Continental Der Kaiser Review

Jan 26, 2010
by Dunbar Cycles  
The Mother of all tire Reviews - First up - The 2.5 Continental Der Kaiser
The Mother of all tire Reviews - First up - The 2.5 Continental Der Kaiser

It is so easy to just fall into the mold of what’s cool and hip in terms of what products we SHOULD be running on our mountain bikes. Take tires for example, go to any downhill race in the world and you will see that close to 90 % of the tires used by racers are Maxxis.

Since the time I first started riding, I was always told by those I looked up to, that I shouldn’t even bother with other tires. That they were all garbage and that Sam Hill runs Maxxis so I should immediately go out and blindly buy them. I just find it hard to believe that Maxxis is seriously the only decent tire company that can make a well performing and reliable Downhill tire. Now I am not trying to knock Maxxis tires. I personally love their tires and have been running the High Roller on both my XC and Downhill Bike religiously for 3 years now.

My Plan is to get out there, and back to back test out all the other downhill tires on the market. I might very well just go back to Maxxis tires, proving to myself that they are the best, or maybe, just maybe I will find a diamond in the rough through my tests.


I will be testing the tires in various different areas:

Hook/Cornering:
The ability of the tire to hook into the ground and hold a line, resisting gravity and inertia (cornering, off camber line choice).

Predictability:
A lot of tires may hook really well but as soon as they let go they are extremely un-predictable. Others are very predictable in letting you know exactly when they will let loose, and when they do let loose, exactly how they are going to handle ie. Drifting.

Rolling Speed:
This is an important factor when looking at a DH tire. It may be the stickiest and have the most grip on the roots and corners but, if the compound is too soft, or the lugs are too big, the tire will roll slow and you will be loosing valuable seconds. Also with a super soft compound there is a higher chance of punctures and the increase of tire wear.

Durability:
I am going to try and test each tire for at least two weeks, which for me translates into about 6 full shuttle days. It may be the newest and best gripping “UBER 5C COMPOUND” but if it all falls apart after 4 runs it might not be the best choice for recreational and privateer racers. Especially with tires these days running close to $100.00 each (CAD).

Weight and UST:
I will weigh each tire and inform you if it is tubeless or not. Even if it isn’t tubeless, I will let you know if you can run them ghetto tubeless.



And the first tire to be tested?

2.5 Continental Der Kaiser
2.5 Continental Der Kaiser


Specs:
26X 2.5”
DH Casing
Claimed Weight: 1000g
Actual weight: 1290g


At first appearance the Kaiser looks likes the love child of a Minion front and a High Roller. It has directional ramped center knobs and the side cornering knobs are similar to a High Roller with tons of space in between the center knobs and the cornering knobs.


Hook/Cornering:
First feel of the tires and it's hard not to notice the super soft compound. The Compound feels as soft as Maxxis’ old 40A Slow Reezay Compound. After first feel of the rubber I was almost positive the tires wouldn’t last a full 2-week test.


The Kaiser was one of the first tires I have tested that I was immediately impressed by. Cornering, the tire had extremely good hook, holding almost any line I steered into. When the tires did let go, they were very predictable.


It's funny to always use Maxxis tires as a comparison but, its true they are the benchmark for comparison when it comes to downhill tires. I found the Kaiser hooked and cornered very similar to the Maxxis High Roller however unlike the High Roller, the Kaiser felt more like a Minion front once the tire did let loose and slide in terms of predictability.

Braking:
The Kaiser did have stand out braking power. It didn’t bite in as hard a High Roller or Minion Rear. Seemed to have similar stop powering as say the Kenda Nevegal, Maxxis Ardent or Minion Front.

One area I found the Kaiser lagged in was the rolling speed. On the harder packed trails I could definitely tell that I was running a super soft compound. This could also be due to the fact that the center lugs are so long and aggressive, which could be a plus if riding on very muddy or soft loose terrain. If a rider wanted to ride a lot of hard pack, I would suggest slightly clipping the center knobs on at least the rear tire, possibly both.

Tubeless?
The Kaiser is not advertised as being a tubeless tire. Either way I tried to set them up ghetto tubeless. Unfortunately the thick sidewall of the Kaiser does not hold in air; the air actually leaks out in between the braided rubber that makes up the sidewall even with 3 scoops of Stan's.

Durability:
After first feeling how soft the tire compound was I thought for sure the tires would be shredded after only a few runs. This was the area I was by far the most impressed by. After two weeks (about 40 hrs) of riding, the Kaisers still looked like they were lightly used. Their durability was comparable to say a Maxxis 60A compound or harder compound tires such as Kendas or WTBs.

One area of concern was flatting. Over the course of the two weeks I didn’t get any flats but, another person testing them with me got 4 flats. Some good friends of mine who also tested them during a certain Mountain Bike Mag review also reported getting a lot of flats. Which is surprising considering the sidewalls are so thick. That being said, I didn’t once get a flat, even when riding fast and rocky tracks.

Der Kaiser after two weeks of testing
Der Kaiser after two weeks of testing

Der Kaiser after two weeks of testing
Der Kaiser after two weeks of testing


In Review:
Positives:
Cornering
Durability
Predictability

Negatives:
Braking (still decent though)
Won't go tubeless
Might be prone to flats
Slow Rolling

Overall I was super stoked on this tire. I was blown away by the performance in corners, which for me is probably the most important thing when looking for a tire. The durability was equally as impressive. You may not get high fives from all the Sam Hill fan club boys if you run them but, definitely a good alternative to try if you like to go fast. It's a tough one but, off the bat, I think that I may have found a tire that corners as well as the High Roller, now only if it rolled faster.

Check em out!

-Adam Mantle
Dunbar Cycles


154 Comments

  • + 7
 check out Schwalbe's Dirty Dan or wicked will, im sure you wont be dissapointed.
  • + 4
 You say you are compairing these tyres but you give a fianl verdict without making any price comparison, I run maxxis and to be honest any other tyre that does the trick mainly because of price. I no any one could go find out these prices easily enough but it would make for an easy comparision right here. Still liked the reveiw though. most helpfull. cheers
  • + 2
 I see exactly where you are coming from but they are only really being tested on performance here. I see this as more of a "racers article".

Christy
  • + 2
 Cool to see this tire test,just what I needed to replace my so good riding tioga white tigers; @Adam: Can you please ad real size mesurement of with and hight of the diff tires, because the 2.5 from maxxis is differant then that from schwalbe and others!
  • + 2
 I managed to get some rain kings after I found my cut wet screams a little to sketchy on rock at race pace.
They do hook up like a 40a, don't grip as well as a cut spike in the mud.
When it gets a little icy (as it is here at the moment) they are head and shoulders ahead of Maxxis Slow Reezy, SuperTacky and old Michelin Compounds. We run Freelap all the time so noticed in the times what tyres are faster.
The BlackChili compound found on the DerKaizer is also used on a race XC tyre, so the compound is not what is slowing this tyre down.
In our tests we have found that the RainKing rolls faster than a HighRoller, MinionDHF, Cut Spike or Michelin Mud 3 when the ground is harder packed. We have only done time tests no freewheeling tests on the same bike to verify this.
  • + 2
 i have ridden and am currently runnin bontrager big earl in wet compound an can honestly say they are great . have messed around with kenda in the past also maxxis and schwalbe but love the big earls . for a budget rider michys are out of the question for me , always hard to find a good tyre for a reasonable price .
  • + 1
 big earls are good for the budget rider , i also run big earls 2.7's (cost me £18each) they have served me well soon to be replaced probably by more big earls or nokian gazzalodi
  • + 1
 forgot bout the gazzas , good call . had a blast of conti diesel too and found them average . do you find framerub issues with the gazzas ever ?
  • + 1
 I havnt run gazza's for a while but cant really remember any frame rub issues, also did run diesel i agree there average tyre but nothing bad about them decent n only cost me £30 for both worth the price
  • + 3
 Such a great review! Good to see someone doing a comprehensive and informative review on ALL DH tires. Its so true about everybody mindlessly jumping on the maxxis bandwandwagon!
  • + 3
 "Mindlessly jumping on the... "? Really? No. I mindfully chose the Maxxis Advantage for my ride and they climb and descend just fine giving me all the confidence that I need. I my opinion choosing between tires like the Minion, Chunder, Kaiser, Big Earl, Hutchinson etc, are just splitting hairs. Just look at the facts, wether it be a small positive advantage or a small negative one, this issue is nearly mute. All in all, In my tire consumption, I am still alive and kicking and I have had a great time on my many sets of various tires.
  • + 2
 I use these tires for some time now. This will be the second season on them. They have a superb grip, and I was unable to flat them. I am heavy and usually go through rocks instead of zig-zagging. Smile
I think the weight is OK as well. I have no complaints about the rolling resistance, as I think it is natural form such a tacky rubber as this is.
I really suggest to give them a shot, as diversity is a good thing. Smile
I also use the Rain Kings, and those are really good tires as well.
All in all I absolutely recommend them.
  • + 2
 this is the tire I run on my DH rig for two seasons now (I'm on my second set), and I have been blown away by the performance of them. I run a standard tube (not a thick DH one), and have NEVER ONCE gotten a flat. That is with several races on the bike, and general riding where I don't exactly shy away from much.

I highly recommend this tire, just like Dunbar does, so go out and at least try it sometime!
  • + 1
 Are you really saying the DHR is a good braking tire? Possibly the worst rear tire on the market for braking. Look at the center line channels = virtually no stand up braking.

You should consider in your testing stand up braking.

The High Roller is ok but far from perfect. Its good when leaned but stand up performance is so-so.

A good rear tire needs a center block design, each and every time. The channel is best left for the front.
  • + 1
 im not going to read the other 120 posts to see if its already been said, but holy crap, thank you. haha. i was going broke trying tires. thanks for taking the bullet and doing all the "testing". and the black and white photo with you kicking up roost, now my wallpaper. legit.
  • + 1
 Good idea to review lots of tyres. What do you reckon to a scoring system for each area you are reviewing + price, value and suited to F / R or both?

Then you will gradually build up a good comparison table for all the tyres?
  • + 1
 Sure hope you test the new Michelins. The old style worked great and now that they have changed the sidewalls they should be even better.
  • + 1
 I ran a Kaiser last summer tubeless on Mavic 823's. It took a couple rides before it stopped bleeding air, but after that it stayed sealed with no flatting whatsoever. Great tire on DG trails in the summer. I'm going to run UST Rubber Queens this summer on my big bike since the 2.4's are bigger than 2.5 DHFs and weigh the same as Kaisers. (Note: they're changing the Rubber Queens to "Trail King" soon...)
  • + 1
 I am also a fan of maxxis tires. I have been running DHF's F&R for 3 years. I'm a racer. Tire choice is something I always agonize over. This review you're doing will be invaluable to alot of riders out there, Thanks.
Geoff.
  • + 1
 I find the whole debate over being a Sam Hill fanboy pretty funny. The Highroller is such an old tire that I've been running it since before anyone knew who Sam Hill was so I'm not the least bit worried about being a fanboy. Sam never ran Highrollers anyway. He ran minions. Minaar and Peaty run Highrollers. I don't see anything wrong with being a fan of Sam's though and wanting to run what he is. Its obviously working for him.
  • + 1
 hey darkstar63...good to see someone else is running bluegroove 2.7 up front...i chose 2.5 nevegals for the rear because of their apparent hold on the berms corners and such, and all i can say is: these tires have made a huge difference for my skill progression. i have bought a few bikes from Dunbar and the guys there are pretty much stoked on maxxis over kendas, but still, i chose these tires [kenda] with their knowledge and opinions on them from a great deal more experience than i have; what it came down to for me, was, [as i believe it will always for most of us] tires at the quality level of maxxis, kenda etc; one is not really better than another - the 'bottom line is: it is up to skill levels, [or lack of skill :-)] riding style discipline, type of trails, the rider [weight, height etc] as to which tires are better for you...as you said, one thing for sure though: kendas are cheaper by half over maxxis, and last by double time [my experience in the short time i have used them]
  • + 0
 That is a very good point to consider too is what you included; skills/or lack, riding style, type of trail, build of rider, etc. I will admit that the first time I hopped on a bike that had minions on it, I was not impressed at all and in fact felt quite loose and sketchy, but as my riding style and skill has changed they became a more appropriate fit. However, I do feel that I changed to fit the tire and that I might be a better rider with a different tire, but I haven't really had the motivation or money to try a different tire every couple months. That being said, tires only really go so far and that given enough time a rider of high enough skill level should be able to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of nearly any tire. Honestly, Sam would wipe the trail with most of us irregardless of what kind of tire he's running(not counting slicks, duh).
  • + 1
 Not a bad point, you got there mtnbiker247. Rider skill/lack of skill or rider style and weight.
  • + 1
 Sorry. jcinkits too.
  • + 2
 jcinkits:

I love the Kenda's!! I have tired Maxxis, they are great, maybe even a hair better than my Kenda's, but am I going to pay double for that?? No. I ride hard, I ride alot, and i dont race.......Im not sponsored, spending that kind of money on tires is insane. The Kendas work great, and I can rip on my bike, thats all that matters.
  • + 1
 where do you ride where a high roller is the best tire, are you ignoring dry days where the high roller is fine and the wet days where only mud spikes will keep you upright??. should change the name to best dry/allround tire. not dh tire, as they vary on the conditions if you're serious enough
  • + 1
 Chazdog what you're missing is that where Adam (and I) live and ride the High Roller is an awesome wet weather tire. We don't get mud like you boys in the UK do. The mountains here drain very well, so although the ground is wet, it's rare to encounter mud of any sort. As a result wet weather tires for us have to be very soft, and offer good grip on wet rock and wet polished roots.
  • + 1
 not complaining dude, highroller is normally the only tire i run, just let more and more air out the wetter it gets. thanks for furthering my desire to emmigrate to canada too dude, ver jealous!
  • + 1
 Thanks alot for doing these reviews.

id really like to see the wicked will reviewed.

rachel atherton and dan were running conti's this weekend in fontana california.
gee was running blacked out high rollers. probably because the high roller rolls faster.

one thing i would like to hear very clear notaition of from these reviews is the specific conditions, type of trail, and soil. ex: deap loam, muddy ruts, clay and rocks, unbenched, flat corners berms and so on.

in general one tire may be better in one condition but worse than another tire in a different condition.

Great job on this review! this has to be one of the most beneficial type of reviews that could be done. oh and p.s. that glory is sick, im trying to make a very similar build come together right now.
  • + 1
 I never tried other tires as Maxxis High Roller, Minion, Wetscream and Swampthing for Dh. I'm happy with them and on the the other side I never thougt there will be an other company with such good or better tires. May I should overthink may strategie and try some new stuff Big Grin !
  • + 1
 The Geax Dhea is a tire that is constructed very much like a Highroller, so you may want to consider it as well. I'm in the process of building up my dh bike and was going to put on DHF Minions, a fellow riding buddy has been trying the Dhea and Neuron and said he may like it better than the Maxxis equivalent tires, but he suggested trying the Neuron both front and rear to get a similar(maybe better) ride as the DHF.
  • + 1
 I'd be keen to see your thoughts on the Arrow DH tyres, I ran a set over various bikes (both big dual and ht DH bikes and had very impressive results. Ended up being a laster longing tyre than a maxxis counterpart.(tracks were hardpack, and all rock/shale runs- chews tyres to death.) Would also be good to see Nokian get a mention at some stage:running their 2.3" and its closer to 2.5" in its performance.
  • + 1
 Mmm.About Continental.Try Rubber Queens.I have some Kaisers also for big mountain,but Rubber Queen is the ultimate tire if you ride on smaller mountains.I rode with the foldable ones for 2 seasons.Durability is sick,cornering is sick,predictability is the bestest i've ever tried.And the best part of them all is that it runs good also.No matter the conditions,wet or dry,roots or rocks,it grips always.I had only a couple of flats thru both seasons.But puncturing depends of different peoples riding styles,so it may vary.
  • + 1
 i rode the Kiasers for a week in Whistler last year and after 3 days the rear tyre was destroyed. At £45 a pop i would expect them to last a bit longer. Also on hard pack terrain, the tyre had a habit of stepping out when you least expected too, the side nob spacing is too much. They were excellent on the loamy riding a Squamish though. Taking high rollers this year.
I wonder if the Athertons are really running this tyre? blacked out logo Maxxis tyres?
  • + 1
 Great initiative! Two things though; 1. please take the time to describe your testing conditions, what climate, terrain, riding and weather you are testing the tires under. 2. Adding a no-name budget brand tire to the test would create a more interesting breadth to the spectrum.
  • + 1
 Great review. Clearly needed and much appreciated.

A couple questions:


>>the Kaiser felt more like a Minion front once the tire did let loose and slide in terms of predictability.

Can you please explain what you mean?

What psi/bar were you running? (If you don't know would you please keep track and tell us?)

The Kaizers look really worn to me for 40 hours...? My 60a Highrollers have been on my bike a year and a half of trail riding and look WAY sharper than that. Don't your Highrollers hold up better than the Kaizers?

Thanks. Again, a much needed comparison.
  • + 2
 I was running 25 PSI in the front 30 in the back. I didn't post the pressures as there are just too many variables. Some days when it was raining really heavy and i was riding wet roots I ran a little bit less pressure. Sometimes if i was on a super hard pack trail I ran a little bit more air. I didn't want to mention air pressure as there was just to many other variables that affect that. Rider weight, position on bike/riding style, trails ridden.

The Kaiser compound will for sure wear quicker than a 60A compound tire, but it will also grip and hold a line a lot better as the compound is way softer. It a hard balancing act between performance and longevity. Guess it all depends on what is more important to your riding needs. The high rollers I usually run are 3C's and the amount of riding I did over those two weeks would have had the High roller side knobs tearing after a week. I just took those Kaiser's off last week, been a month since i put them on and they like almost the same as in the pictures taken after two weeks. Very Impressed. Pretty stoked of the next set of tires on my bike right now. Review to follow up soon.
  • + 1
 Hi mate, you may find that at that low a pressure you will flat with these. I used to run minion DHF's on both front and back of my bike at around 25psi front, 30psi rear and used this as a starting pressure when I swapped to the Kaisers after a recomendation off a trusted rider. I found that due to the extra strength of the sidewall on the contis I needed the pressure a lot higher to aviod flats (as is recommended by conti: www.conti-online.com/generator/www/de/en/continental/bicycle/themes/mtb/downhill_freeride/kaiser/derkaiser_en.html where the recommended psi is in fact 45!), I am now running around 37psi front and 41psi rear for hardpack to slightly loose tracks, and about 2-3psi less each end for the looser/damper tracks. I've had my contis for around a month now and they still look almost as good as new, and that's with at least one uplift day per weekend, one DH race, and four days of straight DH over the last week.
I find that at the higher pressures mentioned above the rolling resistance is not much slower than the minion DHF, and the grip under braking is better. The main reason I'm now sticking to the kaisers though is the extra grip/confidence in the cornering, especially on looser/steep tracks, to me this outweights the slight increase in rolling resistance and the extra weight the tyres have when compared to the minion DHF. Anyway, that's just my 2¢ Wink
  • + 1
 maxxis high roller/ maxxis ardent/ and maxxis minion, i have used them all [downhill specific double sidewall 3c compound etc] and after 2years of faithfull use i have had it! Maxxis tires wear out [literally] 2x as fast as the Kendas that i now use!!! and the stickE compound is just as good. i am running 2.7 blue grooves on the front and 2.5 nevagals on rear...i am only 140 lbs and my ride is a tricked out Devinci Hectic 2 xs frame, but i ride the crap out of it [north shore trails + sunshine coast & whistler ] and i can't believe after dozens of rides they are almost like new...if they had been my maxxis tires they would look like toast.
  • + 1
 I've been running these on the DH since august. They have held up very well based on my similar first impression that they were gonna be shredded very quickly. They hook up similarly to high rollers, but I do find that I drift a few more corners. I too found myself flatting more than usual as well.
  • + 1
 i origenaly had the minions and thout they were great. then my friend dallas recomended schwalbe and i looked into it and chose to try the wicked wills. and all i can say about them is that they are amazing. and after that, i got two pairs!
  • + 5
 test stout 2.6 just for laughs
  • + 1
 Another quastion Adam. I see you have a titan spring on your new Giant. I get the bike in March and I want to put the titan spring on it. Is it a 2,75X450 titan spring ? I think for 77 kg it must be the right one.
Thanks in advice.
  • + 1
 I have a 450 pound on there right now and i weight 190lbs. If anything its actually almost too soft when paired up with the awesome dampening of the elka
  • + 2
 I ride "the Kaiser" the full season and i only can say the beast tire i ever ride... I also ride schwalbe, maxxis and wtb but thej are nothing to the new Conti tires... Massive grip and really durability...
  • + 1
 what about the grip over wet rocks and roots over there in the alps?
  • + 1
 just one question about the review process: are you testing tires as a pro sponsored rider? or from the privateer point of view, because as a privateer for the high price of a Der Kaiser, for me it looks pretty banged up for only 2 weeks of riding.... as a privateer you want the tire to last as long as it gets while providing the best possible grip, I dont want to pay 140 buks for a couple of tires every month... (supposing i get to ride every day).

Anyway, how are your test coming along, so far I have only found this and the wicked will, any more tests coming soon?
I am a tire fetishist and I love trying any I can get. =P Also, I am eager to read more.
  • + 1
 If you wanna find a tyre to better the High Roller, why not look at the Michelin Comp 16/DH16/Wildgripper Descent, whatever its called these days.

It's the tyre Maxxis allegedly ripped off to make the High Roller, and it's the best allround tyre on the face of the planet.

Tread is deeper than HR, better in mud, rolls fine, grips like nothing on earth and kinda almost sharpens itself as it wears.

Even when they are totally shagged they grip great.
  • + 1
 i've run older kenda Kinetics, with not so great results. they are a good value, and when run at the proper pressures, dont pinch very often, roll pretty nice, and mount well to most rims. they arent the most advanced tread design or weight, but they get the job done over a variety of terrain for a reasonable price, and can be found everywhere...i've run intense dh ex(i think they are called, not the 909) and found them to be a really really good tire in almost all areas of extreme riding, whether dh or freeriding, lighter than the kendas, roll not quite as fast, but gripped way better and only wore a little faster, plus they were on my uzzi vpx, so it seemed fitting...lastly i went to michelin dh 16 a/t, 2.5 front and rear, ust tubless on 823 rims...these so far even with not the best weight rating, have been the best all around tire i have ridden on this bike(on my "local" trails, freeride areas,DH racing and riding and yes, to the coffee shop downtown)they take rock sections with ease and confidence...the 823 rule, and even though i did trash one, i have run an sun mtx in its place, michelin with a tube(and this is in the rear) and i still love it...i will get a new 823 soon and also some new tires to replace the michi's as i want to find lighter, and hey, who knows i could end up on maxxis or say specialized next for all i know..anyone who likes the specialized tires let me know Big Grin
  • + 1
 I run Specialized Butcher SX's on my Mini-DH(2.5) and Trail bike(2.3). Very happy with the package: 50a center, 45a knobs, about 940g for the 2.3, 1kg for the 2.5, running turbo tubes on the 2.3 and regular tubes on the 2.5, never flatted in the sharp + rocky chugach. Rolls awesome on pavement when Ik have to pedal to the woods. Treadwear lasts a full season with 16-20h saddle time/week, June 1- sept30. Price is right too. I'm reading this article b/c my trailbike runs a trailKing/rubberQueen out back and thought the kaiser would be right at home on the miniDH.

But back on topic- as far as front tires go, I'll take a butcher every time. The price is just icing on the cake.
  • + 0
 do you intend to test tires as individuals for front and rear performance? some tires do great for one or the other, but not both. i'm searching for a better rear than the minion dhr , as the side lugs are very weak and tear very prematurely. i was considering highroller but you have eluded to how the side lugs are weak as well. when you claim highroller is your top choice, do you use it for F and R?
thanks for the study, this issue is on a lot of people's minds.
  • + 1
 ¨just run minion dhf in the rear to! It's soo good!
  • + 0
 One guy buying all the DH tires in the world? Telling you what to buy? He did say "the mother of all tire reviews", right? What? does he mean the Same bike, same atmospheric pressure, same soil humidity, same time of day, same physical condition etc. Bla, bla, bla. Really he's gotta be a genius. No?
  • + 1
 test the michelin CLUTCH..im never runing maxxis as long as that clutch is going on..plus they have a new mud tire not yet released but to some races which is sick..some of youprobably have riden with it
  • + 0
 You can't compare this tire to tires you haven't tested and expect people to understand how it performs. Saying this one "wears like a nevegal" and "slides like an ardent" doesn't help anyone who hasn't used one of those tires too.
  • + 2
 It was either that or saying I give it a numeric value out of 5. Does a number hold more value to you?? I thought about that one a lot; a proper way to judge the tires. Maxxis being the industry standard in performance tires, I chose to just to compare tires tested to Maxxis and other well known tires. I hear what your saying though and the next test I will have a comparable rating scale.

Thanks
-Adam
  • - 5
flag lenmerderdenfer (Jan 26, 2010 at 23:14) (Below Threshold)
 dunbarcycles, Thanks but your wasting your time. Or maybe I am waisting mine. This review is impossible. Have a look at my earlier comments. Illnotsick is right too. dunbarcycles, do you have an unlimited bank account? Do you have state of the art testing equipment? Think of all the variables, just think of them. This IMO is useless. Why should I trust your opinion over mine for example? That's why mountain bike mags do this they have the means and nearly proper methods to test with and they are still subjected to a very subjective tested opinion. In the end it is a lot of opinion. Let's ask MIT or NASA for a real test, it could be the true motherload of all tests. What do you say?
  • + 1
 I'm not concerned as much about exact testing in the same corner going the same speed. That's just not how biking works. I think as a first test you should have done a fresh set of maxxis tires, give them a rating (not a 1-10, 1-100 so you can get a decent spread between tires). Obviously you can't rate the maxxis a perfect 100, then there's no point. After rating your tried and true maxxis, then test other tires and rate on the same scale. At the end, go back to a set of maxxis and re-rate. Since you have tried the others you can then compare the maxxis against those, instead of using it as the baseline. I'm interested in seeing the rest of the tires. Care to give the intense 909 a shot? That's what I've been using after i decided not to spend $70 per tire.
  • + 0
 Nice review. Friend of mine has been riding pair of Kaisers for the last six months and he is preety impressed. Well, if they hold out well on snowy/icy roots and rocks then is a good tire for Austrian winter conditions and superbe for summer. My personal tire revelations are the Specialized Clutch (lovechild of Minion DHF 3C and HighRoller 42) and yeah Specialized Storm DH (ya know, the tire that Sam rode in Schladming 2009). Bothe tires quite overpriced in europe but IMHO worth riding).
  • + 1
 Sorry but you said in the (+) points, "Durability" - after only 2 weeks its completly lost the all important sharp edges? Understandable if the trails were stoney and rough, but they dont look it?
  • + 2
 Compared to other tires which are equal in performance the der kaiser is noticeably longer lasting.
  • + 0
 +1 on the Arrow Racing Tires. They have a combo for all sorts of necessary set-ups and conditions. Superior flat protection as well.
While I am sure a more scientific review could be done, "Thanks" for continuing this. Will be intersting too see how the other tires fare.
Jeff Bonisa
San Clemente
  • + 1
 Ride Kenda or Maxxis!!!! I don't trust continental tires. Had a pair of mountainkings for trailriding and they were the absolute worst tires I have ever ridden. Won't ride continental again.
  • + 1
 i LOVE the Kenda's. Keep it quiet, I like paying 30 bucks a tire instead of 60. 2.7 Blue Groove STICK-E front, 2.5 Blue Groove STICK-E rear. Run them the whole season, still look great when the season is done.
  • + 2
 Cost of tyre is also a factor guys, not everyone is sponsored! Costs please, well done by the way, nice to read good info
  • + 1
 true, i bet there will be tires matching the rollers in many categories - but will probably cost more
  • + 1
 Kaisers are around £55 per end...silly money, but personally, I find the increased grip to be well worth it, especially if you take your racing seriously.
  • + 1
 O and for the conti; Gee Atherton is sponsord by them, but on WC he uses high rollers or minions...........only the schwalbe sponsord teams really use them (like Yeti)
  • + 2
 Doesn't Sam Hill run specialized tyres now anyway? Worth giving them a roll maybe..
  • + 1
 I believe both Sam and his teammate (Brendan?) are running Specialized tires now, starting last summer.
  • + 1
 Yes, you are right. They have a dry tyre in testing called the Butcher and their spike tyre the Storm is out already, I think. They have been testing tires since they signed with Specialized...
  • + 1
 as far as i'm concerned there's a storm enduro/trail tire in 2.1'(not sure) width. i've been waiting for the downhill version since the monster-guys talked about that tire.
  • + 1
 There is a DH model but its only on the US Specialized website, not sure about availiability in Europe and such...
  • - 1
 So, it corners "as well" as a High Roller, but rolls slower and is prone to flats and you still say "Overall I was super stoked on this tire. I was blown away by the performance in corners, which for me is probably the most important thing when looking for a tire." How many seconds a run does the rolling resistance cost you?

Make up your mind dude, are you trying to find a better tire, or are you just trying to rebel against all the "Sam Hill fan club boys" because you're too cool to be like everyone else?

Did it ever occur to you that the reason all the racers in WC run them (unless sponsorship prevents them from doing so) is because they're better? Do you not remember the Santa Cruz team, sponsored by Kenda, running blacked out logo High Rollers and DHF's in 2007? (Watch chapter 10 in Seasons, Peaty has Kenda logos on his jersey, but the tires are clearly DHF front, High Roller rear in the start gate)
  • + 1
 When Sam started the 2009 season on the Demo, he was running Blacked out Maxxis before Specialized could get a decent tire for him.
  • + 1
 Id like to see the Arrow Ramped bite's reviewed as well. I find them great in the dry stuff, tend to get a big cluggy in the mud maybe there only weakness.
  • + 1
 nice write up I think it might help me find my new brand. keep it up man. you might want to put in the aproximate price for a pair though. or mabey just what you paid.
  • + 1
 same.its made me think alot more about maybe i should try other types instead of just instantley choosing maxxis .nice one ,great review Big Grin
  • + 3
 Great review - can't wait for the next oneSalute
  • + 1
 You are right on the money there with the review. Its super grippy but slow and won't stop flatting. I have now reverted to good old maxxis.
  • + 1
 What pressures were you running? I've got around 37psi front, 42psi rear with XC tubes in and haven't flatted once in the month or so I've had these tyres, and that's on lots of rocky tracks. Smile
  • + 3
 i rode this tire the whole last season and i´m absolute happy with it.
  • + 2
 Nice. I am currently looking for a new 2.5 to run since Arrow Racing tires have dropped of the face of the earth.
  • + 1
 The company that made Arrows -- Duro -- is now releasing them under their own name: www.durobike.com/productslisting.php?productspage=258

Mud-X (now Muckmeister) are the best snow DH tire ever.
  • + 1
 he could just skip them all and go straight to a kenda nevegal 2.7 for a front
  • + 2
 Great review. Don't stop!
  • + 1
 i would love to run these tyres but they are twice the price of maxxis....... one word for me DOH
  • + 1
 Hey!! what about following issues? That's a damn interesting review but please, keep it alive!
  • + 1
 I run Bontrager "Big Earl" wet condition tyre for most riding. Give em a shot. curious to see how they compare
  • + 1
 does anyone know if the Nokian Gazza North Shore Tyre 26x2.6 is any good i can get some for £9.70 ish each?
  • + 2
 dude...your bike kicks ass :-()!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 looks like a good tyre always wondered what a cross between a high roller and a minnion would be like.
  • + 1
 Kenda Navegals are the worst tire Ive ever had. Tread lasts, but the cornering and constant flats are a real issue.
  • + 0
 I agree, rode them for a season and they were rubbish. How did they win Tire of the year in 07
  • + 0
 yeah, Kenda's tires suck big time. Used to have a pair of 2.5 rampages on my meta 666 and I just couldn't stand them, now I have nevegals on my dh bike and they are total shit. I think that kenda tires are hopeless, don't bother with them. Awesome idea with review, I'm looking for nevegal alternative and I really want to try something else than maxxis (though I know they are awesome, I had them on the meta after rampages Smile
  • + 0
 I loathe most Kendas, but the Excavator is a good rear tire.
  • + 2
 The small block 8 rocks nearly it all and is great looking and fast. Can I get an amen? or a hells yeah? Just look at the dirt or street scene.
  • + 1
 small block 8s for anything other then dirt or street is stupid
  • + 1
 the small block 8s did slide in mud but i found they gripped when i needed them too through the sludge but once the Excavators arrived they were quickly swapped as they stuck to everything never slipped off anything.
  • + 1
 Stryke, Does John Tomac XC riding ring a bell? What about XC? What about trials? They are even good for dry hard packed soil or even better slick rock? Even slope style uses them. I guess this must be just plain stupid. No?
  • + 1
 slick rock? with small blocks? good luck with that, any serious rider will not use small blocks for anything other then hardpark or street, maybe climb some fireroads on the xc bike with them..
  • + 1
 Hi stryke, This is just a friendly bit of information for you. Slick rock is in fact as sticky as concrete or asphalt. Slick does not necessarily mean slippery. Slick implies SMOOTH, more or less. Take the Moab desert for example. Peace dude.
  • + 1
 Definitions of slick on the Web:

* slickness: a slippery smoothness; "he could feel the slickness of the tiller"
* made slick by e.g. ice or grease; "sidewalks slick with ice"; "roads are slickest when rain has just started and hasn't had time to wash away the ...
  • + 1
 Dude, Check out Moab desert! It is an American term that is used to describe this particular location and it diverges greatly from the text book or dictionary definition.
  • + 1
 Moab slickrock is the grippiest riding you will ever encounter.
  • + 1
 it's only called slickrock cause in the old days, the wagons and horses couldn't grip on it. it's probably one of the most abrasive surfaces naturally occuring in the world.
  • + 1
 hey, im in need of a new front tyre to be used for dh. Anyone got any reccomendations?
  • + 1
 maxxis high roller, its the way forwards
  • + 0
 yeh fro huckers like u Wink , wetscreams ftw
  • + 1
 cheers whitetux, ill get some. rad!
  • + 1
 Personally, I'm into intense tires. Great variety of tread patterns, compounds, and casings for all your riding needs.
  • + 1
 Enjoyed this review lad, look forward to future ones, and enjoyed the pics to match the review also. Cheers.
  • + 0
 these are 1 of the worst tyres i have ever rode i flatted twice in 1 day and had to run them really flat for them to grip on roots
  • + 1
 nice tire,fantastic reviewWink ....i have continental rain king..and love that tire Wink
  • + 0
 If you are looking for truly comprehensive reviews just read the posts on MTBR.com or on other sites for that matter. Why not even on the PB forums.
  • + 1
 Maybe try testing Michelin ... I think they have new stuff for 2010
  • + 1
 Hope they review intense 909s, i stand by em me Smile
  • + 1
 Yeah man the 909's are awesome I've been running them for 2 years now and I find them good in every thing from dry dusty rocky stuff through to loamy/damp conditions , although they are not to great in the sloppy mud but they aint crap either , and they wear at a reasonable rate too
  • + 3
 Plus you can get them for $20.
  • + 1
 Looking forward to following these posts!
  • + 2
 nice review
  • + 2
 I agree, even though I don't do DH, I can tell this is really going to help riders selecting tires for their fav trails.
  • + 1
 When will we have more reviews ???
  • + 1
 Definitely looking forward for the next review
  • + 1
 thoe tires are soooo nice i love them that grip sooo good
  • + 1
 Sickest bike that I've ever seen.
  • + 1
 continental rain king is a badass tire
  • + 1
 really nice review... but yes its true... high roller are great tires!!
  • + 1
 Nice job on this review! I'm very interested in seeing your next one.
  • + 1
 nice pics and I hope he does alot more tests, there are so many options
  • + 1
 hope ur planning on testing nokian gazzalodi dude 2.5+
  • + 1
 I REALY need new tyres so this is extremely useful. i like it Big Grin
  • + 1
 Very good idea to test some various tires !
  • + 1
 nice rig!
  • + 1
 cool
  • + 0
 Look forward to your Nevegal review.
  • + 0
 thats really chewed for two weeks of riding......
  • + 2
 I was going to post the same thing. That tire looks pretty chewed up for 2 weeks of riding there Adam. How many days of riding did you do on that tire in those 2 weeks?
  • + 1
 He states in the article about 40 hours worth of riding.
  • + 1
 if those were Minions he would have been replacing them (I've seen what he can do to those in a week).
  • + 1
 when's the next review?
  • - 1
 MINION in the front, michelin DH16 in the back!! best tire setup ever
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