Tire Compound: What are top enduro guys running?

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8/26/2019 7:30 AM

Figured someone else has already dug around on this one. What are the top 30 EWS guys running when it comes to tire compound? As a Maxxis guy, I love MaxxGrip stuff, I've never been competitive in any regional race when running that stuff. MaxxTerra I always seem to perform a lot better. Rolling resistance matters, or maybe just coincidence. I could care less about climbing effort/speed, only curious about DH performance, especially considering a number of enduro tracks are steep, but have long flat sections where holding speed is very important.

Curious what the top guys are running...

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8/26/2019 8:19 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Figured someone else has already dug around on this one. What are the top 30 EWS guys running when it comes to tire compound? As a Maxxis guy, I love MaxxGrip stuff, I've never been competitive in any regional race when running that stuff. MaxxTerra I always seem to perform a lot better. Rolling resistance matters, or maybe just coincidence. I could care less about climbing effort/speed, only curious about DH performance, especially considering a number of enduro tracks are steep, but have long flat sections where holding speed is very important.

Curious what the top guys are running...

alot of the top pros are on full dh tires so you're going to see maxx grip or super tacky compounds (if maxxis)

Maxx Terra is not as sticky as Maxx Grip and is downrick slick on the east coast. Maxx Terra will roll faster and last longer. could be a trade off and just more energy conserved on transfers? Maxx terra is normally in exo or dd casings so much less weight rotating as well.

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8/26/2019 8:24 AM

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

alot of the top pros are on full dh tires so you're going to see maxx grip or super tacky compounds (if maxxis)

Maxx Terra is not as sticky as Maxx Grip and is downrick slick on the east coast. Maxx Terra will roll faster and last longer. could be a trade off and just more energy conserved on transfers? Maxx terra is normally in exo or dd casings so much less weight rotating as well.

As I noted, I don't care about transfer speed, and don't think any of the top pros do either.

I just have noticed a *massive* difference in rolling speed between MaxxGrip and MaxxTerra, hence the question. Doesn't have to be Maxxis specific.

I realize there may be places compound really shines (lots of slick rocks). Out west, we really don't have that too often...

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8/26/2019 8:50 AM

richie's winning val di fassa sb150 had assegai front/rear, DD front, DH rear, maxxgrip on both.


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8/26/2019 10:28 AM

I know you're probably after straight up facts rather than conjecture, but im coming at ya with straight up conjecture. I have a hard time believing these guys are on anything other than the grippiest tires they can find. Maybe at a place like the Aspen EWS a few years back I could see them dialing it down to MaxxTerra (or equiv) but i'd bet 99% of the time they would choose grip over rolling resistance...

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8/27/2019 6:01 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Figured someone else has already dug around on this one. What are the top 30 EWS guys running when it comes to tire compound? As a Maxxis guy, I love MaxxGrip stuff, I've never been competitive in any regional race when running that stuff. MaxxTerra I always seem to perform a lot better. Rolling resistance matters, or maybe just coincidence. I could care less about climbing effort/speed, only curious about DH performance, especially considering a number of enduro tracks are steep, but have long flat sections where holding speed is very important.

Curious what the top guys are running...

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

alot of the top pros are on full dh tires so you're going to see maxx grip or super tacky compounds (if maxxis)

Maxx Terra is not as sticky as Maxx Grip and is downrick slick on the east coast. Maxx Terra will roll faster and last longer. could be a trade off and just more energy conserved on transfers? Maxx terra is normally in exo or dd casings so much less weight rotating as well.

jeff.brines wrote:

As I noted, I don't care about transfer speed, and don't think any of the top pros do either.

I just have noticed a *massive* difference in rolling speed between MaxxGrip and MaxxTerra, hence the question. Doesn't have to be Maxxis specific.

I realize there may be places compound really shines (lots of slick rocks). Out west, we really don't have that too often...

I think what you are seeing is tire weights not rubber compounds imo.

@sspomer - Back to back testing of double down maxx terra vs maxx grip may be in order?

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8/27/2019 6:55 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2019 7:48 AM

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

I think what you are seeing is tire weights not rubber compounds imo.

@sspomer - Back to back testing of double down maxx terra vs maxx grip may be in order?

I'm 100% sure I'm seeing rolling resistance, not weight.

Cushcore + Double Down = roughly same weight as DH casing of whatever tire is in question.

Difference is double down has Maxx Terra, DH has Maxx Grip. My lap times really aren't even close if there is any section of trail that is flatish on a descent. I've tested this locally (being I have two wheelsets for the exact same bike). I've also tested this at races. I really don't corner any better with the Maxx Grip stuff. Dust is like that. Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana rocks/roots are not the moss growing slippery kind, either (usually).

If its steep, it doesn't matter at all. But yeah, if there is any section of trail that requires holding momentum for an extended period of time, compound matters...a lot

Part of me wonders what the difference would be if I ran Maxx Grip up front and Maxx Terra out back. Maybe that'd be the ticket?


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8/27/2019 12:46 PM

Unless you think you ride like a pro i’d Be less concerned with what they are doing as opposed to what seems to be working for you

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8/27/2019 1:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2019 2:24 PM

bulletbass man wrote:

Unless you think you ride like a pro i’d Be less concerned with what they are doing as opposed to what seems to be working for you

Deleted most of my comment for douchebaggery.

^^^bulletbass man, I do race in the "pro" class. No, its not my job, no I'm not even close to a top EWS guy (far far from it) but there is a reason I asked this question. Its not to "just do with Richie Rude does" (he's the last guy any of us should emulate when it comes to setup), but to hear what others have found (who are fast), hear about other compounds from other tire manufacturers I don't often run.

There is a myriad of rippers on Vital. Lots of dudes who race at a pretty high level. A few who can mix it up at the EWS level. Some I know well, some I don't. There are lots of opinions on this stuff, and I'd love to hear from others what they've found.

Tires are expensive. Trying lots is a PITA. Taking data from others is helpful here...

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8/28/2019 2:42 AM

Moved from a Schwalbe 2.35 Magic Mary setup in the past (Vertstar front, Trailstar rear) to a 2.5wt Minion DHF front (MaxxTerra EXO) and 2.5wt Aggressor rear (Double Down).

I have a lot more confidence going down steep sections with the MM combo but on flatter sections, the Maxxis combo I use clearly feels faster.

If it were a wet/muddy race, I would probably opt for softer compounds. During the dry and dusty summer racing season, the Maxxis combo above will probably be much better.

* * *


Looking at recent races (videos, bike checks, etc), it seems the top EWS guys and gals are going for the super soft compounds (ADDIX supersoft, MaxxGrip, Black Chili, etc), which usually are only available on the dual-ply variants.

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8/28/2019 7:21 AM

https://www.strava.com/segments/12243113/compare/NjM2NjA0NDY3NjgsNjY1ODY4OTkwODc=

If anyone wants to see a good comparison, feel free to take a look. Just ran this segment, which isn't gnarly by any means but would make a good enduro stage. Tough corners and rooty. Good flow if you can lay off the brakes.

Hardly a scientific study, but with DH tires I was bleeding time the whole way compared to DD + cushcore (same tire, same bike, same size). Worth noting, I didn't pedal super hard at the end which accounts for ~4 seconds (and really one of the only spots you do pedal on the whole track).

If it was steeper, or gnarlier, I'm sure the difference starts to close.

Going to run this again with a DH front tire and a harder compound rear tire. See if results change. I do like the grip I'm getting up front for sure, and especially like how damp the ride is with full DH rubber. Just can't stand how I feel I'm in molasses anytime its remotely flat.

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8/28/2019 7:47 AM

Recently in Morzine I was running Maxxis Supertacky front and rear. The difference in rolling speed on a pretty flat green flow trail between my Strive and a friend on a TR500 with a ST front/60a rear was quite remarkable. I checked if my brakes were rubbing at the end of the trail.

I think on any trails with prolonged hardpack or pedalling sections a harder compound rear tyre is a must (for racing). I'd also suspect that tread, compound and pressures have much more of an effect on rolling speed than weight for most riding.

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8/28/2019 7:55 AM

bulletbass man wrote:

Unless you think you ride like a pro i’d Be less concerned with what they are doing as opposed to what seems to be working for you

jeff.brines wrote:

Deleted most of my comment for douchebaggery.

^^^bulletbass man, I do race in the "pro" class. No, its not my job, no I'm not even close to a top EWS guy (far far from it) but there is a reason I asked this question. Its not to "just do with Richie Rude does" (he's the last guy any of us should emulate when it comes to setup), but to hear what others have found (who are fast), hear about other compounds from other tire manufacturers I don't often run.

There is a myriad of rippers on Vital. Lots of dudes who race at a pretty high level. A few who can mix it up at the EWS level. Some I know well, some I don't. There are lots of opinions on this stuff, and I'd love to hear from others what they've found.

Tires are expensive. Trying lots is a PITA. Taking data from others is helpful here...

My point was mostly that you seem to know what's working for you and what isn't. I'd simply be less concerned about pros who are more often than not paid to use a product they don't prefer, and ride at a level that is simply far beyond even your top local shredders. It's not a knock on your ability to go out and be fast, I just generally think too many people focus on who's riding what as opposed to what will work for them. I'll admit I should've provided better context for my response.

Anyways I like continental's black chili compound as long as it's not bone dry. It's my view that the heavier the sidewall the better, as I'd rather shave weight with no defender device to get slightly lower tire pressures and simply do my part to avoid a race ending rock strike. But it'd be trail variant and I'd go from DH to Enduro/TR casings if I thought the course was pedally enough.

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8/28/2019 8:12 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

I'm 100% sure I'm seeing rolling resistance, not weight.

Cushcore + Double Down = roughly same weight as DH casing of whatever tire is in question.

Difference is double down has Maxx Terra, DH has Maxx Grip. My lap times really aren't even close if there is any section of trail that is flatish on a descent. I've tested this locally (being I have two wheelsets for the exact same bike). I've also tested this at races. I really don't corner any better with the Maxx Grip stuff. Dust is like that. Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana rocks/roots are not the moss growing slippery kind, either (usually).

If its steep, it doesn't matter at all. But yeah, if there is any section of trail that requires holding momentum for an extended period of time, compound matters...a lot

Part of me wonders what the difference would be if I ran Maxx Grip up front and Maxx Terra out back. Maybe that'd be the ticket?


I have been on maxx terra stuff for the past 3 years both front in a rear. I just recently moved to a continental der baron front tire becuase i wanted a stickier front rubber. I have not noticed a difference in rolling resistance, even on long asphalt road climbs.

Same tires in the different casings/compounds? (Like dhf, dhr2)


Also you're running double down + cushcore? Interesting.

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8/28/2019 8:18 AM

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

I have been on maxx terra stuff for the past 3 years both front in a rear. I just recently moved to a continental der baron front tire becuase i wanted a stickier front rubber. I have not noticed a difference in rolling resistance, even on long asphalt road climbs.

Same tires in the different casings/compounds? (Like dhf, dhr2)


Also you're running double down + cushcore? Interesting.

Double Down + Cushcore = I'm 200 lbs, I also miss lines and am stronger than most when it comes to pedaling.

Again, what is funny to me is I don't notice a huge difference climbing with various compounds. Its there, but when its a long steep climb its a long steep climb.

Its really holding speed when things aren't steep.

One of my big questions here was to see if the top pro dudes are running something we can't buy. The other part of this question was to get myself up to speed with respect to other tire manufacturers. Maybe Michelin or Schwalbe has a better blend than what I'm forced to pick from with respect to Maxxis.

FWIW, I tried hard to like Specialized "trial compound" last year. It was ABSOLUTELY too hard and was crashing, had to tip toe around despite how fast it was. There is a "goldilocks" formula for this stuff...track, rider, skill level, size etc all plays into it.

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8/28/2019 8:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/28/2019 8:26 AM

bulletbass man wrote:

My point was mostly that you seem to know what's working for you and what isn't. I'd simply be less concerned about pros who are more often than not paid to use a product they don't prefer, and ride at a level that is simply far beyond even your top local shredders. It's not a knock on your ability to go out and be fast, I just generally think too many people focus on who's riding what as opposed to what will work for them. I'll admit I should've provided better context for my response.

Anyways I like continental's black chili compound as long as it's not bone dry. It's my view that the heavier the sidewall the better, as I'd rather shave weight with no defender device to get slightly lower tire pressures and simply do my part to avoid a race ending rock strike. But it'd be trail variant and I'd go from DH to Enduro/TR casings if I thought the course was pedally enough.

All good. And you have a good point.

Obviously I'm incredibly bored at work (lol). Look at my posting queue the last few weeks (*years). Its like a stream of consciousness from my brain. (that's not a good thing)

As I just posted, I'm really interested to see if maybe there is a better combination than what I'm running, or to see what others have found...maybe I have to change my riding style, or maybe the fact I can get by with harder compound is a good indication I need to move (lol).

I'll have to give the Conti stuff a try btw.

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8/28/2019 8:21 AM

lewzz10 wrote:

Recently in Morzine I was running Maxxis Supertacky front and rear. The difference in rolling speed on a pretty flat green flow trail between my Strive and a friend on a TR500 with a ST front/60a rear was quite remarkable. I checked if my brakes were rubbing at the end of the trail.

I think on any trails with prolonged hardpack or pedalling sections a harder compound rear tyre is a must (for racing). I'd also suspect that tread, compound and pressures have much more of an effect on rolling speed than weight for most riding.

Super tacky's i can definitely see that.

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8/28/2019 5:25 PM

My dream Maxxis setup would probably be an EXO front with MaxxGrip and EXO+ rear with MaxxTerra. Tire insert would probably be a Tannus at the back.

The internets has led me to believe that an Assegai + Dissector combo with the above variants will happen so I hope it happens in the next decade.

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8/29/2019 2:41 AM

Not exactly in the same spirit, but I have been looking for a heavy/tough tyre for bikepark runs wit harder compounds: it is really hard to find a DH or even DD/SG type tyre with any of the harder compounds. My main motivation here is "not throwing out a tyre after a month of usage", rather than speed. Especially with e-bikes being all the rage, I am surprised there is still no offering like this on the market.

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8/29/2019 3:29 AM

Verbl Kint wrote:

My dream Maxxis setup would probably be an EXO front with MaxxGrip and EXO+ rear with MaxxTerra. Tire insert would probably be a Tannus at the back.

The internets has led me to believe that an Assegai + Dissector combo with the above variants will happen so I hope it happens in the next decade.

I see Assegai only in EXO Maxxterra.. I would love to try it if it were maxxgrip and EXo or EXO+... Im currently on Micheling wild enduro front (at both F&R)... needs cushcore at the back to have peace of mind though... I think michelin is taking too long to release DH/heavier casing versions of those and the DH22/34 the pros have been using the last year..

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8/29/2019 6:59 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Double Down + Cushcore = I'm 200 lbs, I also miss lines and am stronger than most when it comes to pedaling.

Again, what is funny to me is I don't notice a huge difference climbing with various compounds. Its there, but when its a long steep climb its a long steep climb.

Its really holding speed when things aren't steep.

One of my big questions here was to see if the top pro dudes are running something we can't buy. The other part of this question was to get myself up to speed with respect to other tire manufacturers. Maybe Michelin or Schwalbe has a better blend than what I'm forced to pick from with respect to Maxxis.

FWIW, I tried hard to like Specialized "trial compound" last year. It was ABSOLUTELY too hard and was crashing, had to tip toe around despite how fast it was. There is a "goldilocks" formula for this stuff...track, rider, skill level, size etc all plays into it.

I feel your pain man, im 220ish but don't run inserts. We don't have the sustained high speed stuff around here.

Think we can chalk this upto location. East coast vs West. Soil types will give very different results.

Looking at "winning bike" posts, i see alot of Maxx Grips. The schwalbe's have always been a bit confusing to me, and i definitely don't understand Hutchinsons.

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8/29/2019 8:32 AM

Verbl Kint wrote:

My dream Maxxis setup would probably be an EXO front with MaxxGrip and EXO+ rear with MaxxTerra. Tire insert would probably be a Tannus at the back.

The internets has led me to believe that an Assegai + Dissector combo with the above variants will happen so I hope it happens in the next decade.

luisgutrod wrote:

I see Assegai only in EXO Maxxterra.. I would love to try it if it were maxxgrip and EXo or EXO+... Im currently on Micheling wild enduro front (at both F&R)... needs cushcore at the back to have peace of mind though... I think michelin is taking too long to release DH/heavier casing versions of those and the DH22/34 the pros have been using the last year..

I run a Assegai maxxgrip in DD casing, goes good.

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8/29/2019 1:05 PM

It sucks that Maxxis DH tires only come in Maxxgrip, even the Dissector. I think the ideal combo would be maxxgrip front, maxxterra rear. Too bad you can't get maxxterra in dh casing. I really hope the Dissector gets a dh/maxxterra combo to work well as a rear tire. So far I ordered a dual compound dhf in dh casing for better protection and wear life as it's the only dh tire with a harder compound. I'm excited to try it out!

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8/31/2019 4:44 PM

I'm no EWS racer, hoping to ride my first Enduro race later this year.
However I'm a reasonably fast trail rider and I chase the rougher trails and no doubt about it I'm dramatically faster overall on easier to pedal tires. Not even close really. The energy saved is a real benefit as well on the descents.
Try the Hans Dampf 2 Addix rear. The soft compound is actually the Speed/ Grip compound down the center and it's the fastest rear tire that is Enduro capable imo.
The brands with the best compounds (most traction for least rolling resistance) are Schwalbe, Vittoria, & Continental so from those 3 try and choose your favorite tire. Front and rear doesn't have to match.
Good luck!

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9/4/2019 7:08 AM

Hi Guys,
during summer i just rode 2x assegai DH maxxGrip. Finale, Morzine, and a lot Alpine Stuff..
Of course the rolling resistance is ridiculous on the flatter sections but traction and breaking performance is worth it. when i am at home for more pedaling i put on the aggressor DD ore HR2 exo on the back.

the difference between dd and dh is just minimal in weight, so i alway bought DH..

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