maxxis aggressor doubledefence

Review: Maxxis Aggressor 2.5in WT DoubleDown Tyre

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Maxxis has a growing range of Wide Trail (WT) mountain bike tyres, including several options with the more robust DoubleDown casing. To make sense of the range, we gathered the Aggressor, Minion DHF, Minion DHR II and Shorty in their respective WT DoubleDown outfits, and gave them to our resident rubber-punisher, James Vincent, for a mini-shootout. Over to James.


Billed as an all rounder tyre for those riding at higher speeds in drier conditions on modern mountain bike trails, the Maxxis Aggressor has found favour amongst riders looking for something with a bit more traction out back than a full on semi slick would otherwise afford.

Previously only available as a 2.3in model, the tread pattern hasn’t changed much on this new 2.5in Wide Trail version – things have just been spread out a bit to compensate for the larger casing. It’s still a dual compound tyre, with a softer rubber compound on the shoulder knobs and a very hard compound in the centre for faster rolling.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence
The 2.5in Wide Trail Maxxis Aggressor with a DoubleDown casing.

Maxxis is keeping its cards close to the chest with regards to the actual grades of rubber used, but the tyre is holding up very well and after nearly six months of hard use, the knobs are still looking pretty sharp, with plenty of life left in them.

Maxxis Aggressor Wide Trail DoubleDown Tyre Specs

  • All-round tyre suited to hardpack and loose-over-hard trail surfaces, dry conditions
  • Size tested: 27.5×2.5in WT
  • Actual weight: 1142g
  • Measured width 2.45in
  • Rubber compound: Dual
  • DoubleDown casing (120tpi)
  • Also available in 26in and 29in diameters, and 2.3in width
  • RRP £69.99
maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence
The Aggressor’s tread pattern is best suited to hardpack and drier conditions.

Installation

I had no issues getting the tyre onto a variety of wider rims (30mm internal), and as with my experience of all other Maxxis tyres it popped up tubeless with just a track pump, seating almost instantly with no bother at all. Getting it off again presented no issues either, and it didn’t leak air throughout the test. Honestly, why can’t all tubeless tyres be this easy?

While you could run the Aggressor on the front if you wanted to, in the present company (with a Shorty, Minion DHF and DHR II) it seems daft to do so, so I’ve run it exclusively as a rear tyre, and it’s been brilliant in all conditions.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence james vincent lake district
Testing has ranged from dry to wet conditions, on hardpack to loose trail surfaces.

Performance

You’d expect a tyre with a tread depth this shallow to struggle when climbing, and while I’ve spun out a couple of times, it has massively outperformed my expectations. When it did lose traction on super steep pinches, I wasn’t far off running out of leg power anyway and welcomed the excuse to get off and walk.

Braking is also very good, only really cutting loose on that most nightmare of surfaces – wet grass, and even then doing so in a very predictable fashion.

The same goes for cornering – it doesn’t slide about as much as you might think thanks to the large, soft compound side knobs – they dig in and keep you pointing in the right direction, and when it does slide you get plenty of warning giving you time to try to (hopefully) catch it and carry on your merry way.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence james vincent
We tested the Aggressor exclusively on the rear, where it makes a fabulously fast tyre for enduro-style riding.

As conditions have deteriorated into autumn and beyond, I’ve had the chance to try it in less favourable conditions, and there’s no denying that it skips and slides about underneath you when things get really grim, but it’s predictable and also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun.

There’s a lot of rubber in the tread pattern which, combined with the larger casing, does a great job of cutting down on small trail bumps – this is a great tyre for the back end of a hardtail. I’ve been using it on the back of my Cotic BFe, where it’s brought some welcome relief to proceedings. Even more so when you take into consideration the lower pressures you can run thanks to the added security of the Double Down casing.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence
The shallower centre tread features a firmer rubber compound for improved wear and rolling speed.

Durability

Talking of which, is the 200gm weight penalty of DoubleDown worth it over the standard EXO version? Well, I’ve been running this tyre for the best part of six months, riding super rocky trails up here in the Lake District, fast enduro tracks in Machynellth, uplift days at BikePark Wales and racing the Ardrock enduro, predominantly on a hardtail.

The sidewalls are understandably looking pretty scuffed up and tired, and a few surface cuts are starting to appear between the knobs. My line choice has never been the best, and the various rims the tyre have been mounted on testify to this, showing several flat spots, dings and dents.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence
6 months of smashing about on various rear wheels is starting to take its toll.

On a lesser tyre this would have caused numerous pinch punctures, and the fact that I’ve only had one in the past 6 months is impressive. I was having fun, getting carried away and I caught the rear wheel on a rock. Gutted. However, it was just the outer casing that got damaged – the sidewalls remain intact, whereas with a different tyre I would have expected the sidewall (near the bead) to get cut as well (and be harder to repair).

I’ve not noticed the tyre pedal particularly slowly or drag excessively, so I can say that yes – the (slight) weight penalty of the DoubleDown casing is worth it to me. Obviously if your local trails aren’t quite as rough and full on, then you might get away with an EXO casing, but I’m keeping this tyre on until it dies.

maxxis aggressor tyre doubledefence
The Aggressor tread pattern works wonders on the high volume WT DoubleDown casing.

Overall

Unless it’s particularly sloppy, the Aggressor makes for a great, fast-rolling rear tyre. Despite the shallower tread profile, it actually has good braking and climbing traction, and the high volume DoubleDown casing allows you to run nice and low pressures for plenty of high-frequency grip. A tough, comfortable, and surprisingly versatile rear tyre.

Review Info

Brand: Maxxis
Product: Aggressor 2.5 WT DoubleDown
From: Maxxis, www.maxxis.co.uk
Price: £69.99
Tested: by James Vincent for 6 months

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Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals. After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible. He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

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Comments (5)

    Have you tried it as a less aggressive option on the front? Paired with something like an Ardent or Ardent Race?

    No, sorry – when you’ve got such great tyres as the Minion DHF, Minion DHR 2, and Shorty in the test, it doesn’t make sense to run the Aggressor up front. Cheers

    I ran an EXO on the front for a while (Ardent Race out back) for local stuff on the Malvern’s. Was very impressed on hardpack and seemed to work really well on the dry loose stuff too.
    Super fast combo but the Ardent wasn’t as durable.

    Nice. Dear Maxxis Can we now have an Assegai 2.5 trail version to put on the front for all year? Then all we have to do is switch between this in summer and the DHRII in winter.

    I’m on the same page as duir

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