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Just in: Kenda ExCavator 1.95, 2.10 and 2.35 PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:39

Kenda Excavator I received a pair of the 2.10 versions a couple of years ago and liked the ride. I now have a complete size run--1.95, 2.10, and 2.35--of the folding bead version ExCavators for more extended testing. Eric Carter chose a variation of the long-proven square block tread arranged in the versatile alternating row pattern. The wide center knobs create a paddle for good drive and braking traction with the leading edges slightly ramped to improve the rolling resistance a bit. The row of transition knobs is fully offset (centered between) from the center and edge tread. Better for roll-the-tire-into-the-lean riding styles than the Nevegal, and it works on a wider range of rim widths. It you want the gap-row tread for throw-the-bike riding style the tire can be grooved, and Carter gives his tread modification tips on the Kenda Tech blog.

The large tread blocks do add weight and the Excavators have a claimed weight even higher than the Nevegal. Plus my samples of the smaller tires came in above the published range. I still consider this a small price for the overall grip and tread durability.

In this day and age, why would you want a 1.95 tire? In the case of the ExCavator, weight, except that one of the 2.10 tires is lighter than either of the 1.95s. Surprisingly, the smallest version has basically the same casing volume as the 2.10 tire. The tread blocks are slightly smaller with more space between them. A possible advantage in looser/chunkier conditions. The tires are not mislabeled as the molded in marking are correct. The 2.35 is typically huge in volume and tread width. Future ride reports to follow.

More pics and brief specs below.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 12:07
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Personal Issue: Soma Lo-Pro 8 / Innovations Flat Stack Tools PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Thursday, 06 May 2010 06:27

Personal IssueThe Genuine Innovations Flat Stack Mini Tool has had a home in my pocket since last Fall. The Soma Fabrications Lo-Pro 8 Pocket Tool is a even smaller version.

Tools

 Both tools are constructed from a high-quality steel. Each bit is formed on a big square base which makes using these tools very solid, much better than most mini-tools and rivaling the effectiveness of much larger shop wrench sets.

Each tool measures just 7mm thick by 27mm wide, about the same as 4 quarters. The 79g Flat Stack is longer at 72mm vs 55mm for the 57g Lo-Pro 8. The extra length does give the Genuine Innovations version more leverage though both work well for most trail-side repairs and adjustments. Included tools are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex wrenches, T25 torx wrench (disc rotor bolts), flat head and #1 philips head screwdrivers. Lacks only the 8 or 10mm hex used by many current crank sets. 

I carry one in my jersey or shorts pocket where I can access it quickly. Weight and size is makes it unnoticeable otherwise. One also lives in my pants pocket where I find myself using it nearly everyday, mostly for non-bike purposes.

 Genuine Innovations Flat Stack Mini Tool sells for $19.99.

MSRP for the Soma Fabrications Lo-Pro 8 Pocket Tool is $14.99.

More pics

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 May 2010 08:53
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What is "Personal Issue"? PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 17:20
Personal Issue

 

 In the bicycle industry much is made of a product being "Team Issue," the best available and worthy for use by the top riders. The components, frames, and other parts are indeed top of the line, but the team riders are also required to use them for sponsorship reasons. What would they use given the choice free of contractual obligations may be very different. Team Issue items may also have little relevantly in the real-world for everyday riders.

 

Enter mtbtires.com's Personal Issue: Components, tires, tools and clothing items selected for my continued personal use, simply because they work, and work well.

 

 Many of the products have been purchased at retail (or wholesale) prices. Some (mostly tires) have been supplied to the site at no cost for evaluation. No payment or bribes have been, or will ever be, accepted for inclusion on the Personal Issue roster.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 17:55
 
Ride Report: Kenda El Moco PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 13:38

Kenda El Moco on the rocksBrian Lopes wanted a tire that was not in the Kenda lineup to work with his riding style. The El Moco is the result. Paddles of round center knobs give good drive and braking grip, and tall tightly packed edge blocks dig in for cornering. A large gap between the two suits Lopes' aggressive toss-the-bike-into-the-turn style. He likes the tire to be able to drift before the outer tread bites hard. Great for him, but how does it work for other riders?

I mounted a set on Bontrager Rhythm Comp wheels (28mm wide) to ride on the Salsa Ala Carte hardtail. On the front, 2.35, Stick-E rubber. Rear, 2.10, Dual Rubber Compound. Both folding bead. Started with 25psi front, 30psi rear with tubes.

Initial rides traversed loose to firm and rocky trails. Many of them dished out horse trails. I found myself bouncing more than I liked on the first small rocky stretches. Was being knocked off line way too easily, often forcing me into the soft edge of the trail where the side tread would struggle. After reducing the tire pressures front and rear, as well as checking the fork (which was OK), control improved. Tracking (directional stability) was good on the soft sandy trails and suffered a bit on the rocks compared to the larger block tires I have been running. Carving the corners was fun with the tall side tread holding well. It was necessary to lean the bike hard to get onto the edges though the soft surfaces mitigated the need some. This "tossing" style is not my preferred riding mode, and the El Moco seems to require it as I found when I changed trails...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 15:29
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Just In: Kenda KOT 1.80 PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:31

Kenda KOT 1.80The skinniest version of the King of Traction line. Fairly low center knobs to very tall edge "cones" in the very open tread pattern. A mudder for when to going gets very soft and deep.

Full specs on the Kenda page 

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 May 2010 10:12
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Kenda King of Traction 26 x 1.80 Specs Added PDF Print E-mail
Written by shiggy   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 09:59
Full specs for the narrowest version of the KOT are now posted on the Kenda page
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Last Updated on Thursday, 06 May 2010 10:12
 
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