Product Spotlight – Maxxis 27.5 x 3.8 Minion FBF/FBR Tires

We’re checking out a pair of Maxxis 27.5 x 3.8 Minion FBF & FBR tires. These are the tires that are coming on the new Salsa Beargrease complete bikes for 2018, so we thought it would be a good idea to shine our product spotlight and share some basic numbers with our readers. This is the second day in a row, where we’re presenting products that represent the 27.5 x 3.8 low fat tire/wheel revolution. I’ve been searching for a catchy name for (twenty-seven point five by three point eight inch fat) and I’ve landed on low-fat, because the sidewalls are shorter on this year’s crop of twenty-seven point five by three point eight inch fat tires. So original fat with shorter sidewalls make them low-fat….or semi-fat or plus-fat or plat? For now…..I’m just going with low fat….and I like low fat. Check out yesterday’s review of the Heller Bloodhound Trail and you’ll see that I’m a fan. One of the things that I didn’t mention in that article is the fact that the low fat tire/wheel revolution is the closest tire/wheel standard to traditional 26×4.0 fat tires, when it comes to the actual height of the rolling wheel. So that means that low fat wheels (with these tires) will probably fit in your legacy fat-bike. Let’s get to some measurements, shall we?

We weighed the FBR on our park digital scale and it came in at 1280 g. When we laid the tire out flat, the bead to bead measured 214 mm and the tread to tread was 106 mm. Mounted to 80 mm rims the width is 100 mm.

The FBF weighed in at 1282 g and the tread to tread measured 105 mm and the bead to bead was 210 mm. When mounted to an 80 mm rim the tire was 98 mm wide. The Maxxis Low fat in 9 mm taller than a 26″ Husker Du mounted to an 80mm rim and 4 mm taller than the Vee Crown Gem low fat tires that we wrote about here. So the Vee’s are about an eighth of an inch taller than traditional fat-bike wheels and these Maxxis tires are just shy of a quarter of an inch taller than the 26″ Husker mounted on an 80mm wide rim. The one exception to low fat being the same diameter of traditional fat is the Bontrager Gnarwhal 27.5 x 4.5 tire. The Gnarwhal does’nt have a shorter sidewall. That tire is 80 mm taller than traditional 26″ fat-bike tires.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Minion, I shot a photo of the tread pattern, with the direction of travel coming right at you. The FBF is on the left and the FBR is on the right. I started out running these tires at 10 psi and ended up bleeding a little air out. My last ride, I set the rear at 8.5 and the front at 8 and that seemed pretty baller. They don’t roll quite as easily as the Vee Crown Gems, but they have a more aggressive tread pattern and weigh a bit more than the Vee’s, so that makes sense.

Joe Meiser, Salsa Brand Manager, shared with us, that during extensive testing, he noticed that he could run lower tire pressures (with low fat) than he could run with traditional 26″ fat-bike tires. The lower and stiffer sidewalls on these Maxxis Minion tires allowed him to run lower tire pressures for added traction in soft conditions. So I don’t think we’ve gone as low these tires can go, at 8 psi. (Another good reason to call them – ‘low fat’) The Maxxis Minion is a well tested and respected tread pattern. We’ll be riding these for as long as we can and get back to you with more…somewhere down the trail amigos!

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Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.


  1. Surely a lower profile tyre is going to have more rim strikes at lower pressures. I run 26 x 4 at 5/6 psi and get the odd knock on the rim, I’m pretty sure if i did the same with the 27.5 minion i would smash my rims.

    I get that the tyre does not roll on the rim as much in corners with low fat but what is a fatbike for? You might as well go plus 3″.

    I think fat is fat and plus is plus. the 27.5 minion is just confused but i guess has its place as a not quite fat tyre haha.

    The reason I went fat was for the low pressure riding over anything, doing away with the need for rear sus, we seem to be creeping back to a normal mtb with this step.

    I guess it’s for the racers.

  2. I just picked these up and you will smash rims at 6lbs, I did. I bumped up to 10lbs and still dinged my rim. Nothing that caused it to not hold air but… I will have to run these at 12lbs or higher to prevent rim dings.

    These are some tires only IMO with not cush to soak up the chatter.

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