There are loads of new downcountry-specific bikes, components, and kit getting released as almost every brand has developed products targeting mountain biking newest "discipline". Hutchinson are the latest brand, releasing their first downcountry-specific tire, the Kraken.
Hutchinson says this isn't just a cross-country tire with more volume, instead they have redesigned every aspect of the tire.
The 2.4in tread profile shares many similarities with the old Kraken cross-country/trail tire, although Hutchinson's R&D department are said to have drawn influence from Hutchinson's Griffus enduro tire. This development has resulted in elongated, higher-volume central knobs and a smaller number of knobs around the circumference of the tire in order to open up the tread pattern to improve grip on aggressive on loose and rocky descents.
A 66 TPI casing and bead-to-bead Hardskin puncture protection layer offer durability and protection and a RaceRipost XC tri-compound uses a 65ShA core to form the structure which is coated in the center by a layer of 60ShA rubber (gives a 50 percent rebound) to promote faster rolling speeds. The sides feature a softer 50 ShA (40 percent rebound) layer for improved cornering grip.
Despite the burlier construction and increased volume, the Kraken is still impressively light, with the black version of the Kraken 2.4 weighing in at a claimed 836g, around 68g more than the previous Kraken 2.3 which came in at 768g.
The tire is part of Hutchinson’s Racing Lab range which denotes the French brand's high-performance tires. That means they are developed in collaboration with Hutchinson’s top-level XC and enduro athletes and are hand-made in France.
Hutchinson says that the tires can be run as a pair or mix and matched with other tires should you wish, they also hint that there will be another new tire that will compliment the Kraken coming in June, we will keep you posted as soon as we know more.
The Kraken 2.4 comes in either 29in or 27.5in options, with either black or tan side walls, and retails at £57.95 / €64.99. Find out more at Hutchinson.com.