The Assegai from Maxxis is a relatively fresh addition to the brand's lineup. It’s consistently grippy in a range of conditions, making it great as a fit-and-forget tyre for year-round riding, though it is a smidge draggy – and it’s reluctant to clear proper mud.
The Assegai joins the well-reviewed Dissector as another signature tyre. This time, the link is to downhill world champ Greg Minaar, and it’s designed to stay composed in patches of trail where Greg has felt nervous – specifically muddy hardpack. But it’s also intended to provide good grip everywhere else.
On test we have the Assegai in it’s 2.5” WT (Wide Trail) size, with 3C Maxx Grip compound and EXO+ casing. It's tubeless ready.
It’s certainly a unique-looking tyre, with knobs that look to be taken from the Maxxis Minion DHF mixed with inspiration from the company's Shorty and High Roller II tyres.
Those knobs are tall, busily-packed and when inflated (on a 30mm ID rim) the whole lot comes up at a nice midpoint between round and square profile.
Rolling resistance is not bad, but while it doesn’t match up to the likes of the Minion DHF, it rewards you grip in spades. Pair the Assegai with a quicker-rolling rear tyre and you get generally fast-rolling platform with a super confident front end.
The Assegai comes with two stand-out good points. Firstly it behaves excellently in the corners. Thanks to its reasonably packed tread pattern it leans in really smoothly, and it holds a line with heaps of confidence – even when the corners dampen and soften up.
In slick conditions, it still provides loads of support. I’ve been able to plough into softer corners with a surprising level of confidence, assured by its dependable grip.
The Assegai's second strong suit is solidity under braking, both in the dry and the wet, which further adds to the confident ride.
While the Assegai performs impressively in a vast range of conditions, that closely packed tread can't cope with everything – I’ve found it clogs pretty quickly and, once it does, it really struggles to clear mud. It can make for an icy ride until it eventually clears.
However, stay away from stretches of real slop and the tyre grips almost as confidently as it does in the dry.
The Assegai sits at an interesting point in Maxxis' range. It fills a pretty small gap between the Shorty and the Minion DHF – it's such a small gap, in fact, that it's really worth considering what you want from a tyre before taking the plunge.
It has the grip the DHF lacks in the wet and the confidence the Shorty lacks on hardpack, but then the Assegai isn't quite the speedy roller the DHF is, and it's not the eager mud-shedder the Shorty is either.
Those conditions aside, it's a true fit and forget front tyre that’ll confidently see you through most of the UK’s weather. While it’s definitely a bit draggy and its mud-shedding capabilities leave something to be desired, its predictable behaviour in the corners, strong braking and all-out grip make it a tyre well worth considering.
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