Rubena Scylla and Kratos Tires Review
We first rode the Scylla front and rear on a Santa Cruz Highball 29er. We mounted them tubeless and they sealed up with no problems. I aired it up to my normal 22 psi but I had to keep rechecking the air pressure as pressing the sidewall felt softer than normal. It turns out that sidewall material is so compliant that it feels like it has less pressure. Now, it’s not cloth thin like some tires but the rubber itself conforms nicely.
- Supple casing results in comfortable ride
- Protected sidewall
- Weight is light for what it is
- Dual compound exhibits good grip and rolling abilities
- Very flexible configurations with Scylla and Kratos combinations
- Scylla is a great XC race tire
- Kratos grips very well
- Refreshing to see a fresh approach to tire design
- Not as much volume as size claims
- Two-tone appearance is not for everyone
- Not a lot of retailers yet
The Scylla is a very fast race tire and it should be. Measured against it are fast, low knob 29er tires like the:
- Kenda SB8
- Specialized Renegade
- Maxxis Crossmark
- Panaracer Driver Pro
- Continental Race King
These are tires that would be rated 2 stars if judged by grip alone. Rather, speed and winning climbing and endurance races is their #1 priority. If they keep you upright on corners and steep descents, that is often good enough. Bermed, loamy spring and fall conditions are good for these tires as well when not racing. And as conditions get looser, these can get relegated to rear tire usage only, as most of the speed benefit is on the rear while the traction benefit is up front.
I’ve used all the tires stated above and I’m very familiar with this category of ‘speed’ tires. Low pressure is critical and 29ers with long contact patches are good as well.
The Scylla is a great tire. It is fast and it keeps you upright. The low knobs in the middle coupled with the harder compound, enables this tire to scoot up climbs with enthusiasm. The tire has a nice rounded profile too, so leaning the tire left to right is consistent. Lastly, it’s got decent cornering knobs, so you can actually lean this tire into a corner more than its peers mentioned above. It’s got some pretty good cornering grip and it never let us down on the high speed turns.
As the trails got looser, climbing and braking traction started to suffer a bit. Also, the front started communicating signs that it was starting to slip on dusty corners. The Rubena Kratos came to the rescue.
We put the Kratos on the front only and started hitting the corners hard again. The Kratos is wonderfully predictable and it handles corners with ease. Braking is impressive too, as it performed well even in dusty covered trails. We set some Strava personal records not only up but going downhill as well, as we mounted this on our trusty Specialized Carbon Epic
Over the course of 20 rides, we hardly noticed wear on the tires so we expect these to last long. We are pleasantly surprised to see this tire from this new (to the US) company. It’s good to see a new player in the market deliver a fresh approach to tires.
Overall: 5 chili peppers
Value: 4.5 chili peppers