Chronologically moving forward, my spring summer tyre test ironically took me back to Maxxis in the form of their new 40mm Semi-Slick Receptor tyre. What they claim to be a ‘true gravel’ tyre makes use of a very shallow and fast top rolling surface partnered up with a set of raised knobbles along the ‘edge’ of the tyre to help in displacing dirt and corner with confidence when it gets rougher.
The Max(xis) Factor – 40mm of it
In all honesty my relationship with this tyre didn’t get off to a great start, in preparing for the ADVNTR x Tour De Restrap trip, I set out on a short ride after getting the tyres seated to err… get to grips with them….
A tiny, eeny, weeny, incy wincy, piece of glass managed to slice along the rolling surface in such a way that it was uniquely torn to only allow air escape under higher pressures but not nearly big enough for the sealant to escape and heal the damage. The hole was genuinely minuscule and unfortunately had me abandoning the rear tyre for the trip and resorting back to the Continental terra trail for the interim.
This weirdly resulted in me running the semi slick receptor up front – with the more knobbly terra trail on the rear. Illogical – maybe – foolish – of course.
But it would have to do – and for the most part the duo paired up nicely…… for the most part.
Set up and first impressions
The receptors were easy to throw on the rims and again no issues here using the tried and tested innrer tube technique, much like the ravagers.
The ability to drop pressures to 30 or so let the tyre deform nicely and rolled really well on the singletrack, and forest roads that we came up against in and around Yorkshire.
Whats more when topped up with a little extra pressure they would really get going on the tarmac and some of the excellent converted trainlines and pan flat bridleways which seem to be all over the UK .
Blissful tracks such as the Trans-Pennine way, High Peak trail and Phoenix trail to name but a few, however just like a train the Receptors were excellent in a straight line..
You know whats coming now i guess?
Turn, turn, turn.
Not often you would have to question a tyres ability to take on the non linear form of trajectory but these seemed to struggle with that very thing.
Now im not one to toot my own horn but i have some pretty good bike handling skills, two decades on a BMX will do that; but these tyres constantly had me questioning my place in the saddle, and second guessing just what lines i should take at the trails and even on the tarmac.
Sensations of accelerated steering, twitchiness and even moments where tracking was happening on surfaces without any ruts.
Following more than a few hairy moments riding i tabled my concerns with the wider hive mind of the ADVNTR contributor pool, and my initial and naive assumption of “these tyres are too round” was swiftly corrected, and we came to the conclusion that this wasn’t the case.
In fact the design of the tyre itself and the shoulders of the tyre intended to help displace loose stuff and help you corner were the culprit for this unsteady and lively ride.
The fast rolling surface leads onto the rougher sweet spot which, while it looks as though it really excels at latching onto the fine grade aggregate, it also shifts direction before trailing up into the raised knobs lining the shoulder of the tyre; these then suddenly chamfer off to the sidewall.
The combination of this leading edge that falls away and change in grip direction was basically speeding up, or accentuating that feeling when leaning the bike over.
Tyre detectives Will Jones and Tangwyn Andrews are to thank for their succinct analysis of the dilemma, and are available for private investigations should you require in depth analysis for either tyres, grips and or seat tube ID’ using only their eagle eye.
On returning from a long trip with these running on the front only, I made a concerted effort to throw on a tyre boot and run the tyres for an extended period of time as a pair, with a tube to ensure there were no leakages beyond the patch itself, I really tried to get along with the sensation and adapt my riding style to accommodate for the odd lurches when banking into turns and so on but even after a solid 300k plus ride I was still hyper aware of what can only be described as a hairy and unsettling experience.
After having such an amazing time spent using the Ravagers over winter and really putting them through hell i was hoping for a much better riding experience with the Receptors.
The ride feel was fine when not worrying about turning, so a bit limiting there, and while the tyres benefit from perhaps being lighter and faster they are prone to the detritus we suffer from on the roads and paths, from my rides out and about they sure did suffer with punctures.
Even though they possess the top level of protection which Maxxis offer..
Last modified: 2nd August 2021