Tread for bite.
So much of what makes a good set of tyres comes down to tread pattern and profile. The Kratos in 2.45″ width is on the more aggressive spectrum of all-mountain tyres, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t roll AND rail at the same time. The fairly close centre knobs do a great job of finding a happy medium between rolling resistance, braking performance and durability – sitting comfortably between say, a Maxxis Minion SS and a Schwalbe Nobby Nic. The mid and outer knobs then are spaced far further part and in a far more aggressive shape, giving superb grip on a range of surfaces. We found the outer knobs really clever; close pairs of knobs spaced out between each other still lets the rails roll smoother, but under pressure digs in deep. This eliminates that sensation you may get from big-knobbed tyres on off-camber rock slabs where riding on the side knobs suddenly feels like a set of stairs (well, not that bumpy but you get the idea).
Mitas, despite having a fairly small range of models, show almost no weakness in their line-up. The Kratos is designed as a versatile second in command to its more aggressive counterpart, the Highlander. Despite the difference in size, these two tyres complement each other incredibly well.
Read our review of the Highlander here.
Could we use as a combo?
Not only do they have similar aggressive patterns and amazing side rails, but they work great as a front-back weight-saving combo – the compromise in knobs for rolling resistance in the rear doesn’t mean a lack of cornering or braking grip. You also won’t have to worry about having a ‘weaker’ rear tyre either – with the same innovative TEXTRA casing as the Highlander.
TEXTRA is Mitas’ premium sidewalls – a compound of ultra-tough rubberised fabric weaved into the layers of rubber, which greatly improves the tyre’s slash resistance without adding extra plies of rubber and weight. This allows the sidewalls to still retain the perfect, supple feel and performance of a 127TPI casing and not over-stiffen them.
Mitas really back their TEXTRA casings, so much in fact that they offer a 100-day sidewall guarantee! That’s a lot of riding time; if you haven’t cut them within 100 days, that’s a pretty solid indicator of a great tyre. If you do in normal riding conditions? Mitas have you covered.
A cracking tread pattern isn’t anything without a dialled rubber compound, right? The TEXTRA model of Kratos comes with their Mitas’s Enduro Trail Dual Compound rubber. The centre tread is their CRX (Carbon Race Extremely light) Compound –aA low-density rubber compound infused with what they call carbon graphite, which is said to enhance the abrasion resistance without compromising on grip, and increasing its strength. The side knobs are a softer compound, the same as found on the Mitas Highlander we reviewed.
We found the tread blocks to feel soft enough to not slide off hardpack or slick rock, yet not too soft that the wheels felt slow to roll. A good indication that the different compounds are doing their thing, playing to their strength of being softer and harder where needed.
We had the most expensive CRX compound tyre with the TEXTRA sidewalls to test, but for a lower price you can also get two other compounds without the (T)extra protection – the Grey Line and Standard compounds. The Grey Line is a mix of their harder CRX compound for the base and centre while utilising a softer compound on the side knobs. This has been a long-standing feature on Mitas’ former tyres under the ‘Rubena’ banner – with their signature grey side knobs. This gives you the best of both worlds for grip in corners and high rolling resistance and low tyre wear.
If you are a do-it all rider that needs some extra meat in the front end for light trail riding, a great pair of all mountain rubbers, or a fast-rolling rear end to supercharge your enduro bike, have a serious look at these tyres. Tubeless ready and super easy to seat on your wheels, comprehensive sidewall protection and superior feel, as well as a well thought out tread pattern for the all-round rider, the Kratos is a tyre we will be keeping in the stable for quite a while.