If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does this one tell you? Clearly there must be guide wires holding this rider up. Actually there are just two forces at play here: centrifugal force pushing the rider outward and a counter-reactive force being applied by the Maxxis High Roller 2.5 UST tires. For about $73 MSRP you can get these two-ply UST tires for your DH rig and while they may not be the lightest in the category (1,230 grams), they’re clearly some of the best gripping tires around.
The High Roller is super easy to install on any UST-specific rim – just remember to use a lot of soapy water to help seat the beads in place. When I installed these tires on my rims I made sure the bead was always in the drop center which made for an easy installation and required no tire irons. As with any UST tire, I try to avoid using any tools on the beads since I don’t want to risk damaging them. I used an air compressor to pop the tires into place in no time, inflated to 40psi, and was off to the trails!
I took these tires to Bob_The_Builder’s secret trail stash where we could really push the High Rollers to the limit. These tires offer very high levels of traction on surfaces that can be anywhere from soft to medium hard, both in loamy soil and even rock gardens. Speaking of rock gardens, I found that even with a full head of steam there were no issues with these tires. I can’t recall hearing a single complaint from my rims due to excess tire compression. I guess that extra layer of butyl really prevents rim dings.
The ramped knobs in the center of the tread kept me rolling quickly with surprisingly little vibration along the trail. The center knob tread pattern also produced great traction even on the rare occasions when the bike was pointed uphill. Stopping power is awesome and felt consistently smooth and grippy during decelerations (very important when it comes to switchbacks in the trail).
The angular side knobs really bite hard when you pitch into corners, keeping the bike pointed where you want it without the side-to-side squirm you may notice with other tires. I found the side knobs on the High Roller to be very stiff and secure compared to other tires where the side knobs are a bit softer and more flexible.
I would definitely recommend these mountain bike tries to anyone who is going to hit the slopes in a serious fashion. If your rides include large drops, rock gardens, or heavily rooted trails, then these tires are for you. The dual-ply casing and great tread pattern will keep you sticking to the trails!
My overall impressions for the High Roller
8 out of 10 for rolling and efficiency
9 out of 10 for loose conditions
9 out of 10 for cornering
9 out of 10 for stopping in a straight line
Specs from Maxxis:
Durometer 42 rubber compound
Usage: All Mountain / Freeride DH
Conditions: medium to wet
Size: 26 x 2.50
Weight: Rear 1230 grams (foldable)
Thanks to the folks at Maxxis for providing these awesome bike tires for review.