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Assegai vs DHF and Dissector vs Aggressor???

March 2, 2021, 4:28 p.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: March 2, 2021

I’m thinking of trying out a different tire set-up on my all-mountain/enduro bike, which is a current Bronson CC V3 with a top spec build, running Reserve 30 rims.

I’m currently running a 2.5 DHF Max Terra EXO front and a 2.3 Aggressor DC EXO. These have (seemed to) serve me well on my local NY/NJ/CT terrain which consists of hard, dusty over hard, some loose and with chunky rock mixed in a bitch. Typical New England terrain. There are also a handful of bike parks days mixed in there.

My current tires keep the bike feeling lively and mostly just damn fine, but that vague spot in the DHF may be throwing me off, or my cornering technique just sucks. I feel like a different front tire may be much more confidence inspiring. I also feel like I’d appreciate a touch more volume out back, a 2.4 Aggressor would be perfect.

So, how does the Assegai compare to the DHF? What about the Dissector vs Aggressor?

I’ve read many reviews on the Assegai and some say that the Max Terra version can be skittish, while the majority of the reviews are for the DD or DH which are vastly different than the Max Terra EXO that I would run.

March 2, 2021, 4:53 p.m.
Posts: 2026
Joined: May 2, 2004

Pretty sure Assegai exists in a exo+ maxx grip, maybe try that? I can't really help because I always just go back to DHFs after trying anything else haha,

March 2, 2021, 5:19 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

I’ve ridden these combos, and just went to Maxxgrip Exo+ Assegai with a Max Terra Exo+ Dissector on the back from the DH casing variants (grip front, terra rear).

The Assegai rolls slower than a DHF. It’s noticeable but the extra traction and confidence, especially at high speed with regard to that ‘vague’ mid roll point you mention is worth it. The Dissector feels better everywhere than the Aggressor. The aggressor has always felt like a huge compromise that really only excels on liaison style climbs. The Dissector rolls really well. It does occasionally slip a bit climbing on tech stuff, due to the tight spacing, but pressure with help a lot with that.

March 2, 2021, 8:22 p.m.
Posts: 24
Joined: Oct. 23, 2019

I’d agree that the transition knob on the Assegai is noticeable and does remove the drift zone on the DHF when the tire is partially leaned over. If you can feel the drift, it’s a good reminder to lean the bike over more. I’ve only ridden DD and DH MaxxGrip Assegais, and I’m not going back. Although I would like to do some back to back testing with an equivalent DHF specifically for summer bike park days. I wonder sometimes if the additional knob surface/height make the Assegai a little less grippy when the tire can’t penetrate the dirt. 

I’d also agree that the Assegai isn’t a fast roller, even worse when you run two of them.

If you like the DHF there is a MaxxGrip EXO version that could be worth trying. 

I haven’t ridden true Aggressor or Dissector. But I picked up a DD Dissector that I was planning on running in the middle of summer this year in between DHR2s

You could also try running double DHFs. Not sure if that’s over kill for your riding, but I did it for years, and liked it a lot. Nice to be able to rotate tires from front to back

March 2, 2021, 10:06 p.m.
Posts: 96
Joined: Feb. 13, 2018

Posted by: Heinous

The Dissector feels better everywhere than the Aggressor. The aggressor has always felt like a huge compromise that really only excels on liaison style climbs. The Dissector rolls really well. It does occasionally slip a bit climbing on tech stuff, due to the tight spacing, but pressure with help a lot with that.

This.

The Dissector is an excellent rear tire. It corners well, it’s fast, it’s light enough, braking and straight climbing traction are acceptable for a fast tire. Beware though: in my experience the side knobs of the regular Exo 29x2.4 version of that tire turned to garbage after about 100km of riding (knobs undercutting all over the place). I didn’t have that problem with the Exo + version in the 29x2.6. I rode the Aggressor for a little while and was pretty much underwhelmed in all conditions. I think the Rekon is better at being a fast tire than the Aggressor and doesn’t give up all that much in the cornering and stopping department. The Dissector is still pretty fast and I found it cornered better than the Aggressor or the Rekon.

March 3, 2021, 4:06 a.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

The rekon casings always seemed too light for me, but after a friend who reps maxxis hassled me I tried the Forekaster. It’s an awesome trail tyre, seems equally at home in mud or dry, and rolls / brakes great. It pairs great with DHf when you want super fast and versatile.

March 3, 2021, 7:38 a.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: March 2, 2021

Thanks for all of the replies! 

I have noticed the DHRII mentioned quite a few times as a good front tire over the DHF. 

DHRII seems like it could be a good (and lighter) set-up front and rear. 

Does the DHRII front get rid of some of the vagueness that the DHF can have, or does it also have to be railed to really engage those side knobs?

I’m really looking for something that is going to feel locked in at all angles.

March 3, 2021, 8:19 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

DHF is good up front, DHRII is good up front or in the back, Assegai is good up front...it gets draggy in the rear. Aggressor is good out back in the summer (dry) only - I'm not a fan of it in the mud.

With wet conditions at the moment, I'm running an Assegai/DHRII (Maxxterra) and haven't looked back. The Maxgrip could be better up front, but it wasn't available at the time in the sidewall I wanted, so instead I have backed off on front tire pressures for really wet days.

March 3, 2021, 10:08 a.m.
Posts: 96
Joined: Feb. 13, 2018

Posted by: Jcway16

Thanks for all of the replies! 

I have noticed the DHRII mentioned quite a few times as a good front tire over the DHF. 

DHRII seems like it could be a good (and lighter) set-up front and rear. 

Does the DHRII front get rid of some of the vagueness that the DHF can have, or does it also have to be railed to really engage those side knobs?

I’m really looking for something that is going to feel locked in at all angles.

The DHR2 is indeed a good front tire. It brakes and corners well. I don't notice so much (or maybe am not bothered by) the DHF drift / float zone people talk about. In any event, the 2.4 DHR2 is narrower than a 2.5 DHF so I figure you might find the DHR2 less vague since you should be able to engaged the side knobs faster. I spent a lot of last summer on a DHR2 front and Dissector rear combo, both in 2.4. I'll probably do that again once it warms up and we see more sun.

March 3, 2021, 4:03 p.m.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Rode Mass and Vermont back in the freeride days, we saw technical amazing trails full of deciduous trees and exposed bedrock. Gnarly and demanding, but definitely unfamiliar alien surfaces compared to the soft coniferous dirt/granite dust and straight up and down riding of Vancouver. Maybe this translates to the same tire needs? Not sure. Maybe somebody here that goes back and forth E to W coasts would know, I would guess very different.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on March 4, 2021, 2:28 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 4, 2021, 4:24 p.m.
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Here's my take on all the tires since I've got tons of time on most of them:

I run MaxxGrip, Schwalbe Ultra Soft, or the equivalent ooey gooey rubber up front in wet months. No exceptions.

Aggressor rear: great summer tire, rolls wicked fast and hooks up and brakes predictably. So good. In the dry. Not good in the wet due to hard DC rubber and really sucks in mud. It's my summer trail bike tire. 

Dissector rear: was great in soft conditions for about three weeks then all the wimpy little side knobs tore. Literally three weeks, not kinda internet exaggerating three weeks. This was an EXO. Anyone remember the original Hans Dampf? Yeah, it's like that.

DHF up front: I keep coming back to this one for both DH and trail. I swear the cornering "vagueness" is an internet placebo. I love how it hooks up when pushed hard. Can get it in MaxxGrip in trail weight casings, so a great fast rolling tire that won't let you down when you hit wet rocks and roots. There's better mid-winter tires such as the Mary for riding in goo.

DHR up front: I didn't like it. Actually I loved it, except when I hated it. I found when braking on slightly off-camber wet rocks (really tricky moves) it liked to slide sideways. Other than that it was better than the DHF in every way. Unfortunately the wet rocks thing was a deal killer for me since I love that stuff. It now stays on the rear where the whole world loves it, including me.

Assegai up front: great tire in MaxxGrip, if you can find it in your size/casing. Great all-rounder, I'm not sure it has anything over the DHF in the drier half of the year, and not quite as good as the Mary in the depths of winter, but it's still pretty darn good.  I'll happily run either this or Mary, I just search out whichever one I can find MaxxGrip or Ultra Soft for my desired casing.

I'll take a DHF MaxxGrip up front over an Assegai MaxxTerra every day of the week, and twice on Tuesday.

March 4, 2021, 5:51 p.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

Shorty / Shorty 2 might be worth exploring. I’ve not ridden them.

March 4, 2021, 7:21 p.m.
Posts: 401
Joined: Nov. 28, 2002

IMHO, the DHRII is a beauty of a tire. I've run that thing in all sorts of sizes compounds, front, rear and maybe it's not perfect, but it's damn close. Rolls reasonably well, lots of traction dry, lots of traction wet. It is my security blanket. I think the drift zone that some speak of in the DHRII is a myth. Currently enjoying the 2.6 DHRII front/rear. Go try some. Maybe some people don't think it's their favorite tire, but does anyone hate these?

My current rig came stock with Assegais front/rear. I enjoyed them under pleasant dirt conditions but they would smell a wet rock and unless the thing was leaned right over (even while going straight off camber) it slid sideways and would consistently scare the shit out of me. Plus they roll like pigs and I have a 25-30min "commute" to the trails proper so I didn't enjoy the boat anchor as a rear. First to go was the rear Assegai traded for an Aggressor. The Aggressor delivered on rolling a heckuva lot better and was pretty decent dry weather rear tire. Liked it although I've had a few issues with them staying sealed tubeless for long term use. Eventually I said screw it and shifted to the 2.6 DHRIIs and I'm in my happy place again.

Somebody mentioned the Rekon --  I think it is a really really fun tire. The honest truth of the matter is that I'm not good enough to drift a DHRII or DHF on purpose. Damn things have too much traction when the side knobs are dug in. But the Rekon puts me in a place of fun. It has good grip in the dry and rolls nice and fast which I like for long missions. Lean it over and it has a good level of traction that eventually but predictably gives me a touch of driftiness that make me feel like a Local Fast Guy (which I'm not). In the wet, it is serviceable but not fantastic.

Call me Dissector curious... but no experience.

March 4, 2021, 9:08 p.m.
Posts: 1090
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Posted by: Reverend

My current rig came stock with Assegais front/rear. I enjoyed them under pleasant dirt conditions but they would smell a wet rock and unless the thing was leaned right over (even while going straight off camber) it slid sideways and would consistently scare the shit out of me. 

Which compound? A lot of the reviews seem to say the MaxxTerra was like you describe and said the MaxxGrip was much better. I have the MaxxGrip version it has tons of grip.

March 4, 2021, 9:15 p.m.
Posts: 273
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: Reverend

IMHO, the DHRII is a beauty of a tire. I've run that thing in all sorts of sizes compounds, front, rear and maybe it's not perfect, but it's damn close. Rolls reasonably well, lots of traction dry, lots of traction wet. It is my security blanket. I think the drift zone that some speak of in the DHRII is a myth. Currently enjoying the 2.6 DHRII front/rear. Go try some. Maybe some people don't think it's their favorite tire, but does anyone hate these?

My current rig came stock with Assegais front/rear. I enjoyed them under pleasant dirt conditions but they would smell a wet rock and unless the thing was leaned right over (even while going straight off camber) it slid sideways and would consistently scare the shit out of me. Plus they roll like pigs and I have a 25-30min "commute" to the trails proper so I didn't enjoy the boat anchor as a rear. First to go was the rear Assegai traded for an Aggressor. The Aggressor delivered on rolling a heckuva lot better and was pretty decent dry weather rear tire. Liked it although I've had a few issues with them staying sealed tubeless for long term use. Eventually I said screw it and shifted to the 2.6 DHRIIs and I'm in my happy place again.

Somebody mentioned the Rekon --  I think it is a really really fun tire. The honest truth of the matter is that I'm not good enough to drift a DHRII or DHF on purpose. Damn things have too much traction when the side knobs are dug in. But the Rekon puts me in a place of fun. It has good grip in the dry and rolls nice and fast which I like for long missions. Lean it over and it has a good level of traction that eventually but predictably gives me a touch of driftiness that make me feel like a Local Fast Guy (which I'm not). In the wet, it is serviceable but not fantastic.

Call me Dissector curious... but no experience.

I bought the Dissector and it was good for about 2 weeks for traction.  Troy helped design them but doesn't actually race on them.  If your stuck on Maxxis, DHR2 front and rear is a killer combo.  Maxxis prices and lack of MaxTerra options in the thicker casings is real bummer.  Nice there are options.

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