The Revolution KXS are a 290 gram a piece racing tire with a pretty novel twist. "You think, what could be novel about tires, they're round, the roll, what gives?" Vittoria has packed two tires into one....
How'd they do that?:
The Revolution KXS are reversible. That's right, reversible tires with one side as a racing slick and the other side with a slight tread for additional traction in inclement conditions. Your first reaction was probably the same as mine. At first it sounds like it's a little too "tricky" to be a good thing. But I am adventurous and willing to try new things. I tossed these on my bike and went full speed ahead with an open mind.
My first impression was that the tires were made of a nice supple rubber. Very grippy stuff, good for tight cornering and solid for excellent stability and control under a range of conditions. These new sneakers for my bike handle pressures up to 150PSI, I tested them at 130-140PSI and they ran very smoothly on the slick side. I rode the slick side until the were too gashed (more on this later in the review) to ride anymore and then "flipped the script". Since it was such a rainy Spring, I had no trouble finding wet roads to try the Revolution KXS's on. The tread side handled wet roads terrifically. There was absolutely no slippage and no nervousness on slick, oily Nassau County roads. Very respectable.
Ok, I have to be honest here. I got a flat on my first ride with these tires which left me feeling less then impressed. But, I patched my tube and continued on with an open mind. I mean, this is an uncertain world and flats happen. I put several hundred more miles on the Revolution KXS's before they flatted again. By this time they were gashed all to hell. Upon inspection of the tires I found several tire-life ending gashes all throughout their surface. After limping home, it was time to decide to either remove them or flip them. I decided to get the full test out of them and that's when I made the flip. My thought was that maybe flipping the tire would reverse the stress on the gashes and basically seal them. Which turned out to be exactly what happened, except for one very deep gash. After the flip, I put another few hundred miles on them with no further damage to the tires. My conclusion is this, the slick side leaves much to be desired as far as durability while the tread side is pretty tough.
Would I buy them?
Tough call, they handled very well. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the way these tires handle or perform. But the durability isn't quite where I would like it. At 290 grams each, they aren't exactly featherweights either. And like any other cyclist, I don't like to dig deep into my pockets if I don't have to, these hoops are a tad pricey for me. In the end, if you are a loyal Vittoria devotee you'll buy them, I just recommend using the tread side from the start. On a final note, if the day starts sunny and clear, then turns to rain - do you think you would stop to reverse your tires, mid-ride? I wouldn't so, reserve the idea of flipping them for seasonal changes...