Trail bikes are what most avid mountain bikers use the majority of the time. They strike the fleeting balance between climbing and aggressive descending. Likewise, trail tires are what folks use the most for their weekly rides, not necessarily for the chasing uphill KOMS or the rowdiest downhills but for everything else in between.
The Regolith is made to address this segment and it approaches it with a dual-compound tread with an open pattern. The blocks are not very tall but they are well supported and consistent, covering all the tread sections during when leaning the tire. And then it offers the tire in three different casings: light, medium, and burly/e-bike ready. And it offers the tires in a massive array of sizes to address the needs of most riders including 26 and 20 inch riders.
Down-country bikes and Trail bike ready
Perhaps the hottest growing segment of the market is the 120 to 150mm travel bikes with lightweight, progressive geometry that can handle aggressive terrain that most riders encounter regularly. With bikes like The Specialized Epic, Transition Patrol, Fezzari Delano Peak, and Pivot Mach 4, bikes have become more capable without adding too much weight and too much travel.
Sure, one can install the trusty Maxxis Minion, Schwalbe Magic Mary, Kenda Pinner, or Vittoria Mazza to be on the safe side but that kind of rubber comes at a price of rolling resistance and climbing ability. It will definitely affect these bikes and slow them down. Trail bikes are about balance and the Kenda Regolith aims to answer that call.
We received three tires in the 29er size, a 2.2 in light casing, 2.4 in medium, and 2.6 in ebike/enduro casing. Weights were 670, 870, and 950 grams respectively. Width seemed consistent with claims and the tires mounted tubeless with no problems and spun very true.
The design is quite open with a nicely rounded curve profile. Knobs are well supported with directional siping on each one. The only exception is a transition knob that is more widely spaced and leads to the side cornering knobs. There is no front and rear-specific pattern so each tire can serve front or rear duty.
Climbing and cornering
The 670 gram 2.2 tire is pretty darn light so we tried that first. That seemed to be a good match for a lightweight Specialized Epic or Pivot Mach 4 SL. It’s a light tire with decent volume and it’s an excellent front tire with consistent cornering. It brakes well too front and rear with its widely spaced center knobs and the harder of the dual-compound rubber used.
Because the center knob is interrupted or widely-spaced, it’s not the fastest XC tire. But it can be paired with a faster rear tire for speed, with the Regolith taking care of front cornering duties.
We spent time on the 2.4’s and that is the sweet spot tire for our test Delano Peak. It climbed well and was a consistent descender. Braking and climbing were excellent as well in this rig. For blown out and unpredictable summer conditions in our Soquel demo Forest, we would opt for another gnarly All Mountain tire just as an insurance policy.
The Delano Peak by Fezzari is an excellent 135/150mm travel bike with 78-degree seat and 65-degree head angles. We’ve enjoyed it very much but it was shipped with 2.4 Minions that really seemed to slow it down. Sure it was trustworthy in corners but it didn’t seem to strike the balance for us as 3000-foot climbs were quite a chore, similar to our 150/160mm travel bikes. Installing the 2.4 Kenda tires really seemed to wake the bike up on climbs and very tight trails. Descending was still a key strength of the bike with the tires ready for what the bike could handle.
With the open tread pattern, the tires seemed to handle loose gravel-covered trails quite well. we imagine it would shed mud pretty well as well during the rainy season.
We believe this tire is versatile enough to answer most needs and the combination options will expand its abilities even more. 2.2 rear and 2.4 front will serve Down Country and Light Trail bikes quite well. And 2.4 rear and 2.6 front will address aggressive trail bikes and some All-Mountain bikes in most local destinations. And with so many sizing options, this can serve the needs of many riders from kids to 26er riders, e-bikers, Plus bikers, and of course, trail bike riders.
The EMC casing is appropriate for e-bikers with their high mileage, high stress demands on the casing. The only caveat is many e-bikers usually opt for heavier tires with bigger knobs since there is little downside with assist during climbs. As lighter options develop though like the Specialized Levo SL, this will address that need. The good news is this the EMC casing can be used on any bike where flats and tire casing damage are an issue.
Available sizes and prices:
Versatile, all-around mountain bike tire from XC to enduro
Two compound tire: fast-rolling center, grippy side knobs
Offered in three casings: SCT, EMC, TR
An impressive array of size offerings
MSRP: $65 and $75 for SCT and EMC casings
It’s not an XC race tire or and aggressive All Mountain tire. But for everything else in between, it can be a worthy contact point with its good balance of speed, grip and consistency. And with all the sizes and compounds available, it’s easy to create the ideal Regolith combo for your trail bike needs.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Price: $65 to $75
More info: https://shop.kendatire.com/Regolith-Pro-p/214105.htm