Rubena Scylla and Kratos 29er Tires

29er Tires

First Impressions by Francis Cebedo:

A box of tires showed up at the office and we opened it with curiosity and skepticism. Tire testing after all has its downsides as the penalties of a bad cornering tire means the rider may crash. We’ve never heard of this brand and we’ve never used any bike products from the Czech Republic, Rubena’s country of origin.

But the tires passed the ‘smell’ test as I sniffed the rubber, pinched the tread and examined the sidewalls. It seemed like a really well constructed tire. A little research on the interweb and we found a lot of chatter about this tire on that mtbr website It sounded like a lot of people were sharing good experiences with this tire since they established a US Distributor in 2012.

Also, the great GuitarTed of reviewed it at length and had very good things to say about it. In a nutshell, Ted likes the speed of the tire, specially as the trails have dried for the summer. He says the cornering is impressive, the sidewalls have a very supple quality and the tires feel bigger than they are as they absorb trail shock quite well. Read all about it here:

Well, we have four rides on the tires and here’s our first impressions:

  • The rubber quality and construction seems excellent as the tires spin round and true.
  • The tire is smaller than its 2.25 width claims.
  • 656 gram weight is heavier than claimed but that is actually pretty darn light for a tubeless 29er tire with decent knobs and good sidewall.
  • It rolls fast and it corners very well.  This tire seems to strike an amazing balance of speed and cornering ability.
  • It sealed up tubeless with no problem at all. We put sealant in but there seemed to be no leaks whatsover for the sealant to seal.
  • The sidewalls seem really supple and we had to recheck our air pressures several times. 25 psi on this tire felt like 20 when you press the sidewall. This translated to a smooth feel on the trail that was noticeable.

It’s great to be surprised every once in a while. This is a new brand for us and new country to explore products from. We’re excited to test this some more and the 26er tires the sent over.



With knobs a little less aggressive than the Kratos, the Scylla is perfect for hardpack singletrack but it retains the nicely sized side knobs for optimal hook up while cornering. This is one of Rubena’s lightest and fastest tires. This tire should be on every race bike and every bike looking to hit the high plains. It may be the perfect XC tire. 540g for the 29” Racing Pro and 595g the 29” Tubeless.

ETRTO Size TPI Bead Technology Color Price
57 – 622 29 x 2.25″ 127 Folding Standard Black $59.99
57 – 622 29 x 2.25″ 127 Folding SDX Grey/Black $63.99
57 – 622 29 x 2.25″ 127 Folding LC Black $67.99
57 – 622 29 x 2.25″ 127 Folding SDX +TS+ LC Grey/Black $69.99


Rubena tires are constructed with state-of-the-art tire technology to extend tire life, improve safety, and increase performance. The video below explains their technologies.

SE-Dual Extreme Light Compound (SDX): Combination of two compounds – soft adhesive compound (SSC – Grey Line) on sides with well-proven CRX compound both in tread center and base. Combination of these two compounds makes this a great racing tire with low drag for fast riding and excellent grip and control in curves and traverse.

Tubeless Supra (TS): Rubena Tubeless Supra technology provides three standard ways of usage together with a special assembly set (see 1 for 3 diagram). Tubeless Supra usage provides higher riding comfort, low drag, high inflating range, and low weight of the set (tire + tube + rim tape) and elimination of tube puncture.

Liquid Compound (LC): Special blue liquid latex based sealant creates tubeless system.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • StiHacka says:

    Nice review, thank you Francis. It is good to see quality Czech products appearing in the US. I wish they will get in the 650b business and give us some aggressive AM treads for the betweeners, too., a Czech wheels manufacturer, has been offering 650b rims for a while so I believe there must be some demand at least in the EU.

  • trifasciata says:

    Which is a better front tire (cornering, traction), the Scylla or Panaracer Driver Pro?

  • Francis says:

    The better cornering tire is the Panaracer Driver Pro because it has large side knobs. The Scylla is a little better at climbing and braking. My ultimate speed setup is the Driver Pro front and Scylla back.

  • Case says:

    Hello. I’m the distributor for Rubena here in the States and I thought I’d jump in with a couple of things. @StiHacka, Rubena will be producing the Scylla and the Charybdis in 650b and they will be available soon., thanks for the review, I’m very happy you thought well of the tires. We work hard to find vendors like Rubena to bring to market here in the States. I was immediately impressed with their quality and their pricing. I encourage anyone here to please post thoughts and critiques when you have had the opportunity to ride Rubena.


    Matt Case

  • nfsfox says:

    Ah its nice to see the compan work its way up and into the US. Here in Slovakia these tires aren’t very common but the feedback that people give on them is very impressive. I was about to buy a set of crossmakrs but who knows… I might change my mind.

  • joules says:

    so a review of a tire without a picture of the tread… really?

    that’s 99% of the information I would want about a tire, and without it this review is just about worthless.

  • Pavel says:

    Hi from Rubena, Czech Republic.
    Following the review I would like assure everyone that you will see Scylla (27,5 x 2,25) and Charybdis (2,00 x 27,5) introduced at the Eurobike show in Germany as well as at Interbike in Las Vegas in a few weeks.
    Generally tires are available either in black (single compound) or Grey Line (dual compound). They are well tested in harsh conditions such as South African Cape Epic race. Epic proven combination is to have Kratos in the front and Scylla on the rear wheel.
    Enjoy the rides with Rubena! And wait for more exciting new products such as freeride tires, road racing tires, BMX tires,… Many of them are already with our riders at the Olympic games in London. You can watch Rubena riders such as Rebecca Henderson (Australian, MTB XC U23), Dan McConnell (Australian, MTB XC Elite) both Champions of Australia and Oceania 2012 (Rebecca finished in the 2nd place overall in the 2012 World Cup U23), or Romana Labounkova (4X 2011 European Champion),etc.

  • hawkeye says:

    @Pavel: When will some bigger bag size tyres be available? Presently in Australia, only the 2.25s are available, which are more like 2.0s.

    Most recreational riders here prefer to run a 2.25-2.3 front tyre as measured (particularly for the front) – which would probably translate to a 2.4-2.5 in Rubena sizing.

    Any comments?

  • DJ says:

    Got to say i’m riding the Kratos on my Air9 Carbon SS here in Bend OR, as fast as the SB8 they replaced but more than twice the grip. No-brainier, cheap, mine inflated with a flow pump tubeless put in some Stan’s (just in case), only thing that would get me off these tires is if they brought out a 2.35/2.4. Love mine. Cheers

  • TS says:

    Hi, thanks all for the feedback on Rubena 29″ tyres; my first 29er is on order, Canyon AL 29, I decided to use Panaracer Driver Pro as rear tyre, Rubena Kratos at the front. Should be a good alternate to more common Conti Race King/Mountain King II. I am very curious to experience both tyres….cheers TS

  • Tony says:

    I’ve been running these on my 29er for the past 6 months here in OZ with the Kratos front Sylla rear. I’m very pleased with them so far. Not as big as tye stated size implies but easy to run tubeless & light. They feel similar in grip to the Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph combi. I think that they’re comfy due to the high TPI count.
    The rear sidewalls are now just about dead due to our unavoidable rocks but as a light & comfortable race tyre these work well.

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