Gravel is big in the cycling world right now and tires are a huge part of a successful gravel ride or race. If you’re trying to find the perfect mix of volume, traction, low rolling resistance, and puncture protection, the Kenda Alluvium comes pretty darn close to a do-it-all gravel tire. The Alluvium is fast on the road, digs in into deep gravel and floats over the baseball-size gravel frame killers we have on my testing grounds in Pennsylvania.
Kenda Alluvium Pro Highlights
- The fast-rolling dotted style tread is fast yet grips on small gravel
- Reflective Hot Patch on the tire adds visibility in low light situations
- Supple and predictable under various conditions and air pressure
- Fast-rolling center tread that grips on all form of dry gravel
- Large digging style side knobs that grip well and dig out of sinking wet gravel and dirt
- Excellent performance on dry to moist singletrack
- Price: $60.00
- Weight: 560 grams
- Sizes: 700×40 (tested) 700×45, (700×35* and 650×45 sizes coming soon)
Kenda and tubeless dropbar shredding
Kenda is no stranger to performance tires – the tire giant creates some of the most popular tires on the market. Up until the last couple of years, Kenda was one of a handful of companies producing tubeless cyclocross tires, which make the move to larger-volume gravel tires a natural progression.
Fast-forward seven or so years and gravel tires are everywhere, coming in all sorts of combinations that you can get overwhelmed with a single keyword search. Even as the gravel tire market expands, race-proven treads designs always stay similar, with casing and compound updates. Much like the classic chevron-style Grifo tread used in nearly every tire line, the file tread with tall side knobs is quickly becoming a gravel race standard. The Kenda Alluvium takes this popular design and boosts it with some smart tweaking that makes it more versatile and predictable than many of its competitors.
Not your typical flat top
The Kenda Alluvium Pro is a gravel and adventure tire that is as capable on the pavement as it is on hard conditions singletrack trails. The tread design optimized for speed, with low profile center knobs designed to reduce rolling resistance. The tread itself is reminiscent of the Kenda Happy Medium tire, of which I was a huge fan. As one of the first file/mega side knob tires, the Happy Medium had a nice fast rolling middle but came up short any time the road required sharp pedaling traction.
The Alluvium excels in these situations. The centerline tread is much deeper than others on the market and crawls over small rocks and gravel. The deep tread offers excellent grip on wet and raining road days as well. For the casing, Kenda uses their new GCT setup which wraps the tire from bead to bead with a secondary casing layer acting as a shield against punctures and sidewall slashes.
This casing does not affect the supple feel of the tire but does seem to make the tubeless setup easier than Kenda tires without it. Kenda claims the GCT casing is up to 50-percent lighter than traditional puncture-resistant tires and with the Alluviums weighing in a svelte 560g , I agree.
The Alluvium roll fast on the road and super hard-packed sectors of gravel. This low rolling resistance could be chalked up to Kendas R3C rubber compound, used exclusively for their high-end racing tires. I can definitively state, the Alluviums rolled much fast on the road then I was expecting, even at 35psi. This fast-rolling is even more apparent on singletrack. I rode the Alluviums out on my local trails and was pleasantly surprised at the cornering and grip. They never lost traction railing corners but did require some lower pressure (25-30 psi) to keep the centerline locking up on the roots and rocks. For a gravel tire, I expected that kind of grip, but on the dirt, the Alluviums proved to be a great option.
Since most of my riding is later in the day, I appreciated the reflective sidewall on the Alluviums. Kenda is starting to offer a reflective hot patch on many of their tires. The patch is nothing that looks out of the ordinary but lights up the Kenda logo and other designed elements in the tire under light exposure. So you can look cool and be safe when the sun starts to go down.
The Kenda Alluvium is a fantastic tire option for anyone looking to ride/race gravel in the dry to moist weather. The tread is predictable and does not fall off in corners like other designs in this space. The puncture protection is supreme, and during our review, I never experienced a flat – even though many questionable trips to though rocky singletrack. For anyone looking for a race day tire that you can train on – the Kenda Alluviums are a great option. The price is right on target, and they are available at many bike shops around the US.
Learn more about gravel tires and other gravel tech on our gravel forum.
For more information check out Kendatires.com.