Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Here are some first impressions of my new Knard 29+ 3 inch tire as fitted to my rigid Surly Karate Monkey. These tires are not supposed to be fitted on anything less than a 35mm wide rim, so the hell fires of damnation will likely rain down on me some time soon. The rim they are built to go with is the Rabbit-hole 50mm rim.

My rim is a Sun Ringle Equaliser. I have no idea how wide it is, but I am not someone who pushes the limits as far as bike handling goes, so hopefully the tire wont fall off. I have also run 2inch tires on Mavic Open Pro road rims with no problems, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I have seen elsewhere were people have mounted them to Stans Arch rims to give them a spin. There were certainly no issues with setting them up on my rim.

This bike is currently set up for this weekend's Single Speed nationals so I thought I'd sneak in a few rides to see how it felt. I started with only 11 psi in the front. Going was tough initially up Belmont Road Hill into a head wind with the low pressure but got better as I changed direction into a muddy cow-pocked climb up onto the Old Coach Road. Traction was great, the front didn't dig in, so the rear didn't slip under load. I wasn't expecting that.

I was really looking forward to the slippery rutted descent down the Maranatha Bridle track. I usually hate this track in the wet, but I was surprised to ride it with heaps more confidence than I normally would have on my 26er fully. I was impressed. The tire soaked up all the bumps and didn't once slide off the camber. If I could have fitted one on the back I would have been flying. Back on the tar-seal decent and the tire was inclined to steer very straight and not want to wander off line.

A seriously large tube
This morning I did a bit of reading and saw where most people seem to be running them at 19 to 21 psi, so I put in 20 psi and found it to be responding a lot more rapidly with side to side movements, like a normal tire. It felt similar to running a normal 29er tire with about 25 psi in it. Of course you miss out on a fair bit of the cushioning effect.

I haven't yet ridden up hill with the higher psi but I'm expecting it to roll a bit faster. There is no doubt its a very heavy tire; reported to be 1270 grams for the 27tpi wire bead version. The tube itself is massive and feels like it weighs about 300 grams. I would have weighed the tire but couldn't find anything big enough to contain it : )

Here is the most information I have found from a person currently using the Knard in its two versions.  The post is by Nurse Ben.

About to head down the slippery rutted Maranatha track

On the tar-seal

Racing Ralph on the back, Knard on the front