Teravail Kessel mountain bike tire riding
Photo credit: Teravail


We put the Maxxis Minion head-to-head-to-head with Vittoria’s new Mazza and Teravail’s new Kessel, both self-proclaimed ‘Minion-killers.’ Here’s what happened.

玛吉斯爪牙DHF是邪教经典that has been in the Maxxis line since 2001 — unchanged. To this day, the Maxxis remains one of the most frequently specced and most ridden tires for enduro bikes.

At age 23, Ken Avery, now VP of product design for Vittoria Tires, designed that first Minion with input from elite downhill racer Colin Bailey.

Before theMinion, mountain bike tires made for aggressive riding (now called enduro) and downhill racers used cross-country tires with reinforced casings. Bailey wanted a moto-inspired design, so Avery worked out the subtleties.

一晃20年来,和Minion- 最初被命名为20世纪90年代的视频游戏角色 - 仍均居图表。但这种情况可能很快就会改变。今年春天,至少有两个轮胎,Vittoria MazzaandTeravail Kessel,都声称自己是“马仔杀手”。所以我们把所有的三个考验。

头对头测试:All tires were tested by three riders on 27.5- and 29-inch Next Cycling Huck Wheels. Testers rode the tires on Yeti SB140 and SB150 bicycles.

When available, we tested across multiple compounds. Spring and summer Vermont conditions ranged from slick and muddy to dusty and dry.

Teravail Kessel Maxxis Minion Vittoria Mazza mountain Bike Tires
Left to right: Teravail Kessel, Maxxis Minion, Vittoria Mazza



Minion DHF: The Reigning Champ



摩托风格Minionwas the first tire to have four distinct rows of knobs — two on the center and two on the side, with a mud-shedding channel in between.

It also boasts ramped L-shaped side knobs and Maxxis’ trademark curved siping. Siping is a groove carved into the tire that helps the lugs deform appropriately to give you grip and control.

This design gives this tire a confidence-inspiring feel. When you’re riding off-camber, the center treads grip laterally when you first lean in. But the side knobs wear out quickly because the lug sipe is huge and unsupported, which also prevents this tire from being even faster.




They stick, they corner aggressively, and the DHF tread design hasn’t been updated since it first launched nearly 20 years ago.


Maxxis uses micro-siping in its relatively recently released Assegai. Schwalbe uses it on its more aggressive tires, but Maxxis hasn’t updated the Minion.

Maxxis also uses ramps on the leading edges of the Minion’s center tread to help the tire roll. That’s why the DHF is a front-only tire. Ramps don’t dig in when you’re climbing, so Maxxis made the DHRII, which has horizontal bars for climbing grip.

Maybe the brand doesn’t want to mess with a good thing, but in the past 20 years, tire technology has progressed in ways that could help theMinion。例如,奴才的控制转弯独奏曲d — until you push it so hard that the side knobs fold instead of compressing and the grip abruptly gives out.

Look at a used Minion, and there’s consistent wear at the base of the knob, or knobs that are starting to rip. That’s because they’ve flexed past their limit with no support, stressing the base.

爪牙进来27英寸大小,化合物,和壳体模型,包括3C MaxxTerra,3C MaxxGrip和超级粘性化合物,具有单层,DoubleDown,以及用于24至29英寸的车轮DH肠衣的令人印象深刻的阵列。发现整条生产线here


  • Cornering:4.7
  • Durability:4
  • Rollability:4.8
  • 价钱:$40-75

它是一个爪牙杀手?That’s a silly question — it’s the Minion. But it could use some updates to make it even more awesome.

Vittoria Mazza

这是有道理的,谁设计的爪牙将改善其性能的一个家伙。维多利亚的Mazzagot the highest marks from all three testers for trail speed, grip, durability, and balanced performance climbing and descending.


TheMazza’s progressive sipe width and 4C layering make it the best-performing tire we tested. Vittoria layers different durometer rubber in each lug, with separate base layers for side and center lugs, and separate top layers for side and center lugs.

Cut one off, and you can feel that the bottom portion is stiffer and the surface is softer. Layering gives the tire stability, increased grip, and better wear. Layers also give the side knobs a progressive feel when riding.

你可以看到轮胎的工作原理由推轮胎的旋钮内有效边缘 - 这是干什么工作的优势,无论是刹车,转弯,爬坡或。当您按下时,刀槽花纹崩溃。而当你骑,这给轮胎胶质的感觉。

Thus, the lugs conform to and stick to rocks without the outer edge folding over. So, at the limit of traction, there was never a skid-inducing, abruptly collapsing lug.

Vittoria Mazza mountain bike tire


TheMazzais the only tire that we’ve used that closes the leading edge of the heavily siped center knobs, creating a miniature horseshoe. That helps the tire roll faster while also allowing directional flex without losing traction.

The horseshoe shape supports the sipe to help you maintain traction. It’s the same concept as the zig-zagged tread on a car’s snow tire pattern. Like the horseshoe, the zig-zag supports the sipes, which limits flex.


维多利亚的secret sauce is Graphene 2.0, a compound the brand combines with rubber to fill the spaces between the rubber molecules. This gives theMazza明显在潮湿条件下卓越的性能,同时减缓磨损。

Vittoria has used Graphene 2.0 before, but in theMazza, engineers fine-tuned the tread, layering, and how and where they use the Graphene 2.0 most effectively. Paired with a butyl sidewall, these tires look new — even after 3 months of heavy testing, with no lug tearing.

We tested these tires on rooty, rocky Vermont singletrack, which at times was slick and muddy and at other times was dusty and dry. But we’re told they work just as well in the desert. Vittoria-sponsored pro rider Jeff Lenosky claims that he’s been trying to ride up Grand Junction’s Horsethief Bench drop for 11 years, and this tire finally let him do it.

Vittoria Mazza眼镜

  • Cornering:5
  • Durability:5
  • Rollability:5
  • 价钱:$70

You can find the Mazza with Trail and Enduro casings in 27.5 × 2.4, 27.5 x 2.6, 29 x 2.4, and 29 x 2.6 inches, optimized for 30-35mm inner width rims.

它是一个爪牙杀手?Yes. If you ride Minions, this tire feels like your tried-and-true favorite — but better.

Teravail Kessel

TheKesselwas a beefy, loam-eating tire with predictable handling in corners and on descents. An aggressive trail, all-mountain, and enduro tire, theKessel胎面看起来很像一个爪牙DHF胎面但略有不同的四平。

According to Teravail, tall, angular lugs and an open tread pattern made from dual-compound rubber give riders grip on loose and technical terrain.

The company added that ramped center lugs keep rolling resistance low, and durable and ultradurable casings with sidewall and puncture protection keep you rolling for “predictable performance as you push your limits.”


Teravail Kessel mountain bike tire

Like the Minions, theKessel4月份启动,不使用进步的siping. But these tires use two compounds instead of the three found in the Minions. Teravail used separate lug and side compounds, not layered lugs. That translates to less control over where the tire is sticky and where it’s long-wearing compared to the Minion.

与玛吉斯,的前沿Kessel’s center tread is ramped to make the tire roll faster. Maxxis addressed this with a purpose-built rear tire, the DHRII. However, Teravail markets the Kessel for both front and rear.


“The center lugs have somewhat wide spacing to bridge the gap to the side lugs, which increases transitional traction so there’s less feeling of falling to the side knobs in hopes of finding grip before it’s too late,” said Stephen Wilcox, Teravail brand marketing manager.

Teravail drafted each of the block faces out to aid with release while bolstering the strength at the casing. It also maintained its signature rounder tire profile so the treads track and steer with minimal pull.

Kesselcomes in Teravail’s Durable and new Ultra-Durable casing options, as well as a Durable tan option. The construction features robust woven nylon in the sidewalls to prevent tearing and lacerations, as well as fine woven nylon under the tread cap to prevent punctures.


Ultra-Durable includes all of the elements of the Durable construction and adds butyl inserts in the sidewalls for added strength and structure. It also protects against damage from the rim on hard hits. And it has an additional half ply of 120TPI casing beyond the foundational 60TPI casing, which is another layer of bead-to-bead protection.

In both casings, testing showed that grip and durability suffered because theKessel是两种化合物,而不是三个。快速浏览一下一组KESSELS的已经骑3个可见多个耳外排撕掉。


On the first ride on these tires, one tester placed his wheel poorly while riding down a rock ramp. The tire burped instead of supporting him so he could recover. He didn’t blame the crash on the tire, but under stress, the tire folded instead of helping him correct the mistake.

As mentioned, every ride presents different challenges, and most riding mishaps can’t be attributed to just one thing. While testers didn’t think theKessel是一个小卒杀手,我们也认为这是一个良好的轮胎 - 和一个我们会选择比其他市场。

But the price is a deal-breaker. TheKesselis around $15 more per tire than Minion or Mazza. Find it in Durable, Durable tan, and Ultra-Durable casing in 27.5 x 2.5, 29 x 2.4, and 29 x 2.6 inches for $85.

Teravail Kessel眼镜

  • Cornering:4.2
  • Durability:3
  • Rollability:4
  • 价钱:$85

Is this a Minion-killer?Sadly, no. It’s a good tire. And if it was specced on a bike, I’d surely run it until I needed a new one. But the price makes it a deal-breaker.

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