Rider Review: Mitas Highlander

When it comes to our bike there are a few items that we tend to focus on as a personal preference; grips, pedals, our seat and tires. It doesn’t matter what you say, we all have different styles, needs and wants and that translate directly to our bikes. The good folks at Mitas Tires Australia sent us a set of their ‘Highlander’ Gravity tires to test out, review and burn the rubber clean of the bead… check out our take on their Gravity offering.

Product: Mitas Highlander 27.5

RRP: $89.95

Mitas are a brand of tire that is well known in Europe and have a heavy focus on cross country tires and road tires, being Europe’s largest tire manufacturer, it’s easy to see why. These are not the only disciplines that Mitas supply rubber for, we took a good hard look at how their Gravity-fed offering “Highlander’, stood up to the loose and dusty conditions of South East Queensland.

Mitas Highlander – The Technical Details

The tires we tested were the 27.5 x 2.45″ Highlanders with 4 ply construction, Enduro dual compound, fitted and used tubeless. The DH Supra max construction consists of 127 TPI rubber, reinforced aramid bead with a stiffening wing and the Enduro Dual compound consists of Carbon Race Extreme (CRX) rubber for the centre and mid tread, with activated silica compound for the side figures. The combinations of these compounds translates to a strong supple construction with plenty of traction in loose and dusty conditions. Probably one of the biggest draw cards to Mitas tires is the Textra sidewall protection, this is said to dramatically increase resistance to sidewall cuts and abrasions; Mitas even back it with a 100 day sidewall guarantee.

What does that a translate to? Tough tires, with good grip that are built to last and keep you riding no matter how rowdy the riding gets.

Putting the rubber to the Test

Mitas Highlander tires are built to ride dusty, loose and dry trail conditions in technically demanding terrain. So we thought there would be no better place to test these bad boys than Boomerang Farm just West of the Sunny beaches of the Gold Coast. Fitted to a Hope tech alloy wheel set and slapped on a Giant Reign the rubber was ready to be ripped. We found the tires performed best at moderate pressure running 28psi in the front and 30psi in the rear with a 85kg rider, if you are on the lighter side you could easily drop a few psi.

The first thing we noticed was how well the tires gripped in the turns and how predictable they were. Both wheels railed well and loss of traction was easy to predict and as a result, a lot more fun to ride out. The tires held up in the dry, loose and dusty conditions of Castle Hill and Boomerang Farm.

Despite our best efforts smashing through sharp rock gardens we couldn’t get a flat on these bad boys, suggesting that they are as tough as any tire out there. Landing big gaps and jumps were not a problem and railing corners and berms certainly posed no issue in the loose conditions. Our impression of the Mitas Highlander is a good one and the 100 day sidewall guarantee sells piece of mind with the tire, as well as good quality traction. The Highlander is truly a competitor with the Maxxis DHF and DHR, an all terrain tire built for gravity riding on rowdy trails.

After a month of testing Mitas’ Gravity offering the ‘Highlander’ it’s safe to say we are suitably impressed. Besides from a little more trouble seating them tubeless (easily fixed with some soapy water) we really couldn’t fault them. They offer grip, stability and structure in the loosest of Queensland conditions. With a 100 day sidewall guarantee, these tires need to be on your list when looking for some new rubber for the steed…..

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