Kenda King Of Traction 1.8 DTC folding mountain bike tyre review
The first thing to say about the King of Traction is that its volume is generous for a supposedly 1.8in tyre. It’s not fat but it’s closer (in height especially) to a regular 2in, so check your clearance.
Rolling resistance is very good (one of its main intentions) as it resembles the DIY-cut-down spikes you sometimes see at downhill races.
Its cornering tastes are rather specific though. If it’s mud, no problem, but if there’s anything lurking beneath (roots, rocks) you’re in trouble. Well, you’re off…
Despite a top coat of soft 42a rubber, the hard 65a underneath doesn’t yield under impact with hard things – it deflects wildly. The supple carcass is also rough-stuff-phobic. We had to run them at high pressures to avoid punctures and squirming, which doesn’t help with the deflection.
The King Of Traction almost has its place as a rear-specific mud tyre – it climbs, accelerates and clears well – but its thin carcass and scary, unyielding side knobbles are too much of a liability elsewhere.
At 550g it’s impressively light (if still heavier than the tougher Continental Mud King 1.8), but it’d be more useful with some heft in those sidewalls. The Jekyll and Hyde tread also makes it far too sketchy when cornering on firmer terrain.