I asked myself this question several times over the past 2 months as I did search after search online for Schwalbe Kojak Tires that are actually available and in stock. And while I found a few wire bead versions in the size I was looking for 26 x 2.0 the folding version seems to be very elusive. Shchwalbe North America almost always shows them as “Out”.
I think the availability problem is mostly Schwalbe and their limited productions of this model coupled with dealers not wanting to carry these tires as they are more expensive and slow to sell in local bike shops. From the owners that I talked to about Schwalbe most had a negative impression – not of the product – but of the company. Limited availability and hard to make a profit from the Kojak is what I took away from these conversations.
Anyways I finally found one at Amazon and bought it. It was listed as 1 in stock, order soon or whatever language Amazon uses to try and entice you to buy RIGHT NOW. As the product is shipping direct from Amazon I can only hope it arrives okay and I do not have to deal with their customer service people. Amazon is great at taking your money, has good prices, and is pretty good about delivery… you just have to hope that nothing goes wrong because there customer service is less than desirable.
So I should be the proud new owner of a Schwalbe Kojak Folding 26″ tire soon. I’ll review it when I get a few miles on it. At 460 grams I’m hoping I won’t notice the extra weight as much as I’ll notice a smoother and more comfortable ride. I recently purchased a new wheel that is about 240 grams lighter than my existing wheel to compensate for the additional weight in terms of rotational mass.
I would have happily purchased a similar Continental Tire, except they don’t make one! Come on Schwalbe, end users like your tires… get them across the pond and in the dealers hands. The Schwalbe Kojak seems to be very popular for those who can find them. Ordering tires from the UK is an expensive proposition… but I did find a few in stock at some UK Based Online Shops.