I’ve been running the Kenda Small Block 8’s for all of last year and both races this year. What one first notices when looking at these tires is how unaggressive they look.
They are light, claimed weight is around 580 grams +/- 30 grams. Compared to the beefy Nevegals they run about 240 grams lighter. These tires coupled with Stans Crest wheels and tire sealant make for a light combination. The sealant voids the tire warranty but it’s worth the trade off. I haven’t had a flat with this combo yet and I’m running low tire pressures, giving better traction! The tiny knobs act like many little teeth biting in for grip, the tire has a nice round profile so leaning in is predictable. They roll, so much so that it’s notably faster then more aggressive tires. I certainly like them and don’t have a problem running them on the muddiest of courses.
The last two races were a mud fest. Yes the tires were at times packed but they shed it off quickly. I didn’t go down a single time. I did have a couple close calls but may have been more due to my trying to go a bit faster than I should have. The fact that I was able to save it considering I did push the front end out in the mud going down hill is a testament to their good trail behavior and predictability. Having missed a turn at the last race I was trying to catch up!
If your looking for tires that wear well, are fast, and have predictable grip in all conditions give these some thought. Especially if you ride a 29er!