No matter what type of rider you are, you will inevitably find yourself at some stage staring at the Tire wall at the local bike shop and wondering…. “which one should I choose?” For many of us it’s a simple decision, we stick with what we know, what our mates ride and what works. In this review we take a look at the difference between arguably the best two rear tires in the business, especially if you are riding enduro.
For many riders it’s about the brands that are popular, the right price and performance. After all, we aren’t all blessed with an endless supply of free tread to whack on the steed for each and every race. For many of us cost comes into play, durability comes into play and performance of course comes into play. No body wants to be tumbling down the trail because they just can’t get their tires to stick, but what works for one rider may not work for another. Every rider has a different style, skill level and discipline; making tire selection difficult and an age old topic for discussion.
Maxxis Minion DHR II
In the red corner, weighing in at 900g and standing at 27.5 x 2.4 WT with exo technology and tubeless ready; we have Maxxis Minion DHR II. Definitely an absolute favourite amongst the downhill crowd and an industry leading tire, the DHR II is a superb bit of rubber to whack on the rear end of your Gravity machine.
We tested this bad boy in loads of different places and in all types of conditions. Not only did it stand up to the test of time when it came to durability but it was near impossible to beat for traction when things got gnarly. It’s an obvious choice to this rider, if you are pinning downhill on the big rig then the DHR is hard to beat as a rear tire. Braking performance on this piece of rubber is simply ridiculous, if you want to stop….. this bad boy digs in and brings you back to cornering speed no matter how pinned you are.
However, we are testing this tire for enduro, not just downhill riding. This tire needs to go up as well as down, so how did it fair? Whilst the DHR II is an absolute beast when pinning downhill, it can be said to be a touch cumbersome on the climbs. We found the tire never lost traction at any stage and whilst you could feel a bit more drag in the rear end than most tires, if you are riding a long travel bike uphill a few hundred grams means nothing.
The aggressor needs no introduction and is well-known among the gravity enduro crowd, a budding entrant to each and every gravity race nation-wide. Weighing in surprisingly a touch heavier than the DHR II at 915g and we tested the 27.5 x 2.5 WT tire (unfortunately 2.4 is unavailable). After whacking the rubber on the rim and tossing a flow of sealant in, the bead was seated, the bike thrown on the back of the truck and the trails were hit.
The first thing you notice about the aggressor is that it really doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when it comes to traction, in fact it felt pretty damn good. Acceleration was excellent and the rolling resistance was certainly noticed when jetting out of a corner. This tire truly does impress and we can easily see why many a long travel trail bike is adorned with the stamp of the aggressor. When it came to braking, I thought this would be the place that the aggressor was well behind the DHR II, how wrong we were. Whilst the braking was noticeably better with the DHR on the rear, the aggressor truly did not let us down. In fact the braking on the Aggressor was far more superior than many other tires I have tried in the past.
Whilst the weight of the tire is extremely similar to the DHR, for some reason it felt better to climb with. The DHR just felt more cumbersome and it definitely wasn’t due to weight, more likely the aggressor’s decreased rolling resistance comes into play here. We tested this bad boy on dry conditions and smashed it down the Nerang trails in the wet for the EMS Shimano Enduro Tour round one on the Gold Coast. Traction was great, rolling resistance was on point and braking was definitely adequate. Overall impression is that this tire won’t be leaving the back wheel of my trusty steed any time soon.
Where does this leave us?
Maxxis bill the aggressor as an all-round trail tire that will slay anything from loose cross-country course to heavy all mountain riding, in our opinion they are bang on the money. This tire digs in when you rail a corner, accelerates out of the corner and brakes when you need it. Truly, a great all round tire and for sure a great addition to the rear wheel of any trail bike. One important factor we found when reviewing the aggressor, was that durability is definitely decreased when compared to the DHR, after all there is far less tread on this bad boy. Available in double down, exo and tubeless ready the aggressor is in our opinion the best choice for almost all enduro applications in normal conditions.
The DHR is truly a classic, tried and tested tire that has adorned the world cup race scene and the EWS alike. There is no denying the traction, railing ability, braking and durability of this tire; when paired with a DHF up front, it is a difficult combo to pass up. When the trail gets rowdy and technical the DHR comes to the party in a big way; and if gravity does the rolling for you, it makes sense to slap this rubber on the back foot of your beast. Available in double down, exo, 3C and tubeless ready, the DHR II is the perfect choice for downhill applications and where more traction is required.
Tire choice is always going to be an individual thing, with each and every one of us riding differently and wanting different performance out of our bikes and tires. Like pedals, grips and wheel size; rubber will always be a topic of choice among each and every mountain biker throughout the world. However in a battle for the best enduro rear tire, only one tire can come out on top….. in our humble opinion nothing beats a Maxxis Aggressor on the rear for the vast majority of ‘enduro’ applications. Until next time, let the rubber hit the dirt, the dust form in clouds and the air be light and gentle as you float across the trails…..