Named after the iron-tipped spear used by the Zulu people of Greg Minnaar’s native South Africa, the Assegai is the product of collaboration between probably the bike industry’s most trusted tire brand, and one of the winningest downhill racers in history. Greg Minnaar and Maxxis were seeking to achieve uncompromising traction in conditions ranging from dry to spike-worthy, and a stable, supportive feel throughout the tread profile when they set out to design this gravity-focused tire. For inspiration, Minnaar drew upon all of the tires he’s used over the years, but especially the High Roller II. Some knobs also bear resemblance to the popular Minion DHF.

I tested several versions of the Assegai, and on a couple different bikes—neither of them downhill bikes. These versions included the 120-TPI MaxxGrip DoubleDown, 120-TPI MaxxTerra EXO+, and the 60-TPI MaxxTerra EXO, all in the 29×2.5 size. I didn’t use a tire insert.

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