One for rocks and on blown-out dusty tracks
The new four-ply Kaiser targets drier conditions and hardpack. It’s made in Germany, using a special version of the famed Black Chili rubber, and delivers excellent grip and control, but also class-leading wear life.
The uniform tread pattern has continuous, wedge-shaped shoulder blocks and a faster rolling centre-strip. Over rocks and on blown-out dusty tracks, cornering hold and edge grip is fantastic and you can really feel the terrain with no vagueness. The tall side knobs bite hard and rail predictably, and the Kaiser feels very stable braking or cutting through loose surfaces.
To prevent pinch flats, the ProTection construction uses extra nylon under the tread and a rubber sidewall protector, yet still conforms well and weighs less than a full-on DH tyre.
During testing, in continuously rough Alpine terrain, I had zero punctures and, after four days of chairlift descending, the Kaiser still looked like new. When it does wear it’s more gradual — rather than edges or blocks suddenly starting to rip clean off.
One area (admittedly outside its remit) where it doesn’t excel is greasy or wet conditions. It’s not too bad, but other tyres, like the more versatile Maxxis High Roller II, are better at coping with mixed conditions.
Setting up tubeless caused the same gripe as other four-ply Contis — it inflated first time and popped on easily, but then needed three or four extra days of adding air before sealing properly.