MAXXIS ROAMER TYRES
long term test 8 months 700x42 740g each £25.00
Maxxis Roamer tyres are a 42mm semi-slick, reckoned to tackle everything from commuting to weekend touring. There’s a lot to like here and while hardly svelte, 740g apiece is still competitive by genre standards. However, even some of the latest generation of disc-braked gravel bikes will struggle to swallow these sections.
Talking of which 42mm isn’t the only option - 26x1.65 and 20x1.65 are the alternatives, perfect for tarmac biased mountain bikes, folders or tagalongs. There is also a 700c version specifically for E-bikes. All have a rugged 60tpi casing; leaf shaped treads for improved cornering prowess and Kevlar puncture-resistant breaker strip in common.
This doesn’t extend to the shoulders. Puncture resistance is good, rather than great. The tread has been prone to gathering dirt, which provided a bonding agent for thorns, hedge clippings and shards of glass. Periodic brushing of the casings by hand at rest stops and more invasive scrubbing, as part of general bike washing largely sorted this.
Big tyres are generally pretty easy to fit. These surprised me, requiring tyre levers and agricultural outpourings in the first instance. Ours became more compliant as the miles racked up but remounting by the roadside during the first 400 miles, I needed to whip a cable tie around the bead to prevent it peeling off the rim, while I reinstated the remaining 30% with a single, composite lever.
By 500 miles, they’d relaxed a good deal. I’d still recommend a lever for prising them off, especially relatively deep section rims such as these Shimano disc. Otherwise they’re easily refitted by hand.
The sidewall's lack of retro-reflective or dynamo track may disappoint some but is pretty typical of tyres around this price point. Pressure range is relatively low - between 50 and 75psi, which is easily achieved via track pump and still realistic by the roadside, using a fairly basic hand pump following a flat.
Being a big, plush tyre I wasn’t expecting anything less than a magic carpet ride, along lumpy lanes and over iced dung, manhole covers, speed humps etc.
The Roamers didn’t disappoint but their pace and tenacity took me by surprise. Run at their maximum, feedback when tackling icy stretches -the sort that forms like a silvery carpet before your eyes - has been remarkably good. On warmer days, this leach-like tenure really inspires confidence, whether sweeping through lines of stationary traffic, or tackling S-bends at 35mph.
Experimentation suggests 55-60psi is optimum, striking the best balance between comfort and rolling resistance. At these pressures, there’s enough traction for fairly smooth, dry surfaces such as tow/bridle path. To be fair, they’ve not been too bad through shorter sections of moderate gloop either. After all, a deep knobbly will rapidly turn slick in these conditions.
Eight months of lightly laden, road biased riding suggests wear is pleasingly pedestrian and in keeping with other 60tpi fare.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the Roamers and would generally recommend them to riders seeking a comfy, yet fairly responsive budget tyre for winter/commuting. There’s also some genuine scope for lightly laden weekend touring but I would be inclined to pair them with beefier butyl in this context.