After doing a lot of testing with plus tyres, it’s become clear that bigger tyres offer some huge advantages. They roll faster and more smoothly over rough ground, while offering more grip. The 2.5in Maxxis Minion appears a good compromise then, but sadly they only measure up at 2.25in wide (when inflated to 25psi on our 25mm rim).
This is wider than most, but still slightly narrower than some 2.35in tyres. Still, while rolling speed was mid-pack on our fireroad tests, they carry remarkable speed over rough terrain and, in particular, through corners.
The rounded profile makes them a great choice for wider rims and even on our 25mm hoops it seemed to help the bike carve through flat turns more smoothly, scrubbing less speed than squarer competitors.
The Minions posted the fastest time on our flat-corner test track too. Cornering grip is also exceptional thanks to huge, siped and well-spaced shoulder tread blocks, which dig deep into soil and loam.
While the EXO casing has proven exceptionally puncture resistant, it feels a little less secure and well-damped than many tyres of similar weight, resulting in a slightly more ‘pingy’ ride over rooty, rocky ground.
The DHF makes no claims to be a mud tyre and indeed isn’t the best at clearing mud. It’s also a little short on braking grip, locking up more readily than most on steep, loose tracks.
Seb's been riding and racing mountain bikes for half his life. Since getting hooked on mountain bikes aged thirteen riding a tiny 24Seven Crosser, he's raced downhill, enduro and cross country, and while no athlete, still enters the occasional race. Seb studied experimental physics at university, and he's now happily using (wasting) his degree experimenting with different bike setups, trying to work out what works best and why. You'll often find him riding the same track ten times in a day, changing just one thing to pin down the differences. Seb's much happier back-to-back testing suspension on a wet Welsh hillside than riding the latest five-figure bikes on some sunny press trip - although he quite likes that too!