The Maxxis Highroller II is a surefire classic, the original incarnation being released over a decade ago and the updated tread pattern of the HRII arrived in 2011. We tested the 2.4″ 650B Supertacky Dual ply DH casing model; a slow roller but dishing out epic levels of grip.
The High Roller II is also available in an lighter weight EXO casing for Enduro/Trail duties and the newly released “Double Down” dual ply casing, which sits between EXO and dual ply DH. We tested the full on DH version, it’s is a burly number weighing in at 1270grams. The 2.4″ casing isn’t huge; it creates a fairly low profile tire which has it’s advantages. On a reasonably wide rim you get a nice flat tire profile, the down side is you don’t get the added cushioning of a higher volume tire of a similar size like the Schwalbe tires provide.
The tread arrangement is fairly close to the original High Roller but with taller side knobs and revised central tread. The ramped central knobs really do work well for increasing traction under braking, stopping excess sliding about when you pull on the anchors too hard.
Put simply, the traction offered up by the High Rollers is superb. They provide a consistent feel to cornering , the tall side tread allowing the bike to find grip when leaned over and enough feedback to know when they are going to break away. The soft compound provides awesome grip and damping to the trail, with a predictable and reassuring amount of grip over wet roots and rocks. Rolling speed isn’t amazing but not bad either; pairing with a Semi Slick on the rear could make for a fast combination.
Wear rate on the tyres what you would expect for a Super Tacky (40a Durometer) tyre. After 3 months of riding (a few times a week) , they need replacing really. The upside is that the tyres wear evenly, and if the conditions are dry you still get a load of grip , obviously with a reduced amount of bite . The rubber seems to hold together well and unlike some tires, you won’t find the knobs ripped off as they wear which, definitely extends the useable life of the tire.
The High Roller’s wide spaced tread means it’s a pretty good all rounder for the UK, a lover of loamy conditions . When it pisses down, they don’t leave you reaching for the mud tyres either, they shed reasonably well and as long as the ground has some firmness underneath , the grip is there. Once it’s deep slop or too wet, they do get out of thier comfort zone and a dedicated mud tyre is the best bet. On the rare occasion that it is hard packed and super dry, you can feel the tread squirm a little as they aren’t necessarily a tyre for those conditions. I’d say a viable option for the UK from March – October depending on where you ride and how lucky we are with the weather.
So who are these for? The tread pattern makes for a perfect all round tire, from bike parks to naturals trails , it’s a tire you can rely on to provide you with bucketloads of grip . In the DH casing incarnation, it’s obviously aimed at the DH rigs but even those who have an Enduro bike and want to hit the uplifts for a day, put a set of these on and it will give your bike a good bit more grip, puncture resistance and also damping from smaller bumps/trail chatter. What advantages do the High Rollers have over other tires on the market? Well it’s certainly a proven tire, used by the Syndicate and countless other teams and a tread pattern that is known to work. The other advantage is the consistency of wear, the rubber just seems to hold together well and doesn’t seem to crumble and pull apart like some other soft compound numbers. Competitors? The main ones are Maxxis’ own; the Minion and Minion DHRII and of course for wet weather, the Shorty. Stay tuned for reviews of these tires coming soon.