I love my KH29’er, well… except for the Kenda Klaw*! 2007 KH 29’s shipped with the Kenda Klaw which is an ok tire for light off road and hybrid use but isn’t confidence inspiring for anything else off road – it feels like an overly narrow tire. In June I started to look for better tire options for the 29’er, starting with the PanaRacer Rampage 2.35″.

PanaRacer Rampage 2.35
PanaRacer Rampage 2.35

Why the Rampage? Firstly there currently aren’t too many tires that are wider – I wanted max width and air volume. June is early Winter down under, I was looking for a tire with open tread, suited to wet forest conditions. I was also looking to save some weight out where it matters. The narrow Klaw came in at 854g, the fatter Rampage at 748gr. Nice. Frame clearance? No worries!

Nothing else to do but go riding and see what gives. I started riding at low tire pressures…

The Bad!

At low pressures the Rampage is a dog of the tire imo, with a mind of its own. I spent a lot of energy fighting against the tire to make the unicycle go where I wanted it to, not where the tire wanted it to! At low pressures track camber was an ongoing battle, and you could really feel the drag of the open tread in the ground.

Sheez, how do I send it back?

PanaRacer Rampage 2.35
PanaRacer Rampage 2.35

But… The Great!

At higher pressures the Rampage is GREAT – a light, agile and fast off road, cross country muni tire. It’s a great match for my style of riding and the nearby forest terrain.

As I became aware of the Rampage’s significant differences in performance based on tire pressure I started to measure the pressure and alter it in steps of 10psi up and down. As I felt I was getting close to something I like I’d drop to steps of 5psi. 40-45psi ended up being the sweet spot, but you can have a life measuring unicycle tire pressures every day so I just go by feel again now.

Maybe it should be called Schizoid instead of Rampage!

*The 2008 KH29’s no longer ship with the Kenda Klaw

NOTE: December 2008 – after a Winter and Spring of enjoyable off road riding on the PanaRacer Rampage it’s being retired for what will hopefully be a good summer dry weather tire – the Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4.

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