Maxxis announced its new High Road flagship road racing clincher at the Tour of Britain last year but it wasn't available for us mere mortals to buy. It is now, though, and do you know what? It's really rather good when you take all weather conditions into account.
- Pros: Great grip levels, wet and dry; robust enough for four season use
- Cons: Not the most supple race tyre out there
The High Road uses a new silica compound called HYPR, which Maxxis says will lower rolling resistance while increasing wet weather grip. It certainly does – well, the grip anyway, as these tyres are unstickable in both the wet and dry. Grip in the dry is decent, taking technical descents flat out or even less extreme bends in town, giving plenty of confidence from the tacky surface of the tyre.
It's when it's raining and cold that the tyres really impress, though. The grip levels feel much the same as they do in the dry and really inspire confidence so that you don't need to scrub off too much speed as you go into roundabouts or take on tight corners.
When it comes to rolling resistance, they don't feel amazingly sprightly for what is a top-end tyre. The tyres that they replaced, the Panaracer Race C Evo 3 Classics, feel much quicker and more supple too compared with the Maxxis' 120tpi (threads per inch) carcass.
The Maxxis have a ride quality more similar to that of the Pirelli Cinturato Velos.
The High Roads don't exactly feel sluggish, but they've been more suited to my all-season road bike rather than my sunny weather, best race bike when it comes to performance.
Puncture protection is taken care of by Maxxis' K2 layer, which is constructed from a Kevlar composite material. It's done a good job so far, especially considering the test period has taken in the tail end of the hedge trimming season.
I haven't punctured once, and the tyres have come through 500 miles completely unscathed.
My best bike has been running the Maxxis Velocita MS tubular tyres for the last couple of years. They are unbelievably robust, and I see no reason why the High Roads aren't going to offer the same.
When it comes to size options, according to Maxxis UK they are only available in a 25mm width, which for some is quite narrow these days, but it all depends on what rims you are running them on. If they are pretty new they are bound to stretch out that size by a millimetre or so.
As a race tyre, 25mm works for me and so does the sidewall recommended pressure of a minimum 100psi, but you can run them lower if you so desire as testing at 75psi has shown no issues with them staying on the rims.
The High Roads aren't tubeless or tubeless ready, and fitting with a tube was initially tight and took a fair amount of thumb and lever work. I've found with a lot of tyres it's better to fit them without a tube for 24 hours and leave them to stretch, and once this was done with the Maxxis fitting was a relatively easy process.
As for value, their £49.99 rrp is well in the range for this type of tyre. The Pirellis I mentioned earlier are just three quid cheaper each, although the lighter (410g per pair vs 428g) Panaracers come in a tenner less.
Overall, the Maxxis are really good tyres but I wouldn't quite put them in the top flight race tyre category against others I've ridden.
Grippy and robust tyre for all conditions, if not the most supple
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Maxxis High Road tyres
Size tested: 700C, 25mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Maxxis says, "The High Road is our flagship road tyre for elite racers and riders who demand the best equipment. It features: our all-new HYPR Compound which decreases rolling resistance while increasing wet traction; a K2 breaker beneath the tread for puncture protection; and a light and supple 120 TPI casing."
Very good tyres across a range of conditions but not the most supple that I have ridden.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pro level tyre
K2 puncture protection
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Solid all-round tyres for plenty of conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Loads of grip, wet and dry.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not the fastest rolling.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For this level of performance I'd say the pricing is about right against the competition.
Did you enjoy using the product? On the whole, yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A lot to like here if you want a set of tyres that'll just stay on your bike to cover all seasons and conditions.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.