Benefits of the Maxxis Assegai EXO WT 3C MaxxTerra 2.5in front tyre
Inside the MaxxTerra casing we found 120tpi cotton-casing cord, with a 3C triple layer carcass, along with a single-ply polyester/cotton side-welt.
Ground-breaking bead-to-casing-interface (BCI) technology creates a stronger junction between the casing and tyre bead. There are also two phases of 120tpi cord plies (one on the bead and one on the shoulder, separated by the BCI) that the company claims maximises casing durability.
In the shoulder there are 2in of ‘gummy’ 3C compound, which should provide traction.
The pins are medium length and slanted at an angle, which the company claim optimises traction and reduces debris accumulation.
The broad and square-lugged central tread is a large 2.15in, which is a step up from the 1.95in of the Minion DHF.
As for the shoulder tread, this is supposedly 1.73in, but we found it to be much smaller.
We found that the square-lugged shoulder cuts through small rocks in the trail without getting them clogged up in the shoulder lugs, providing good grip even in this part.
The square-lugged centre is seemingly well articulated, and rolls over roots and rocks without any fuss.
Although the square-lugged shoulder and centre treads work well together, we found the shoulder to be a little narrow, and when leaned over the support is slightly lacking.
We took the Maxxis to a variety of trails.
This included plenty of limestone and basalt, which meant that the square shoulder lugs were not loaded completely.
However, we did spend plenty of time riding over bumps, and the square shoulder lugs help the Assegai keep a bike straight during hard braking.
They can also lift the edge of the MaxxTerra up quickly if you’re looking for traction.
As for the MaxxTerra in this casing, the tread pattern appears to work well with the compound, as the traction is predictable if not overly deep.
The shoulder lugs dig into the ground (a little too well for us, unless a shallow, crumbly layer has accumulated), while the centre lugs roll over small rocks and roots without too many issues.
The square shoulder lugs make it predictable to turn in and to lift an edge if you want to get traction.
While roll-over performance is good, there’s no getting away from the surface feel – it’s a touch stiff, and the tire is prone to side-to-side squirm while braking.
However, we did find that in the dry conditions the MaxxTerra was reasonably smooth.
We also took the Assegai out on a wet ride, to see just how much grip it might offer.
The 120tpi casing isn’t as supple as the lighter weight 130tpi options, so once the tire is over all the holes in the trail it can begin to squirm a little.
Nevertheless, the square shoulder lugs give plenty of feedback, and if you find yourself off the bike, the square shoulder lugs will dig into the ground well.
However, because of the casing the tyres aren’t as fast rolling as the super supple rubber used by Santa Cruz.
As for rolling resistance, the Maxxis isn’t out of the ballpark of its competitors, and we found that it rolled fast enough for us.
In the end, we found the bike to handle well, if not just a little stiff in the casing which caused it to roll slightly more than we would have liked.
There is a noticeable improvement in articulation and traction when compared to its Minion DHF counterpart.
The square shoulder lugs allow the rider to steer the bike with feedback through the tyre, improving confidence and traction.
The MaxxTerra compound is not super aggressive, and so its performance is more linear than some.
The square shoulder lugs are self cleansing, so don’t clog as easily as their straight-sided counterparts, providing good all round performance.
Drawbacks of the Maxxis Assegai EXO WT 3C MaxxTerra 2.5in front tyre
We found the MaxxTerra to be noticeably narrower than the former dual compound Maxxis TrailDHR tyre
The casing is a little stiff for our taste, with the square shoulder lugs adding a little to the stiffness – potentially impeding the bike’s ability to carve
The tyres are hard to move from their resting position, and can take a few pedal strokes to recover from a hard landing.
The square shoulder lugs dig in extremely well, but they can clog up with mud quickly if not ridden carefully – if the dirt has mud in it the shoulder lugs are much more inclined to ‘clutch’
The casing is thinner than other 27.5in tyres that we have ridden.
As for the rear, the Maxxis Ikon 2.4 in the EXO casing, uses the same tread and casing as the Ikon above it, with the MaxxTerra casing coming in at a weight of 630g.
The tread pattern features an outer 1.85in square-lugged tread for traction and square shoulder lugs which are there for cornering.