|Honey Badgers for the muddy days :)|
So Kenda has been making all sorts of tires for 50 years, and in my 5ish years of riding mountain bikes, I've been on Kenda tires for the past 2 years. Over those years I've developed the ability to hone in on the different components on my bike and how they affect the overall performance. I think the coolest part of that is feeling the connection to the dirt through your tires (which is an extra special feeling after you've been on a road bike for a few days). Living in SoCal we have some pretty difficult conditions to ride most of the year, loose small rocks over hard packed dry dirt. It means without the perfect tire choice/air pressure combo you will be sliding around a lot. And oh yeah, rocks, we have tons of rocks! Big rocks, small rocks, grippy and sharp rocks, pretty much any rock type you can imagine, we have it. This is one of the reasons I love working with Kenda so much, they make phenomenal tires for the trial conditions we have out here.
My go to favorite tire all year last year was the Small Block 8 because it hooks up so well in the loose stuff, and also has nice low rolling resistance for racing. I traveled and raced all over the US last year on the Small Blocks, and was surprised at how well they worked in other conditions as well, like the slippery wet mess in Mounte Saint Anne. This year I was introduced to the Saber, which is another incredible tire for SoCal conditions, and which helped me take my cornering to the next level over the past few weeks. I'm not good at the technical nerding out on specifics of bike parts, so let's just say that the rubber is crazy grippy, like grippier than any other tire I've ridden. Brendan was telling me about the Sabers and how they are made with a new compound... lots of stuff I didn't understand, but it's also cool to know that Kenda is pushing the envelope and developing new rubber compounds/always coming out with new tread designs. Oh and Brendan also told me about some new super cool tires that aren't out yet, but sound crazy good... I think I'm supposed to keep my mouth shut about why they are cool... for now :) And my other fave Kenda tire is the Honey Badger which I fell in love with at some point last year (like seriously I remember feeling like I found a new best friend the first time I rode them) and raced on last weekend at Vail Lake. I threw those guys on my bike because the weather looked sketchy, and although it didn't end up raining for the race, the Honey Badgers gave me incredible traction with high pressure and flew over the damp sandy course.
|Saber 2.20 front and rear. I really really like this set up!|
|Flash back from last year when I was rocking the small blocks!|