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The top 8 best 29 inch enduro tires

In this article I’m going to give you an overview of the best 29 inch enduro tires.

The enduro scene has been dominated by Maxxis for quite a while now, but it’s nice to see a number of other big brand names thrusting themselves onto the scene with high-quality offerings.

If there’s one mountain bike discipline where you can ponder over tire setups all day long it has to be enduro racing. From mounting specific tires front and back, to tire widths, compounds, casings, and even mix different tire brands.

And the tire options themselves are just as distinct as the choices people make between them. From the tried-and-true Maxxis DHF and DHR setup, to opting for a faster-rolling High Roller, to the extremely aggressive Magic Mary up front, with the allround Nobby Nic in the back, this list encapsulates the best the tire industry has to offer to enduro riders.

So without further ado, here’s my list of the very best 29 inch enduro tires.

Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex

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

The Continental Der Baron Projekt is a very aggressive mountain bike tire. Massive blocks sufficiently spaced ensure you have both maximum grip and maximum mud clearance, making this tire a solid enduro allrounder in both wet and dry conditions.

Even in the 2.4 inch width version, this tire weighs 890, which makes this tire a great option if you want to ride all year round, but you stay away from the trail in the worst of conditions.

The BlackChili compound from Continental is known for its great durability. So if you’re also looking for a tire that’ll last you a very long time, and save on cash that way, the Der Baron Projekt is a solid choice as well.

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – November 2, 2020

The Continental Der Baron Projekt is a user-friendly tire that works best in looser and loamy conditions. The most notable design aspects of this tire are the relatively low knobs and open tread pattern. Even though this tire doesn’t have big knobs with an aggressive bite, the open pattern helps them hook up surprisingly well. Rolling speed is sub-par and there is noticeable drag on firm surfaces. I found braking traction to be below average and I found the tire slipped into skid-mode a little too quickly. I was impressed with the longevity as our test tire showed minimal wear with over 300-miles on it. At this price, it is difficult to recommend this tire over the competition. Still, the Der Baron is a respectable performer.

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 Minion SS

Maxxis Minion SS
Maxxis Minion SS

When riding in dry conditions the Maxxis Minion SS is probably the fastest-rolling enduro tire on the market.

It’s strange to call this tire a semi-slick, because that’s what SS stands for. The center tread, consisting of very small knobbies, are indeed a feature of what I would consider to be a semi-slick. But the side knobbies are the same as the DHR or DHF. That means you maintain high levels of speed on the straights with the proven grip when cornering.

It’s a formula which is as simple as it is effective, turning this tire into a speedy, dry condition enduro tire. I’ve seen the tire ridden both in the front and back, but to me the back seems the most logical choice, with a grippier tire up front.

Expert Experience

Mike Kazimer | Technical reviewer – November 19, 2015

As far as durability goes, even after a couple months of regular use the small center knobs, the area I expected to see the most signs of wear, are still holding their shape, and there hasn’t been any cracking or tearing of the side knobs.

The Minion is a specialty tire, but it’s also one that’s usable in a wider range of conditions than its appearance might suggest. Paired with an aggressive front tire it’s an excellent option for riders looking for additional speed without sacrificing much in the way of control.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Hans Dampf

Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Schwalbe Hans Dampf

The Schwalbe Hans Dampf is a good rear enduro tire.

A classic-looking all-round tire with large side knobbies, and smaller horizontally aligned knobbies in the center tread. This tire transitions smoothly from fast straight into tight cornering, something not every tire does.

That smooth feel provides exciting reliability on everything but the most aggressive trails, where you might want larger knobs providing more grip in corners.

It’s becoming harder to distinguish tires within a certain category from each other, with all premium tires from major brands nearing perfection. With this tire it’s the same. It checks all of the boxes, but maybe outperforms none of its competitors who sacrifices one characteristic to excel more in another.

That means this tire is very reliable for the majority of riders out there.

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – September 18, 2019

If you were a fan of the original Hans Dampf, I think you’ll probably love the new and improved HS 491. This tire still holds true to its roots with a non-directional tread, rounded profile, and predictable drifty cornering feel, but it is beefier, burlier, and more durable than before. This tire comes in wider sizes, stands up far better to abuse, and can be pushed much harder than its predecessor. It also appears to be much more durable, which is great considering the high price of admission.

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

Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Schwalbe Nobby Nic

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is the best all-round trail tire from the German manufacturer. If there’s a tire that could rival the dominance of the Maxxis DHR and DHF and its omnipresence on the trail, it’s this one.

It’s tread pattern provides loads of grip and traction. Its allround nature means it’s just as good in the front as it is in the back. And it’s also often seen as a grippy front tire for aggressive XC riding, with a faster and lighter tire in the back.

You can go up to a size 2.35 if you want to and it’s also the only tire that comes in a 26 inch tan version. So if you’re looking for a solid all-round setup, meant for every conceivable condition, dry and wet, hardpack and forest trail, and you want to ride a tan version, this is the tire for you.

Expert Experience

Drew Rohde | Editor in Chief – December 1, 2020

The Nobby Nic Super Ground tires opened my eyes in many ways as to what a lighter weight trail tire is capable of and what sort of ride advantages a lighter casing trail offers. We also saw the limitations of the SpeedGrip tread compound on certain types of terrain and obstacles. If you ride harder pack terrain, want a fast rolling tire that has a solid tread pattern, can climb, corner and brake well, these are certainly worth considering. The downside to this long lasting compound is that they won’t offer the confidence and traction on wet roots, loose terrain or angled and steep rock faces.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 29 inch enduro tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×2.30
58-622
925
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×2.50WT
63-622
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×2.50WT
64-622
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×2.60
66-622
978
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×2.60
66-622
995
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
120
Maxxis Minion DHF
29×3.00
76-622
1110
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
120
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.30
58-622
825
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.30
58-622
1040
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
DD
tlr
120
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.40WT
61-622
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.40WT
61-622
988
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.40WT
61-622
Black
Black
3C MaxxGrip
DD
tlr
120
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.60
66-622
1035
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
29×2.60
66-622
983
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
29×2.30
58-622
920
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
29×2.50WT
64-622
990
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
60
Maxxis High Roller II
29×2.50WT
64-622
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
tlr
120
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
29×2.35
60-622
1055
Black
Black
ADDIX Soft
tlr
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
29×2.60
65-622
1110
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
tlr
Schwalbe Nobby Nic
29×2.25
57-622
810
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
tlr
Schwalbe Nobby Nic
29×2.60
65-622
1080
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
tlr
Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex
29×2.40
60-622
990
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection Apex casing
tlr
3/180

Sources

Jeremy Benson, Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection APEX Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 2, 2020
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
Mike Kazimer, Maxxis Minion SS Tire – Review, Pinkbike, November 19, 2015
Jeremy Benson, Schwalbe Hans Dampf HS491 Addix Review, Outdoorgearlab, September 18, 2019
Tor Weiland, Schwalbe Magic Mary | Mountain Bike Tire Review, Thelostco, November 03, 2022
Drew Rohde, Schwalbe Nobby Nic Super Ground Review, The Loam Wolf, December 1, 2020
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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