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

By Grindinggears

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

Maxxis High Roller II Review

Grippy and tough, the High Roller II is a brilliant tire 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 tire of choice throughout the winter months, as it handles the wet and mud brilliantly. In dryer conditions it makes a brilliant front tire 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 tire that doesn’t completely weight you down then the Shorty is that tire. The wide, spike-like tread pattern shifts muck quickly while giving you ample amounts of grip. There’s a lot of stability with this tire and you’ll feel hugely confident running this tire 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 Group Test: Shorty, Minion, HR2, Ardent, Aggressor

Maxxis Aggressor Review

Want to get a bit more “Yeooooow!” out of your bike? The Aggressor is an all-rounder tire 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 favorite 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 tire and paired with a HR2 you have a wickedly fast combination going. It’s not the grippiest tire 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 tire 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 favorite tire 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 tire 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.

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