I’ve done a lot of research on tires as well. I wanted something that’s fast and grippy for all the different types of terrain in AZ. I was willing to compromise a little weight for performance and durability. I have Maxxis Minion DHF’s on my 27.5 Mojo HD3 and they are easily my favorite tire. Fast over terrain and sticky when I am traversing slick rock up in Sedona. My Ripley 29 had Vittoria Morsa’s for one Sedona ride today and while they may be grippy on other desert trails, they did nothing on the slick rock of the Mezcal trail. It reinforced the Minions as my go-to. I stopped by Over the Edge in Sedona before I left and picked up a Minion DHF for the front and am trying the Maxxis Aggressor on the rear – recommended by the shop based on what I explained are my riding preferences.
They also carried Vittoria’s and did not have the Morsa on hand – they said they only sell what they have tested and proven in Sedona.