Designed by multiple downhill champ Greg Minnaar, the Assegai can be thought of as a more aggressive alternative to the popular Minion DHF.
The profile is more rounded, with less of a gap between the centre and shoulder tread. This gives it a predictable feel when tipping the bike into a corner and carving through flat turns where it carries speed well and grips securely through greasy or loose conditions.
The relatively close-packed tread means it’s no mud tyre though, and the lack of a distinct gap inside the shoulder blocks appears to make it less willing to bite and cling on at higher lean angles than more edgy tyres, such as Schwalbe’s Magic Mary.
Like the Minion DHF, braking grip in soft or muddy conditions is mediocre – it’s more of a cornering specialist.
I’ve tested the Assegai in its lightest EXO casing and the hardest-wearing MaxxTerra compound. In this configuration there’s very little damping compared to heavier, stickier tyres, so it rebounds faster and bounces off rocks and roots rather than sticking to them.
Compared to Schwalbe’s Soft compound Magic Mary, for example, it feels much less settled and surefooted through rocky terrain.
The softer Maxx Grip compound and thicker DoubleDown casing would solve this problem (albeit at the expense of rolling resistance). These heavy-duty casing and compound options would better match the Assegai’s predictable tread pattern.
It rolls well in this configuration though (rolling speed is more to do with casing and compound anyway) and offers great grip and predictability in dryer conditions and on hardpack tracks.
How we tested
This tyre was tested as part of a grouptest. All tyres were tested back-to-back on the same tracks, keeping all other variables as consistent as possible to ensure our findings are as reliable and accurate as they can be.
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