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Drop deep w/ new Kenda Hellkat Pro, Helldiver Pro tubeless-ready DH mountain bike tires

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Kenda Hellkat and Helldiver advanced folding bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tires

The new Kenda Hellkat and Helldiver Pro downhill mountain bike tires were developed for World Cup racing under the UR Racing Team, which includes medalists Mick and Tracy Hannah. The line gets the full knobbed, wire bead Hellkat shown above, and a faster rolling option for the rear in a quasi-semi slick, folding bead in the Helldiver.

Several new casing technologies were created for these tires, all bundled up as a system called AGC (Advanced Gravity Casing). Drop in for the details and knob designs…

AGC is made up of KVS (Kenda Vector Shield), ICB (Iron Cloak Belt) and 20mm Apex.

KVS is a woven sheet of aramid fibers on the sidewall that makes it extremely cut resistant compared to standard reinforcement materials, but also much lighter…about 200g lighter than normal dual-ply DH casings. ICB a different type of aramid belt that runs under the tread to reduce punctures.

The 20mm Apex is a taller version of their rigid rubber insert that wraps around the bead to reduce pinch flats and air burps when run tubeless. Combined, not only do these three features protect the tire, but they allow you to run lower tire pressures for better traction without worrying about the tire feeling too mushy. KVS, in particular, maintains sidewall stiffness.

On the outside, they get a new RSR (Race Stick-E Rubber) dual rubber compound that puts a softer, slower rebounding rubber where it meets the ground and a firmer standard rubber underneath to help hold its shape.

kenda hellkat advanced wire bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

kenda hellkat advanced wire bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

The Hellkat Pro is a 27.5×2.4 wire bead tire with 60tpi casing. Abundant siping and biting edges claim to provide solid braking, and a double-ramped leading edge on the center knobs reduces rolling resistance.

kenda hellkat advanced wire bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

The side knobs get progressive siping to control grip as you lean the tire further, and buttressing on the outer edges supports them while minimizing weight.

kenda hellkat and helldiver dh mountain bike tire actual weights

In fact, weight was a key consideration with the overall design. Our Hellkat test samples came in at 1220g and 1210g, pretty good for a wire bead downhill tire. The folding bead Helldiver (also 27.5×2.4) came in at 950g.

Claimed weights are 1170g +/-59g for Hellkat Pro, and 972g +/-49g for Helldiver Pro.

kenda helldiver advanced folding bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

kenda helldiver advanced folding bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

The Helldiver Pro looks to us like a rear-only application, but Kenda’s calling it a “versatile…lightweight gravity tire for dry conditions”. Center knobs are tightly spaced, slightly ramped and the closest middle ones use a tie bar to connect them for stronger braking. Siping appears every other row in the center to blend fast rolling with good traction.

kenda helldiver advanced folding bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

kenda helldiver advanced folding bead tubeless ready downhill mountain bike tire

Side knobs are much more aggressive, with a staggered setup to engage and hold at multiple lean angles. The Helldiver Pro gets the same AGC features as the Hellkat Pro.

Both the wire and folding bead tires are tubeless ready, saving even more weight over a traditional DH setup since you won’t need a heavy duty tube…which should also provide more system suppleness for better traction. Pricing is $85 for Helldiver, $80 for Hellkat, and the folding version in a month irndmso for $85. Available at retail in the USA second week of May. Kenda says enduro versions of these are in the works, too.

KendaTire.com

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ascarlarkinyar
ascarlarkinyar
5 years ago

All downhill riders will be 29ers this year. How are they supposed to sell tires if they are the wrong tire size?

dirtybird
dirtybird
5 years ago
Reply to  ascarlarkinyar

**correction** top dh pro’s will be on 29″ this year hence kenda will have at least a season or two to sell off their 27.5″ dh tires…

mr. serious
mr. serious
5 years ago
Reply to  dirtybird

hahahaha! well done sir.

monkeycyclist
monkeycyclist
5 years ago

kenda has always been about 2 seasons behind the game. Continental and others always beat them to the punch.

tyreguy
5 years ago

Check the Lourdes results. Alexandre Fayolle 1st Elite Men’s, Tracey Hannah 2nd Elite Women’s, both on Hellkats.

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