Continental Kryptotal Fr & Rr tyres review

by 19

On test we have the Continental Kryptotal with front and rear specific tread patterns in the Super Soft compound, Downhill casing in 29 x 2.4in.

  • Brand: Continental
  • Product: Kryptotal Fr & Rr tyres
  • From: Continental Tyres UK
  • Price: £74.95 (Super Soft & Downhill)
  • Tested: by Rhys Wainwright for 6 months

Continental’s latest range of gravity tyres have been gaining some serious popularity the past year or two. With credible World Cup downhill results under several top-flight teams who’s to argue?

The Continental Kryptotoal tyres come in a front and rear specific tyre so they’ve been on either end of a Hope HB.916 for about six months. They’ve seen all the conditions and been raced more than they’ve been ridden in training.

As for where these tyres sit in the range, they’re considered the full fat race tyre for downhill and enduro with 6 plies of 110tpi material, coming in at ~1300g.

The enduro carcass comes in around ~1100g with 3 plies of 110tpi material and crucially, is not available in the super soft compound. There is also a trail carcass that is made of 3 plies of 60tpi material an comes in at a smidge over ~1000g.

In terms of the rubber compounds available there’s Super Soft, Soft and Endurance. The Super Soft is only available in the full thickness Downhill casing. You can also get the Soft compound in the Downhill casing.

The mid weight Enduro casing tyres only come in the Soft compound.

The lightest Trail casing tyres only come in the hard-wearing Endurance compound. Simples.

The 1300g downhill tyre weight is in the ballpark for a beefy enduro tyre, possibly a little light for a typical downhill tyre. I usually find that tyre weight is a good guesstimating gauge of how a tyre carcass will feel and my guess for these tyres is ‘supple yet supportive’.

On the other hand, the supple feeling does not translate to easy fitting. The downhill tyre trademark of being a bugger to fit holds true here.

Fitting them onto 30mm wide rims with inserts took patience and required me to install them dry to get one side of the bead fully seated. Then removed the opposing bead and install the insert and sealant and prepare to get wrestling to get the other side back on.

Not the worst tyres I’ve installed but certainly tight.

My first ride out on the new treads was also my first ride on the new Hope HB.916. Exciting times. A weekend in Innerleithen seemed an adequate christening.

To kick things off I opted for my usual 20psi front and 22psi rear – a tried a tested standard for me when riding UK woodland enduro trails. I pretty much maintained this for the entire test period.

First impressions were good. The suppleness I could feel in the tyre carcass by hand translated well into ground conforming grip over Golfie’s endless roots. It gave me the confidence to hit rooty high lines and off camber sections without a second thought.

I’ve no doubt that the super soft compound both ends of the bike was also at play here. When conditions were mostly dry, with no peanut butter style mud, the grip from the Continental Kryptotal tyres was frankly astonishing. This only got better as the trails dried over the weekend.

I found myself fully committing to corners with the front wheel delivering the grip and support I was looking for.

Leaning the bike over on flatter turns to really engage those tall well supported side knobs also delivered heaps of grip. The tread pattern, casing and rubber compound all working in harmony to deliver one of the most confidence inspiring rides I’ve had on any mountain bike tyre.

Since that first weekend of riding I’ve raced the Kryptotals in every ground condition you can imagine. Tweed Love gave hero dirt practice and mega slop for race day. Predictably the Kryptotals delivered the goods in the dry.

However, once the overnight rain had fallen the stages turned to thick mud – the Kryptotal’s kryptonite.

The tall relatively close packed tread blocks filled with mud and became much less inspiring to race over wet roots and rocks. The mud between the tread blocks acting as an unwanted lubricant on every feature. The tread was reluctant to shed the mud until moving pretty quickly.

Mud clearing is not a strong point. There are other tyres in the Continental range for wet conditions – namely the Continental Argotal with its widely spaced square block tread pattern. The Argotal is available in all the same sizes, casings and compounds as the Kryptotal. Alternatively, the Hydrotal exists for full on monsoon level downhill racing and is only available in a super soft downhill variant.

The Boltby Bash once again assured me that the dry grip of the Kryptotal was something to behold. Even as the dry conditions led to deeper dust as the weekend progressed the Kryptotals did not let me down once. Such was the confidence that I achieved a half decent race result despite a chainless run on stage two.

A round of the PMBA enduro series at Ae forest delivered some torrential conditions for race day and had me worried about the tyres clogging. As it turned out the conditions were so wet that the thin mud cleared easily from the tread and the sticky rubber made good use of the ground underneath.

How do the Kryptotals compare to existing gravity tyres?

Comparing the Kryptotal front to a Schwalbe Magic Mary in an equivalent Super Gravity casing, Addix Super Soft compound; the Continental has a serious edge in the dry. The bigger shoulder tread is better supported and once committed to a turn it’s one of the best out there.

When pushed super hard in the dry I have been able to tear the shoulder tread off a Mary. Don’t get me wrong, the bite of a Magic Mary is still awesome, it probably my all-time favourite tyre, but in the dry the Kryptotal takes it.

As an all conditions, all year tyre the Magic Mary has an edge. It clears mud better and provides a more consistent level of grip.

Comparing the casings I’d say Continental have done an excellent job of creating a tough tyre that is the ideal blend of suppleness and damping verses cornering support. The Magic Mary Super Gravity casing feels stiffer and harsher in comparison, with no discernible benefit in terms of support.

Overall

In summary, the Kryptotals have been exceptionally good tyres. The casing, rubber compound and tread patterns of the Super Soft compound Downhill casing Continental Kryptotal is truly something to behold.

The range of useable conditions maybe much narrower than the top tier gravity tyres from other brands. If things get mixed and tricky then you might be better on a tyre that clears sticky mud better or have an Argotal lined up to stick on the front at short notice.

If you’re looking for a summer enduro/downhill race tyre then you’d be foolish to overlook the Kryptotal. The dry performance is the best I’ve experienced.

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Review Info

Brand: Continental
Product: Kryptotal
From: conti-tyres.co.uk
Price: £74.95
Tested: by Rhys Wainwright for 6 months

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Continental Kryptotal Fr & Rr tyres review
  • honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Such a shame Conti don’t offer the soft compounds in lighter casings.

    1300g is a huge weight penalty for a front tyre where a lot of people don’t need the casing but want the compound.

    Maxxis have figured this out, and Schwalbe are starting to

    snotrag
    Full Member

    Yep, that. I cannot imagine riding round with a 1300g tyre on my bike, awful.

    jimmy748
    Full Member

    I want the tough downhill casings but harder compounds, especially for the rear.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Nice tyres but I’m more interested in a long term review of the HB.916

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    However, once the overnight rain had fallen the stages turned to thick mud – the Kryptotal’s kryptonite.

    The tall relatively close packed tread blocks filled with mud and became much less inspiring to race over wet roots and rocks. The mud between the tread blocks acting as an unwanted lubricant on every feature. The tread was reluctant to shed the mud until moving pretty quickly.

    I’ve watched that the Pinkbike racing team sometimes run the rears on the front because they clear mud better. Did you find they did, and how well does the rear clear compared to the obvious competitor DHR2?

    droplinked
    Full Member

    I know they’re DH tyres but what’s the rolling resistance like, do they kill speed or roll pretty well?

    How draggy are they to pedal back up the hill?

    orena45
    Full Member

    <div id=”post-12895600″ class=”bbp-reply-header d-flex justify-content-between w-100″ style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; width: 262px; margin: 0px; overflow: hidden; padding: 0px; border-top: none; clear: both; background: initial; grid-area: reply-header / reply-header / reply-header / reply-header; color: #000000; font-family: samsungsans, Roboto, ‘Helvetica Neue’, Arial, ‘Noto Sans’, sans-serif, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, ‘Segoe UI’, ‘Apple Color Emoji’, ‘Segoe UI Emoji’, ‘Segoe UI Symbol’, ‘Noto Color Emoji’; font-size: 12px; display: flex !important; justify-content: space-between !important;”>
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    <div class=”p-0 loop-item-0 user-id-11751 bbp-parent-forum-11968556 bbp-parent-topic-12895498 bbp-reply-position-2 odd post-12895600 reply type-reply status-publish hentry” style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; overflow: hidden; background: initial; height: auto; width: 262px; border-top: none; font-size: 1rem; grid-area: reply-content / reply-content / reply-content / reply-content; color: #000000; font-family: samsungsans, Roboto, ‘Helvetica Neue’, Arial, ‘Noto Sans’, sans-serif, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, ‘Segoe UI’, ‘Apple Color Emoji’, ‘Segoe UI Emoji’, ‘Segoe UI Symbol’, ‘Noto Color Emoji’;”>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content” style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; position: relative; clear: both;”>
    <p style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; margin: 0px 0px 0.5rem; font-size: 1rem; line-height: 1.5rem;”>Such a shame Conti don’t offer the soft compounds in lighter casings.</p>
    <p style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; margin: 0px 0px 0.5rem; font-size: 1rem; line-height: 1.5rem;”>1300g is a huge weight penalty for a front tyre where a lot of people don’t need the casing but want the compound.</p>
    <p style=”box-sizing: border-box; –tw-translate-x: 0; –tw-translate-y: 0; –tw-rotate: 0; –tw-skew-x: 0; –tw-skew-y: 0; –tw-scale-x: 1; –tw-scale-y: 1; –tw-scroll-snap-strictness: proximity; –tw-ring-offset-width: 0px; –tw-ring-offset-color: #fff; –tw-ring-color: rgb(59 130 246 / 0.5); –tw-ring-offset-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-ring-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow: 0 0 #0000; –tw-shadow-colored: 0 0 #0000; margin: 0px 0px 0.5rem; font-size: 1rem; line-height: 1.5rem;”>Maxxis have figured this out, and Schwalbe are starting to</p>

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    Different combos of compound and casing are in the pipeline I’ve heard, including rumours of trail casing with super-soft compound apparently. No idea of the timeline though

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    Edit: Great to see forum posts still can’t handle quotes in posts created from an Android phone 🙄

    the00
    Free Member

    I’ve been using a Kryptotal rear, 29×2.4, enduro casing for last 4 months in the alps. It’s probably my favorite rear tyre at the moment. Not only does it work, but it has lasted well too. It looks a bit like a Maxxis Aggressor, but it’s much better than that. It does hold some mud sometimes, but hasn’t become fully blocked. Although I must say that I don’t often ride very wet trails. It’s looking bit beaten up now, and I have another to go on as a replacement. Although I am keen to try a Tacky Chan too.

    I have it paired to a MM 29×2.6 on the front. I might be curious to try a Kryptotal front, but want to try a MM ultra soft first, if I can find one in stock.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Edit: Great to see forum posts still can’t handle quotes in posts created from an Android phone 🙄

    Can’t say as I’ve ever noticed the problem.

    In practice

    even quotes within quotes are fine for me

    Using chrome, android 13, pixel 5 (but never been an issue on any other droid build our phone either.)

    tetrode
    Free Member

    FWIW I have krypto front and rear (super soft dh on the front) with hope fortus 30 rims and they were incredibly easy to fit, so I would assume the only reason why you had difficulty fitting them was because of your inserts.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Such a shame Conti don’t offer the soft compounds in lighter casings.

    TBH the Soft compound that comes on the enduro carcass is still a very grippy compound, it’s not far off Maxxis maxxgrip ime. Feels harder to the touch but generates pretty comparable grip. Conti always seem to have the edge on compounds tbh.

    Or, put it another way, I run the maxxgrip dhr2 in exo on the front of one bike, and I was never really totally happy with maxxterra. But I have the soft argotal on another bike and I’ve never really felt like “wish this was softer” even though you’d expect it to be the maxxterra equivalent. What I want is the enduro carcass with the harder rubber for the rear though.

    Might be becoming a fanboy but the Argotal in enduro/soft is pretty incredible, maybe doesn’t quite have the sheer voodoo of a shorty maxxgrip when it’s really bad… But as a spikey allrounder it’s like a magic mary only better at absolutely everything all of the time.

    mrhoppy
    Full Member

    I’m currently running an argotal front and kryptotal r rear combo, both in the enduro soft compound. They work really well as an all-round “enduro” combo but I’ve got a kryptotal f coming to replace the argotal for my Alps trip as in the dry hardpack I’m finding it a bit vague which is down to the tread I think. In the damp and muddy conditions at the start of the year it was better than the 2.6 MM I had on but that was a year round front option and the argotal 2.6 is not quite.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    mrhoppy
    Full Member

    Only if you’re paying RRP which you’d be daft to. They’re only similar prices to everything else in the real world.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Mmm, the shortages have meant they’re not so easy to find cheaply. Or rather the ones that nobody wants are cheap, and the ones that everyone wants are either expensive or unobtainable

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Came across the Kryptotal FR Enduro rear on sale yesterday in 29

    https://www.bike-discount.de/en/continental-kryptotal-re-enduro-29×2-4-soft-faltreifen-1

    Also there in white logo as a front, maybe an OEM tyre?

    https://www.bike-discount.de/en/continental-kryptotal-fr-enduro-29×2-4-soft-folding-tire

    mrhoppy
    Full Member

    Bikeinn are doing them for sensible prices.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    @Honourablegeorge, e20 shipping for Bikediscount and £175 minimum order (plus duties tax and fees on import)

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    @rhyswainwright any chance you could comment please?

    I’ve watched that the Pinkbike racing team sometimes run the rears on the front because they clear mud better. Did you find they did, and how well does the rear clear compared to the obvious competitor DHR2?

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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