It is on the occasion of the Enduro World Series at Olargues which took place beginning of may in the Caroux mountains, in the Haut Languedoc natural park, that we discovered the new Enduro MTB tyre Maxxis Assegai.
We were on site to see Morgane Charre in action, who we accompany this year, and to better understand the formats, the courses and the latest trends in Enduro MTB.
What strikes in this practice, is the physical intensity with longer descents than in Downhill, and physically intense transition between the valley arrival of one timed downhill run and the start of the following one at the next col.
In terms of tyres, the two big trends are increasingly larger tyres (many 2.50, many less 2.35), and more and more 29”, always with a large section of 2.50.
The most frequent profiles mix lateral grip to attack at descent, and well-stocked treads to facilitate transitions. We have therefore seen many DHF / Minion DHR assemblys, and on the last day, also some Maxxis High roller II and Schwalbe Magic Mary because of the humid weather conditions.
And then a surprise at the arrival of the last timed downhill run at Olargues, several riders were kitted out with Maxxis Assegai, including Damien Oton of the Unior Devinci Factory Racing (who, questioned on the tyre, praised its exceptional grip on roots, as well as several Team Santa Cruz pilotes. For the latter, it is not surprising as we know that the Maxxis Assegai was developed for the star pilot of their DH team, the triple world champion Greg Minaar.
In the design, Greg Minaar combined the best of its two favourite Maxxis tyres : the Minion (DHF et DHR II), the High Roller and the Shorty:
- the tread is mostly inspired by the Minion, mixing the characteristics of the Minion DHF
with the rolling aspects of the Minion DHR II
- A row of additional studs between the tread and the lateral ramp, in order to make the transition between the two more flowing and predictable. This allows in particular to keep traction during cornering.
- The lateral stud ramp comes from the High Roller II
- All with a similar stud height to the Shorty.
Greg Minaar’s centrai idea was to have a higher stud height compared to classic Enduro tyres in order to ensure grip in forests, on roots, all while keeping a classic number of studs for Enduro tyres in order to keep a relatively low rolling resistance on flowing terrains. Previously, we used to have either mud-type tyres with too few studs to perform on flowing terrains, or flowing tyres, with tight and low studs, not well-performing on humid terrains.
The tyre will initially be proposed in a Wide Trail version, optimised for large wheels, DH double ply casing and a 2.50 section (in 27.5 and 29 inches).
Availability in Europe is expected for july 2018.
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