“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, ao-button”} }”>

It’s no secret that tire brands are always working on new compounds or profiles, and it seems Kenda is hard at work on a new gravel offering. Bike tire technology has evolved fairly rapidly in recent years with research into tubeless tires, hookless rim specs, and a general understanding of air volume, air pressure, speed, and efficiency. This has resulted in some pretty amazing new tire offerings for all brands, especially those willing to make changes quickly.

While road tubeless is still hotly debated among traditional road cyclists, the gravel segment has adopted the technology without objection. While a lot has changed since tubeless hit the mountain bike market almost 25 years ago, the drop bar segments seem to be on the rise.

At a recent event we saw a tire mounted on a rim but it had no name, just a handwritten mark. The brand was clear, Kenda, but no model and the profile seemed unfamiliar. When we reached out to Kenda, they assured us that the gravel segment of their business is looking to expand after so much success with the Flintridge, Alluvium Pro and Booster Pro tires.

The new Kenda tread has a raised smooth center with small lugs on the sides for cornering, but looks like a fast tire overall.

The tire looks fast to me. The raised center means more rubber between the air and the ground for added puncture protection. Then the small lugs on each side conform to the shape of the case, which I think is a consistent feel no matter how you lean into a turn. The tire somehow reminds me of the Specialized Pathfinder Pro. For me that means hardpack or events/rides where you want speed but also need volume.

The tire is very similar to the Kenda Alluvium Pro but offers a little more protection from puncture when going straight with the solid center line. The centerline design also offers more traction when in firm contact with stable ground, but less bite when it’s loose.

We’re not sure when we’ll see this on the market or what it’s called, but it should be a great addition to Kenda’s gravel line. As we get closer to the biggest gravel race of the year, Unbound, more new gravel components should be hiding in plain sight at events ahead of the June 3, 2023 start.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *