What do you look for in a set of tyres for your gravity bike? For me, I consider a number of factors. How does it grip under unpredictable conditions? Dusty and loose, sticky and wet and muddy. You need something that is willing to roll comfortably and grab when you need it to. I compete in Downhill and so I’m really looking for something that supports pace and helps me get back up to speed quickly, but at the same time grabs on the corners and in bumpy braking situations. The tyre also needs to be tough and withstand sharp rocks that may damage and pierce the sidewalls of the tyre. And it needs to last. Sometimes tyres that are nice and gripping, wear fast and you’re up for another set of tyres.
My personal choice of tyres are from KENDA. I run the KENDA Hellkat Pro 27.5×2.4 AGC with Wire bead. In the interest of full transparency and honesty, I am sponsored by Kenda, but let me say that I am honestly recommending KENDA because they are awesome, not because they support me. I used KENDA tyres for the 2019 season and they were exceptional. I had more grip on cornering and found that I could corner at even higher speeds confidently. They also wore out slower than other brands that I have used. I also had a couple of races where lots of my friends were getting their tyres slashed from the rocky conditions, but the KENDA Hellkat’s resisted the harsh treatment. Don’t just take my recommendation, the Intense Factory Racing team with Aaron Gwin are running them!
Here’s the technical data about the Hellkat Pro’s that I run. I have opted for the Advanced Gravity Casing (AGC) which includes 3 pieces of KVC embedded into the tyre wall. This is why I don’t get cut and punctures in the tyre walls. The tyre is built with a dual-layer of RSR (Race Stick-E Rubber). The top layer is soft and the bottom layer is stiff. This combination gives better traction and control and lasts longer. The tread pattern includes large knobs on the outer edge for grip on the corners and a 2 knob/3 knob alternating pattern that enables better rolling, balanced with improved control and grip on flat surfaces. These tyres install and setup in a tubeless format fairly easy. They pop onto the rim on the first try and seal perfectly.
Next time you’re in the market for tyres for your gravity bike, give the Kenda’s a try. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Pushys Online has the full range at the lowest prices!
By Jordan Holzworth – Pushys sponsored athlete