Remember the Kenda Nevegal, the de facto, grippy tire of a decade ago? Kenda wanted to get back to its glory years of aggressive all-mountain and down tires so they undertook an intensive R&D effort and recruited one of the best riders around, Aaron Gwin to help perfect the tire. We got our hands on the Pinner tire and put it through its paces in the last month.
The tire comes in both 29er and 27.5 sizes with a true 2.4 in width. We tested both the AGC (Gravity) and ATC (Trail) casings. The AGC is much heavier and armored tire with less sidewall compliance, built to get the downhill racer down the mountain with tires fully inflated. The ATC is a lighter tire with a more compliant sidewall, still protected and ready for all-mountain duties and Enduro racing.
How does it ride?
We’ve had the tire a for a few weeks now and have about a dozen rides on them now. The first impression was, “Wow, it’s easy to ride.” It feels instantly familiar and quite secure. In fact, we’ve had a few riders jump on this bike, without telling them about these new tires and they rode confidently and they didn’t miss a beat compared to their normal, aggressive all-mountain tire, usually a Minion or a Butcher. It’s easy to feel comfortable with this tire.
Two key assets of good tires are “consistent’ and “communicative” and these Pinners seem to have both.
The tires have grip and support and they seem to have it on all corners of the tread pattern. They don’t seem to have any dead spots where the tires dip or wallow as the grip is transferred from one set of knobs to the other. This is key since the rider is able to build trust with the tire and is able to work with it and progress. The relationship between rider and tire is typically a bond that grows with each corner and each ride. And it doesn’t matter if the rider is a novice learner or a legendary downhiller. Both will be exploring the limits of grip, each at their own speed and riding style. The Pinner has good bite and grip at the limit and the getting there and leaning is fairly uneventful.
The other good quality to have in a tire is for it to be communicative and deliver feedback to the rider. The Pinner seems to do this well as it will give some gradual and incremental slip at the limits of cornering. This has been very handy for us since conditions in Norther Ca have transitioned from “hero dirt” where one can do no wrong, to loose surprises around some bends as the moisture is sucked out of the ground by the changing seasons. The Pinner has been good at letting us know that it’s starting to slip and it’s time to adjust one’s speed and/or riding position.
Two other qualities are worth mentioning. One is they seem to roll quite well. We put them initially on the front only since it looked like a slow, blocky tread pattern. But on the rear, it rolled quite well, noticeably better than the Minion DHR.
The other good quality is air sealing and flat protection. These tires hold air very well and we did not flat at all! This is one area where the Minion really disappoints us they seem to flat all the time for us, more than other tires we use in the 900-gram range.
So color us impressed so far as these tires seem to do everything well. Corner, roll, brake and keep air. We’ll definitely keep them on the primary bike all season to learn more about them. They seem to strike that sought after balance of trustworthiness in corners, rolling resistance, flat protection and tire wear. We can’t wait for this to be offered in more tire sizes as well.
The Pinner Pro is available in a single 2.4in width but in two sizes: either 27.5 or 29in.
Pinner Pro ATC 29in x 2.4in: $79.95
Pinner Pro AGC 29in x 2.4in: $84.95
Pinner Pro ATC 650b x 2.4in: $79.95
Pinner Pro AGC 650b x 2.4in: $84.95
For more information: kendatire.com