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I’m ready to switch to tubeless but am stuck on tires. I’m pretty much sold on the Maxxis Minion tires but am having trouble figuring out the difference between the DHF/DHR tires.

I assumed the DHF is “Downhill Front” while the DHR is “Downhill Rear”. On the surface this seems like a no-brained: but the DHF for the front wheel and the DHR for the rear. But they have different tread patterns. So I’m stuck.

Ia there something I’m missing here. It’s my natural instinct to buy buy tires with matching tread patterns. That being said, what would be the harm in running a front tire design on the rear?

as always, any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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No real harm. Maybe a little more wear and rolling resistance. Probably best explained from the descriptions:

The Minion DHF is the standard by which all other downhill tires are measured. The DHF incorporates ramped knobs for low rolling resistance and channel-cut knobs to increase gripping edges, giving straight-line control and precise cornering.

An even more aggressive Minion?! The Maxxis Minion DHR II is a complete redesign. Acceleration, cornering, and braking have all been improved. The shoulder knobs were borrowed from the legendary Minion DHF and then beefed up to handle duty as a rear tire. And, the center tread is heavily ramped and siped to roll fast and track straight under braking.
 

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Also, tire mfrs usually try to make rear tires to be self-cleaning. A rear tire should be self-cleaning as it turns in the direction to move the bike forward. You can see the pyramid shape of the middle knobs on the DHR so that it sweeps mud away from the center. A front tire does most of the braking, and not usually skidding while doing so, so mfrs don't worry too much about self-cleaning.
 

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DHF stands for downhill freeride not front. A whole lot of people run them front and back including myself. A DHR2 is also a great front tire with a lot of braking traction in steep terrain. The DHF rolls much better in the rear than a DHR though.

Onza Aquila’s are a really good combination of both of these tires.
 

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DHF stands for downhill freeride not front. A whole lot of people run them front and back including myself. A DHR2 is also a great front tire with a lot of braking traction in steep terrain. The DHF rolls much better in the rear than a DHR though.

Onza Aquila's are a really good combination of both of these tires.
Yeah, I've finally committed to going full DHF/DHF on my trail bike. Running the DHF 2.5 WT 275 Exo 3C front and rear. They are a bit more volume than the DHR and quite sure they roll better. Those center knobs seem to make a nice strip to roll. Wish I would have done this sooner.

What you give up to a DHR is the straight line, steep braking power. I thought that was very noticeable on my DH rig. But conditions with routine trail riding aren't so steep and so I can get away with out those paddle knobs. The DHR probably did climb the steep tech a bit better as well, but not by much, as I think the increase volume of the DHF offsets some of that.
 

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That's not true. It was even in the Maxxis literature that F was for front back in the day. The original DHR was definitely intended to be ran in the rear.

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Hmmm I was always told that wasn't true about the DHF. I wasn't referencing the original DHR only the DHR2. For riding the PNW or anywhere that's truly steep it's an awesome front tire. Overkill in Colorado though. I race on DHF's front and back and I'm happy. I'll replace the front DHF with an exo+ assegai when they're out and keep the DHF in back. Works great for me.
 

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I think the practical differences are:

The DHF has greater peak cornering traction if you get it leaned over. It will occasionally freak you out by sliding a bit as you transition to the cornering knobs. The DHR2 doesn't have such a wide transition zone so it might be a better choice on tighter trails that don't always allow for large lean angles. The DHR2 also has a little bit better braking traction. I wouldn't this definitively but you might could say the DHR2 is a better front tire for slower east coast trail riding or less committed riders.
 

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The DHf takes their popular downhill tire, lightens it up and makes it ready for the freeride crowd.
Sounds like bike rumor is saying it was originally a DH tire. Either way I'm going with Maxxis on this one who explicitly states the DHR was a rear tire. I might see if I can find some more of Maxxis's literature later. However, think about how much sense it makes that Maxxis designed a tread specifically for freeride and made the DHR specifically for the rear but also for specifically for racing and then used the DHf and DHr naming conventions to signify not what we commonly use the initials F and R for, which would also apply to the DHR, but for 'downhill freeride' and 'downhill race'. You definitely want to use the tire with ramped knobs and max cornering traction for freeride not racing...you can tell because the rear specific tire is labeled "r" for race /s.
 

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Hmmm I was always told that wasn't true about the DHF. I wasn't referencing the original DHR only the DHR2. For riding the PNW or anywhere that's truly steep it's an awesome front tire. Overkill in Colorado though. I race on DHF's front and back and I'm happy. I'll replace the front DHF with an exo+ assegai when they're out and keep the DHF in back. Works great for me.
Thought about that two as the Asg has traction for days, but there's something to be said about running the same front and rear and needing only one backup tire.
 

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Automotive tire Brown Rim Synthetic rubber Tread


From the 2009 catalog, by this time they had quit specifying which end to run the tires (except not to run the DHR in front of a DHF) but they did state the DHF was designed for racing (which is also what that Bike rumor article implies). No mention of freeride.
 

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... The DHF rolls much better in the rear than a DHR though. ...
I have had the opposite experience, at least in 27.5+ and 29+. The DHF rolls like a square in the rear and the DHR II rolls like an octagon (noticeably better but still not fast rolling). I now run DHF/DHR II (29+) on one bike and DHF/Nobby Nic (27.5+) on the other.

Try a Bontrager XR4 or SE4 if you want to match F/R. Not at all important in my mind though. Some people also run a DHR II on the front and report it's good.
 

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I have had the opposite experience, at least in 27.5+ and 29+. The DHF rolls like a square in the rear and the DHR II rolls like an octagon (noticeably better but still not fast rolling). I now run DHF/DHR II (29+) on one bike and DHF/Nobby Nic (27.5+) on the other.

Try a Bontrager XR4 or SE4 if you want to match F/R. Not at all important in my mind though. Some people also run a DHR II on the front and report it's good.
No one cares about plus tires ;)
 

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Here's a quote from Blistergear, who seem to know as much as anybody about bike and ski equipment, even acknowledging Colin Somebody, the guy who designed the original DHF and DHR:" And yes, the “F” and “R” designations do stand for Front and Rear. Don’t let some clueless choad on an internet forum tell you differently. Anyone who knows how tires work can obviously see that these were designed as a front and rear, respectively."
 
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