeah Jared Erickson yes sir Maxxis Minion dhr2 or minion dhf your preference dhf why um dhr2 I think I didn't get as much grip as I wanted to get for whatever reason it's not my favorite Tire I like dhr2 feels like it's got uh better knobs and for my type of riding in the Trails I ride simple as that right just ridden them both and one's better than the other I've ridden various sizes and styles of both and compounds personally like the dhf better I like it thank you sir cheers whoa well well I really like that tire um yeah the 2-4 is kind of the dialed spot for a lot of trail bikes even Enduro bikes but I didn't want to not talk about the dissector because on my sort of light trail bike I used to always run the dhr2 in the front and I've actually changed the dissector because the dissector is even lighter for the same width not as much traction by any means but rolls faster less variations available but man have you ridden that as a front tire I have it's fast yeah it's very fast you know not as much of a transition knob here you know between the center knobs and the side knobs but the center tread is super fast yeah I mean as an EXO casing the lightest casing available it's lighter and faster than the dhr2 but if you want the most possible traction ever ever honestly think it's the grippiest tire I've ever ridden same um not the fastest rolling not the lightest but I think it's the grippiest tire I've ever ridden is the Maxxis Assegai yeah Greg Minnaar’s tire the goat yup the goat developed this tire with Maxxis and it is insanely grippy you can see the siping here on the knobs which helps increase the grip but also lowers the rolling speed makes it slower a little bit slower but in turn makes it grippier the only downside to the Assegai I don't feel that it clears mud all that well I think the best in terms of these tires that clear mud dhr2 is probably the best than the dhf than the Assegai obviously front tires change per conditions which one arm will mention we had was even the Maxxis shorty which is kind of a mud specific tire that Maxxis makes but if you're out on the East Coast I definitely see a lot of people running the DHR 2 because you run into a lot more mud out there and the West Coast kind of many of these tires work great yeah but the Assegai is the grippiest of them all in the dusty conditions great in the dry now moving on from Maxxis we have the WTB that's right vigilante vigilante vigilante vigilante vigilante Vigilant you used to run that tire a lot didn't you yeah and I still do on my SB165 as a front tire um as in the downhill casing but uh yeah I do really love this tire super grippy and just I mean look at that look at that look at that it's got Mega Corner knobs looks like a Motocross Tire almost but uh yeah this siping as well and yeah I've had really good luck with that tire especially when it gets a little loamier like a little bit softer of dirt um those Corner knobs just really dig in very well I've also found it pretty good in the mud it clears mud pretty well and those Corner knobs dig into the mud pretty well so I think that's a pretty good tire for sort of those wetter conditions but it's probably wtb's Flagship front tire would you say definitely their most popular front tire for sure and also available in a couple of different casings light and tough High grip the light High grip is probably the best one for a trail bike and trail bike yeah and moving on from that schwalbe magic Mary the magic Mary so we got right here schwalbe is pronounced very differently in Germany how if you're in Germany and you speak German can you please tell us how you pronounce Schwalbe is it Schwalbe or Schwalbe 

the magic Mary um that tire is actually kind of similar to the Vigilante I would say it's I like that tire when it's sort of softer it clears mud really well a lot of people use that in muddy conditions um loam it's great I like it when you're pretty much not on hard pack I guess you could say that I think the knobs are so high on the corners and just that tire in general that it performs the best in those conditions so if you're in any type of mud-ish terrain at all or loam that thing is killer also I mean super soft compound so if you're on hard pack it'll just wear out probably a lot faster I think so and but it's also very popular on the World Cup circuit so I mean yeah that tire definitely has some downhill World Cup wins even just recently it has some street cred [Music]

something that's a little bit lighter rolls a little bit faster might make more sense for your trail bike rather than your Enduro bike or your light trail bike uh is the Nobby Nic this tire has been kind of an iconic tire for Schwalbe for I don't know years and years they redesigned it at some point to make it even better and it's been around for in this design for yeah a number of years it's definitely a more fast rolling Tire this if you're in any type of dry terrain or hard pack train the Nobby Nic is a really good Tire versus the magic Mary um lighter faster rolling still really good grip works great kind of where we ride most of time which is Southern California which is a lot of loose over hard pack and Dusty terrain this is a good fast great quality yeah sure I'll be tired fantastic which is pretty sweet yeah I like these now we have something that is rare and unique so delium is a new tire brand yes a new launched in 20 2021 sure sure 2020 way way newer than the rest of these Brands delium's idea is to make really premium quality tires for essentially half the price so a lot of the tires that we've talked about thus far range anywhere from about 75 to 105 bucks delium ranges from 48 to 58 dollars you gotta be kidding me so their mission at least I don't know if it's necessarily their mission but from what it appears like to me their mission is to make comparable tires to the best in class for nearly half the price and they have been gaining traction oh you like that punch yeah they have been gaining traction like crazy with that style and uh yeah they have so it's which the namings are a little bit weird the rugged yeah Delium rugged which you can see right now that is the most popular front tire for Delium this one he's holding in his hands because we had on hand is the steady adventure adventure the naming conventions are a little strange really strange you know what I'll give him a break because every other naming convention this is also strange EXO plus and double super grip addicts super addicts super res like um actually wtb's probably makes sense light high grip like they spell it out for you yeah that's like which Tire do you want here you go that's the simplest light High grip tough High grip yeah fast rolling done definitely but if you're on a budget Delium is very legit yeah and now we're going to drop into our honorable conventions notable mentions

honorable mentions Teravail Kessel so Teravail is I would say relatively newer yeah to at least to the mountain bike scene for sure they've been making fantastic gravel bike tires and they've been making really good mountain bike tires in the last few years and the Kessel take a look at that thing beefy oh it's beefy yeah beefy 2.4 and 2.6 and durable and Ultra durable casings yeah that's one of those tires you could show up at the trailhead with and people would go what is that at least for now maybe not in three years when it's more popular but at least or no yeah yeah for sure definitely and moving on the new Continental tires so Continental has been up there down there all over the place with Tires over the years but they have recently come out at least at the time of filming this with a lot of new tires that all have these strange names that kind of sound like prescription drugs like the Kryptotal and the argotal and the Xynotal uh but uh the tread patterns are amazing and the compounds are incredible and they just last weekend so we're filming this a few days after the Snowshoe downhill World Cup that was in West Virginia and they had three of the five Podium spots they did on Continental tires so they've made some major progress with these new tires and I think they're gonna kind of become really popular in the coming couple years here availability pricing each of those are a little iffy right now but we'll see how it goes in in the next uh the next few years so anyways something to definitely pay attention to if you're looking for something rare like that that's a Continental brand Continental Michelin wild Enduro we don't have those here but the wild Enduro Sam Hill man yeah Sam Hill winning ews is on that thing legendary Tire yeah very very aggressive knobs as well I mean yeah yeah it looks like a vigilante or uh you know or something like that yeah super aggressive knobs that tire so Michelin I feel like that particular tire and just Michelin in general would be a much more prevalent brand in the United States if they had better distribution and pricing and availability yeah that makes sense yeah definitely availability has been rough on that tired like yeah lately forever a couple years and they don't even have the pandemic excuse because that thing was not in stock so sorry guys at least in the U.S and North America yeah I'm sure it was a little bit more popular out there in the in the European across the pond today uh specialized so specialized man they've been making tires for a long time now yeah and they have made some pretty impressive ones the butcher I think was a lot of people probably watching this video have got butchers and they're like I love butchers I love the butcher yeah but they might be cannibalized by the tire ironically named the cannibal oh the animal so the butcher I think is kind of the reigning best specialized front tire there is and the cannibal is the newest one that a lot of people are using and loving and I don't know we haven't tried them yet but they do look good yeah so that's why they're in their honorable mentions yeah Kenda Kenda Kenda long time Tire name right there the nevegal as they say they never go the never go remember the time you pronounced it the nevengal or something like that watch this and the nevengal

the Kenda Pinner Pro which was developed with famed World Cup Downhill racer Aaron Gwynn which looks really good um I wouldn't say it's the most popular but it's in their honorable mentions for a reason because it's got a really good tread pattern some people really love it and I mean just look at it yeah let's look at it

I'm glad you said that because I would have said it to Vittoria Mazza uh that's another tire that I think is gaining popularity in North America more popular Vittoria is a big tire Brand in Europe um not as popular in the US but gaining popularity and the Maza is being loved by Riders who want the Italian front tire they're pretty good I'm gonna slice I got my goal all right let's let's go let's go ask some of the staff in our California store which front tires they love ladies and gentlemen welcome to worldwide Cyclery California it is a beautiful Thursday we got the grill going we got a barbecue today The Vibes are high let's go see what everybody's favorite Trail/Enduro front tire is hey Zach how are you today I'm good how are you I'm doing fantastic while I got you I wanted to ask you what is your favorite Tire to run on the front of your Trail slash Enduro mountain bike right now I would go with the Maxxis DHR 2 29 by 2.4 3C EXO I don't care that's right Michael B up my man oh you know not much hanging out we are asking everybody their favorite Trail Enduro front tire for their mountain bike yeah what's your favorite uh dhf front tan wall tan walls only show a picture of my bike now it looks awesome wait aren't you the guy who didn't know which front tire he liked in the last video yeah

I'm gonna go with the assegai yeah because you know are you an ass man yeah I am an ass man just like the Cosmo Kramer himself I'm Cosmo Kramer the ass man we are going into Liam Wood's own personal cave right now Mr Liam Woods how are you today fantastic I know you're a tire guy you're a man of many tires what's your favorite front tire on a trail slash Enduro bike I can only pick one I will allow two for the sake of the argument but yeah how about your favorite tires most conditions hands down is the best uh hard packed fast rolling and maybe some jumps dhr2 up front a couple of popular selections there Cody how are you today oh amazing we got the meat is on the grill it's a great day what is your favorite front tire for your Trail slash under a mountain bike Maxxis man can you tell me which Maxxis in particular [Laughter]

so we got a new answer perfect thank you very much Happy Birthday Jayne how are you today we're doing great as well so glad you feel the same way yeah yeah Jayne what's your favorite mountain bike tire um Maxxis perfect yeah yeah she absolutely nailed it oh we got a double dose of hunks back here Tyler how you doing today I'm doing great yourself we're doing fantastic Tyler what's your favorite Tire to run on the front of your Trail slash Enduro mountain bike I would say the acid guy oh we got another acid guy over here another ass man Trevor what is your favorite front tire on the trail/Enduro mountain bike um oh we got dhf 2.5 sometimes sometimes actually I want to take my answer back okay all right you can change your answer um I'd like to run a hillbilly when it gets loose a hillbilly I've never heard of that tire specialized mud tire okay nice alright this is excellent thank you very much sir Daniel how you doing good how are yourself we're doing excellent we're stoked the barbecue is going we're excited it's a great day what's your favorite front tire for your mountain bike tire yeah it kind of depends man if I'm feeling real racy I might throw on a Recon but if I'm feeling more just chilling um probably just the Classic ass guy but I mean that's just me you know that's just him he's just a nice guy all right awesome what's what that's a great answer what's your favorite front tire to run on your trail bike slash Enduro bike oh I do like the DHR nice wow a lot of Maxxis today yeah Maxxis all the way nice yeah awesome well thank you for your answer and that just about wraps this one up for the interviews in the shop we'd like to thank everybody for participating and for all the answers Maxxis was very popular as you can see except for Trevor who apparently likes Hillbillies but nonetheless thank you very much for tuning in and back to the studio if you've watched the video this far then you already know we love you and we really appreciate your viewership and if you have the opportunity and the willingness we would love it if you liked And subscribe to the channel yeah that's wow you said that really well nice work I was gonna say also comment down below what your favorite front tire is because we're actually really curious about that that's a great suggestion and if it wasn't in this video then I'm even more curious if you're right you're totally wrong if we never heard of it which is doubtful very doubtful but again thank you we love you and we love you Cheerio Cheerio mates.

September 26, 2022

e*thirteen › Maxxis › product overview › product review › Schwalbe › Tire › Video › Wilderness Trail Bikes › WTB ›

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