Tyre choice can be a complete minefield. Which tread pattern, what compound, what size, what width?
The list is endless! Maxxis make a huge range of tyres and are by far our most popular MTB tyre brand, but we still get asked what is the best tyre combo from their huge range? Well, it depends on what bike you ride and where you ride! We’ve compiled a recommended list to help you find the best tyres for your riding. For the full low-down on the Maxxis range, check out our video with Bike Expert Tom to learn all you need to know!
The classics never die
The Maxxis Minion needs no introduction. Ask most riders to name a tyre and they’ll say the Minion. The classic Minion DHF and DHR II make for a solid, reliable combo that may not be the grippiest, fastest or toughest, but will work well in a wide range of conditions on any number of bikes. Choose a wider width with the softer, grippier 3C compound for more aggressive downhill and enduro riding, while trail riders will be better suited to the narrower widths, perhaps with regular dual compound for increased speed. Don’t be afraid to mix and match either; we personally prefer to the Minion DHR II front and rear thanks to it’s more predictable feel when cornering and improved braking traction.
Grip, grip and more grip!
If the maximum amount of grip is your best friend, this combo is for you. Ideally suited to hard charging riders and downhill and enduro bikes, the Maxxis Assegai is a real grip monster in pretty much any conditions bar super thick mud. Fit a pair of Assegais front and rear and you’ll have all the grip you can dream of. Downhill riders will be best served by the 3C Maxx Grip versions in DD (Double Down) or DH casing, while enduro shredders will love the slightly faster rolling and lighter weight of the EXO and EXO+ casings with fast but still grippy 3C Maxx Terra compound.
The OE Choice
Bike manufacturers often spec low-grade tyres, even on expensive bikes, but thankfully more are fitting great tyres that don’t need swapping out. A popular trend we’ve seen among brands like Transition, Cube & Scott equipping their longer travel bikes with an Assegai up front and a Minion DHR II or Dissector out back, giving huge front grip with a faster rolling rear tyre to help keep the pace up on the climbs. It’s a great combo that is well suited to today’s super versatile enduro and long travel trail bikes.
Whatever you want to call the latest shorter-travel trail or long-ish travel cross country bikes, there’s no denying a lot of the bikes rip and need tyres to match. Our current favourite combo for this type of sub-130mm travel bike is a Dissector up front with a Rekon bringing up the rear or the redesigned Maxxis Forekaster at both ends. Both of these combos give superb traction in a range of conditions yet roll super fast at the same time. Both are best in the regular EXO casing, with a 3C Maxx Terra compound for the best blend of grip, speed and durability.
Cross country speed
Cross country bikes are all about speed. Carrying speed on the flat and climbs is key, but you still need enough grip to not make the descents and singletrack the thing of nightmares! We really rate the Ardent Race, which gives a lot of grip in all conditions despite it’s rapid rolling speed. It may be a little much for racing, but for regular folks, it’s a great front tyre. Teamed with a Rekon Race on the rear, you’ll have a super fast but grippy combo that will let you attack the trail for as long as your legs will let you!
Getting the right tyres is a minefield, and there’s plenty of other, more specialist tyres like the Maxxis Shorty that could have made the list but for all-round use, you’ll get great performance from the combos above, helping you shred the trails with the right rubber for the job!
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