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The top 7 best 27.5 downhill tires for 2023

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 brings the maximum in grip, puncture protectino, 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 important, 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 eserved 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 a 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

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 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 get’s tough this is the tire you want to be riding.

Maxxis Assegai Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very grippy tire, meant for bad condtions
Reasons to avoid
Meant for downhill

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 in 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 beaviest set of downhill-specific tires, that’ll provide you the ultimate in traction.

Schwalbe Big Betty Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Rear downhill tire, fantastic traction
Reasons to avoid
Meant for downhill

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 allround trail riding in brutal conditions.

It has top-of-the-line traction combined with super fast rolling characteristic 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.

Schwalbe Magic Mary Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very grippy, go-to gravity tire, solid braking power, 4-season downhill tire
Reasons to avoid
Meant for downhill

Continental Kryptotal Fr

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.

The tread pattern is similar for all three versions, and is characterized by a fairly densily 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.

Continental Kryptotal Fr Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Great allround characteristics, newer compound pays dividends in suppleness
Reasons to avoid
Front tire only. Meant to go with the Kryptotal Re

Continental Kryptotal Re

The Continental Kryptotal Re is the rear wheel trail, enduro and downhill option.

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.

Continental Kryptotal Re Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Great allround characteristics, newer compound pays dividends in suppleness
Reasons to avoid
Rear tire. Meant to go with the Kryptotal Fr

Specifications 27.5 downhill tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1005
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1090
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.50
65-584
1049
Black
Black
3C MAXX GRIP
3CG/EXO+
tlr
Maxxis Assegai
27.5×2.60
65-584
1002
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.30
58-584
880
Black
Light Tan
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
1005
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO+
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
945
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
956
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
1010
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO+
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
965
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
925
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
CT/EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.30
58-584
800
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.30
58-584
805
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-584
900
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-586
940
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-587
1126
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO+
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.60
66-584
910
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO+
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.60
66-584
1065
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1300
Black
Black
ADDIX Ultra Soft
Super Downhill, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1180
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.60
65-584
1085
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Trail, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.60
65-584
1295
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Big Betty
27.5X2.40
62-584
1180
Black
Tan
ADDIX Soft
Super Gravity, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Magic Mary
27.5X2.40
62-584
1205
Black
Black
ADDIX Ultra Soft
Super Gravity, E-50
tlr
Schwalbe Magic Mary
27.5X2.40
62-584
1110
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
Super Trail, E-50
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1000
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1080
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.60
65-584
1100
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.60
65-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1000
Black
Black
BlackChili
Trail
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1080
Black
Black
BlackChili
Enduro
tlr
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill
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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