Thursday, January 01, 2009

The K.O.T. R&D New Year's Ride.

My baby out for a roll in the frozen goo on New Year's Day.

I finally had a bit of time to get out on the bike today, after about eight weeks of NOTHING. Busy life and busy wife (not yet) made for a rough two months! My knee was degrading so quickly from such a long time off the bike, I have been barely able to ascend the stairs here at home to give Lyd what's coming to her..and that's never good. I hadn't realized how important a daily spin had become in the maintenance of my knee! Today was a hangover New Year's ride at Alum Creek, in order to test a new 1.8 casing size King Of Traction mud tire for our man Nick at KENDA. I was hoping for some softer, sloppier conditions today, but it was not to be.

The tread on the front of the bike, in the 1.8 casing size.

The temp at 10a.m this morning was in the VERY low twenties, and that meant no mud. It meant hard, frozen, concrete-like ground that rendered the glop-specific-K.O.T.'s about the worst choice ever. There were a couple of soupy spots in the sun where , for a brief instant, I felt the sheer brilliance of these tires. The constant redesign of this tire by John Tomac over the past year and a half has led to cost overruns, many molds, and delays...but THEY WERE ALL WORTH IT.

The rear view 1.8.

Despite the sheer terror of these new kicks on the 90% of trail that was frozen solid, that 10% on the back of the trail were I changed bikes completely. They were perfect. The Spartan tread layout down the middle with the graduated spikes to the outside pierced the muck like Cupid's Arrow and I fell in love instantly. Unfortunately for me, it's winter now and the chances of getting to use these babies will likely not come for another three months.

The hot patch clearly tells you that it's the King Of Traction. New additions like the DLR (dual layer rubber) made the tire GREAT in the goop.

KENDA has these in stock now, and I highly recommend the 1.8 for about every xc mud ride you would do. People further south of Ohio will see lots of the goopy stuff until summer, so if your trails aren't turning into glaciers like ours are, get them while you can. Just don't run them on hardpack, you will certainly be sorry! The Backbone DH guys were running some protoypes last year at Sea Otter during the muddy practice days, but had to switch the day of the race. It stopped raining and dried out so much that the K.O.T.'s were just waaaay to squirmy on the hardpack and paved sections.

The final revisions seem to be great for the narrow window this tire is designed for.


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