Maxxis' New Assegai DH Tire - First Ride

Apr 19, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Maxxis


There are certain perks that come with having 75 World Cup DH podium appearances and three World Champs victories to your name, including the ability to design your own tire. That's what Greg Minnaar was able to do with the Assegai, a tire he raced on towards the end of last season, and which is now available in a DH casing for 27.5” and 29” wheels.

What exactly is an Assegai, other than being a name that'll probably light off a firestorm of middle-school level comments? According to Minnaar, it's “a traditional Zulu warrior spear, the Zulu being the traditional tribe of KwaZulu Natal, the region of South Africa where I was born and raised.” Got it.
Maxxis Assegai Details
• 29 x 2.5" and 27.5 x 2.5" options
• Wide Trail casing for 30-35mm rims
• Dual ply
• Folding bead
• 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound
• Weight (actual): 1340 grams (29 x 2.5")
• MSRP: $90 USD
www.maxxis.com


Views: 10,788    Faves: 13    Comments: 8


The tire's tread pattern is a veritable smorgasbord of familiar looking shapes, and that was Minnaar's intent. He says, “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 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.”

The Assegai will initially only be available in a folding bead DH casing in a 2.5” width for 27.5” and 29” wheels, but there are more trail-oriented options in the works that could debut late this season.

Maxxis
The tall shoulder knobs are well supported, which helps keep them from collapsing during hard cornering.


Greg Minnaar Duncan Philpott photo
Greg Minnaar doing what he does best. Duncan Philpott photo.


Ride Impressions

The initial setup of the Assegai tires was a breeze – the days of wrestling with massive metal tires levers and giving yourself a hernia trying to get a tire to seat are hopefully a thing of the past now that folding bead DH tires are becoming more common. The tires were set up tubeless, and mounted to a set of rims that had an internal width of 31mm, with 19 psi in the front and 20 psi in the rear.

I've been able to get in a handful of big rides on them so far, with conditions ranging from wet and sloppy to even wetter and sloppier. Maxxis' 3C MaxxGrip compound is the ideal match for those type of conditions, and there was plenty of traction on the shiny roots, rocks, and greasy dirt that I came across. One of the nice things about the Assegai's tread pattern is how well the knobs are supported – it's a tall, aggressive pattern, but it delivers a very positive feel on rocks and roots, areas where the Shorty can get a little scary.

The mud that I've encountered so far with the Assegai has been more of a pine needle and dirt sludge, rather than the super sticky glop that can occur in other locales. In that loam soup the Assegai shone, digging in and providing plenty of traction without getting too packed up. In really nasty mud, something like a Shorty or a full-on spike will still be the choice, but I was impressed with just how well the Assegai handled the muck.

Maxxis
On a 31mm rim at 20 psi the tire measured 2.48" from knob to knob...
Maxxis
...With a casing width of 2.37".

When it comes to cornering, the tires deliver a very good bite for pushing hard into a turn, but it's still easy to initiate a change of direction, even when you're really leaned over. The overall tire profile is more round than squared off, which helps make for a very smooth transition from the side to the center portion of the tread.

The rolling speed of a 1300 gram, super tacky tire isn't ever going to be something to write home about, but, all things considered, the Assegai does roll smoothly, albeit without much urgency. Don't forget, this is a DH tire - you won't be winning any XC races on it. I haven't had a chance to give it a try in dry conditions – that'll have to wait until the sun decides to make an appearance for more than a couple hours.


bigquotesDid you ever mix all the flavors of soda from the soft drink dispenser at a fast food restaurant when you were a kid? It seemed like a great idea, but the result usually tasted more like a horrible flavor of cough syrup. That could easily have been the result of combining so many different tread patterns to create the Assegai, but luckily that's not the case at all.

Somehow Maxxis have managed to pull out the best traits of their most popular tires to create something entirely different, yet very familiar at the same time. My initial impressions are all positive – this is an aggressive, grippy, and incredibly predictable tire – here's hoping the trail-oriented version is released sooner than later.
Mike Kazimer







172 Comments

  • + 179
 doesn't matter who designed it or how it performs, Its called ASS GUY.
  • + 340
 Schwalbe answers with Rectal Randall...
  • + 5
 - kind of looks like ASS GAY. A few days ago, when i first saw name on the tire, I was sure it was an April fools joke.
  • + 32
 @WAKIdesigns: Might be your best comment yet
  • - 2
 Quick Maxxis, change name before it’s too late, this will not go well.

even Maxxis Minion AT. would be a million times better
  • + 5
 I will soon be rock'n the ASS GUY! What? Wait a minuteSmile
  • + 90
 Technically speaking, I am an Assegai, sorry Tittiegai, but you ran a close second place.
  • + 59
 So it looks like this tire was meant to be run in the rear end?
  • + 20
 so they figured the Assegai would play better with long knobs
  • + 6
 It looks like a front tire but how does it work in the rear?
  • + 10
 Ass-Guy with Double Down cuming soon
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: you made my day!
  • - 25
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 19, 2018 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 I can just imagine a group of angry Asian executives at Maxxis ringing the rep in California straight after reading these comments. We told yu Bobby! We fho-khing told yu Bobby! Whee foht it' wuas a vewy stupid ay-dea to get´ khnabs from Minion, Hay Wowa 2 en´ mayk it look layk Maaygic Mawy. We wawned yu abwauht da nhame tu, but yu say Gweg khnows wha e´ is doowing, we wawned you abwhaut the ass-guy, but no. Whole Wowd is laughing! They will be twolling us foh yeawhs! And now whawt Bobby? Who will bwhuy dat Bobby? Fhuk yuuuu bobby! Fhuk yuuu Gweeeg!
  • + 38
 @WAKIdesigns: really?
  • - 3
 Sir, you won the internet today
  • + 0
 @badbikekarma: try books by Deon Meyer
you'll read about stuff like that

couldn't copy those pages so I provided the link :-)
  • + 0
 this are all middle-school level comments!
  • - 3
 You guys are all idiots. I literally heard a middle school kid to stop telling a similar joke because it was stupid.
  • + 11
 @WAKIdesigns: Why you gotta bring me in to this?
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
Uh...Schwalbe Muddy Mary?
  • + 1
 come visit South Africa and educate yourself a little...............though you Scots should know that very well following the Zulu Wars you were involved in the late 1800's
  • + 2
 @HairyLegs: I stand disciplined
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns:

A) There is no "California rep", Maxxis is based in Suwanee GA

B) Greg Minnaar named the tire not Maxxis.

C) Bobby quit Maxxis many months ago to go work for a RAADDD bike builder.
  • - 1
 @rms195: no they're out the arse... anyway is these*
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: laughed till I cried!
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: ooffff. Should have stopped while you were ahead.
  • + 4
 @jason-99: somebody at maxxis should have said "Hey Greg, are you sure there isn't a different Zulu weapon name we can use?"
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: see that in your rear view mirror.....way back there? That was the line you crossed.

I still think its vewy funny.
  • + 4
 @jason-99: I didn’t even try to be consistent with facts.
  • + 0
 @Emu-Jon: did you read the article? they expected comments like these, and so did i, because it`s obvious to earn that with this name. so i had a laugh rerading them
  • + 1
 this is another pun-tastic ass-gay tire
  • + 2
 I’m looking forward to the new Maxxis Boobaje. The Boobaje is an enduro specific rear tire that will only be offered in DD (Double Down of course, don’t be silly). Yes, it will be a rear specific tire for your ultimate enduro combo:
Assegai Front, Boobaje ‘DD’ Rear

Greg named this tire after the ancient stone circles found all over South Africa, the Boobaje. Archeologists believe this to be the birthplace of the wheel.
  • + 1
 @retswen: ROTFLMFAO
  • + 0
 @RollinFoSho: I’m to fkng drunk to say anything else than I cong-bogging-gratulate you. It was bogging funny. Boobvaginassa my friend
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Okay That would be competitive.. but not after I put These on my rims~ Which will then read Spank Ass~ ????????????????????????
  • + 93
 Should have called it the MinnGnar
  • + 3
 Nope ASSGUY is much more catchy
  • + 69
 Im more of a Boob-Gai
  • + 42
 Confucius say man who happy with 2.48 inches between knobs not ass gai or boob gai. He gay gai.
  • + 1
 @Deville64: That'll be the front, due for release in the next couple months LoL
  • + 4
 That's the front wheel specific tread. TBA.
  • + 37
 ass-gai, add-dix.... when conti comes out with the terd-burger it'll be clear all tire branding is outsourced to the same troll marketing company
  • + 51
 Can't wait for the release of the schwalbe horny Harry, looks like it will be a really sticky compound
  • + 2
 @piersgritten: I would enjoy endorsing those
  • + 28
 They spelt Agassiz wrong.
  • - 33
flag ShreddieMercury (Apr 19, 2018 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 They spelled Rachel Atherton wrong
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: chickeeeen buuuuutt!
  • + 10
 @ShreddieMercury: That response made absolutely no sense. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you negative props, and may God have mercy on your soul.
  • + 23
 Tribesman: "Hey Chief, thanks for letting me use your slender, pointed spear. Now how do I use it?"

Chief: "You just stick it in the Ass a That Guy!"

Legendary weapon born...
  • + 1
 bwahhahah crying!
  • + 1
 It's early in the morning on the West coast and some of my family is still in bed. Thanks for making me wake them up. lol. Your mind took time to create this story. wow.
  • + 17
 Jesus, raw metal levers on those ENVEs at 1:40? Ballsy move by the wrench.
  • + 9
 aka, how to tell when someone doesn't pay for rims....
  • + 16
 i still mix all the flavors of soda from the soft drink dispenser and it taste great
  • + 17
 Magic Minion
  • + 18
 Magic Roller? I prefer High Mary
  • + 13
 @WAKIdesigns: high Mary sounds like a historic queen of England who liked narcotics
  • + 3
 @piersgritten: I mean, isnt that reason enough to go w/ high mary
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: She makes it easier for Rectal Randall to get the job done.
  • - 2
 @ReformedRoadie: I imagine High Mary to be a hippie dominatrix. She hangs out with Butt Bert though...
  • + 12
 In the video they show Greg riding down the Val Di Sole track and I think to myself, “hm, that’s kind of ironic - he had a rather bad weekend down there” and then straight after he says: “After riding and racing for nearly 28 years this is what I ended up with” - that’s where I miss someone editing in a clip of him carrying his V10 broken in half Big Grin
  • + 1
 im crying
  • + 0
 I'm all torn up trying to remember what happened at the final race of last season
  • + 4
 @yzedf: he broke his frame in half on the training and then flatted in the race run. It was one of the darkest times of carbon fibre ever.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you missed my tire joke lol
  • + 14
 What the comments really tell me is that dads and 14 year old boys have the same sense of humor.
  • - 3
 What they tell me is 'most folks need to get out more', widen their horizons a bit.

I saw the name and immediately thought of a convovulus flower. But that's probably because 「assegai」sounds out pretty close to the Japanese word for the same.

Then I saw the comments and thought 'facepalm'.
  • + 1
 That's ridiculous. I have a 14 year old boy and he would never. . . wait, nevermind. . .
  • + 1
 Age really is just a number.
  • + 10
 Not to beat a dead horse, but I would certainly buy this tyre if it was offered in 26". I love Minions and I love Shorty's. This looks like a decent hybrid that would be the "do-it-all" guy.
  • + 10
 First sensible comment! Maybe you should head down to vital mtb
  • + 4
 Yes 26” please. I’d run this tire regardless of the fact that I’d be showing up at the trail head with ass guy tires
  • + 1
 do-it-ass-guy*
  • + 1
 You should run, not walk, into your bike shop right now to ask for a 26" AssGuy!
  • + 5
 So yesterday I posted about this word meaning some kind of spear... well it turns out it's also a type of tree found in South Africa.... And well we all know of a pretty tall dude living in South Africa who rides bikes... Dammit, the name for this tire actually kinda makes sense now.... not as fun to shit on it anymore.... Just kidding... Ass gay tree.... Still funny
  • + 8
 For years every tire company has been copying the Minion DHF. Now Maxxis is copying the Magic Mary.
  • + 8
 So, based on the pinkbike comments. People care more about a tire's name than it's performance...
  • + 8
 Of course! Like a session!
  • + 0
 Would you want your Lambo tires to say "GAE-ASS" on them? Probably not...
  • + 2
 @rezrov: If I had a Lambo I wouldn't care if it said "Incest Nazi" on the tires. I would drive the f*ck out of it anyway.
  • + 1
 @Session603: luckily you could buy some tire that say asseg-I mean michelin to replace them
  • + 3
 You get a real sense of who the morons are from this thread of comments. Snickering because the first thing you all thing about are the words 'gay' and 'ass'. Of course it wouldn't be right to speculate on why they are your first thoughts of course. My first thought was 'it doesn't really sound like a Maxxis name'. Then Waki spends a several line paragraph being racist because seemingly he thinks Breakfast at Tiffany's style stereotyping is totally cool and ok in 2018.
  • + 7
 How can you not like butt jokes?
  • + 5
 @mgolder: Yes, you are a better person than the above strangers on the internet. Please, continue virtue signaling.
  • + 0
 @Session603: Ah, the use of 'virtue signalling'.... A default saying for people who learnt about it from hearing people say it online along with 'snowflakes' etc. Always a quality reply. Of course, the irony of your reply doing what you are criticising has obviously passed you by.

If you can show me where I said I was 'better' than anyone that would be good....... Or are you of the opinion that a moron can't call other people morons......?
  • + 1
 @mgolder: Ah, describing the origin of a term in a derogatory manor, as if said term's origin were relevant. Always an effective argument. Of course, you struggle with the definition of "irony" because nowhere in my reply did I insinuate having a moral high ground, as your post rife with name calling so clearly did.

Again, you don't have to explicitly say you're better than anyone to imply your moral superiority, which your previous post most certainly does.

Do you have any other questions, or would you like to get back to name calling on the internet......?
  • + 3
 @Session603: I see how this works. You get called out on something like your distinct lack of understanding irony and then try to pretend that you weren't acting smug and superior at all. Bravo. Everything you are accusing me of is prevalent in your own posts so far, except I seem to be the only one of us who can admit that about us both whereas you are burying your head in the sand to your own sense of superiority.

So, do you have any further questions, or do you need it pointing out to you with direct quotes where you are being just as smug as you feel I am?
  • + 1
 @mgolder: This is unhealthy behavior. It's been a week and you're still angrily scrolling through my comment history looking to play whataboutism games? That's kind of depressing. Honestly, I forgot you exist.

You were virtue signaling about butt jokes on an article regarding bicycle tires and got made fun of for it. That's, "how it works". It's OK. Move on with your life.

Here's some advice. Don't think about me so much; and stop taking the internet so seriously.

I'm done responding to you now. I hope this week treats you better than last week did.

PS. I gave you a + props for never giving up, even when it's really late, and kind of sad to watch. I respect that.
  • + 8
 "ass-guy"? pffffffrrrr
  • - 3
 Ahahahahaahhahaha Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • - 1
 Or Ass Gay?
  • + 3
 I skipped the whole article and came down here immediately for the ass-guy comments.
  • + 3
 Lets hope they are going by the literal definition and pronunciation. Greg being S. African I'll assume they are:
noun:
1. a slender, iron-tipped, hardwood spear used chiefly by southern African peoples.
2. a South African tree of the dogwood family that yields hard timber.
  • + 7
 @photodog: Went back and read the article. It's the spear, and really, if that's the case, that's kind of cool. At the same time, 98% of the world has no idea what it is, and it's the ass-guy tire. Here's how a typical conversation with your bros will go:

The Bros: "Hey man, how are those ass-guy tires treating you?"

You: "No, it's ASSEGAI. It's a type of spear they have in South Africa..."

The Bros: "Whatever, ass-guy."

You: "It has nothing to do... you know what, whatever. I'm the ass guy."

Kind of a brand managing fail in that respect, but hell, if they work as well or better than Minions, who cares?
  • + 0
 @TheR: a guy with a spear, in some dialect a sketchy proctologist. A kind of a Witch Doctor
  • + 5
 @TheR: They should get Kramer to be the spokesman " The Ass Man's in town"!
  • + 3
 @rebel12: That, and it also reminded me of a recurring sketch on Letterman with a real guy named Dick Assman.

Vio con dios, Dick Assman. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz-h16TwRDo
  • + 2
 @TheR: The pride of Saskatchewan! Lets just hope he didn't name his daughter Dolores.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: just please stop
  • + 2
 "Did you ever mix all the flavors of soda from the soft drink dispenser at a fast food restaurant when you were a kid? It seemed like a great idea, but the result usually tasted more like a horrible flavor of cough syrup"... thanks to the horrible Dr Pepper....
  • + 4
 @Lagr1980: Many a time I have partaken in the sweet, sweet nectar of swamp water Smile
  • + 2
 SWAMP WATER. That's what we as kids called it and amazingly, what kids still call it today.
  • + 2
 @gdharries: adults do the same thing with rests of beer and they call the result IPA
  • + 7
 Sam Hill you legend!
  • + 1
 Maybe folk will enjoy this more. The assegai’s other name is iklwa, so given cos it resembles the sucking noise thats made as it’s pulled from the body.

But yea, ass-guy works. I’ll be telling my Zulu friends that asap.
  • + 1
 You had me at original high roller side knob. I've never really adjusted to the minion side knob, the best feature of which is the ability to brake while cornering, but the original high roller still rules corners - drifting, biting, and fully committing to the edge - you can do all of these fluidly
  • + 1
 This is the best Maxxis tire I ever ride in the front wheel,I think it is too much for the rear wheel. It is way better than the minion DHF. So easy to feel what is doing and for me best thing,you can use more handlebar input so you can turn quicker and be very precise.
  • + 5
 All praise the High Minion!
  • + 4
 Predicting a lot of blacking out of the EGAI
  • + 1
 I'm in the market for some new 29" tires for a build I'm finishing, and tire overload is setting in. I just can't tell a difference between all these tires anymore. They all look the same.
  • + 6
 There is only one tire...the minion.
  • + 20
 I'm here to buy a minion tire.

DHF, DHR, DHR 2, SS, FBF or FBR?
Foldable or wire?
EXO, double down, or downhill casing?
3c or dual compound?
MaxxGrip, MaxxTerra, or super tacky?
Black or skinwall?
24, 26, 27.5, or 29"?
2.3, 2.35, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.8 or 3.0, 3.8, 4.0 or 4.8"?
UST?

Nevermind, I'll just get another Nevegal.
  • + 0
 @acali: I only run 2.5 DHF with dh casings....
  • + 7
 @nvranka: congrats
  • + 3
 @nvranka: That narrows it down.
They only offer 9 different 2.5 DHF with dh casings.
  • + 3
 I suppose many wc guys cannot run them as they use old obsolete 25-27mm ID rims Wink
  • + 1
 Hmm predictable feel... the question for me is: Does it corner like old HRII? Still cornering hard then suddenly let go? Or is it more like DHF so you can actually feel when you start to break the traction?
  • + 4
 why no 26"?
  • + 6
 Why no 24? For my BigHit
  • + 0
 Because most kids bikes dont have clearance for 2.5" tires
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: I find the HR II side knobs rather scary in contrast to the Minion (DHR II). How do these compare?
  • + 2
 They missed a golden opportunity... Shoulda named it the Naar.
  • + 2
 Assegai sounds like 'Aasgeier' in German. 'Aasgeier' means 'vulture'. o.O
  • + 1
 Going to recommend this tyre to all my mates and then sharpie out the "e" on all of them mwhahahaha
  • + 3
 Look! A Minion Roller!
  • + 2
 Howu!! Ugregory uyakhuluma kuhle kakhulu. Umhlophe umngane wami????
  • + 1
 Looks great, to bad it’s DH “only” on launch, was looking forward to a 2.6″ variant to go with a Rekon 2.6″.
  • + 0
 watch you ass guy!! Tried wtb convicts cause the price was low, not expecting much. now running convicts on all my bixe. jus sayin.
  • + 1
 assegee if pronounced by commentators at rampage, it's Fair cluff, not Fair claw too btw;
  • + 3
 TAKE MY MONEY.
  • + 1
 Assagay, also spelt Assegay, is a suburb of eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa!
  • + 1
 Set up on a 31mm rim, it measured 2.4 inches. Sort your units out!
  • - 1
 Lemme ask you a question, If you were a gay guy, why would you want to be the Assegai? You know? Who decides which guy has to be the Assegai?
  • + 3
 Put down the pitch forks, its an old Norm Macdonald routine!
  • + 1
 Sounds like a gay samurai.
  • + 1
 what? minnaar rides flat pedals?
  • + 1
 DHM was what I had hoped for on the naming
  • + 1
 Looks like a Minion DHR, Minion DHF and Magic Mary in one...
  • + 1
 I want it,hopefully next season it will be on sale for 45
  • + 1
 Good looking tire. I don’t like the name though lol
  • + 0
 Came into this thread a few months late, what a fucking trainwreck. Good to see the kids posting in full force.
  • + 1
 30 PSI in my Assegai. Don't care what you gotta say.
  • + 1
 looks like a comp 24 Michi with the mid row sipes going the other way
  • + 1
 Minion DHF +HighRoller II ?
  • + 1
 I definitely won’t be running a 29inch ass guy in the rear !
  • + 1
 Gwin doesn’t need tires.
  • + 2
 New front tyre!
  • + 0
 Looks good ! Heavy though
  • + 0
 Looks like 26" is in fact dead... Frown
  • + 0
 Now Bontrager just needs to put SE5 side knobs on the SE4.
  • + 1
 Noice
  • - 2
 Hey Maxis: Make this as a trail tire, get it between 600-700 grams and be just as durable with same feel as a current Minion trail tire for 27.5 & 29. Go!
  • + 0
 Good thing they don't make it on 26!
  • + 0
 Gonna mount that ass guy in the rear, oh wait....
  • + 0
 C'est assez gay ca....
  • - 1
 This tyre needs renaming desperately.
  • + 0
 need 26"
  • + 0
 Not available in Dub ?
  • + 0
 Looks like a minion
  • - 2
 Looks like a Hellkat
  • - 2
 I call not it to be the Ass Guy!
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