Back in the day, Kenda made tires with colored casings (I remember red, blue and yellow. The casing was just colored under the tread, as I recall, and the sidewalls were black. The interesting thing was, the tread was clear. Sorta clear. Like those ‘clear’ braces that just made it obvious how much plaque Stephan had. Kenda was known to consumers as a cheapo brand. But bike industry folks knew that Kenda secretly made lots of high end tires for other brands.
Although the clear tires went the way of Crystal Pepsi, Kenda finally made it mainstream and became ‘legit’ in the minds of consumers around 2003-5. Don’t quote me on that number. It’s all vague to me, but I remember ditching my very shitty Michelin green semi slicks for some Kenda Karma tires and being blown away. They were fast AND grippy. In retrospect, that was probably because it was around the time that tire makers started to introduce silica to the rubber, and suddenly you could have your cake and shred on it as well. Or something.
Point is, Kenda has kept making good tires, and luckily stopped naming every tire with a K. The Karma, the K-rad, Klimax, Konniption Fit, Konundrum, K-hole, etc.
Kenda tires continue to be relatively affordable, compared to a Schwalbe or a Maxxis, but they are high quality, and you shouldn’t think budget brand any more. To be fair, they do make affordable cheapie tires still, but if it’s above 50 bucks, it’s in the same quality realm as a Maxxis, at least.
Enough fiddle faddle. The Kenda Booster is a mid plus plus minus tire, at 27.5 x 2.8 or 29 x 2.6. Some folks say that’s the Goldilocks size, but I say Goldilocks was an asshole. The tread on the Booster is low, which means less squirm on hard surfaces. It’s not a loam tire, it’s a ATB / XC / ultra gravel tire. Good for ye old bike packing, ‘trail’ riding, Gorey Hollowsing. If you like to get sendy mc gnar gnar, put a tire insert in there, to protect the rim.
Put these in the same mental bucket as WTB Ranger tires. Ideal for a go fast Tanglefoot Moonshiner or a maxed out Hardtack
SCT for sidewall protection, TR without.
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