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The top 7 best Maxxis 26 inch mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best Maxxis 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Maxxis has been at the top of their game for quite a while now, judging from the amount of high-level ranking professional mountain bikers using their tires.

It has proven to be extremely difficult to beat their cross country and trail offerings, with the Ikon, DHF, and DHR II almost achieving an unbeatable status. It means that basically choosing any of the tires from this list is money well spent, and will offer you the riding experience you’re looking for within its specific category.

In general slightly slightly heavier than the tires from Continental, their sidewall puncture protection is excellent reducing the risk of tearing it to shreds and forcing you to throw the tire away.

Enough talk, here’s the list of the best Maxxis 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Maxxis DTH

Maxxis DTH
Maxxis DTH

The Maxxis DTH is probably the tire I see most often on retro MTB builds besides the Nobby Nic and Billy Bonkers. It’s a semi-slick meant for BMX, dirt-jumping, and pump tracks.

If you want you can get it in a wide 2.3 inch version, which will make for a plush city cruiser. Don’t use these tires on the trail though because the lack of grip will be dangerous.

Maxxis Ikon

Maxxis Ikon
Maxxis Ikon

Hailed as an allround cross country tire the Maxxis Ikon has the classic tiny-knob-all-over-the place look. It’s allround nature makes it a great option for diverse road conditions.

At a claimed 607 grams, this is a pretty light tire. The reliable EXO compound, also used for harsher enduro racing, means you’ll enjoy this tire for many miles.

As with any tire with this type of tread, it’ll perform well in dry conditions. The 26 inch version has both a 2.35 and 2.2 inch width option. You can run this tire both front and back, and might opt for the wider version in the front for some added grip. Especially if you expect some portions of your ride to be particularly rough.

Maxxis Ardent Race

Maxxis Ardent Race
Maxxis Ardent Race

The Maxxis Ardent Race is a solid option to mount as both front and rear 26 inch XC tires.

With a reasonable weight of 686 it means it’s still quite a bit heavier than the Schwalbe Rocket Ron or Continental Cross King RaceSport.

But paired with the Maxxis Ikon in the back you still have a very speedy setup from this brand with EXO casing protection.

The triple compound provides a fast-rolling center with softer and grippier side knobs for added traction and cornering confidence.

In dry conditions the traction will prove to be outstanding. In wet conditions the small close-knit knobs can get packed with mud. So you’ll need to resort to a different tire if you want to ride year round without swapping tires.

Maxxis Crossmark II

Maxxis Crossmark II
Maxxis Crossmark II

The Maxxis Crossmark II is pure cross country tire for dry conditions with the shallow center knobs and minimal side knobs.

It’s designed for speed on dry hardpack when going in a straight line, because it’s cornering ability isn’t up to par with other cross country tires in rougher conditions. That’s why it’s a solid option to put this tire on the rear wheel where grip matters less. So if you want the added protection of the EXO compound and you want to combine it with another Maxxis front tire, the Crossmark II be the best choice.

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 “downhill” in the name (DH stand for downhill) 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 the DHF and DHR II 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 the DHF and DHR II to be used together as their go-to allround solution for trail riding. And these tires are in so 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 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.

Specifications Maxxis 26 inch mountain bike tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Maxxis DTH26×2.1552/54-559550BlackBlacklinklink
Maxxis DTH26×2.1552/54-559550BlackTanlinklink
Maxxis DTH26×2.3055/58-559650BlackTanlinklink
Maxxis Ikon26×2.2055-559607BlackBlacklinklink
Maxxis Ikon26×2.3560-559675BlackBlacklinklink
Maxxis Ardent Race26×2.2055-559686BlackBlacklinklink
Maxxis Crossmark II26×2.2557-559705BlackBlacklinklink