Not the coolest name, but a very capable best day-tyre that inspires confidence and provides a good level of comfort. They’re not the cheapest but they pack a solid punch.
Easy to fit
A little pricey
By Vern Pitt
The High Road is on our Editor’s Choice list this year thanks to its superb level of performance. With low rolling resistance and grip in spades it also happens to be pretty supple and comfortable. The perfect all-rounder.
It’s amazing how little attention many of us pay to our tyres. We tend to find one that works well and stick to that, you’ll trade tales about how a friend of a friend once had a problem with X brand’s winter tyre and we’ll never try them, even if they’re the best seller in the market.
I have a theory that’s because no-one really likes spending money on tyres, they’re just something you have to have and so when you need a new set you’ll give it a thought, do some research, and probably buy the same set again. There’s no way you’re drooling over them on week of release like you will be the new Campag Super Record.
So it’s that inertia that confronts a brand like Maxxis, which despite being in the bike tyre business since 1967 and, so it’s website claims, being the biggest manufacturer of cycle tyres in the world, doesn’t hold the privileged of being many riders go-to tyre in the way Continental or Vittoria does.
It’s just as well then that the Taiwanese company has made a very impressive top of the range tyre here. The Maxxis High Road has been below the British Canyon-DHB team for the past couple of years boasts a 120TPI casing, pretty standard for a high end tyre, and Maxxis High Road’s new HYPR compound rubber, which it says reduces rolling resistance and increases grip over its previous rubber, while puncture protection is provided by a layer of K2 kevlar, lighter than its standard sibling.
All that tech does seem to have been successful and out on the road they feel supple and grippy – the two biggest asks of any tyre. In the crosswinds of storm Hannah I didn’t once feel like the bike might slip out from under me despite some fairly aggressive and impromptu lean angles.
Plus, while they could never be expected to turn the pockmarked roads of Surrey into a magic carpet ride they did feel a little more pliable than the Michelin Pro 4s I’d been riding for months before.
Now these Maxxis High Road tyres are really a race day-tyre but as I had only a few short weeks to test them I decided to abuse them on some of the most gravelly torn-up back lanes I could find. And they coped incredibly well. I didn’t have a single puncture, even on rides where my club mates succumbed to several, and the surface of the tyre had no major cuts after the first 300km of abuse.
If you’re in the market for a top end tyre and don’t mind paying a top-end price of around £90 a set of Maxxis High Road's (roughly in line with the likes of a Conti GP5000) then these are definitely worth considering. I’d say they’re even worth a switch from your usual race tyre of choice, I can assure you certainly won’t be getting a dud.
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