Riding mostly pavement, but still want some tread to venture off-road? It may be time to check out the new Maxxis Receptor gravel tire. Semi-slick designs aren’t new, but for Maxxis, the Receptor is a new entry between their all-road Velocita slick, and their popular, all-purpose Rambler gravel tire.

Maxxis Receptor gravel semi-slick tire side profile

As the name would suggest, a semi-slick like the Receptor has a fairly slick center tread section with larger cornering knobs on the shoulders.

Maxxis Receptor gravel semi-slick tire tread pattern

The middle of the tread pattern looks very similar to the Velocita with a diamond-knurled design. But the shoulders change from the file tread to a more raised diamond pattern followed by actual cornering lugs. Compared to the Rambler, the Receptor is still very much a semi-slick though, and should be very fast on pavement while remaining off-road capable with some finesse.

Maxxis Receptor gravel semi-slick tire options

Based on the Maxxis Gravel Family chart, Maxxis envisions the Receptor rider to spend around 30% of their time off-road, with the rest on road. Compare that to 60% off-road for the Rambler.

Initially, the Receptor will be offered in 650b x 47mm and 700c x 40mm sizes. All models feature their 120 TPI EXO Tubeless Ready casing with a dual rubber compound. Black sidewalls will be available first, followed by tan walls in the future.




  1. For the majority of gravel roads, this is all the tire someone needs. People tend to choose way to aggressive of a tire tread for their riding conditions. I see intermediate treads all the time on gravel rides where the roads are very smooth and predictable.

    • I agree. I did my first gravel fondo on 28c Gravel kings and by and large it worked. I would not use that skinny of a tire now, but you can get away with a lot more than you think with tires in general.

    • for the majority of winter commuting you can get away without studs, but the moment you hit glare ice you’ll wish you had studs. If 99.9% of the ride doesn’t break your arm but .1% does, you still end up with a broken arm.

      Same with gravel. I can see the safety appeal of going overkill. I was on a snowy race in 2019 and everything was fine except for a muddy downhill that made me happy for knobs.

      • Oh, definitely for a snowy race I’d air on the safe side and at least use a more aggressive choice on the front. As you say, you never know. But this looks like a great choice for dry smooth gravel.

        • I ride the OEM Maxxis Razzo tires (slick on top, knobs on the sides) that were shipped with my Merida Silex – good for almost all conditions except mud and snow. However once I finish them, I’ll buy either Gravelking SK, or Vredestein Aventura – sometimes that slight bit of better grip is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride.

    • Both have their up and downsides, and it’s very personal. Maybe one person comes from a road background and cares more about speed on the straights and is okay with stepping off the bike when it gets technical. While someone else comes from a mtb background and wants to be able to ride that techy rock garden and is okay with giving up some speed on the straights.

      Also it really depends on the average terrain they ride (do they include some XC trails in their gravel route or rather some longer parts of tarmac) and the kind of weathers they ride in (do they stay inside when it gets rainy or do they keep ploughing through the deep mud / snow?)

      I rode the full slick Panaracer Gravel King (42mm front and rear) and it was indeed surprising how much grip they have off road due to their proper compound. But the fact that it rains a lot where I live (it gets muddy), made me switch to the knobby WTB Revoluts (42mm), purely because it’s a set-and-forget tyre for all circumstances. Also for bikepacking I started with the super fast rolling Gravel King slicks, but decided to go with my Revoluts the next time, because for bikepacking I learned I prefer to set up my bike for the worst expected circumstances, rather than for the best ones.

      But amazing tyres that I really recommend to anyone, but it really depends on so many factors which one is best for you.

  2. Unless it’s wet, all you really need is a Panaracer GK slick – even the SS version of the GK has too much tread for dry gravel. I’ll never used a treaded tire again on gravel after having ridden the GK slick.

    • I’d been using the Rene Herse tires and they’re amazing on straight roads. Only issues I’ve had has been slick or muddy spots that show up in spring, or steep hills and riding singlespeed. Otherwise I agree, no need for knobs. I did just get GK SS version for use when I want to screw around on the singletrack and want a little more bit in the corners.

    • The more rolling or loose the terrain, the more you’re going to want the knobs. But people think they need knobs for riding on the C&O Canal, which is flat and straight for 187 miles.
      Then again, if this tire ends up rolling slower than a GravelKing SK, then why wouldn’t you go with the knobs? Maybe the aero penalty would weigh in.
      I can’t stand the diamond tread pattern on pavement. You lose the tips of the diamonds right away, making it wear very fast compared to a similar tire with flat topped knobs.

  3. Agree about the gravel, issue for me I do a lot of road, singletrak section, then powerline trail, to road etc. Would like see this tire with a bigger side knob for the singletrak turns, and still have speed on the road. You can do the rough stuff with way less tire, but you are basically getting through the section not “riding” it. I do tell some people I ride gravel with to go more tire. They come from a road background, not MTB and do not have any confedense decending at speed on gravel. They are running gravel tires like this, and sure they are fast, but if you can’t carve turns, or have to be on the brakes on all downhills, time for more tire 🙂

  4. I really can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that nowadays nearly all road tyres come in 23, 25, 28 and often even 32mm, that all mtb tyres come in several widths aswell (often with 0.1″ difference), but most gravel tyres come just in one width size per wheel diameter.

    If anything an “all road” gravel tyre should have even more width sizes available because you ride on several types of terrains during one ride (which is different for every single rider), instead of spending 100% of your ride on tarmac or 100% of your ride on the same single trail, so with that many differences you want to be able to optimize your tyres even more to stay properly versatile.

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