Maxxis ReFuse TR Folding Maxx Shield Tyre
408g 700x32c 60 TPi £40.00
The Maxxis ReFuse 700x32c 60 TPI TR Folding Maxx Shield Tyres are tubeless ready versions of their commuter/training model, so called because “it refuses to puncture”. In my experience, there’s no such thing as a puncture proof (pneumatic) tyre-you find that nail, flint or monster pothole with your name on it...However, some are more reliable than others. 600 miles, in some very changeable contexts and the Re-Fuse are certainly living up to their dependable moniker.
Pros: Dependable handling and puncture resistan, middleweight, good value for the specification.
Cons: Higher rolling resistance and less compliant ride quality over rougher surfaces when running tubed.
The ReFuse are available in four widths (700x28, 32, 35 and 40c) which caters for commuting and training through to lightweight, or weekend touring. Our 700x32c tipped the scales at 408g, which is reassuringly middleweight in my book. 60tpi single compound casings promises high mileages and pedestrian wear-rates. In terms of puncture resisting tech, we have the silk shield layer, employed in the overdrive excel, topped with an aramid belt running edge to edge.
Folding beads save a few grams (and makes a spare easy to carry on a big ride) while the tubeless ready design arguably futureproofs them and greatly reduces the likelihood of pinch flats. Operating pressures are between 50 and 75psi-regardless of whether you’ve gone the butyl or tubeless route.
Modest compared with more traditional training tyres but typical of this genre, including Vee Tire Co Baldy and their Zilent2 cousins and Kenda Kwik Journey KS Plus The tread is essentially slick, with some minor detailing along the centre strip, which in my experience supplies psychological reassurance, rather than tangible benefits. Afterall, a slick offers best contact with metalled roads .
Plain sidewalls might divide opinions. I've a fondness for reflective detailing but am otherwise pleasantly neutral. These aren’t suitable for bottle dynamos but a minor point since most dynamo devotees tend to go the hub route these days but good to get it out there.
My fixed gear winter/trainer serves year-round alongside Ursula. Clearance for 32/35c, its essentially a 4130 Cro-moly ‘cross frameset with track ends and spacing.
We cover a lot of miles, much of it along lonely unlit roads - the sort you don’t want to flat along (but typically do) when it’s raining dogs and freezing cold. Contexts where dependable rubber is worth its weight in gold. Talking of which, I’ve run ours tubed and with mid-price butyl. Even with really sturdy tyres, thin-walled budget butyl can succumb quite readily to pinch flats-say catching a minor rut, or hole in the road’s surface.
From the packet, slipping them aboard some Halo Evura and Mavic Open Pro proved very straightforward, although the final 15% fought back, requiring some tag team assistance from the Topeak Shuttle levers.
No issues with pinching but I’d been quite particular when it came to seating- checking at 30, 60 and finally at 75psi. Obviously, tyres needn’t be inflated to their maximum, but I like to see how they behave at that point before experimenting.
Pretty much what I’ve come to expect from a 60tpi single compound tyre. Though by no means the fastest, they still roll efficiently and required only modest effort to bring and keep on the boil. At 75 psi, the 32mm sections felt a little direct - I certainly wouldn’t say harsh and it was only apparent when tackling pockmarked tarmac, rumble strips and similarly inclement surfaces.
Dropping the pressure between 65 and 70 psi improved matters and for me and my 70 kilos. Even at maximum pressure, they’ve inspired confidence when pushed hard - 30 mph along winding 1 in 7 descents, in the wet. Rabbits and other woodland creatures were also happy to do their bit and the re-fuse haven’t missed a beat.
Characteristics that are similarly welcome through town, where rapid changes in course and tempo to avoid holes, jaywalking pedestrians and rush hour wrath come with the territory. Again, though predictable, they’re responsive enough to keep things interesting - I've gone for crack of dawn playtimes, weaving through cones and similar obstacles with reliable finesse.
Same story at roundabouts. Fair from the maddening crowd, heavy rains following a three-week dry spell resulted in a loss of front tyre traction. I was negotiating a sweeping backroad bend peppered with impacted mud when it struck. However, the Re Fuse supplied sufficient feedback, allowing me to recover gracefully without going rubber up. In more typically rainy conditions, they’ve never missed a beat.
Maintenance hole covers, railway junctions and similar wet ironworks require a modicum of restraint but run at 60-65 psi, I’ve not felt any undue trepidation-even when fatigue’s nagging at the close of a long ride.
Puncture Resistance/Durability 4.25/5
600miles in varying contexts and I’m yet to flat and in circumstances where the Maxxis Overdrive Excel’s silk shield has succumbed. I’ve ridden through shards of glass at junctions, allowed the farmer’s muddy concoctions to coat the casings from one week to the next (resisting my habitual weekly brushing downs) thus attracting flints and similar sharps along waterlogged roads to work in. The aramid top layer seems to make all the difference. Whether this will wane a little with high mileages or improve with tubeless conversion remains to be seen. To date, having since washed the tyres down, no nicks, cuts, or other signs of wear in the casings.
£40 is good going, given the specification. Probably the closest comparator we’ve tested is Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR Reflective Tyre. Another durable, tubeless ready model available in 28, 32 and 35mm sections but lighter, slightly sprightlier and featuring reflective sidewalls - if that’s important to you. However, they’re also a good bit dearer at £66 each.
Continental Grand Prix 4 Season is available in a wider range of sizes, from 23, 25, 28 and 32mm. They’re marketed for racing, training through to touring. Two major selling points is their puncture repelling and cut resistant Duraskin technology and Max Grip Silica compound, optimised for wet and cold contexts. However, they too are noticeably dearer at £65.95 each. Following this narrative, there’s Schwalbe Durano Plus. These are 25, or 28mm and 67tpi. However, rolling resistance is also more in keeping with the Maxxis and they’re £9 dearer.
Again, if tubeless compatibility isn’t a big deal for you, or your budget’s a bit tighter, Vee Tire Co Baldy are £34.95 apiece and very reliable, without being overly sluggish. However, its only available in 32mm for the Uk market, which might be a deal breaker. Then of course, there’s Kenda Kwik Journey KS Plus. They feature a 5mm thick puncture repelling belt and are available in 32, 35, 38mm and 40mm sections. Despite the puncture repelling belt only covering the centre strip, I’ve found them super dependable and very durable but being a wire bead, they’re also noticeably weightier at 757g apiece.
In tubed form, The Maxxis Re Fuse 700x32c 60 TPI TR Folding Maxxshield might not be the fastest rolling and can, in some contexts feel a little direct, until you’ve fine-tuned the pressure. Otherwise, they’ve really nailed the design brief, if you’re seeking an engaging but ultra dependable and seemingly durable tyre for general riding.
The puncture repelling tag team is a definite improvement, over the generally dependable silk shield and has provided peace of mind. Especially when I’ve been out in the back of beyond, or just tired at the end of a long ride and needing to be home without drama. While many will have it pegged for winter training and commuting, its qualities also lend it nicely to lightweight/weekend touring-especially in the wider sections.