The French tyre giant is my go to for bike rubber, there’s no denying it. After such good experiences with their road tyres both tubeless and non tubeless I’ve gone whole hog and fitted the whole fleet out with them….. all bar the mtb. But post my first XC race it was clear I need an upgrade to hammer the bike to its full potential.
In step their Kraken model. This is one of Hutchinsons XC race tyres, designed with input from their team of cross country althetes. Sounded ideal for what I needed! (Imagining I’m an athlete!).
The specs are as follows: 2.3 width, 800g, tan wall, 66tpi casing, and tubeless ready. They look badass too. Hutchinson do have another xc race suitable tyre called the Skeleton, lighter and narrower, as an alternative to the Kraken but down to wanting a tyre with more volume and greater cornering control the Kraken won out.
Although the Krakens can be run as a tube type tyre I made the choice of upgrading to a fully tubeless setup. For this I used BBB Cycling tubeless rim tape and Nutrak tubeless Schrader valves.
Converting the wheels was the normal faff of finding out exactly how much tape you would need to make it seal by trial fitting the tyres after each wrap of the wheel. The fit was pretty consistent on the tyres and I used the same amount of tape front and rear. With the correct amount of tape the tyres pumped up fairl easy and held pressure without sealant, happy they were good to go I filled them with sealant and re inflated.
The two main things I was hoping for when swapping tyres was increased grip on the corners and greater mud shedding. From my initial impressions I’m not disappointed.
Now I know going tubeless makes for a big change but I wasn’t expecting the difference I got. The Reid felt like a new bike. Removing the weight of a tube, lowering the pressures, and increasing the suppleness of the tyres made for a much more lively ride. And the hold on the corners was much more confidence inspiring.
I’ve been running these for over a month now covering about 100 miles. In that time I’ve played with tyre pressures, nearly burped the tyre off the rim, and had fun chucking the bike about with a lot more confidence. I’m really impressed with how they have ridden.
Looking forward to seeing how they go long term and getting out on them as often as possible! Especially when they look as cool as they do….. they make the Reid’s paint pop!
Oh and by the way…..I bought the Hutchinson Krakens from Windwave and used the discount code Windwave10 to get 10% discount!