Checklist Cost: $ 16.39
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My mountain bike needed new tires, the old ones were dry and cracked, and one had blown out through the sidewall. I decided that since I seldom ride in mud or on very loose surfaces, a smoother tread would allow me to ride along with lower effort and/or greater speed. Smooth tires on urban bicycles are nothing new, the Tioga City Slicker has been around for years, and probably serves as an inspiration for many other similar tires. I ordered the Kenda K838 based on the favorable reviews, and am very pleased. I ordered four tires, to upgrade two bicycles. They came in a box which was probably twice as large as it needed to be. As everyone else has mentioned, they are blackwall, not gumwalls as illustrated. Mounting the tires was no problem at all. I used a plastic tire lever to remove the old tires from the rims, and just popped the Kenda’s on with my fingers, no tools needed. I inflated them to 60 psi and went for a ride.
The tread design and profile are based on combined features from successful motorcycle tires. The tread pattern is very similar to that seen on the Bridgestone Spitfire, with directional grooves to channel water to the outside edge of the tread surface. This gives low rolling resistance and complete silence….no humming or howling knobs on pavement. Constant pedaling is not necessary, as the low rolling resistance means one can pedal a bit, then coast or glide a long distance.
They don’t accelerate quite as easily as some narrower, lighter tires, say 700 x 28, but they do very well for a tire nearly 2 inches wide, and offer vastly better load capability, rim protection, flat resistance and a superior ride over irregularities. Bumps feel considerably “dampened”, and the tires “float” undeflected over gravel patches instead of knifing in or skating around as a narrow tire might.
Their triangular profile is based on designs used on Dunlop TT100 motorcycle tires and others. This means that when viewed from the front, the tire doesn’t look “circular” round, but has a “rounded triangle” shape. When riding straight, the narrow “point” of the triangle contacts the road, giving a lower resistance. As the bike banks over for turns, the broad “flank” of the triangle gradually spreads across the road, giving a broader contact area and better grip.
Owners of mountain bikes which are used more often on pavement and hard-packed dirt or gravel will probably enjoy these. They seem to be very well made and a good choice for their intended purpose.
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First of all, this is a really good tire, you won’t be disappointed. Note that it is black wall, not skin wall as shown in the picture, so the tire is all black – which I like better anyway. I use the bike for commuting, but where I live the roads aren’t all that great so the size and capability of this tire works very well. The only issue I had was getting the tires on my wheel, they’re extremely snug, so make sure you let ALL the air out of your tubes and be careful not to pinch the tube while getting the tire on. Also, I hope in the future the shipping company is more environmentally (and cost effectively) concious because I purchased two tires on the same day, they came in two huge, and separate boxes. I could have fit a filing cabinet in each on of the boxes – I thought that it was a waste of shipping material.
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