It’s been years since Maxxis has released a new downhill mountain bike tire, but if this prototype is any indication of things to come, something’s nearing the start gate. Spotted by an anonymous friend of Bikerumor at Mont Saint Anne UCI World Cup race this weekend, these new Maxxis DH tires will be under the Santa Cruz Syndicate team riders, including Greg Minnaar. And they came about thanks to input from Minnaar starting at this same venue in 2016…

Maxxis Assegai prototype downhill mountain bike tires for santa cruz syndicate world cup DH team and Greg Minnaar

Maxxis’ reps weren’t saying much about the construction and tech, but they shared this statement:

“Maxxis Tires and Greg Minnaar have a rich legacy together with countless wins at the highest levels of downhill racing. At the 2016 Mont Sainte Anne race, Greg approached Maxxis with a tire idea that would combine the “on-rails” cornering sensation he fondly remembers from the original High Roller with the predictability of his current favorite Minion DHR II. A tire was sketched out and sent home with our engineers and then modeled for his approval before the first molds were cut. 27.5” and 29” samples have been created to allow for testing against the full lineup of Maxxis downhill-racing tires.

“Mont Sainte Anne 2017 was the target race to test this tire due to its mixture of rock-littered forests and wide open high-speed sections. Given its longstanding history as a World Cup venue, it seemed appropriate to bring something new to the table in the search for any competitive advantage.”

Maxxis assegai prototype DH mountain bike tires for santa cruz syndicate world cup downhill team and Greg Minnaar

With the Syndicate racing aboard both wheel sizes now that the V10 has a proper 29er version, we’d expect both sizes to go into production once they’re through testing. Compared to the current Minion DHF and DHR, these prototypes have a lot more siping, and the ramps on center knobs appear to have a slacker angle to improve rolling speed. Knobs are also smaller, with a tiny transition knob between the center and sides, all of which should help it grip across a wide variety of terrain.

UPDATE: They’re official, and they’re called the Maxxis Assegai. The name refers to a slender, iron-tipped hardwood spear used by southern African peoples, according to Maxxis. Look for full details to be unveiled at Sea Otter Classic 2018.

Check out the MSA racing action online now courtesy of Redbull TV.

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