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Maxxis has upgraded its all-rounder race-ready High Road clincher tyre with a more supple casing, added puncture protection and a new tread pattern.
The original High Road was already one of our favourite tyres. We rated its smooth, grippy ride so much that we featured the tyre in our Editor’s Choice picks of the best products we’d tested in 2019.
The ride quality is only enhanced by the new tyre’s casing, which increases the thread count from 120 TPI (threads per inch) to 170 TPI. That increase means that the thread count of the High Road now matches Maxxis’s High Road SL race day tyre and only adds to the first generation High Road’s supple ride feel.
The softer casing means that the tyre rolls faster than previously, with Maxxis’s tests showing a two per cent reduction in rolling resistance.
For the foldable High Road, designed to be used with inner tubes, the increased thread count also drops the weight by between 12 per cent and 15 per cent. Maxxis quotes a new weight of 185g in 25mm width and 205g for the 28mm wide tyre.
In addition, the revised tread pattern of the latest High Road tyres includes less siping, but adds a finely textured surface, designed to increase the tyre’s traction in dry conditions. Maxxis has redesigned the tyre’s profile too, which it says improves grip when cornering in the wet.
Maxxis continues to use its premium HYPR tyre compound in the new generation High Road tyres. It’s a full silica formulation, designed to offer decreased rolling resistance along with an increase in grip in the wet, without sacrificing the tyre’s durability.
Improved puncture protection
In our Editor’s Choice review, we commented on the original High Road’s ride anywhere level of puncture protection, able to cope with dirty back roads, not just smooth tarmac. That’s been augmented in the second generation tyre, with a new anti-puncture layer built into the casing.
Maxxis says that this new ZK anti-puncture material is made of a liquid crystal polymer fibre. Its tests show a seven per cent increase in puncture protection over the first generation tyre’s K2 breaker.
Tubeless ready option
A modern road tyre range wouldn’t be complete without a tubeless ready option. The majority of new road bike wheels are now tubeless compatible, offering the chance to ditch your inner tubes and add to your puncture protection thanks to the sealant in the tyre. For the new generation High Road, Maxxis says that it’s revised the tubeless tyre’s construction to help improve air retention and improve ride quality.
Despite a tubeless tyre’s added weight, once you subtract the weight of the inner tube, a tubeless set-up should be comparable in weight or weigh less than running tubed. Other benefits from going tubeless are an even more supple ride and lower rolling resistance than an equivalent tubed tyre.
Like the High Road tyres for tubed running, the tubeless ready High Road tyre comes in 25mm width, as well as the 28mm width that’s becoming increasingly popular, as it provides greater comfort and grip and lower rolling resistance without significantly more weight.
Maxxis says that the tubeless ready High Road weighs 285g in 25mm width and 315g for the 28mm version. Both have the same 170 TPI casing and other enhancements seen in the new tubed tyres, plus they include a carbon fibre bead for a secure, air tight fit to the rim.
Maxxis tyres keep Israel Start-Up Nation rolling
It’s often not the climbs or the finale that stand out in television coverage of cycle races. Rather, it’s a rider’s ill-timed puncture and the chase back through the line of team cars to rejoin a speeding bunch.
That’s particularly true for a team leader hoping for the win, when wholesale panic can set in, all a team’s riders drop back to help and other teams will look to take advantage of the situation.
It’s not something you’ll see often for the Israel Start-Up Nation WorldTour team, Chris Froome’s new home. Just entering its third year rolling on Maxxis tyres, it’s had a remarkable run, completing the 2019 Giro d’Italia without a single flat and only reporting 40 punctures in total throughout the 300-plus race days of the 2019 season.
Maxxis has used the team as a testbed for its latest tyre tech like the HYPR-S compound used in the High Road SL racing tyres and its new puncture protection technology.
The team’s operations manager Jost Zevnik praises Maxxis’s drive to improve: “Maxxis has the determination to develop the best tyre for every circumstance: hot or cold weather conditions, dry or wet roads, down or uphill, and ITT’s or cobbles,” he says.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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