Saturday, August 04, 2012

Things I Like: Kenda Tires

I can only afford to experiment with so many things, but I seem to have landed on Kenda's "Small Block 8" tires, and, yes, I would recommend them.
I have been running 32's but recently stepped up to 35's.  I have not had the 35's in the winter yet, so I can't speak directly to any difference the width will make handling in that climate.
The SB 8's do hum along on the asphalt for a month or so, and I'm sure the friction makes you a bit slower.  But after about 90 days the tread breaks in, yet not down, allowing for a noticeably quieter ride.

I find that if I ride on the soft-gravel shoulder of the highway the tires perform even better.  I actually believe I go faster on here than the asphalt. 

After 16 months of commuting I competed in a 60km race through mud and they still performed marvelously.

Whatever kind of rubber compound Kenda is using works well in the Canadian climate - that is, winter.  There is almost no lateral slippage on either snow or gravel - these tires want to go forward. These tires handle better through snow and ice than anything I have found so far, and I expect that the 35's will do even better.

I prefer a folding bead (ever try to change a wire bead tire in the winter?) and that was a draw for me. 

They come in around $50 each in Canada, so not cheap.  If you can get them in the States they are about half that price.  But as I have said, they are hardy and will last.  My 32's lived for just over two years of good, routine punishment.

Keep them at the recommended pressure.

They are made in Taiwan.

1 comment:

  1. The tires I use on my commuter are wearing thin - I'll look for a set of these and give them a spin. Well, thousands of spins.

    Thanks for the review!