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The top 7 best 27.5 downhill tires

In this article you’ll learn what the best 27.5 downhill tires money can buy are.

The downhill discipline of mountain biking necessitates tires that bring the maximum in grip, puncture protection, braking power, and sidewall reinforcement to be able to handle the abuse as you tackle the trail as fast as you can.

Weight is of less importance, which is the reason you’ll be able to find tires which weigh three times as much as the nimblest of XC race tires.

The tread pattern of downhill tires is dominated by huge knobbies that provide the grip needed for fast-paced descents. Depending on the conditions, from dry and loose, to wet and muddy, the spacing of the knobs is more or less dense respectively, enabling you to shed mud and debris as quickly as possible.

Downhill tires (and other mountain bike tires as well, are made with various compounds, with softer compounds reserved for downhill. Softer compounds conform better to the terrain, adding more grip. The downside is they wear more easily. If you’re really only going to be using the tire for downhill, you’ll want the softest compound available.

You can go for the 2.5 inch downhill standard in terms of tire widths, but many downhill tires also fall into the all-mountain or enduro category, and come in other widths to add more versatility to your setup.

Those are the standard characteristics of a downhill tire. Let’s see what specific entries made it into my overview of the best 27.5 downhill tires.

Since there are so many different sizes and compounds, you can find a handy table at the end of the article to give you a proper overview.

Maxxis Minion DHF

Maxxis Minion DHF
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.

Its popularity ensures there are many options to choose from, both with respect to size, as well as casing. And all of them offer either the EXO sidewall protection, or Double Down breaker. For those with a penchant for tan sidewalls, there are those as well.

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 all-round trail-riding and downhill.

Expert Experience

Jeff Barber | Editor in Chief – August 24, 2023

I’ve found the Maxxis Minion DHF truly serves as an all conditions tire, from loose to firm and from wet to dry. Obviously the compound makes a difference when it comes to hard surface traction, as does tire pressure. The Minions do a good job clearing mud and clay, and cut through sandy washes better than most.

Thinking back over hundreds of rides on the Minions DHF tires, I can’t recall a single pinch flat despite running “just” EXO/TR casings. Honestly most riders should be able to get away with a lighter casing on the DHFs since it is a front tire after all. That’s not to say I haven’t had punctures due to sharp objects, though no more or less than other tires.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Minion DHR II

Maxxis Minion DHR II
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 braking but also gives more traction when going uphill. Both tires have the same side knobs to maximize grip while cornering.

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.

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

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – November 22, 2018

I’m a pretty big fan of this tire. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option for a rear tire for aggressive everyday trail riding. The combination of cornering confidence and pedaling and braking traction is hard to beat. There are faster rolling tires out there, but few that can dominate the trail like the DHR II. Mount this up as a rear tire with a Minion DHF up front and you’ve got our winning combination for aggressive trail riding.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Assegai

Maxxis Assegai
Maxxis Assegai

If you know mountain biking you know Greg Minnaar. And the Maxxis Assegai is said to be designed with his help. So what does that say about this tire?

Well, he’s a downhill champion, so expect monstrous level of grip and traction in a tire well-suited for the most aggressive trail riders among us. For such an aggressive tire, the profile is relatively rounded still, smoothing out transitions from straight to cornering, without that vague feeling you sometimes get in between.

This tire sits just below a true mud tire, so all of that traction will come at a premium, and the price you pay is of course a slow, and heavy tire in those times when you don’t need as much grip. When choosing tires you have to compromise, and when the going gets tough this is the tire you want to be riding.

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – November 22, 2018

The Maxxis Assegai is my Top Pick for Cornering Traction. If you’re not super concerned with weight or rolling resistance and you’re looking for a tire with outstanding cornering capabilities and seemingly endless pedaling and braking traction, you’ll want to give the Assegai a try. Mount ’em front and rear on your long travel rig for an unbeatable combination for smashing downhill.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Big Betty

Schwalbe Big Betty
Schwalbe Big Betty

The Schwalbe Big Betty is the go-to rear tire for the Schwalbe Magic Mary. Where the Magic Mary has proven to be among the top tires in terms of traction, when combined with the Big Betty you improve your overall braking power.

It has a horizontal tread pattern to do so, that’s sufficiently spaced to have sufficient clearing characteristics as well when you release the brakes again.

Of all the downhill combinations available on the market today, I can’t think of a single one that beats Schwalbe’s current offering of Magic Mary and Big Betty. It’s one of the heaviest sets of downhill-specific tires, that’ll provide you the ultimate in traction.

Expert Experience

Mike Kazimer | Technical reviewer – May 19, 2021

The Big Betty’s braking traction is its standout trait – as soon as the brakes are applied those center knobs get to work, biting ferociously into the ground. That tenacious grip is especially noticeable in loose conditions, whether that’s dry and dusty or wet and muddy, and it’s in those instances that I’d put the Big Betty ahead of the Maxxis DHR II as far as overall braking traction. The DHR II is obviously no slouch in the braking department, but it doesn’t dig in quite as hard as the Big Betty does.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Magic Mary

Schwalbe Magic Mary
Schwalbe Magic Mary

The Magic Mary is Schwalbe’s grippiest tire from their entire lineup. It performs both brilliantly as a downhill tire, but is just as effective for all-round trail riding in brutal conditions.

It has top-of-the-line traction combined with super fast rolling characteristics and a good feel for the trail at high speeds. If you want to be in the moment and experience flow going down sloppy slopes the Magic Mary delivers big time, with virtually zero cons.

Good braking power, allround riding characteristics in dry and wet conditions, this is Schwalbe’s top tire for all-mountain, enduro and downhill, no matter what the conditions are.

Expert Experience

Tor Weiland | Contributor – November 03, 2022

The Magic Mary is a seriously universal tire because of how many configurations it comes in. It’s right at home on the front of a trail bike in the Super Trail casing, on an enduro bike in the Super Gravity casing, or on a downhill bike in the Super Downhill casing. As long as you’re happy to put up with the high rolling resistance that you should expect from a performance tire, there aren’t many people that I wouldn’t recommend this tire to. It’s versatile enough to perform excellently in the wet and the dry, and dependable enough to take to your next race.

Pros and Cons

Continental Kryptotal Fr

Continental Kryptotal Fr
fallback

The Continental Kryptotal Fr is part of the German brand’s new trail, enduro, and downhill lineup of premium tires.

There are a number of tires for these disciplines and the Kryptotal Fr is meant as a front tire. With three different casings you can choose your weight and puncture protection, with more protection and weight as you move into the direction of downhill.

This tire outshines the competition with its casing, with the downhill version offering a 6-ply casing, or a 4-ply with dual breaker. This is something I’ve never seen on a mountain bike tire and makes for a near-indestructible tire.

To ensure it doesn’t feel like you’re riding with wooden tires, the plies tapers off to the side. With the downhill from 6 to 4, and both enduro and trail version from 3 to 2.

Furthermore the trail and enduro version have reinforced sidewalls, and I guess Continental decided 4 plies was enough for the downhill version.

The tread pattern is similar for all three versions, and is characterized by a fairly densely populated center tread. It offers allround reliability.for a tire that’s meant to be ridden with its twin brother: the Kryptotal Re. This really is a tire designed for the front.

I know other brands, most notably Maxxis, dominate the professional scene, but on paper at least, this is one of the most impressive mountain bike tires I’ve ever seen.

Expert Experience

Dario DiGiulio | Contributor – October 25, 2022

With a full redesign of their casings and compounds, Continental has brought their tire lineup close to the top of the heap, with seriously impressive performance across the board. Massively improved from their previously mediocre offerings, the new tires are absolutely worth a try, if you’re interested in migrating away from the big brands.

I’ve been impressed with every tire in the lineup and will be running the stickiest options as a baseline for the foreseeable future.

Pros and Cons

Continental Kryptotal Re

Continental Kryptotal Re
fallback

The Continental Kryptotal Re is the rear wheel version of the Fr also coming in trail, enduro and downhill specific casings.

Those casings are the same, and you can read in the Fr section what I think of the casings, which are nothing short of astounding.

This tire comes in three different versions, so be sure to get the right one based on your preferred mountain bike discipline. You can obviously choose a soft downhill compound for an enduro racer, things are not set in stone.

The tread is optimized for both braking power and traction, and is really meant to be mounted in the rear.

Expert Experience

Jeff Barber | Editor in Chief – October 13, 2023

In the end I don’t think it’s fair to call the Continental Kryptotal Re a trail tire; it rides more like a burlier, all-mountain option. Or aggressive trail, perhaps? With a 1,000g+ weight and surprisingly stiff sidewalls, this is a trail tire for those who tend to be tough on tires, or who want a tire that can handle a wide variety of conditions while lasting a season or more. And if you’re still not convinced the tire is tough enough for your style of riding, there are two more aggressive levels of Kryptotal Re tires to choose from.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 27.5 downhill tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1300
Black
Black
ADDIX Ultra Soft
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1180
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.30
58-584
880
Black
Light Tan
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
1005
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
945
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
956
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
1010
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
965
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
925
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
120
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.30
58-584
800
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.30
58-584
805
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-584
900
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-586
940
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-587
1126
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.60
66-584
910
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.60
66-584
1065
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1005
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
60
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1090
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1049
Black
Black
3C MaxxGrip
tlr
60
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.60
65-584
1002
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
120
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1000
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail casing
tlr
3/180
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1080
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro casing
tlr
3/330
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill casing
tlr
6/660
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.60
65-584
1100
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail casing
tlr
3/180
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.60
65-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro casing
tlr
3/330
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1000
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail casing
tlr
3/180
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1080
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro casing
tlr
3/330
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill casing
tlr
6/660
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1180
Black
Tan
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.60
65-584
1085
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Trail
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.60
65-584
1295
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity
tlr
Schwalbe Magic Mary
27.5X2.40
62-584
1205
Black
Black
ADDIX Ultra Soft
Super Gravity
tlr
Schwalbe Magic Mary
27.5X2.40
62-584
1110
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
tlr

Sources

Jeff Barber, The Maxxis Minion DHF Tire is Still the One to Beat, Singletracks, August 24, 2023
Jeremy Benson, Maxxis Minion DHR II Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 22, 2018
Jeremy Benson, Maxxis Assegai Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 22, 2018
Mike Kazimer, Review: Schwalbe’s Big Betty Tire is Dependable & Durable, Pinkbike, May 19, 2021
Tor Weiland, Schwalbe Magic Mary | Mountain Bike Tire Review, Thelostco, November 03, 2022
Dario DiGiulio, Continental Kryptotal and Argotal Review – Fresh rubber from an old player, The Loam Wolf, October 25, 2022
Jeff Barber, The Continental Kryptotal Re is More Than a Trail Tire, Singletracks, October 13, 2023
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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