We tested the High Roller II Dual Ply DH back in the November 2011 issue and were impressed by its grip, but at nearly 1300g and with a putty-like 3C compound, we needed a chairlift to get the best out of it.
Fortunately Maxxis also offers this version with a Kevlar bead and 60a compound that is, not only 400g lighter, but faster rolling as well. Even so it still manages to be the heaviest tyre amongst this group. Fine when offset by something more rapid on the rear, but it’s not a tyre we’d run front and rear unless we were heading somewhere with an uplift.
Owing to the harder durometer rubber, it actually rolls pretty well for its size. And when you’ve got it up to speed, impressive levels of grip make it easy to keep that pace.
Whether wet or dry, on rocks, roots and dirt, the deep, aggressive tread just grips and goes; really penetrating the soil and finding purchase in the most dubious conditions. This gave us the confidence to really trust the front end.
The stiffer EXO carcass adds a level of cut protection and abrasion resistance and allowed us to run lower pressures – around 3-5psi less than either the Butcher or Ibex. In combination with the tyre’s girth and aggressive tread, this makes the High Roller II our ultimate choice for outright grip.