The Dissector is the newest addition to Maxxis' mountain bike tire lineup, the result of a collaboration with Troy Brosnan that began in early 2018. The speedy Aussie was looking for a tire that worked well in dry, loose conditions, and the result is a tire that borrows design elements from Maxxis' Rekon and Highroller II tires.
The Dissector is currently available for 29” and 27.5” wheels in a 2.4” width with either a MaxxTerra EXO casing or a MaxxGrip DH casing, but more options are on the way. 2020 will see the release of EXO+ and DoubleDown versions, along with the addition of a 2.6” width.
Maxxis Dissector Tire Details
• MaxxGrip rubber compound
• Tubeless ready
• Dual ply DH casing w/ butyl insert
• Sizes: 29 x 2.4" (tested), 27.5 x 2.4"
• Weight: 1220 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $90 USD
I've been testing the 29 x 2.4” MaxxGrip DH casing version, which weighs in at 1220 grams. Design Details
The Dissector's tread pattern consists of alternating rows of two and then three ramped center knobs, which are squared off on the backsides to help with braking traction. C-shaped side knobs alternate with rectangular knobs that have had an angular scoop taken out of them, with those knobs sitting a little further out on the casing than the C-shaped knobs.
The dual-ply DH casing tire uses Maxxis' 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound, which uses a harder base rubber with a softer compound for the side knobs, and a medium (but still soft) compound for those middle knobs. As the name implies, this compound prioritizes grips over everything else, including rolling speed and long-term durability, due to the fact that a soft, sticky rubber compound will wear faster than a harder one.
Tire measurements don't always match what's printed on the sidewall, but in this case the Dissector's claimed width matches reality. It's 2.4” from side knob to side knob, with a casing width of 2.3 inches on a rim with a 30mm internal width. Yes, that last sentence contains both metric and imperial units, but that's just how it goes in the mountain bike world sometimes. Performance
I've had the Dissector mounted up to several wheels at this point, and in all instances it seated and sealed with a floor pump, no air compressor or magic spells required. That's no longer as much of a notable feature as it once was, which is a good thing – it's becoming increasingly rare to need to really struggle with getting a tubeless tire to pop into place.
My first days on the Dissector were spent with it on the back of a downhill bike in the Whistler Bike Park, where conditions were about as good as it gets – hardpacked and fast, with minimal dust thanks to just the right amount of rain. The difference in rolling speed between the Dissector and the Assegai that I'd been running previously was immediately apparent. Where the Assegai delivers tons of traction, it can feel a bit draggy in harder packed, less steep terrain; having the Dissector on the back helped speed things up with only a slight reduction in traction. We're talking about DH casing tires here, so weight isn't on the top of the priority list, but it's worth mentioning that the Dissector weighs over 100 grams less than an Assegai with the same casing and compound.
The side knobs are well supported, which helps keep them from folding over during hard cornering, and I was able to push as hard as I wanted into the big bermed turns on A-Line and Dirt Merchant without any scary moments. It is easier to get the Dissector to break free compared to an Assegai or DHR II, but it's not a sudden, unexpected loss of traction – its grip limit is relatively easy to predict.
Maxxis' MaxxGrip compound lives up to its name, offering gobs of traction in all conditions, but the downside is that it wears relatively quickly. For racers who are constantly swapping tires that's not as much of an issue, but for riders without a fresh set of tires at their disposal it can be disheartening to see how fast those edges round off and the center knobs lose their shape. The overall durability of the tire has been good – I haven't had any flats or torn any knobs off, but it'd be nice to see a dual compound DH casing version added into the mix, especially for riders who live in drier, rockier areas.
The Dissector worked well in the prime-time bike park conditions, but I was curious to see how it would fare when things were less perfect, so I've been pedaling around with it on the back of a trail bike for the last couple of months. It turns out it's much more versatile than I'd initially anticipated, with handling that's very similar to a Bontrager SE4. There's enough traction to keep it from spinning out too often on tricky climbs, and it doesn't get bogged down on mellow bits of trail. It feels more connected to the trail compared to the Maxxis Aggressor, with more bite and less vagueness in loose conditions.
Even when the trails are wet it holds its own, at least until things get super deep and sloppy. The relatively open tread pattern helps prevent the tire from getting too clogged with mud, and the fact that the knobs aren't overly tall keeps them from folding over or hanging up on wet rocks and roots. For extra-steep, loose trails something more aggressive with a taller tread pattern and slightly better braking grip will be the ticket, but overall, the Dissector is an excellent option for most trails, most of the time.
Quick and predictable in a wide range of conditions+
Noticeably faster rolling than a DHR II or Assegai
Sticky rubber wears quickly-
Not all versions are available yet