Maxxis Tyres Reviews

Maxxis Group Test: Shorty, Minion, HR2, Ardent, Aggressor

Maxxis make some of the best tyres on the market in my opinion and over the last couple of months I’ve been testing a range of combinations. The tyres that I’ve been using are:

All tyres tested are EXO sidewall, 650b tyres mounted tubeless on 25mm internal rims and have all been used for an extended period on my Bird Aeris.

Maxxis Tyres Reviews

Maxxis High Roller II Review

Grippy and tough, the High Roller II is a brilliant tyre for natural riding with great side knobs letting you lean the bike over with confidence. The high profile and wide spacing is great for clearing mud and can easily bite through loose topsoil and loam. The HR2 is my ultimate rear tyre of choice throughout the winter months, as it handles the wet and mud brilliantly. In dryer conditions it makes a brilliant front tyre with excellent grip and bomb proof construction.

Maxxis Minion DHF Review

Aggressive and fast rolling, the Minion works amazingly well  conditions are sloppy but is quick enough to be kept on all year around if you want to. You don’t have the same sideways confidence of the HR2 but the grip is reliable and predictable which is a real bonus in my books. I find that the Minion feels right at home on trail centres thanks to great durability combined with a unique versatility. As the name suggests this is a front specific tyre, but chucking it on the rear and pairing it with a Shorty up front is a real winner in wet conditions.

Maxxis Shorty Review

If you want a mud tyre that doesn’t completely weight you down then the Shorty is that tyre. The wide, spike-like tread pattern shifts muck quickly while giving you ample amounts of grip. There’s a lot of stability with this tyre and you’ll feel hugely confident running this tyre throughout the winter. I’ve found that it wears very quickly compared to the other tyres from Maxxis and although it isn’t front specific, I feel like you’d need to have some really sloppy conditions to justify putting one on the rear – for the most part I paired mine with the HR2.

Maxxis Aggressor Review

Want to get a bit more “Yeooooow!” out of your bike? The Aggressor is an all-rounder tyre that’s been designed with enduro in mind. It’s fast and aggressive (as the name suggests) with ample amounts of grip throughout most terrain. However, I’ve found that the HR2 is much better in the wet, muddy conditions making the Aggressor a better choice for drier months. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite rear tyres – especially when paired with a DHF up front – and it is amazing for tearing up the trail centres.

Maxxis Ardent Review

Dubbed by many as a do-it-all tyre, the Ardent isn’t quite as tough as any of the other tyres on this list, but its low rolling resistance makes it a popular choice. It is a great rear tyre and paired with a HR2 you have a wickedly fast combination going. It’s not the grippiest tyre out there, but it gives you plenty of warning that you’re pushing it to the limit, giving you just about enough time to get a foot down or lean the bike back over. This is definitely not a year-round tyre as it’s performance in muddy and wet conditions will leave you cursing it as you spin out on almost every climb.

Best Maxxis Tyre Combinations

Here are a few of my favourite tyre combinations

For wet conditions

Front – Shorty. Rear – Minion DHF. Grippy, high performance that works amazingly well in loose conditions. What you sacrifice in rolling resistance you make up for with accurate handling.

Fit and forget tyre setup

Front – Minion DHF. Rear – HR2. Fast rolling with great sideways grip, perfect for trail centres or taking on your local trails.

Aggressive dry weather

Front – DHF. Rear – Aggressor. Super fast, super aggressive, handles like you’re on rails without much drag.

All day adventures

Front – HR2 Rear – Ardent. Perfect set up for longer rides where you want a bit more comfort and don’t need as much grip, best used for drier conditions.

3 thoughts on “Maxxis Group Test: Shorty, Minion, HR2, Ardent, Aggressor”

  1. Hello, I like you article very much! I think we have the same riding style / tyre preferences when i see your combinations.

    I have the following questions for you:

    1) Why do you choose the DHF/Shorty combination for the wet/mud instead of the HR2/Shorty combination? The HR2 sheds mud better, rolls a little faster and corners equal or maybe a bit better.

    2) Do you use a dual compound on the rear and a maxx terra compound in the front or some other combination?

    3) Do you prefer a 2.3 width front and rear or a 2.3 on the rear and a 2.5 up front?

    4) Why is the DHR2 not on your list ?

    Thanks for you time !

    1. Hey Noel, thanks for your comments happy to answer you. I’ve found that I get much better traction with the DHF than the HR2 in the mud which is the primary reason, so I’m happy to lose a little rolling speed. A lot of the riding I do is on clay, which the larger spacing on the DHF clears a bit better than the HR2.

      Yep, tend to use a dual compound on the rear to get a bit more longevity out of the tyre. I’ve only recently started running the 2.5 up front and paired with a 2.3 rear is pretty spot on, however I’ve been using 2.3 front and back for a while without issues – the larger volume up front gives a bit more confidence when things get rowdy.

      Honestly, I don’t find the DHR2 to be aggressive enough for my riding style and unless you’re riding a lot of technical trails while it’s wet and muddy I don’t think there’s a real benefit to these over the DHF.

      1. Thanks for your answers !

        Sorry about my writing because i’m from the Netherlands.

        I rode a 2.3 aggressor (dual) / 2.3 DHF (3C MT) combo this summer until now and liked it a lot , it’s defenitly the best dry weather enduro combo i’ve ridden! Now the rainy wetter is kicked in and last week i tried a HR2 (3C MT) on the rear with the DHF (3C MT) on the front. Noticed a much better mud clearence and the rolling speed was acceptable too. But indeed the traction on steeper and technical uphills is a little dissapointing, not much better than the aggressor (dry weather tire) in my opinion.

        I think this week i’m going to buy a 2.3 shorty 3C MT tire for my front wheel and will put my DHF (3C MT) on the rear and see how this combo works out for me. I hope it will be as good as you described because untill now i have the same experience with the tires as you LOL !

        A little question about tire pressure on this one, my bodyweight is 79kg, bicycle approx. 13kg and gear another 5kg so roughly 97kg in total. I ride the 2.3 versions with 1.5-1.6 bar in the front and 1.7-1.8 bar in the rear all year long on a 150mm travel Canyon Spectral bike. What’s your opinion about these pressures in general? Will the pressure change when i put on a 2.5 DHF up front in the upcoming year?

        Thanks for your time !

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