13 February 2012 - 8:42Tire Review: Syncros FLavor K
On my recent trip out west, I decided to try a new-esque tire, the Syncros FLavor K. Something about it intrigued me from the get go, but our local trail conditions do not really lend themselves to taking advantage of this tire’s attributes. It’s definitely a dry conditions tire. It features a round profile with widely spaced, stepped blocks grouped in repeating chevrons. The casing is very pliable, and the sharp edged knobs are soft, allowing the tire to conform and bite into what ever it’s rolling over. I was cast many a sideways glance on this tire choice, but I have to report that my suspicions were confirmed. This tire is friggin’ awesome.
My Topeak digital pressure gauge decided to run out of batteries while I was setting the bike up, but I ran them around 26 psi front and rear. This seemed to give the tire a pretty good balance of pressure and compliancy. Just pinching the tire caused the blocks to spread out, making me think about how on octopus’ tentacles can wrap and grip an object.
I got a chance to ride this tire over a little bit of everything out in AZ, and I can safely say that I would pick this tire again in a heartbeat provided the conditions were mostly dry and loose. I did have one run in with an isolated patch of slick mud in Prescott that was pretty terrifying, sullying my initial impression of the tire, but after a few wash crossings back in Tucson, I managed to figure out that if the ground was wet and coarse granular, like say in a wash crossing, they hooked up like velcro. In Sedona, they had a tendency to dart a little in the powdery dirt, giving me the impression that dirt particle size has everything to do with how well these tires hook up. Rocks, pebbles, sand, the traction was very predictable. But the smaller the dirt particle, the less predictable they become, making them a pretty regional choice. On everything I rode in the Tucson area, these were money, but the next time I’m in Sedona, I’m bringing big knobbies.