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The top 11 best 27.5 enduro tires

In this article I’ll cover some of the best 27.5 enduro tires. Luckily for us, there’s still a lot to choose from.

I won’t be going anywhere near the debate of 27.5 vs. 29 inch wheels, other than to state that 27.5 inch tires are not going into the same direction as 26 inch ones. Namely, of not being supported by big tire manufacturers.

That kind of makes sense. Mullet setups are still found in the professional downhill circuit, and the enduro scene has always favored 27.5 inch tires over their less limber 29 inch counterparts. So we can see new enduro tire lineups still featuring both 27.5 and 29 inch versions.

And here’s which one of those made it into my overview of the best 27.5 enduro tires.

Maxxis Aggressor

Maxxis Aggressor
Maxxis Aggressor

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

Its 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 conditions or for highly technical trails other tires with bigger spaced out knobs perform better.

Expert Experience

Sean Cronin | Technical Writer – November 22, 2018

It was love at first ride with this tire back when we tested enduro bikes, and the affair continues even stronger to this day. I knew it was the real thing when there was hardly a time we ever wanted to be away from this tire. It’s fast, but not at the expense of being able to slow down effectively like some other tires with minimal center tread. It holds a line through corners but is just as happy to be flicked and tossed around with a little unweighting. The Aggressor is a great rear tire for virtually any condition or style of 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

Maxxis High Roller II

Maxxis High Roller II
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 conditions.

Expert Experience

Dunbar Cycles | Contributor – August 8, 2011

I loved the improved predictability during cornering and was impressed by how well the tire performed in the sloppiest of conditions. The new High Roller II is a step away from a comprehensive dry tire, and a step towards a true all-conditions option that can be used in more settings. It slots in between the Minion, a dry tire, and the Wet Screams. The original High Roller was, and still is, a great tire. I’d still use the first generation High Roller, but the new version is an improvement in nearly every regard.

Pros and Cons

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 Shorty

Maxxis Shorty
Maxxis Shorty

Maxxis is a big name in the mountain bike industry and their EXO sidewall protection is partly responsible for that.

The downhill and enduro-oriented Maxxis Shorty has this added sidewall protection and comes in either the allround MaxxTerra or the grippier MaxxGrip compound.

With widths ranging between 2.3 to 2.5 inch there’s surely a tire width to suit your particular needs.

The tire can be mounted both in the front and in the back, has a very open tread pattern and huge side knobs for maximum grip.

Expert Experience

David Golay | Product tester – November 9, 2022

I’m a big fan of the Shorty as a front tire for the rainy season around here. It does a very good job of balancing cornering traction in soft, wet soil with respectable performance on wet roots and rocks, in particular — traits that often tend to be in conflict with each other — while also braking reasonably well. The Shorty is a bit of a specialized tool that won’t make sense in all locales or all conditions, but if you live somewhere where it’s wet for a significant portion of the year and are willing to swap in a more appropriate tire once things dry out, it’s a winner

Pros and Cons

WTB Judge

WTB Judge
WTB Judge

The WTB Judge is the burliest rear-oriented enduro and downhill option. Huge side knobs flank an aggressive tread pattern for maximum braking power and traction in wet, muddy, and loose trail conditions.

With those huge knobs grip is superb, but still lacks that unwanted transition feel normally associated with widely spaced trail tires. You get the traction you want when climbing. Braking power when going downhill, and grip on off-camber and loose sections.

Like a lot of enduro and downhill options, this is a heavy tire. So you pay a certain price for all that rubber. And naturally you’ll lose some speed when the trail isn’t rough enough to warrant such a tire.

Expert Experience

Richard Cunningham | Contributor – July 18, 2019

The Judge is the first WTB tire that I have ridden worry-free in the corners. With rare exceptions, WTB’s aggressive trail tires stick like glue – until they don’t. They do have a predictable release, which showcases riders with drifting skills. Look no further than WTB test rider Mark Weir, one of the world’s most adept drift-meisters.

Pros and Cons

WTB Verdict

WTB Verdict
WTB Verdict

The WTB Verdict is a versatile MTB tire for wet and muddy conditions.

Since WTB states this is a front tire, you might want to combine it with the WTB Vigilante mentioned here as well. The reason this is a front tire is because the core focus is grip. The soft compound does not perform well on hardpack, but gives amazing levels of traction and grip in loose, wet, and muddy conditions.

With so much grip at your disposal it also means that climbing becomes easier as well. Which means this is a very solid enduro tire for allround rough trail conditions.

There are two different casings to choose from a single and dual ply. The single is obviously faster, but the dual will provide you with more protection and a longer life, so it’s up to you what you prefer.

Expert Experience

Richard Cunningham | Contributor – July 18, 2019

As promised, the Verdict grips corners insanely well. When I eased my way around a fast turn, it responded with “very good” traction – similar to a brand new Maxxis DHF. The key to getting the most from this tire, however, was to push into the apex with the cranks and pressurize the tires. Do that and the Verdict delivers the pizza with extra toppings. Similarly, the Verdict digs in to deep, sandy turns until it finds enough resistance, then it settles in for a smooth apex and exit.

Pros and Cons

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

The WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8 is a solid contender to many of the premium offerings from other high-quality brands.

Obviously there are a number of tire widths to choose from, depending on your personal preference when it comes to grip. What this tire has got going for it is that’s prefers grip and handling over weight. The rather widely spaced and high soft knobbies do very well in keeping your bike connected to the trail, ensuring high levels of confidence in hard cornering.

WTB offers this tire in their TriTec compound, which basically means that the casing consists of three layers, with each layer having a different firmness. The harder durometer is reserved for the center, reducing the risk of punctures and making the tire faster in a straight line. This gradual increase in softness from center to side sounds great on paper, and indeed works exceptionally well on the trail. It makes for a really grippy and reliable tire in corners and reasonably fast on the straights with adequate levels of puncture protection.

I tend to disagree that this tire works as well in the rear as it does in the front when it comes to braking and traction. The widely spaced tread pattern without those distinctive horizontal rows simply isn’t the best setup to support those two rear tire characteristics. On the other hand, if you like a loose feel and don’t mind the occasional drift, this tire actually enhances such a way of riding.

In the end the WTB Vigilante rightly deserves its spot on this list with grippy and fun riding characteristics that’ll suit a great number of riders.

Expert Experience

Jim Bland | World Cup Downhill Mechanic – September 10, 2020

The overall feel of the tread pattern remains reliable and grippy across a broad variety of terrain and there is definitely more of a distinct cut feel from the new wider profile when banking over in turns. Occasionally during flatter corners there can be a slight skip before the side knobs really lock in and we put this down to the way every third side knob is more inboard, and if the load begins at this point it can translate to a split second of vagueness before properly engaging with the ground. This characteristic doesn’t seem to affect performance too much, but it certainly isn’t something I feel when riding our current favourite rubber from other brands. After plenty of riding the tread does seem to wear better than many other soft compound tires though.

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 enduro tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
27.5×2.50
60-584
1092
Black
Black
TriTec Single
tlr
60
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
27.5×2.60
65-584
1340
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr
60
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
WTB Verdict
27.5×2.50
65-584
1108
Black
Black
TriTec Single
tlr
60
WTB Verdict
27.5×2.50
65-584
1190
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
27.5×2.30
58-584
845
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
27.5×2.30
58-584
1065
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
120
Maxxis High Roller II
27.5×2.40WT
61-584
915
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
27.5×2.60
66-584
965
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
27.5×2.80
71-584
915
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
120
Maxxis Aggressor
27.5×2.30
58-584
919
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis Aggressor
27.5×2.50WT
63-584
1023
Black
Black
Dual
tlr
60
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
Maxxis Shorty
27.5×2.50
63-584
1136
Black
Black
tlr
120
WTB Judge
27.5×2.40
60-584
1281
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr
Maxxis Shorty
27.5×2.40
61-584
1208
Black
Black
3C MaxxGrip
tlr
60
Maxxis Shorty
27.5×2.40
61-584
1136
Black
Black
3C MaxxGrip
tlr
120

Sources

Sean Cronin, Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 EXO Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 22, 2018
Jeremy Benson, Maxxis Assegai Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 22, 2018
Dunbar Cycles, Maxxis High Roller II Tires Review, Pinkbike, August 8, 2011
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
David Golay, Maxxis Shorty, Blister Review, November 9, 2022
Jim Bland, WTB Vigilante 2.5in tire reviewed, Bike Perfect, September 10, 2020
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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