I-MTB

Maxxis High Roller + Schwalbe Muddy Mary – Combination Test

During the last few months a number of our test bikes have been running a few different tyre combinations. Two models which have become of particular focus are the Schwalbe Muddy Mary, and the Maxxis High Roller.

The use of the tyres has been in the direction of Enduro or All Mountain trails and riding styles. With this in mind the Idea has been to look for tyres that roll well and are not too heavy. After many experiments and tests we came to the conclusion that the High Roller was best on the back wheel and a Muddy Mary on the front wheel.

Muddy Mary

The Muddy Mary tyre in tripple compound with reinforced sidewalls, tubeless ready.

The Muddy Mary used in a tubeless configuration was the biggest surprise of our test. Recently Schwalbe has just announced the Magic Mary, which has been given excellent reviews. In the real world of tyre use the Muddy Mary fits all the points laid out in the Magic Mary in our opinion.

Rolling Speed:

The tyre at 2.35″ despite its aggressive grip is fast rolling and in our opinion when comparing like for like in real world sizing it compares well to a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″ in size. When looking and riding the two tyres back to back the Muddy Mary is noticeable faster rolling despite its more aggressive grip and it’s noticeably lighter, even in a tubeless setup with both tyre types on the same wheels.

Performance and Grip:

In all trail conditions with the harder triple compound version, with the Muddy Mary we found that the grip was really excellent and cleared dirt well. In all types of trail conditions including wet, muddy, dry, hard-packed, the Muddy Mary performed really well and we always had the sensation that the tyre was a great all-rounder tyre with amazing grip that was great to have on the front of the bike no matter the conditions and with the reinforced side walls it gave us a great feeling of security for big hits especially on rocky descents.

Maxxis High Roller

The Maxxis Highroller tubeless UST ready, a firm favourite on the trails.

This tyre has been the reference tyre for All Mountain use for many years. We tested the 2.35″ tubeless ready UST version in a 60a compound. A solid performer we were expecting no surprises.

Rolling Speed:

The 2.35″ carcass sizing comes up as a perfect rear wheel size. We had a great time on this tyre. Acceleration when pedalling was great, braking absolutely solid with lots of bite and overall rolling speed was faultless. The tread design is just as the name suggests, great at rolling.

Performance and Grip:

In the same trail conditions as the Muddy Mary we could not fault this tyre. It held on really well in loose conditions had enough grip when it was wet, was large enough to absorb rough trail conditions well and was brilliant under braking. Exactly as discovered by many riders over the years. Only down side was that the tyre did start to show minor wear fairly quickly compared to the previous tyre that we were using, the Schwalbe Fat Albert, despite riding conditions being the same.

Conclusion

For normal riders who want an aggressive yet fast rolling all rounder setup, after a few months of trying all sorts of combinations of tyres we have really come to the conclusion that a Muddy Mary on the front and a High Roller on the back is the way to go.

The Muddy Mary is such a great performing tyre that it is hard to say the new Magic Mary is going to improve on it for normal riders riding and performance characteristics, in our opinion it is probably mainly marketing hype for a new tyre.

We used both tyres in a tubeless configuration on UST rims and can not fault them for easy of setup and enjoyment factor. This setup now has become our baseline setup for an all rounder tyre setup for riders that prefer slightly more aggressive yet fast tyre styles, compared to a lower grip but even faster rolling rear tyre styles such as an Ardent or Hans Dampf style setups.

After mixing and matching and trying almost everything to find our perfect combination this most probably is it. Both tyres give easy going control and excellent performance for riders who like a more aggressive tyre style. Tubeless results were faultless and we felt that the tyre weights for the type of “reinforced/strong,” characteristics the two models possessed, were excellent and did not slow us down on the uphill rides.

Testing Materials and Setup provided by:

www.bagnolibike.com

I-MTB is an online MTB magazine and trail areas operator based in Tuscany, Italy

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