Ever wondered what the best Maxxis tyres are for your e-MTB? Wonder no more, because the tyre giant has unveiled a fresh lineup of rubber badged with ‘E-50’ certification. Aaaand what exactly does that mean? According to Maxxis, models wearing the E-50 label have gone through an additional testing protocol to ensure they’re rated for the increased weight, torque and speed dished out by modern electric mountain bikes that, in certain parts of the world, are capable of travelling up to 50km/h.
It’s no secret that full suspension e-MTBs can be very hard on suspension, drivetrains, wheels and tyres, so manufacturers like Maxxis have been making a concerted effort to curate a product range that’s designed specifically to stand up to those harder demands.
The Maxxis E-50 tyre lineup
Now it’s worth acknowledging here that the tyres in the E-50 range aren’t strictly new. They make use of existing tread patterns, rubber compounds and casings, and are simply stamped with the ‘E-50′ hot patch to designate Maxxis’ approval. That might seem superfluous, but we reckon it’s a great idea, especially for less experienced riders who may be unsure about what tyres are most appropriate for their e-MTB.
Currently the Maxxis E-50 tyre range is fairly tight, with the main offerings being the Assegai, Minion DHF, Minion DHR II and Forekaster. However, we expect the range will expand in the future as e-MTBs continue to become more popular.
We’ve just received a couple of options from the Maxxis E-50 lineup, and here we take a closer look at the detailed specs and what they’re designed for.
Maxxis Assegai E-50 Tyre
- Price: $134.95 AUD
- Size: 29×2.50 WT
- Weight: 1,456g (confirmed)
First up is the venerable Maxxis Assegai, which is a popular front tyre tyre choice for big travel e-MTBs including the Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay and Norco Sight VLT. Currently Maxxis only offers the E-50 version in a single spec option, though this is pretty much exactly what we’d go for if we were picking a front tyre for tackling loose and rocky trails in a variety of weather conditions.
It’s built around a folding DH casing that features two layers of 60tpi nylon fabric for the carcass, along with thick butyl inserts around the bead to improve sidewall stability and puncture resistance. Maxxis moulds the Assegai tread pattern using the excellent 3C Maxx Grip rubber compound, which over the years has evolved to become the benchmark for corner-ripping traction.
We’ve fitted the Maxxis Assegai E-50 tyre on the front of our Orbea Wild test bike, where it’s replaced the stock 2.6in Minion DHF EXO+ tyre. The Assegai is significantly heavier, but the slightly narrower width gives the front of the bike more precision, and the sturdier casing and sticky rubber provides insane levels of grip. A welcome upgrade for sure on this extremely capable e-Enduro race bike.
Maxxis Minion DHR II E-50 Tyre
- Price: $129.95 AUD
- Size: 29×2.40 WT
- Weight: 1,346g (confirmed)
Out back we’ve got the Maxxis Minion DHR II tyre. As with the Assegai, this E-50 version is only offered in a single spec option. It features the DH casing, which again is our preference for a big-hitting e-MTB. Maxxis has elected for the slightly firmer 3C Maxx Terra compound, which we reckon is a good move given that e-MTBs can absolutely shred through rear tyres.
Even still, the Minion DHR II provides awesome climbing and braking traction. It’s not quite as bitey as the Assegai in muddy conditions, but we’ve found the Minion DHR II to be more neutral and predictable on our rockier and generally dry local trails, so we’d even be happy to ride it up front. It’s also faster rolling than the Assegai, helping you to milk out more range from your e-MTB’s battery.
We’ve got the Minion DHR II fitted to the rear of the Orbea Wild, where it replaced the same tread pattern but in a 2.6in width with an EXO+ casing. That tyre felt a little too floaty for our liking, and the EXO+ casing isn’t quite as stable or durable at lower pressures. With this 2.4in wide E-50 version fitted, we’ve noticed a more accurate feel through the turns, better traction in loose conditions and greater damping on hard rock strikes. All good stuff really!
Maxxis Forekaster E-50 Tyre
- Price: $114.95 AUD
- Size: 29×2.40 WT
- Weight: 993g (confirmed)
Lastly we have the Maxxis Forekaster E-50 tyre. This is the lightest and fastest-rolling one out of the bunch, and we see it as being a perfect option for lightweight e-MTBs like the Scott Lumen.
Maxxis chose to build the Forekaster E-50 tyre around its latest EXO+ casing. This sees the carcass constructed with a single layer of 60tpi nylon fabric that’s reinforced with EXO strips through the sidewall for support. Small butyl inserts are added around each bead to strengthen them against hard rock strikes.
Thanks to the thinner and more flexible casing, the Maxxis Forekaster E-50 tyre comes in at just under a kilo. Paired to the 3C Maxx Terra triple rubber compound, this is designed to be a fast-rolling tyre that prioritises speed and long-term durability over outright traction levels. That’s particularly important for lightweight e-MTBs that have smaller batteries and are more sensitive to rolling efficiency. If you’re trail riding on a Lumen, an Orbea Rise or Trek Fuel EXe, this could be the perfect option.