Kenda Cyclocross Tyres
Kenda Cyclocross Tyres
By Simon Whiten
Overview of Kenda Cyclocross Tyre technology
You may or may not know much about the Kenda Tire Company; it’s fair to say that it’s a much better known brand in the US than in the UK. If you are of a certain age and have a MTB background then you may remember their association with American greats such as John Tomac; if you are younger than that, then maybe you know them from under the wheels of Slovakian wunderkind Peter Sagan and his Cannondale Racing teammates?
Kenda have six cyclocross tyres in their range and here at CTR we have three Kenda cyclocross tyres on test: the Happy Medium file tread, the Small Block Eight hardpack tyre and the Slant Six intermediate. Given the torrential weather we have been having lately, the usually dry, drought ridden South-east of England has become a huge watery-mud bath, so we should probably have gone for the impressive sounding, 309g Kenda mud tyre, called the Kommando…
All Kenda cross tyres use the same 120TPI carcass and share Kenda’s DCT tread, described by Kenda as their ‘ultimate tread compound’. Kenda use their L3R PRO compound, which measures Shore 60A on the Durometer Hardness Scale (Shore Durometer being a measure of hardness in a material) in the centre and a softer compound for the cornering knobs, called STICK-E compound measuring Shore 50A. Obviously this is designed to give greater longevity to the centre tread whilst providing more control and grip when cornering.
Like most manufacturers, Kenda make versions of these tyres that are compatible with fluid based tubeless conversion systems but they also offer each tyre with extra puncture resistance, in the form of the Iron Cloak Belt.
The Happy Medium and the Small Block Eight are both recommended for Dry Pavement and Hard pack terrain, and the Small Block also gets recommended for wet pavement. As well as all of the above, the Slant Six is also recommended for rocky terrain, thick mud and light mud.
The Small Block Eight has a fantastic weight of just 315g (Kenda say + or – 15g) which adds up to a fast tyre and the Happy medium comes up a bit heavier at 380g (+/- 19g). The Slant Six is more weighty at 433g (+/- 23g) as it adds Kenda’s puncture resistant Iron Cloak Belt, which sits under the tread.
We have already ridden all three tyres extensively and have raced two of the three Kenda cross tyres we have on test, so look out for the full reviews in our Cyclocross Tyre Guide soon.
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