If you are not a gravity rider, you cannot really understand why a grippy tire is crucial for riding. For us, the usual two competitions we attend annually are enough to convince us of the qualities of a product we get to test during a competition. However, this year we had other plans and we couldn’t make it to any downhill competition. Considering we received a pair of Maxxis High Roller II for testing, the only viable solution was to test them on an electric bike, you’ll see why in the following article.
Installing the tires was difficult, we had to use levers and some extra sweaty work, but you can trust the tires will stay on the rim, no matter what happens. We inflated them to 3.5bar so they can bed properly, then we dropped to 1.8bar, considering the extra weight of the electric bike. If they were to go on the enduro bike, they would have been used at 1.4-1.5 (with a tube), considering I would ride only downhill. But considering there is no chairlift around, we couldn’t put ourselves through climbing on 1.2kg tires that stick like glue to the track.
This is where the genius of the creator of this thread and compound comes into play. This tires turn your bike into a locomotive, that seems to roll on tracks on any terrain. This is more impressive considering we rode on a 24kg bike. We have used them on all track conditions, but they were most impressive in wet conditions, with this tires, any MTB instructor should change his teachings when explaining how you should handle roots or rocks. Another way of saying this is this tires are the best way you can cheat, an unfair advantage compared to others that have not discovered them yet. Yes, this is truly how good the High Roller goes over obstacles, specially wet roots or rocks, it is unbelievable.
Further, the braking power is huge. Together with a set of Magura brakes (of which I don’t have a great general opinion), the bike stopped exactly where and how we wanted it. More than that, traction on climbs is very good and as they proved it, the motor cannot handle the amount of grip this tyres have. By climbs, we refer to those section of the track where even walking is hard. On a normal bike, unpowered we mean, it would be impossible, but the addition of a 250W motor helped.
You didn’t think all this qualities come without cons, right? Ok, so, they are heavy, at 1.2kg you will have to seriously consider climbing mountains with them. Then, they are hard to mount, but you will probably forget this after the first ride. Rolling resistance is not great, but not because of the thread but because of the compound that just sticks to everything. You could run a higher pressure, 2.5bar on climbs and deflate to 1.6bar on downhills. Also, a softer compound means a shorter lifespan for the tire, after around 1000km the rear tire has its thread worn out over 70%.
In conclusion, what I can tell about this tires is they made me feel like a pro rider. They are ideal for enduro, as long as you accept an extra 2.4kg on your bike. Ideal also for downhill, where weight is not that important and also ideal for electric bikes, not requiring 27+ tires. Flat protection is also great, if however this tires would weigh 700gr they would be the best tires in the world.