Maxxis is rolling out a new tire designed in conjunction with legendary downhill world cup racer Greg Minnaar. The Assegai takes its name from a spear used by the Zulu people of South Africa, Minnaar’s home country.
The South African racer developed this new tire by taking elements from many of his favorite Maxxis tires and blending them into a new tread pattern.
“My idea was to design a tire around some of Maxxis’ iconic tread patterns. I started in the center by combining the Minion DHF and the Minion DHR II. The reasoning behind this was I felt the surface area of the DHF rolls well and gives you a good footprint on hardpack, greasy turns, as well as confidence on wet roots and rocks.
The Assegai blends elements of many popular Maxxis treads into one aggressive tireDuncan Philpott
“The DHR II added faster rolling speed and more aggressive braking. Then I worked on the ‘extra’ tooth to give you more support when leaning the bike over so there’s a consistent feel all the way onto the side knobs.
“And that leaves me talking about my all-time favorite tire the High Roller. Maxxis engineers and I came up with a remodeled High Roller side knob with very similar characteristics to the original. But with the support the extra tooth gives you, you have the ultimate wingman when cutting hard on a flat turn.
“Finally, I took the height of the knobs from the Shorty. The knobs are well-supported, so the extra height aggressively bites into loam and dry, dusty conditions,” Minnaar said.
For the time being, Maxxis is only offering the Assegai in a downhill, dual-ply casing with a folding bead and butyl inserts to improve casing stability and ward off pinch flats. The 2.5in wide tire is optimized for 30–35mm wide rims. The tubeless-ready tire uses the company’s 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound.
The Assegai is available now in both 27.5×2.5 and 29×2.5 sizes. It retails for $90. (UK and Australian pricing TBC.)