The first update of the HighRoad SL – MAXXIS present the second generation of their premium road racing tire. The goal is clear: maximum speed and low weight. The HighRoad SL is now also available in dedicated tubed and tubeless variants, promising improved performance. But can the road bike tire deliver?

MAXXIS HighRoad SL | 700 x 28C | 184 g (clincher) / 275 g (tubeless) | € 43.03 (clincher) / € 47.71 (tubeless) | Manufacturer’s website

There’s hardly a better feeling than sprinting down your home stretch on freshly paved asphalt. Roadies often invest hundreds of euros making the smallest tweaks to their bikes, just to up their performance and enjoyment. This typically involves aerodynamic improvements, weight reduction, and optimised drivetrains. Tire upgrades are often overlooked. However, they’re your only point of contact with the ground, and they offer enormous optimisation potential. With the HighRoad SL, MAXXIS presents the second generation of their top-end road tire, available either as a lightweight tubed version, or a hookless compatible tubeless model.

The reinforced sidewall makes the HighRoad SL compatible with hookless rims, and also ensures that the sealant and air remain in the tire.

The new MAXXIS road bike tire – What’s been optimised on the HighRoad SL?

At first glance, the only visible difference to the predecessor is the updated packaging. As with the MAXXIS Re-Fuse, the packaging is now made from up to 90 % recycled material. However, a lot has been done to the tire too. Available in two variants, the new MAXXIS HighRoad SL should appeal to a broader target group, especially since the tubeless version is compatible with hookless rims.

Although tubeless technology has been around for a very long time on mountain and gravel bikes, many roadies still question whether it’s worth the effort to convert their bike to tubeless. However, the advantages shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand: riding without a tube noticeably increases comfort and grip, and enables a power saving of 5–15 watts compared to a traditional tube setup – incidentally, tubeless also offers increased puncture protection.

The slick HighRoad SL feels buttery smooth on asphalt.
MAXXIS’ new packaging consists of up to 90 % recycled materials.

Thanks to the proven HYPR-S rubber compound and a new Turn-Up sidewall construction, MAXXIS claim to have optimised the puncture protection while also reducing the weight. The HighRoad SL is said to be lighter, more durable, and more supple, partially thanks to the use of a thinner casing – especially on the tube version. The tire bead is reinforced with carbon fibres, which is intended to provide a secure fit on the rim while keeping the weight to a minimum.

The fastest road bike tire? Riding the MAXXIS HighRoad SL

MAXXIS are known for their striking yellow lettering. Even if this doesn’t apply to their entire product portfolio, we would have liked to see a similar look for their premium road racing tire. Yellow lettering would have rounded off the overall package of the performance-oriented HighRoad SL perfectly.

Since we were running 20 mm wide aero wheels, we decided to test the HighRoad SL in 28 mm. After fitting the tires and getting them seated and sealed on the first go, we pumped them up to around 4 bar and headed to the test track. Pulling away, we immediately noticed the tires’ quick acceleration, and they performed just as convincingly through tight corners. The HighRoad SL quickly instils you with the confidence to lean into the turns, especially when conditions are dry. However, at 275 g (on our scales), it’s not the lightest compared to other high-performance tires. In addition to the tubeless model, we also tested the standard clincher. Weighing in at just 184 grams, this option gets rolling even quicker. In fact, the tube type HighRoad SL is one of the lightest tires in its class, according to Ultimately, however, it’s up to personal preferences whether you want to run your tires with or without tubes.

The tube type variant features a very thin casing with a slightly glossy finish

In addition to the weight difference between two variants, you can also tell them apart visually. The tube type model has a strikingly thin and shiny casing, though it might make you doubt the tire’s durability. We can’t say much about the tire’s puncture protection after just a few hundred km – but we haven’t had any trouble with punctures yet.

Tuning tip: Fit the tube type version with TPU tubes for maximum weight savings.

Our conclusion on the new MAXXIS HighRoad SL

The MAXXIS HighRoad SL delivers as a fast performance tire, offering quick acceleration and a hassle-free tubeless setup. It offers an extremely smooth ride on well-maintained asphalt as a time trial tire, and it provides ample cornering grip to round it off. Compared to other tires, the tubeless HighRoad SL isn’t the lightest, coming in around midfield. The tube type variant, on the other hand, is one of the lightest options currently on the market.


  • blistering acceleration
  • featherweight tube type variant
  • excellent cornering grip
  • easy tubeless installation


  • the casing of the tube type model looks a little flimsy

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Words: Jan Fock Photos: Jan Richter