Kenda's Two New DH Tires - Sea Otter 2017

Apr 20, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
In the downhill racing world, loyalties to a particular tread pattern or rubber compound run deep, and there's no shortage of riders employing their trusty Sharpie markers to run tires other than the ones listed on their sponsor list. For that reason, it's somewhat of a rarity for a new DH tire to enter the market, but it just so happens that Kenda has two new 27.5 x 2.4" options on the way – the Hellkat Pro and the Helldiver Pro.

Kenda DH tires
The Kenda Hellkat.

Hellkat

The Hellkat is the more aggressive of the two tires, with alternating L- and rectangle shaped side knobs for cornering traction, and a blocky center tread pattern. It uses what's dubbed the 'Kenda Vector Shield' (KVS), and although that may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, it's actually an aramid sheet that helps protect the sidewalls from cuts and tears. It's also lighter than a traditional dual ply casing, and the weight for the KVS-equipped 27.5” Hellkat is a claimed 1170 grams.

To go along with that sidewall protection, there's an aramid belt underneath the tread, and yes, this one also gets its own special name – the Iron Cloak Belt. Don't forget, all of this is part of Kenda's Advance Gravity Casing (AGC) – apparently someone at Kenda is an acronym superfan. MSRP for the Hellkat is $80 USD.


Kenda DH tires
The semi-slick 27.5 x 2.4 Helldiver.

Helldiver

The Helldiver (I'm not sure if that would be my first choice for a tire name, but that could just be me) is Kenda's new semi-slick rear tire, with low profile center knobs for fast rolling and taller side knobs to maintain cornering traction. Like the Hellkat, it uses a dual rubber compound, but it uses a single-ply casing and a folding bead, which drops the weight to 974 grams. MSRP is $85 USD. There are also all-mountain versions of both tires on the way that will use the same tread design, but with an even lighter casing to save weight.


Kenda DH tires
Kenda DH tires



107 Comments

  • + 120
 Tired of the aggro naming conventions. Helldiver, Aggressor, Hellkat, Minion, Aggressor, Butcher, Purgatory, Warden....someone invent a tire that's better than them all and call it the Lovey Fluffy please.
  • + 35
 If it came with the furry fluff compound you have my money...
  • + 10
 Fluffy McFluffystein sounds like a great name.
  • + 37
 Can it have nyan cat graphics on the sidewalls? Big Grin
  • + 13
 ....Slaughter, Convict, Vigilante, (even Psycho K going way back...). Agree, it's a bit tired.
  • + 25
 How does Saviour,Protector, Defender, Redeemer, Victor, Warrior, Deliverer, Combatant sound?
.
.
.
Positive is the new negative!
  • + 3
 @cbenderusa007: add Martyr, Mendicant, Soul Warrior and I'm in!!
  • + 8
 TRSr will have to do...
  • + 52
 I want a tire named "Robust Squirrel"
  • + 5
 The back scratcher
  • + 14
 @Enzyme: I would buy the f*ck out of Nyan cat tires
  • + 3
 I do find the names surprising given they were developed by sick mick and he is a devout christian. The hellkat looks great though.
  • + 14
 Butt grabber....new rear tire
  • + 9
 @goatwerx: dirty bitch would be a great tyre
  • + 6
 That thing looks hella-fast but how about "ribbed for your pleasure?"
  • + 28
 Magic Mary
  • + 20
 Every time I hear minion, those little yellow dudes come to mind Smile
Hardly aggro
  • + 8
 Read it somewhere on pinkbike comment section: Business for front specific tire, Party for the rear.
  • + 13
 @griffinsurfboard: Magic Marry have an infamous sister Slutty Jennifer. She's still on rehab but should come out soon.
  • + 3
 Triggered!!!
  • + 3
 Magic Mary ........
  • + 3
 @cbenderusa007: Good for you bro....and it'll need to be endorsed by Aaron Gwin and the big man upstairs
  • + 59
 Why not make:

The Hard Pack
The Loam
The Mud
The Roots'n'Rain
The Rolls Well
The Air Time
The Rough Rocks

Then you just put on your bike whatever it is you ride, and that tyre is made for that condition.
  • + 2
 Ronnie James Dio might have to take this to court.
  • + 5
 mintberry crunch
  • + 8
 also include Procrastinator
  • + 5
 Zen muffin
  • + 5
 @scary1: Seeing as he's been dead for 7 years, I think they're probably ok...
  • + 2
 @zede: that's soo 29 Smile
  • + 4
 What do we expect from an industry that calls bikes a "weapon" on social media.
@Waldon83
That would be too good to be true..
  • + 3
 @rpm76: butt scratcher would be perfect for 29 tyre
  • + 1
 @src248: Was just thinking the SAME THING!!! I seriously would!
  • + 1
 @Waldon83: This...
  • + 1
 The muff diver
  • + 1
 @pakleni: hahaha
  • + 1
 @Waldon83: the hangover
  • + 5
 HELLDIVING: when you go down on a girl who hasn't bathed in a week.
  • + 1
 @saintjimmy: or smart weasel
  • + 1
 Yea I'm running 2.5 Purple Tutus on the front and 2.4 Gender Benders on the back. No homo.
  • + 1
 The Fluffer
  • + 3
 Tire McTireface
  • + 1
 @mattwragg: yeah....i was too concentrated on my joke to bother with accuracy.
  • + 1
 @griffinsurfboard: I want it in 26+ x 2.8-3.0
  • + 2
 @scary1: Exactly...Holy Diver! Cycling companies in the DH/Enduro realm are so hung up on the "tough guy" naming. Then again, the same crap goes on in Cyclocross with everything "X" this or that. A sense of humor is sorely lacking at the marketing level with all these companies.
  • + 2
 @Waldon83: You're a goddamn genius.
  • + 1
 Do not take for granted, an army of knobs goes to war every time you ride. Let the names be, they serve as a reminder. And if ride Schwalbe, some of them probably won't make it back.
  • + 1
 Tainted Tickler
  • + 26
 Well if you ever find yourself torn between a DHF and a Magic Mary, Kenda has your back!
  • + 5
 Hahaha i was reading through looking for this comment!
  • + 4
 Same here. I came here to say: "So, Magic Mary on the contact patch, DHF/DHRII on the cornering knobs?" Is that like a mullet, business in front, party out back?

Great looking tread patterns though... but I'm afraid to leave the comfort of Schwalbe and/or Maxxis to take chances with another brands rubber grip or longevity.
  • + 2
 @keillor: FWIW I've heard great things about the Kenda Nevegal...those used to have a great price, too.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: ran Kenda Nevegals for a long time. They were always on my bike from 2005-2014. They are great tires. New bike came with Maxxis so i just stuck with them. I would definitely go back if the price was right.
  • + 1
 @keillor: Yea, you don't want to take chances with you rubbers
  • + 1
 @kjjohnson: Kenda is the only tire I have ever pinch flatted my front wheel - Never (gal) again
  • + 15
 I feel like Kenda really needs to figure out a good compound to compete. Every tire I've ever ridden of theirs seems to turn plastic after a month or two.
  • + 3
 Tried kenda once, got 3 flats in four rides. Went back to maxxis. Lesson learned, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • + 2
 and from the pics the rubber on these even look like cheap CST tires hahaha..sorry Kenda
  • + 3
 @Lagr1980: Dude, CST (Cheng Shin) owns Maxxis.
  • + 1
 @mountain-life: I know bro, but their branded CST cheap tires just look, cheap.
  • + 13
 magic mary much?
  • + 19
 Its kind of hard to get new and innovative when it comes to tires deisgns. Cut them a lil slack.
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: At which point they should stop innovating and start perfecting.

For a start I see little sense in alternating blocks..looks useful, but by default changes grip from inch to inch or angle to angle.
If neither block shape works well alone, it ain't right.
  • + 0
 @Enzyme: Yeah if these companies could just start perfecting that would be great. But the market unfortunately does not work like that. I wish it did. Also I see what you mean by moving blocks small measurements, whats the point? A trail never stays in the same so why design a tire for every type of condition. Only pros do this to their advantage and its still not a great idea jumping around from tire to tire.
  • + 9
 So Magic Mary & Rock Razor combo, only difference in pattern is slightly smaller side knobs, innovative stuff.
  • + 1
 So true.
  • + 6
 To explain the slightly odd names: These tires, along with the Saber, the XC racer tire they launched last year; are named after WWII-era fighter planes.
  • + 2
 If I may add, helldiver is also a popular term used in the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown
  • + 3
 the nevegal has to be one of my favorite if not my favorite tread pattern, best tire around for my home trails, unfortunately the previous tubeless casings were too soft/punctureable so i switched to maxxis dh casings and have been fine. gotta say though if they ever improve upon the puncture resistance id go back, they roll fast and the breakaway point is very predictable.
  • + 7
 Here we go again.... "Looks like a Magic Mary"
  • + 6
 Did they just borrow these names from Dodge?
  • + 1
 helldiver looks similar to the rock razor which has been a great tire for my local dry conditions. only real difference appears to be the compound and the side walls have a jagged cut
  • + 2
 When you get too far back over the tire, the butt zipper, crack grinder, starfish snapper, ass caliper
  • + 3
 I'd try it if they made it in 26".
  • + 1
 "Hell diver PRO" is actually pretty ideal looking for someone like myself, although the name kind of turns me off. I dunno, maybe "Rad Brad" or something.
  • + 1
 I'm surprised someone hasn't named a shorty type tyre 'Lo-ki'. Aka Loam killer. You're welcome tyre manufacturers of the world....
  • + 3
 Looks like a Session.
  • + 2
 Specialized slaughter, brought to you by kenda.
  • + 1
 God, I really wish them luck. Their Tires are so yesterday. What we need, Kenda, are 2.5 or 2.6 Tires not Semi-slicks.
  • + 2
 track ho's usually get the job done, I mean excavators
  • + 2
 Ah cool, just copying Schwalbe tires completly
  • + 1
 Please Kenda, bring back the BBG 2ply 26"
  • + 2
 Kenda Surprises
  • + 1
 Looks like a Nevegal, does it go on anything that looks like a Session?
  • + 1
 why not Kenny? so when you killed it your mates would say you killed kenny
  • + 1
 Any word on their 2.6 saber?
  • + 1
 Looks like a good combo for the bike park.
  • + 1
 Taint buzzer and grundle grinder?
  • + 1
 Looks like a Magic Mary
  • + 1
 85$ for Kenda? Realy?
  • + 1
 For Sh!ts & Gripper
  • + 1
 Looks like a Trek.
  • + 0
 but which will make me a better rider?
  • + 0
 974g put that fat pig on a diet
  • + 1
 Splooooooojjjj!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 30psi labeling?
  • + 0
 Mhh. I want more pluss size dh tires.
  • - 3
 aint no minion
  • + 4
 It's a Hans DHF.
  • - 3
 Check it out it's the new Kenda Shorty!
  • - 2
 That's one helluva' semi-slick

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