Bringing with them a comprehensive display of Maxxis Tires, Joes No Flats products, Dakine Clothing & Bags, Queensland-based distributor, KWT, had quite a few goodies in their booth to show off at AusBike. We spoke with Eamon and Adrian, the new Victorian sales reps for KWT, who were keen to point out some of the unique aspects of the product that they distribute and sell around Australia.
A hotly anticipated tyre from Maxxis, the new Ardent Race brings a tread pattern that is a bit of a love-in between the regular Ardent tyre and the small-block Ikon. The result is something that should roll relatively quick compared to the standard Ardent, which can be a draggy tyre, especially in the 29er UST version we reviewed last year. The ramped centre tread is still there, but the cornering blocks are spaced much more closely, which should make for better predictability in cornering on hardpack.
The Ardent Race will be available in all 3 wheel diameters, coming in a 2.2″ width and top-end triple compound 3C versions with the new Tubeless Ready bead that does away with the heavy butyl airtight layer through the casing that the tubeless LUST tyres use. We have a pair of the 26″ models on test, and they tip the scales around the 640gm mark, providing a nice middle ground between lightweight and casing durability.
In Australia, both Bike Corp and KWT distribute Maxxis road & mountain bike tyres, though Eamon pointed out that KWT stocks nearly 90% of the total Maxxis range, with a dizzying array of different tread patterns, casing types, rubber compounds and so on.
An Israeli-based company, Joe’s No Flats is an alternative to the dominating Stans No Tubes (see the similarity in the name??). Joe’s make a whole range of tubeless parts and accessories, including sealant, rim tape, tubeless conversion kits and lightweight rim tape.
One product that they’re particularly proud of is the ‘Eco Sealant’, which is Amonia free, Latex free and Protein free. Have you ever seen a tyre delaminate? That’s often because of the Amonia used in some liquid sealants, which breaks down the bond between the tyre casing and tread, causing bubbles, or worse, complete failure of the tyre. Aside from being better for the environment, Joe’s Eco Sealant claims to be safer for converting tyres to tubeless, particularly those without thick tubeless casings.
Joe’s also make a range of chain lubricants, with specific formulas for both road and mountain bikes. We’ve got a bottle of the ‘Nano’ chain lubricant, which has some impressive claims for drivetrain efficiency and durability.
An outdoors sports-offshoot of Billabong, Dakine is a highly regarded name in the world of mountain bike apparel, particularly for those who are chasing a more casual look. It appears that bright neon colours are in, along with chequered lumberjack jerseys. Dakine also make a great range of bags and hydration packs, as well as gloves too.
Along with the ever-popular ‘pickup pads’, the Dakine bike bag has proven to be a hit, with a very attractive $399 sticker price. Built as a hybrid soft/hard shell case, the bike bag features internal bags for wheels, a plastic reinforced base and tie-down straps to keep everything secure.
You’ll be loving those built-in wheels when you’re running late for a connecting flight!
The wheel bags use a specific padded ring that the disc rotor slots into. This protects the rotor from side loading, and allows all the internal gear to pack up nice and snug without any fear for damage.