Strengths: Fast lightweight tire, Quality, high volume, supple ride
Weaknesses: Side knobs too narrow, squirms when pushed hard in corners.
In fairness this review is based mainly on pavement with the odd off road excursion.
Its fast, grippy, and very light for its size meaning it has large volume compared to some other 2" race tires, it measures a true 2.0" and comes in under the 480g specified by Kenda, a credit to them compared with oft way off numbers from other manufacturers. Kenda quality shows, its a nicely molded tire that's well finished to a high standard.
Only issue I have found is it can be squirmy when pushed hard through corners, the edge knobs flex a little because they are somewhat narrow, its fast but a little noisy too. Off road on hardpack, or soft over hard the knobs work better, which to be fair is this tires intended purpose. Unlike others here I had no flats in 6 months of ownership.
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2012
Strengths: Blazing fast, maybe fastest ever. Very light weight, tall tire profile gives great impact resistance and helps when pairing tires with a larger front. The profile is 52mm high, same as many kenda 2.1 and 2.35 tires. This means it could be used a rear with a 2.1 nevgal up front for a gnarly track. Way better grip in the corners than expected. Handles good for straight forward aggressive approach riders.
Weaknesses: The tread should wrap around the casing a bit more. These are better than the larsen which is the worst in that category. Thin casing, but that the price you pay. Wish it was a little bit wider, not sure if they going to offer these in larger sizes???
These are extremely fast tires as advertised, faster than small blocks and larsons. They grip better than the larson by far because the knobs have better spacing and don't pack up easily. For racing or putting the hurt on people these tires could win it. Wouldn't recommend as a real a.m. tire if your going thru rocky descents. However i did some jump testing with the kozmiks and was very surprised how well they handled. Any low profile tread is going to boost more predictably off the lip. These handled the small to medium jumps, off camber landings, drops etc. Nothing too crazy but this is a 450gram xc race tire. The fact that it has such good traction and rolls that fast make it perfect for many different tracks. It says 480g on the tire but I got one at 455g and other was 447g. My goal was to find a light as hell tire that rolls like a small block but had a smaller casing. This kozmik does that and then some, and it rolls awesome on the street.
Similar Products Used: havent found any similar yet.
Bike Setup: merida tfs900 hard tail, xero wheelset, shimano groupset, crank brothers eggbitter, avid v brake, jagwire lines, token bb, wtb saddle, truvativ seatpost, hussefelt riser bar & a cheap suntour v2 ( but very good still )
Strengths: outstanding XC race tire: very light weight, low rolling resistance, smooth supple feel with reasonable volume for a 26 x 1.75 - 380g tire
Weaknesses: doesn't hold air well -- pump up tire for each ride; but that's the price for such a light tire w thin side walls
This tire has excedded my expectations.... use it for fast/racing dirt---> period; not a technical trail tire[too low profile side wall] or even a paved road tire [too thin face and sidewall for high speed debris/small rock contact].
But absolutely a great XC race tire; best for rear [26 x 1.75/380g weight, ghetto tubeless w Stan's and 35 psi].. again running my Larson mimo on front [ghetto tubeless, 26 x 1.9 and 40 psi] for better cornering/traction/control in spring soft/mud trail stuff .... The rear tire has been great in most all conditions [wet/muddy, roots and some rocks on east coast single track over winter] but outstanding in dry where it accelerates like crazy, rolls like its on glass/extremely low rolling resistance, breaks away some but under control [not a bad thing in really tight corners] and seems to add to the rear suspension [the low profile and thin sidewalls flex just right at my weight [6'3"/215]//35 psi to help the shock/small bump stuff]. Tread is really amazing: large, low profile center pads offer "slick like" low rolling resistance while low profile edge knobs are adequate to hold corners well enough to accelerate thru tight high speed turns w confidence. I will try the second K-Lite on the front again when we dry out more into the summer.
Hey, the Kenda quality shows: So, if you are a go-fast type rider...try 'em
Similar Products Used: larson mimo/TT's, michlen XC2, hutch scorpion air light,
Bike Setup: Rocky Mountain Element Team SC - light weight everything XC race machine! - Pushed RLC and RP3, XTR tubeless rims and XTR hubs with replacement ceramic balls (so light/so smooth w very low rolling resistance), XTR cranks w ceramic bearings bottom bracket, ceramic coated cassette and chain rings, xpedo Ti/Ti pedals, etc... 23.3# of full suspension mtb !
a Weekend Warrior
from St Helier, Jersey, UK Channel Island
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2009
Strengths: Fast and Light!!!
Weaknesses: They are sooo fast it's easy to come into a corner too hot.
I'm running Kozmik Lite II 26x2.00 both front and rear, they are light weight (avg. 440 grams) super fast tires. The L3R Pro compound offers low rolling resistance, and long wear. Like most Kenda tires, they offer a high volume casting for a smooth supple ride. I mounted mine "ghetto tubeless" style with no problems, I run them at 40 psi rear, 35 psi front, the front tire tracks well around corners, while the rear tire breaks loose a bit (in a fun way not the scary way). They are getting hard to find now, it looks like I'm going to have to go back to Small Block Eights when may Kozmiks bite the dust. The bottom line is buy them (if you can find them).
Similar Products Used: Kenda Small Block Eights, IRC Mybro, and Continental Speed KIngs.
Bike Setup: 23lbs On-One Scandal, 120mm Rock Shox Recon, Shimano XT 1x9 drivetrain, Avid Juicy 5 brakes, WTB SpeedDisc wheelset.
a Weekend Warrior
from SouthEast USA
Date Reviewed: October 4, 2009
Strengths: light, low tread-resistance, rolls fast
Weaknesses: not reliable
Rolls much faster than the stock tires. I ride mostly on pavement, and I'm very careful what I ride over, but I have had so many flats, I'm thinking of buying a case of tubes and a case of CO2 cartridges...I'm replacing them with a pair of GEAX Evo II's.
Similar Products Used: stock tires on Schwinn and Specialized
Bike Setup: Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc, stock except for levers, grips, seat, etc...
a Weekend Warrior
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2008
Strengths: Light, low rolling resistance,
Weaknesses: a little noisy for urban but not annoying in any way
Bought them for urban and light trail rides - they are no nonsense and do what they are supposed to do - light, low rolling resistance, expected level of traction from a semi-slick and seen to have fairly good tread life
Similar Products Used: IRC and various other semi-slicks
Bike Setup: K2 hardtail, Juicy 7s, Mavic Crosslands, full XT drive train, XTR shifters, Mallet Cs, Thomson post and stem, Raceface bar, WTB and ODI Rogue lock-ons
from Johnson City, TN
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2008
Strengths: Light Weight, Low Rolling Resistance, Great Tread Pattern, Supple
Weaknesses: Can be prone to sidewall slits. What race tire isn't?
I started using this tire in late November of last year. I have ridden it in Pisgah, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and just about anywhere you can imagine (except out West) And it has excelled in almost everything I can put it through. The tread pattern is perfect for racing, and allows me to make it drift when I want it to. All I have to do is pop my hip out to the side around a corner and it drifts. On rocky nasty downhills, it seems to just float above the terrain. In muddy conditions, it does take a little advanced pedaling to make it work well, but that is not really a problem.
I'll admit, its not a tire for everyone. Not many people can stand a tire that will break loose occasionally, and that's understandable. I like to use its strengths to make me faster on the race course, however. The slide has helped me out more than a few times when I come into a corner too fast and the tire whips the bike around and saves me. The rolling resistance makes it feel like I am running slicker tires than they really are. Sooooooo fast.
This tire is for you if: -You want a light, fast race tire. -You have good to excellent bike handling skills and know how to take advantage of rear wheel drift -You can accept the fact that every tire has its limitations, and used as it is supposed to be used, that is in racing, this tire will uphold its end of the bargain.
So I rode on my new Kenda Kozmik II t ires this weekend. I noticed the 1.2 pound weight loss. I found myself in higher gears and riding faster. I had a harder time negotiating some turns because of the increase in speed. These tires definitely deliver what they promise--light weightedness if that's a term.
I took them onto the Barton Creek Green Belt in Austin which has some rocky "all mountain" type sections. I got a rear wheel pinch flat whereas I never have before. I don't know if it was not enough air (under 40psi), the ultra light tubes, or the lack of tire well strength (or a combination of all three) that caused this. To the manufacturer's credit, these tires are not marketed as "all mountain" or rough riding tires. I put the psi up to 40 (they were at 30) and this seemed to make a difference as far as avoiding pinch flats on rough terrain.
I rode them at Walnut Creek in Austin. The trails there are smooth, some loose dirt sections, some roots, few rocks. The trails are twisty and can be fast--most have gradual climbs and gradual downhills. I noticed that the tires aren't as grippy as non-kevlar, rubber tires. I skidded out on a couple of turns and almost lost it as I crossed a rock bottom creek. I heard the tires "ping" a couple of times on rocks and roots as if they were sliding off. I felt my rims get dinged a couple of times over rough stuff too.
So, overall these tires are great for hardpack but struggle on rough XC or All Mountain conditions. I'll continue to use them and swap them out when I'm riding in rocky places.
Bike Setup: Gary Fisher hardtail (modified marlin)
from Wilmington, DE
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2007
Strengths: Light, Fast, great traction in many conditions and tread.
Weaknesses: Sidewalls are a little weak.
I don't know what these guys are doing that don't like these tires. I raced and rode on them non stop for about 7 months. I'm talking some serious rocky terrain on a daily basis in central PA. (Roaring Creek, Bald Eagle State Forest, Rothrock, Danville). I have only on slice in the sidewall that was easily patched with a tire boot. I ran the tire like that in 4 races. I bet I have about 500 miles on the things and they are still in great shape tread wise.
They can be a little expensive and hard to find but I have been able to find them on sale, either at Cambria or Pricepoint.
This is my tire of choice. I will run them again this race season. I might just role with the same pair and not worry about new ones.
If you're into riding true cross country and want a great tire with decent durability and fast tread here they are. Pick up a set.
Similar Products Used: IRC Mythos(best bang for the buck)
Bike Setup: Rocky Mountain Element 70
a Weekend Warrior
from Tucson, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2006
Strengths: Very light, good grip, very fast.
Weaknesses: Unstable unless inflated to high pressure - rough riding as a result. Very flat prone.
I chose these 2.0 480g tires for their light weight to add to an already incredibily light bike mainly for commuting to work. While they are indeed very light and very fast they are a little harsh riding paired with a hard tail since they must be inflated to a relatively high pressure for them to be stable and perform well. When inflated properly they handle very well in most condition. The biggest complaint that I have is that they are by far the most flat prone tires I have every owned - both MTB or road - in any terrain. Believe me, I do a lot of mountain biking (with another bike) in all kinds of conditions and with lots of cactus and other hazards - I have never flatted more than with these tires. Most of my commute is pavement with a short hop across a wash - I flat on about 50% of my rides from the smallest of road hazards. After 6 months of riding I have had to resort to Slime (ugh) thus negating the light weight of the tires. Unless you ride on perfectly clean roads, I can't recommend these tires.
Similar Products Used: Too many different tires to mention.
Bike Setup: Klein Attitude Race, Rock Shox Duke fork, XTR/XT mix shifters and derailers, Icon crankset, Avid brakeset, Thompson stem and seatpost, Brontrager Race wheelset.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rockford, IL
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2005
Strengths: super light,,, grip freakishly well in dry conditions, over rock, dirt, even sand... pretty good in tacky to slightly muddy conditions... Look cool
Weaknesses: they hard to find... really hard to find... Dont even bother in serious mud (that would be retarded). a wee bit pricey.. Dont get close to them with broken glass or sharp objects.
I chose the 2.0 tire size (398 grams a piece!!!) They feel very similar to IRC Mythos in nearly all conditions, only better in dry dirt.... They actually, amazingly, still have grip in sand (how??).... The tread pattern must be the best ever... period... Unfortunately, I accidetally sliced a slit in my sidewall with a knife when unpackaging it from my college move (really really stupid).. I patched the tire from the inside tire patch but it doesnt hold great.. I sttil rode them religously)
Similar Products Used: Continental Competetion Pro, Kenda Kozmik, MAxxis WormDrive, Panaracer MAch SK
Bike Setup: Giant Hybrid with Rockshok SID Team. XT mechanical except Truvativ Stylo. Bontrager/Sun Ringle rims and hubd combo. Hayes disc brake.
a Weekend Warrior
from HMB, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2005
Strengths: none, o, its black, and thats about it.
Weaknesses: There are toooo many to list. it punctures no problem. It cant grip the road. It falls off, even after multiple LBS visits. It costs way to much. The knobs fall off, almost instantly. It cant grip in anything other than hard pack. I was using it up at mamoth the other day, and it kept sliding, and sliding, and silding, until there was no tread left. I guess once all the beads fall off, you could use it as a roadie tire, but thats about all.
Personaly, these tires didnt work for me. But some of my friends use them and they love them. I am gunna get some blue dragons next time i go to the LBS, unlessthey have anything different. that I prefer the look of. Give theese a try, if u dont like them, go get some blue dragons, which i hear are great. im gunna give thesse a 2 and a 3, only because i no people who love them.
Purchased At: ebay ( i no a good deal when i see one)
Similar Products Used: WTB, specalized, tigoa, some other rubber tires.
Bike Setup: A beach cruiser with 18" of travel. Na, i just playin; kona stab with full XTR, hope skers, those r nice, and tru vativ crank arms and pedals. I am a little dissapointed by the XTR bottom bracket though.
My rear tire has finally worn out to the point of where it's slipping out way too much and I've been looking for a light, grippy tire that does well in the corners and on climbs. I've read through tons of reviews and I'm starting to like the Kenda Kozmik Lite II. Would this be a goo ... Read More »