Kenda has launched three new tires for 2017. The Valkyrie is the company's new road performance tire. The Flintridge Pro is a tubeless ready gravel tire, and the Kwick Journey is a commuter/urban tire that's E-bike certified.
Kenda Valkyrie high performance road tire
The Valkyrie is the product of multiple years of development. "For a long time, Kenda was known as a mountain bike tire company and not as a road bike tire company," explained Kenda director of sales and marketing Ben Anderson. "About two and half years ago we created a new tech center in Ohio to be part of our automotive division. This allowed us to utilize all of the experience and engineering know-how from that division to help create a high-quality road tire. In order to compete with the current industry leaders, we needed to have light weight, great puncture protection, and low rolling resistance. The Valkyrie is what our engineers came up with."
The Valkyrie uses Kenda's R3C rubber compound and K-Armor technology to produce a grippy, lightweight, and fast rolling tire.
Kenda uses a new profile that's exclusive to the Valkyrie line with the R3C road compound to create the lightest and fastest rolling tire that they've ever developed. The Valkyrie has K-Armor, which is a new proprietary puncture resistant material. Blending the K-Armor protection with the R3C compound and the new profile, this new tire comes within 1 watt of the market leader for rolling resistance, claims Kenda. But in lab tests and comparisons, Kenda says they have far superior puncture protection and lower weights. The layer of K-Armor is just underneath the tread surface, but not the sidewall.
"What we have created is a well-designed, well-balanced tire that performs extremely well in puncture resistance, weight and rolling resistance," added Anderson.
The Valkyrie has a folding bead (a tubular version is also in the works) with 120 TPI and a price of $70. Maximum pressure is 100 PSI for the 28c and 30c sizes, and 125 PSI for the 23c and 25c sizes.
Claimed weights for the Kenda Valkyrie are as follows: 700x30c - 267 grams; 700x28c - 235 grams; 700x25c - 182 grams; 700x23c - 178 grams. For more info visit bicycle.kendatire.com.
The Flintridge Pro is a gravel-oriented tire that is available in 35c and 40c widths with two versions for $55 and $60.
Kenda Flintridge Pro gravel tire
The Flintridge Pro is Kenda's new gravel tire that is available in two sizes: 700x35c and 700x40c. They will be expanding the size options in the near future. Each of the two sizes is available in two different versions. The TR is a tubeless race tire, which has Kenda's lightest single-ply casing with a tubeless-ready bead wrapped in a rubber chafer.
"The Flintridge Pro TR is optimized for sealing usage," says Anderson. "This tire is for the rider who places a premium on weight and doesn't mind being a bit more pro-active about sealant replacement."
The Flintridge Pro is available in a version that can help riders who want their sealant to last as long as possible with less maintenance hassles.
Similar in design to the TR version, the SCT (sealant casing technology) model has a tubeless bead wrapped in rubber but instead of a single-ply casing, this version has a layer of secondary material from the bead to just under the shorter blocks. It is a woven layer of material that offers a secondary boundary layer for the air and fluid inside the tire, and makes setting up tubeless easier. It keeps the pressure longer and the sealant stays liquid longer, ensuring that it will do its job when necessary. The TR also adds a protective shield that helps defend against abrasions, cuts, sidewall slashes, which are obviously more common for gravel riders.
Find out what we thought of Kenda's Flintridge Pro in the RoadBikeReview Gravel Tire Shootout.
The Flintridge Pro has a folding bead with a 120 TPI casing and has a maximum rating of 50 PSI. The tubeless race (TR) version is $55 per tire and the SCT tubeless optimized version is $60. Claimed weights for the Kenda Flintridge Pro are 700x40c - SCT = 515 grams;
700x40c - TR = 440 grams; 700x35c - SCT = 481 grams; 700x35c - TR = 409 grams. For more information visit bicycle.kendatire.com.
The Kwick Journey from Kenda is a commuter/urban tire that is E-bike certified for up to 31mph. Price is $40.
Kenda Kwick Journey city, trekking, urban tire
The Kenda Kwick Journey is designed as a fast rolling city tire with durable puncture protection. There are two versions, one with K-Shield which is a 3mm elastomer embedded with Aramid and ceramic particles. There is also the K Shield Plus which has a 5mm layer underneath the tread surface. The Kwick Journey is designed to be strong and durable, but still comfortable to ride.
"What we are really proud of with this tire is the 50kph rating for E-bike usage," said Anderson. "Here in the States, E-bikes are not as popular as they are in Europe but it is coming. For the 50kph rating (EB50), there is a special test in Europe called the ECE-R75 for speed pedelecs and you have to run your tires across a set of extra tests to prove durability to be sure it stands up. Our entire Kwick Journey line passes all of these tests."
The Kwick Journey has a wire bead with a 60 TPI casing with a price of $40. There are currently five sizes of the Kwick Journey available: 700x42c, 700x40c, 700x38c, 26x1.75 and 27.5x1.75. For more info visit bicycle.kendatire.com.