Last year, Teravail (distributor QBP's house brand) introduced two new XC/All-Mountain tires
to its line and this year, they've unveiled the Kessel, their take on a more aggressive Enduro/DH tread. The Kessel is made to give maximum traction in big, technical terrain, especially steep, loose, and rocky trails.
The Kessel is available for both 27.5" and 29" wheels in 2.4" and 2.6" widths. There are two different construction options, Durable and Ultra-Durable, and two sidewall colors, tan and black. The tan sidewalls are available only in the Durable construction.
Teravail Kessel Tire Details
• Teravail Grip rubber compound
• Tubeless ready
• 60 TPI casing with reinforcements
• Sizes: 29 x 2.4", 2.6"; 27.5 x 2.5"
• Weight: 1,040g - Durable, 1,190g - Ultra-Durable (29 x 2.4" - Actual, tested)
• MSRP: $85 USD - Durable, $90 USD - Ultra-Durable
I've been testing the 29 x 2.4” and 2.6" tires for several months, typically with an Ultra Durable construction rear tire and the Durable up front.Design Details
The Kessel's tread pattern is made up of two sets of tall and blocky knobs in the center and then two alternating side knobs. There are sipes in every other set on both the angular center knobs and the side knobs. There is an ample amount of clearance between the knobs and the tread profile is nicely rounded.
The tires use Teravail's own grippier compound for rubber. The Durable casing is 60 TPI and has a woven nylon composite reinforcement between the outer rubber and inner casing within the sidewalls to ward off tears and cuts, along with a fine nylon weave under the tread cap to further prevent punctures. The Ultra-Durable casing takes that and adds an additional half ply of 120 TPI on the sidewall, more puncture defense in the tread cap, and butyl inserts that strengthen the sidewalls of the tire.
These tires measured exactly on point for what is printed on the sidewall when mounted to a 28mm internal width rim, something that's welcome in a world full of seemingly mis-calibrated calipers. Performance
Multiple testers gave the Kessels a try, and there was a very unanimous verdict that the tires are extremely easy to mount up and seal with just a standard floor pump. Also, in several hundred miles of rugged terrain, there were no flats experienced.
I've been riding the Kessel on a good mix of terrain - rocky, rooty, and chunder filled ditches on the East Coast for the most part filled with high-speed sections of trail and then smooth hard-pack terrain as well. The Kessel was predictable in all of those conditions. It rolls quickly and transitions side-to-side as smoothly as one could hope for. The rubber compound offers up ample traction on roots and rocks, the sidewalls are plenty supportive, and I didn't find myself having to overinflate or underinflate the tire compared to the air pressures I typically ride. On loose trails there is plenty of bite and on hard-packed terrain the knobs are supportive and don't want to fold over when pushing into turns.
The Durable casing, the lighter of the two, offers up a great deal more trail feel than the Ultra-Durable casing. If we were to compare the two casings to Maxxis' offerings, I would say the Durable is similar to the EXO, and the Ultra-Durable is closer to the Double Down, but with a touch more trail feel.
Braking traction from the Kessel is superb in steep and technical terrain. There is a little more braking traction than what the Minion DHF offers - the knobs are a bit more aggressive on the Kessel, although that comes with a slight tax in the rolling efficiency department.
In wet terrain, I still have had no complaints with the Kessel. It offers up as good of traction as any comparable tire out there and just as much predictability. The tread pattern doesn't lend itself to caking up with dirt except in the stickiest red clay conditions and the sharp knobs give plenty of bite into the earth.
Excellent traction and control+
Relatively fast rolling
Limited 27.5" width options-
Price doesn't make it stand out over competition
|Teravail have made a tire that directly competes with other best in class tires with the Kessel. The tire's performance is top-notch in a variety of terrain and it is a great option for an aggressive trail or enduro tire. The price of the tire is a little on the high side, which makes it a harder sell when it's put up against the classic Maxxis Minion DHF.—Daniel Sapp|
Really, what's the game plan here? Minion clone, that performs like a Minion, from a house brand nobody has ever heard of, and an admittedly the MSRP is not the street price, but with an MSRP that's nearly double the street price of a Minion, why would somebody try to track these down? Just stick with a tried and true Minion.
what's your preferred poison Willy?
I'm on an e13 A/T front this year (2.4) which is also 'inspired' by a minion, albeit a dhr2.
almost went with a kenda hellkat which is similar to a schwalbe MM.
Teravail are great tires too! I liked the Kennebec 2.6
E13s are only to be ridden in the PNW. They only perform on dirt (horrible on loose corners) and wear out fast on rock. Can’t believe people even buy them elsewhere. They are fantastic in the right conditions though.
@maxyedor Teravail has already made a name for themselves in the gravel and XC markets, so only makes sense they'd try to break into more aggressive trail riding.
Lots of people do the DHR front and rear due to DHF's tendency to wash out in hard cornering. Now that Assegai is here, I am seeing that replace the DHF as well. As soon as the Dissector becomes more widely available, the new norm will be the Assegai/Dissector combo.
yeah i think that's becoming a popular setup, i'm a little worried about the rolling resistance of the Assegai but could see myself trying it in 2.5 eventually. Also kinda curious about the dhr2 2.6 as a front.... maybe next winter. Lotsa choices.
that's what i'm hoping for. limited time on the A/T front so far (trail casing, race compound, verified weight about 50g over advertised) but i ran the old tire a while ago, it was okay. last spring i tried their semi-slick and had casing issues. trying it again now and am hoping the supplier change a year ago means a better tire overall. on paper the 2.4 A/T, 2.35 S/S combo should be about perfect for me with the exception of loose, steep terrain in late summer..... no surprise that the S/S can get scary in those situations.
Nerd hat on>
Hans Solo doing the Kessel run in under 12 seconds, was a measure of distance, not of time, although the two correlate.
The theoretical route to Kessel was around tons of black holes and other things that screw up faster than light travel like hyperspace. But faster objects can get closer to the center of a black hole without getting caught in it than a slower one.
So because the Millennium Falcon was a very fast ship, he was able to complete the run using a straighter course than the previous record (which was obviously also faster in time), which was why it was noteworthy/boastworthy.
Nerd hat off>
By engineer, do you mean somebody professionally qualified in a branch of engineering?
The operator or supervisor of an engine, especially a railroad locomotive or the engine on an aircraft or ship...?
Yeah, autocorrect murdered my post.
“Hans solo” and “12 seconds”...
I was “this” close to sounding pseudo-intelligent on the internet!
And actually, future tire reviews showing the tire next to a few common competitors would be useful as a standard thing to do, as a frame of reference.
And they can offer better margin do bike shops will try to push them over a lower margin product.
I am not sure what is the point of buying single compound tires once there are companies like Vittoria offering triple + compounds. It makes a huge difference in how fast it rolls, how long it wears, traction and comfort.
So here's my entry:
Looks like a Minion!
That's a stupid thing to say. Especially after you pointed out what the rim width was. You should have also told us the temperature, the ambient pressure, the indicated tire pressure, what gauge you used and when it was last calibrated, and whether it was freshly installed as new, or had been ridden in a bit, what rim you used and if it's hooked or hookless and the bead wall height, and whether you were measuring outermost knob or the carcass.
Because ALL of those can effect the measurement.