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The top 5 best 26 inch enduro tires for 2023

It’s becoming harder and harder to find a solid pair of 26 inch enduro tires. But many mountain bikers, myself included, feel there’s nothing wrong with their older-style mountain bikes. So if you enjoy aggressive trail-riding with smaller wheels and you’re looking for a pair of high-quality enduro tires, this article is for you.

When your average allround trail tire just won’t cut it, it’s time to step up your game and opt for enduro tires. With bigger knobs, and a greater ability to clear mud, they not only offer you the grip you’re looking for, they also extend your season when trail conditions become wet and muddy.

Another characteristic of enduro tires is that come in in wide tire widths. This means you can run a lower pressure, which in turn increases your traction and grip. So Let’s see what the 26 inch enduro tires for your mountain bike are.

WTB Vigilante 2.3

The WTB Vigilante 2.3 is a premium trail and enduro contender for people who don’t mind spending a bit of cash.

For a pretty sum you get an incredibly durable tire for aggressive trail and enduro riding. The tire favors a front setup with widely spaced knobs that easily clear mud. That wide spacing and high side knobs does mean you feel the transition from straight to hard cornering, which is something to get used to.

A compound containing 3 separate rubbers offer superb grip in a heavy casing, which is especially noticeable going uphill. The tire excels in fast descents which are not too technical, because the grip, weight, and durability means it rougshods over anything in your path.

WTB Vigilante 2.3 Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Going fast and straight on not too technical terrain
Reasons to avoid
You feel tire transition in hard corners

Maxxis Minion DHF

When you’re looking for a mountain bike tire it’s almost impossible not to have heard of the Maxxis Minion DHF. The reason being it’s like the ultimate fit-and-forget mountain bike tire on the market. That means that the tire is just about perfect for any local trail riding, to enduro and downhill races.

The tread pattern shows that this tire prefers to sit on your front wheel. You can opt to put another fan favorite, the Maxxis Minion DHR II, at the back. That tire has horizontally aligned knobbies for increased braking power.

On its own, or paired with the Minion DHR II, the Maxxis Minion DHF is such a no-brainer that it’s hard to not recommend it to anyone for allround trail-riding and downhill.

Maxxis Minion DHF Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Superb allrounder with loads of sizing / compound combinations possible. Combines with Maxxis Minion DHR II for an excellent allround trail setup.
Reasons to avoid
None

Maxxis Minion DHR II

The “DH” in DHF and DHR stands for “downhill”. The “F” and “R” for “front” and “rear” respectively. The “downhill” in the name is a bit misleading, because the horizontal tread pattern of the DHR not only aids breaking but also gives more traction when going uphill. Both tires have the same side knobs to maximise grip while cornering.

Be sure to buy the “super tacky” compound casing which will aid your grip. As a 26″ tire this means you’ll run a 2.35 DHF front tire and a slightly wider 2.4″ DHR rear tire to add a bit more cushioning for a tire that’ll needs to bear the brunt of your weight and impacts.

Maxxis intended these two tires to be used together as their go-to allround solution for trail riding. And these tires are in some many lists that it’s probably the best allround no-worries solution money can buy.

Choose the dual compound for lower rolling resistance and longer life or the super tacky compound for more grip.

Together witth the Minion DHF, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is a fantastic and confidence inspring tire that will take your downhill rides to the next level.

Maxxis Minion DHR II Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
one of the best rear tires available, combines with Maxxis Minion DHF for an excellent allround trail setup
Reasons to avoid
none

Maxxis Aggressor

The Maxxis Aggressor is a solid trail and enduro option, providing both grip and traction in a fast-rolling package.

It’s low center knobs prefer fast-riding in dry conditions, and well paired in the rear with another tire up front, the tire performs fantastic both uphill and downhill.

For wet and muddy conditinos or for highly technical trails other tires with bigger spaced out knobs perform better.

Maxxis Aggressor Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Speedy trail and enduro tire for dry conditions
Reasons to avoid
Not a technical downhill tire

Maxxis High Roller II

The Maxxis High Roller II is a solid option, both front and back, in loose and dry condition riding.

If you don’t have that much climbing to do, you might opt for a dual High Roller setup. But for any non-competitive riders. However, the DHR II plus High Roller front and back respectively, is a more forgiving, allround setup.

But as far as downhill goes, the High Roller’s spaced out knobs proved a perfect amount of bite in loose condtions.

Maxxis High Roller II Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Solid trail and enduro tire, preferably up front.
Reasons to avoid
None

Specifications 26 inch enduro tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.50WT
55-559
860
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
foldable
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.30
58-559
840
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.50WT
63-559
905
Black
Black
DUAL
EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
26×2.30
58-559
780
Black
Black
DUAL
EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
26×2.40WT
61-559
865
Black
Black
DUAL
EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
26×2.40WT
61-559
865
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis High Roller II
26×2.30
58-559
835
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis High Roller II
26×2.30
58-559
846
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
WTB Vigilante 2.3
26×2.30
57-559
893
Black
Black
DNA
Single-ply
foldable
Maxxis Aggressor
26×2.30
58-559
886
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr

Bicycle tire puncture resistance

EXO, GreenGuard, AGC, AEC, ATC, do you ever get confused with all the jargon related to puncture protection. I know I did? That’s why I’ve written a separate article about puncture resistance technologies. That way, you’ll be able to better understand what’s out there and if it’s worth your money.

Johan van Seijen

FoundeR Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His passion for cycling in general, and restoring older bikes turned into a website to share his knowledge with a broader audience. Starting out on his father’s road bike and riding classics as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege he has shifted his attention to trail, XC, and gravel riding since. No matter how much he loves writing about everything related to cycling, nothing beats actually using his ever-expanding bicycle collection.

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