Thursday, August 2, 2007

Naked Bike Gear Review #1

In response to my last online poll, most of you who voted wanted to see more "nudies" of me. In attempt to keep everyone happy, from time to time I'll be adding some nudies of me doing bicycle gear reviews, action shots, etc. Here's my first . . . .


  • Tire: Kenda Karma
  • Size: 29 x 2.2 (folding bead)
  • Weight: 780 =/- 40g
  • PSI: 35 - 80
  • not recommended for tubeless conversion
"It's fat. It's light. It's dynomite. Not recommended for slimy stuff and slippery rocks and logs, but fast as can be elsewhere, the Karma is a nice way to lighten up your 29er quick and easy."
I've been running these tires (front and rear) for a little over a month now on my Niner. I'm about 193lbs + gear and have been riding these tires mostly on rugged terrain (roots & rocks).

The tire's width measures a little over Kenda's given numbers - it appears to be closer to a 2.35 than a 2.2. I'm not use to running large/high volume tires, but I'm becoming a big fan since using the Karmas.

Everything that I have read about 29" bikes being able to run lower pressures is true - I was a bit skeptical at first. I've been experimenting running different air pressures. Started out at 40 psi in the rear/35 psi in the front - not far off what I usually run on any of my 26" bikes. Due to the increased size/width of the tire I'm able to run a much lower pressure than I am used to. Presently, I've gotten the rear down to 30 psi and the front down to 25 psi. I feel that this is the sweet spot for me with these tires. I have not yet flatted on them, which makes me wonder how much lower I can go. The lower air pressure gives me additional plushness while riding over harsh terrrain on the hard tail, while at the same time giving me tonnes of traction . . . . when it's dry.

I've been really loving these tires. They hook up so well . . . when it's dry.

When you pick up any slimmy, snotty mud or if it's wet, forgetaboutit ! I would not recommend riding these tires in the rain, after a rain, or if a rocky/rooty trail is holding much moisture. You'd get away with riding them on some fast, bluegroove type trails that may be wet - but beware of roots/rocks - you'll go down like a bag of hammers.

They are a light tire for a 29'er. I feel very confident while riding these tires at low and high speed, they haven't felt squirrelly at all (when it's dry). I would not hesitate racing on these tires - may folk do. But I ask why, when you can run a Kenda Small Block 8 ?


Anonymous said...

AHHHHH!!! New poll... new poll... I want a redo!

Matt Spak said...

My eyes, my poor eyes. I think he rigged the vote!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

look at that gut

Anonymous said...


As for the tires, you're almost there Danielson. Grab some Michelin 26" MTB latex tubes and you'll be able to drop another couple of PSI AND improve your ride & durability.

I'm running 25f/27r psi rigid with my Geax Saguaro 29er tires (a true 2.2) with 183 lbs rider weight and over 5 weeks of riding (including and enduro race and many trips to SMHL), I have yet to flat.

Coming from a former 26" tubless die-hard, these green tubes are the real deal.


the original big ring said...

Fritz, I think that I'll try to go down a couple more psi in the rear and front. Don't forget, and pictures don't lie,I'm a "tad" bit heavier than you. ; )

And "gut lover" . . . . do you want to touch my gut? Reach out and touch it . . . go on .. . . touch my belly.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Look at that wheel. :0

Nice Craig!


Anonymous said...

Oh for the love of dog! Time to reconfigure my firewall filters.