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The top 8 best 29 inch downhill tires

In this article I’m going to give you what I feel to be the best 29 inch downhill tires you can buy.

When you’re flying down a hill you need to be able to rely on your tires more than in any other mountain biking discipline.

These tires represent the grippiest out there, with the most aggressive tread pattern ensuring you stick to the trail, no matter how fast you’re taking that corner.

Widely spaced center treads for quick shedding of mud and dirt, and raised knobbes to bite into the trail are hallmarks of great downhill tires. Forward pointing knobbies for front tires to enable maximum grip, and horizontal rows in the rear for braking power and traction.

Enough talk, here’s the list of the best 29 inch downhill tires.

Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex

Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex
Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex

Either people just don’t know about Continental or other brands do better marketing. Fact is that I hardly see any Continental tires being promoted for enduro racing and that’s odd considering the Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex is a very, very good tire.

It’s aggressive, widely spaced tread pattern is probably one of the best in rough conditions, holding the line across wet roots and slippery muddy trails. You can run it both front and back, since the tire also is an above average climbing option, making this the best allround enduro tire on this list.

As with all premium Continental tires, within their respective categories, they’re almost always the lightest as well. Since all tires use Continental’s proprietary BlackChili compound, that might have something to do with it. Either way, a dual setup will prove to be hundreds of grams lighter than the average competitor, which for enduro racing, actually matters.

All tires on this list are championship proven, but this tire reiterates why I’m a Continental fan.

Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex

Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex
Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex

When riding in dry conditions you might want to choose the Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex. This premium offering is faster in than the more allround Der Baron in a numer of respects.

Although at 1225 grams, this is by no means a light tire. The knobbies are spaced to wide for a low rolling resistance, something that matters less when going downhill. The horizontal rows of knobs make for some phenomenal braking power.

So for those who want to go down at breakneck speeds this tire has your name written all over it.

Kenda Hellkat Pro

Kenda Hellkat Pro
Kenda Hellkat Pro

The Kenda Hellkat is an impressive offering which propels the brand back among its peers. The Maxxis DHFs and Schwalbe Magic Marys have been at the top of downhill lists for a very long time know, so its good to see Kenda taking a shot with this tire that has excellent traction and durability characteristics.

And downhill is truly in the Hellkat’s DNA. Heavy, tremendous braking power, tremendous traction, ultra-durable, this is a tire to fly down the slopes.

All that protection in the sidewall favors aggressive riders who want to throw their bikes around and are not afraid to dive into corners.

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.

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 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 breaking but also gives more traction when going uphill. Both tires have the same side knobs to maximise grip while cornering.

Maxxis intended these two tires to be used together as their go-to allround solution for mountain biking. And these tires are in some many lists that its probably the best allround no-worries solution money can buy. The reason is that the combination is extremely versatile for a huge number of riding conditions. Both dry and wet, trail, enduro, downhill riding, the combination is as yet unmatched.

Maxxis offers a huge range of this tire, both in widths and compounds. So you can choose the tire that suits your riding style best. Whether its maximising speed or caring more for longevity.

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

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

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 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 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 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.

Specifications best 29 inch downhill tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at Amazon
Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex29×2.4060-622990BlackBlacklink
Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex29×2.4060-6221225BlackBlacklink
Kenda Hellkat Pro29×2.4061-6221096BlackBlacklink
Kenda Hellkat Pro29×2.4061-622881BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.6066-6221129BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.6066-6221087BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×2.3058-622925BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×2.50WT63-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×2.50WT64-622BlackTanlink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×2.6066-622978BlackTanlink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×2.6066-622995BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHF29×3.0076-6221110BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.3058-622825BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.3058-6221040BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.40WT61-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.40WT61-622955BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.40WT61-622988BlackTanlink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.40WT61-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.6066-6221035BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II29×2.6066-622983BlackTanlink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlack
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Assegai29×2.50WT64-622BlackBlack
Schwalbe Magic Mary29×2.2557-6221080BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Magic Mary29×2.4062-6221150BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Magic Mary29×2.6065-6221220BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty29×2.4062-6221290BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty29×2.4062-6221125BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty29×2.6065-6221370BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty29×2.6065-6221260BlackBlacklink