In the ’90s, the Hutchinson Python mountain bike tire was at the top of the podium. We now see top freeride shredders such as Adolf Silva, Yoann Barelli and Carson Storch putting the company’s products to the test. This year, Hutchinson has released a new tire from its Racing Lab range called the Kraken.

Tech features:

The tread and knobs of the Hutchinson Kraken were inspired by a sibling tire, the Skeleton. The central threads are built up higher on the Kraken and with greater volume, while the intermediate small knobs are slightly farther apart to provide increased traction. Sticking with a more aggressive approach, the side knobs of the Kraken get a boost to reinforce cornering grip.

The Kraken and the Skeleton are designed to be used together, with the Kraken being in front due to its more aggressive pattern. The Kraken is said to maintain the Skeleton’s fast-rolling cross-country performance characteristics while boosting traction and braking. Of course, a Kraken can also be set up at the rear of the bike, as we did in our testing, but more on the trail experience coming up.

The aggressive side knobs on the Kraken create a square edge for the tire to grab more traction when laying the bike into corners.

Unlike the Hutchinson Skeleton that comes in 29×2.15 inches and 29×3.0 inches, the Kraken only comes in a 2.3-inch version; however, there are two casing types each—a weight-saving 127-tpi tire and a more robust 66-tpi alternative. The sidewalls of the Skeleton and Kraken both utilize Hutchinson’s Hardskin flat protection. At $10 more than the Skeleton, the Kraken is $79.99.