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New Karoo 4 from Metzeler

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I saw these new Karoo 4 tires here in Colombia and they look pretty cool.

Then I saw @Manybikes post on Instagram yesterday about them:


And has a YouTube video about them:


They look great and I'd agree they appear to be an improvement over the Karoo 3 but I think I'm detecting some more BS jedi mind tricks on their positioning this tire as a "50/50" tire.

As I'd pointed out with the Anakee Wild from Michelin, the way in which tires are increasingly being positioned in terms of an percent on vs off road are essentially meaningless.  And I say "jedi mind tricks" because 50/50 is the largest segment for adventure tires so the thought is they'll attract the biggest market if they just call it a "50/50" tire.

8 years ago back in 2014, the Karoo 3 was postioned as a 70/30 dirt/street tire positioned to compete with the TKC-80.  I tried them and was pleased with both their off road traction (COBDR) as well as mileage (3600 miles vs 3200 miles for a TKC-80).  I thought 70/30 was a stretch given they appeared a bit less dirt-capable than the TKC-80 but whatevs.

But if you look at Revzilla's description for the Karoo 3 you'll see they describe it inversely as a 70/30 street/dirt tire!  Okay.  Never in a million years would I call it this way.  I suspect it's a typo and they simply got it wrong.

Metzeler says this tire is replacing the Karoo 3, saying the 3 "was getting a bit long in the tooth."  Huh?  I've no problem with trading out an older design for a newer but never saw the Karoo 3 as outdated.

But if the new Karoo 4 is a 50/50 tire (not) then that implies the Karoo 3 was too?  Color me confused.  But Eric, you say, the Karoo was 70/30 dirt/street!  I mean street/dirt (Revzilla)!  Therefore the Karoo 4 is also 70/30 dirt/street (street/dirt?).

Bottom line:  dirt/street designations are now meaningless.

I also think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and see Motoz notes in this new Karoo 4.

Kyle's durometer shows the rear is quite soft and Metzeler says they're not sure what the mileage will be but then later say you can count on 5-10% more mileage than the Karoo 3.  For me on the GSA that was 3600 miles so I'd call that a good value.

Metzeler makes a good tire but the market is so crowded now.  I'm eager to get some riders' experiences with this new tire.  I may just give them a try here in Colombia.

Let me know what YOU think below...



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