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Are Kenda tires really that bad?

bansheefr

Monkey
Dec 27, 2004
337
0
I've ridden Maxxis tires forever (Minion/Higroller) and want to try out some different this season. Kendas can be had for $20 each at large events, so they are the number one candidate.

So are Kenda tires downright terrible? I would be interested in trying the Nevegals which seem to be there standard and the Telonix which looks pretty cool. Not really interested in the Excavators as they are a little chunky for my taste and look like they would roll like crap. These will be my DH tires that I race on nearly every weekend… so rolling resistance, flats, and grip are my main concerns (I guess thats what you would look for in any tire).

Even top pros with Kenda contracts ride Maxxis tires, makes me wonder.

Either way I feel that something could be gained from riding fresher tires more often.
 
They arent that bad theydo require a bit of learning as far as cornering if your running nevegals, BGs are great and there are mods you can do to the nevs to make me a bit better.

I blew them up more than Id care to remember or gashed the sides as well...

Cant really answer on the other offerings, I havent rode them but \construction wasnt the greatest.
Just my .02
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,527
115
San Francisco
Telonix is a GREAT tire for all of socal. Maybe even better up front than a High roller or DHF. I still run the HR in back though, haven't found a reasonably priced alternative yet.
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,745
13
SoCal
Pick em up cheap at the races and give it a try. Nothing speaks more than your own personal experience.
 

newyork1

Chimp
Feb 14, 2010
38
0
The Excavator is a great tire for the front. It's grippy as hell and very confidence-inspiring, and holds a good line through the rough stuff. It rolls like crap though, so keep it for the steep and rocky stuff, and mate it with something that rolls a little better on the rear. Geax DHEA is what I'm running on the back at the moment.
 

alant

Chimp
Oct 11, 2008
20
0
It's all about personal preference. I've read bad reviews about the Nevegals. But, in MY experience, they were some of the best tires I've ridden (and yes, I've ridden a lot). They were very confidence inspiring. I switched over to a Highroller and, unfortunately, don't feel as confident. Now, you may be wondering why I switched from the Nevegal? Their sidewalls are made out of gooey marshmallow. Mine bubbled up while they were still fairly new. The first tire tore, also fairly new. But, I chalked it up to bad luck. Regardless, I'm debating picking up the Nev one more time to see if I have better luck...
 

SylentK

Turbo Monkey
Feb 25, 2004
1,274
229
coloRADo
These will be my DH tires that I race on nearly every weekend… so rolling resistance, flats, and grip are my main concerns (I guess thats what you would look for in any tire).

Even top pros with Kenda contracts ride Maxxis tires, makes me wonder.
I did last year, what you are trying now. My experience w/ Kenda as a race tire wasn't that great, but perhaps my pressures were too low, or maybe I'm too fast :rolleyes::D

Here are some things I learned:

Do not run them tubeless. Not for racing. Trust me, it will save you pain and agony in the long run.

For general trail riding, you can go tubeless, but add like 10psi more than you would normally. I run 40psi in 2.35 dual ply Excavators, tubeless w/stans on my Nomad w/ Crossmax SX. I weigh 185lbs. No problems on very rocky, very fast trails like Porcupine rim in Moab. You may have to slow down rebound to deal w/ added pressure.

My tires never sat square on my rims. But they still inflated and held air going tubeless.

Single ply, folding Excavators got tiny holes in the sidewalls w/Stans. Do not attempt.

2.5's are like Maxxis 2.7. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I did cut some shoulder knobs on the Excavator to give it better feel in the corners.

Hope this helps!
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,166
0
california
My personal experience with both single and dual-ply Nevegals in Stick-E:

Cornering prowess was good, but not as good as Minion DHFs. They didn't instill quite the confidence, and required serious weighting to get them to dig in. Instead of gradually letting go like a Minion, they tended to not give much warning when they were about to break free.

My big beef was the amount of flats you could rack up with them. The single-plys (sidewall cuts, anyone?) were utterly hopeless, and the duals fared not much better. I've also seen the horrors first-hand of them being run tubeless, but never had a chance myself.
 

owentking

Chimp
Mar 28, 2010
93
0
Mountains of Rock
A buddy of mine rode them and loved them. I needed a new tire just before a ride and hadn't gotten my new one in the mail yet so he loaned me an extra one he had. I got halfway through the first run before the side wall toasted and ended my day, lucky it didn't end my season since it was in a rock garden. I went back to the Michelins I was running, though I do really like Maxxis.
 

project_d

Chimp
Dec 15, 2009
95
0
SoCal
Rode Maxxis for years, both Highrollers and Minions. Then I signed with Kenda. They require a bit of a different riding style. Like blue says, you have to weight them a bit more and really trust the side knobs to corner well. They are very good tires, though. Just don't go tubeless with them. They don't work well at all! I recently went back to Maxxis...I still don't know why I ever switched. First run back on Minions and I was faster than on Kendas. A Highroller in the back is sweet!!!
 

acair422

Monkey
Aug 20, 2003
552
2
I'm not sure where you're riding so keep in mind that all my experience is from riding Diablo which is rocky and late in the summer quite sandy/dry...that being said the kenda's are definitely a bit finicky when it comes to rim choice as they will flat more with some then others (which is true with any tire), I have had some small rips in the sidewall but they never got bigger and I rode out an entire season. Also the durability on Kenda tires blows Maxxis out of the water. I would definitely try out the telonix, the excavators do roll slow but i find the traction to be pretty good...plus for the price you can buy 3 kenda tires for one maxxis...seems like they're worth a chance if nothing else
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
I've used Nevegals and Blue Grooves. Worked fine for me. Not as good as the Maxxis tires I've used (High Roller, Minion F, Ardent) but not bad. Grip on the Kendas just wasn't quite as good and the Maxxis just seemed to damp out the trail a little more even though they are lower volume than Kendas. I didn't have problems with excessive flats on Kenda.

At 20 bucks, it's worth a shot to see if you like them. I like Maxxis, but shelling out for 3Cs is hard to take.
 

Daz

Chimp
Mar 5, 2008
36
0
If you are racing Maxxis makes a softer compound which will of course offer added grip. I was at the GT pit at Sea Otter and their crew is running a 42 compound which should make the grip on par with the Maxxis 42.

If it is general riding more than racing then I think the Kenda is the way to go because it cost a lot less and lasts a lot longer...bonus on both counts.

I've had the chance to ride the new Continental Rain King and it has ridiculously good traction...maybe the best I've ridden and that is a lot of different makes/models. Kinda pricey though.
 

boogenman

Turbo Monkey
Nov 3, 2004
3,456
180
BUFFALO
I tried them a few years ago and hated them. They had really good braking tractions, EVERYTHING else was crap.
I used them for a dry weekend at Plattekill and gave them away to some poor soul.

Now I only ride the highroller or monion front. Unfortunatly I will probably never try another tire brand unless it is free. They are just to damn expensive for experimenting. Conti's and schwable's look nice, maybe I will win a pair to try out. :)
 

Ithnu

Monkey
Jul 16, 2007
965
0
Denver
I ran Excavators all last year on my DH bike. I trimmed every other mid-side knob and they were fantastic for traction. On steep terrain I really learned to trust them, they did better in mild mud than Minions. I also had Nevegals on my 6" and HT, great grip and decent rolling resistance.

The bad...quality and no UST on the DH. I tried running Stans in them, punctured 2 tires because it eats the rubber from the inside. The UST Nevegals on my HT are doing fine though. Also my team had a few sidewalls rip for no apparent reason. My current set has a small rip in it, they're being replaced soon.

My team is on Maxxis this year. I liked the Kenda patterns but their quality control needs to be improved. Kinda sucks on a race weekend having a tire rip apart.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,858
1,482
01776
They are just to damn expensive for experimenting.
:stupid: I don't have room or cash to buy tons of tires...I bought minions at retail and am super happy I did. I may buy another DHF 2.7 for the front this year, or just continue running what I have. I may purchase some kind of wet weather/mud tire, but honestly the 3c minions have enough grip in the wet that I don't mind, even if they aren't as good as a true wet/mud tire.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
It's the rubber, not the tread, that makes or breaks a tire.
Kenda's rubber sucks balls so no matter how brilliant of a tread the build with it, the tire will still suck balls.

They make a few rideable ones. The K-rad is fun around town and the excavator is decent in sand. ie, where rubber doesn't matter.
 

Brad23

Monkey
Jan 9, 2004
236
0
West Oakland
depends on what kind of dirt and how wet...
at Northstar I love the Nev FR's with tubes. It's very dry and dusty there though, with granite rocks (not too sharp). One of my teamates raced a whole season on his set without issue. I have a new set just waiting for northstar.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,476
194
Nev's and BG's I tried once and have steered far clear of since.

The Telonix were impressive and affordable. Just rolled slow but the braking traction was just incredible. Fairly predictable in corners too, especially in comparison to the Nevs/BG's.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,952
1,241
Seattle
I tried them a few years ago and hated them. They had really good braking tractions, EVERYTHING else was crap.
I used them for a dry weekend at Plattekill and gave them away to some poor soul.

Now I only ride the highroller or monion front. Unfortunatly I will probably never try another tire brand unless it is free. They are just to damn expensive for experimenting. Conti's and schwable's look nice, maybe I will win a pair to try out. :)
I haven't tried the Conti DH offerings yet, but I'm really impressed with a variety of their stuff I've been running on my XC bike, and I love the Schwalbe Big Betty as an AM tire. Ran one on the front of my DH bike for a bit too, did just fine.

I just ordered a Geax Neuron to give a go. Will report back when I've got some time on it. Planning to run it up front.
 

FoesDWLink

Chimp
Feb 6, 2008
26
0
South Side LA
Kendas rubber compound is great on tarmac as they have very low rolling resistance and have lots of grip compared to the Supertacky or softer Maxxis tires.
The Kenda ranges downfall is when you start riding off road in anything but hard,dry and dusty conditions. They are just dangerous and you will loose confidence in them very quickly.
Dont even try to ride them in the wet,the slightest bit of rain on a rock and will be on your arce.They are very unpredictable and sadly not worth the effort.
Stick with 3C or Supertacky Maxxis, I believe, not much out there even comes close to the performance, except maybe the old Intense sticky rubber tires, which sadly you cant get anymore.
We have renamed some of Kendas tires to:
Kenda Suprise
Kenda Nevagrip

Just look at what the fast guys are running...