Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mini Review: Komanndo 29er MTB Tire

For the past year I have been riding/testing the Kenda Komanndo cyclocross tire (my current personal favorite for both gravel and cross) so when I saw that Kenda was coming out with a MTB version in a 29er I knew that I wanted to get a set. Specs are 29 x 2.20, 120 TPI, DCT compound, folding bead and 660 gram weight. The tire has ramped center knobs for speed and aggressive knobs for traction. This is a dual direction tire - mount on way for hard pack and the reverse for muddy/wet conditions.

I mounted the Komanndo's on the new Crank Brothers colbalt 2 29er wheelset. The colbalt wheelset is tubeless, but the tire are not. Installation of the tires was very easy. Just add a couple of scoops of Stans and air up. I did notice some leaking around the bead and it took a couple of shakes and flips to seal them up. I would suggest a layer a tape on the rims to tighten the seal.

Overall first impression is I am just as impressed with the MTB version of the Kommando. It is a very meaty tire but also is light. It offers plenty of grip and rolls very well thanks to the ramped center knobs. We tested the tires out on the 2012 Bone Bender 3/6 Hour course, which has a mix of terrain including single track, dirt trails exhibiting rocks, tree roots, creek crossings, loose rocky sections, tight turns, off camber sections, fast flowy trails. In other words the perfect trails :-) The tires offered plenty of grip and gave me confidence to clear some sections that I have never been able to. I was especially impressed with the ability to climb the rocky/rooty sections. The knobs were spaced wide enough to grip the rocks/roots and offer great traction.

A note on air pressure. Kenda recommends a minimum of 40 psi. I was able to run 28 to 32 psi very comfortably and with no issues. I did try to drop down to under 25 psi, but ended up burping the rear tire some and the feel was not good. A quick increase in pressure to above 30 and I was back enjoying the days ride with plenty of traction and speed. I plan to place a layer of tape on my wheels this weekend and again try lower pressure just to see how they feel.

Check back for a long term test and updates.


wdavebike said...

Thanks for the review. Did you experience any issues with the sidewalls?

Chris Locke said...

Funny you ask that question. I did indeed have a small sidewall issue. The Stans sealed it up and I was able to ride on.

During the last mile of the trail I ran over a 1 inch sapling that was cut at a 45 degree angle about 2 inches from the ground. It was located near the edge of the trail and I did not even see it. Still do not know why one would cut the sapling and leave so much exposed.