In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best Kenda 26 inch mountain bike tires
Kenda is a legendary tire brand from the early days of mountain biking. They’ve been out of the spotlight for a while, giving the opportunity for other big brands like Maxxis and Continental to take center stage in this highly competitive industry.
But with the introduction of some excellent high-quality tires they forced people to take notice. And the tires that command respect you’ll be able to find here. Mainly their Pro lineup with the Regolith, Booster, and Hellkat are prominently featured.
Should you decide to move more into the gravel space and away from rougher trail riding, they also offer a number of great touring and gravel options for 26 inch wheels.
So here they are, the best Kenda 26 inch mountain bike tires.
The Kenda 3-Sixty is a semi-slick tire meant for slopestyle that also comes in a 26 inch version.
The tire comes in a standard black and a creme tread pattern. But the color isn’t just there for looks, but denotes a difference in functionality. The creme version uses a rubber compound that is ideal for dry condition tracks. While the black tread rubber is the perfect solution for wet conditions.
Kenda Booster Pro
The Kenda Booster Pro is the only 26 inch XC tire on this list that comes in a 2.4 inch width.
It’s unfortunate I don’t have the weight and rolling resistance numbers for that version of the tire.
The knobs are extremely densely packed with 6 in a row, so you know the tire is meant for speed and will lose its grip very fast in wet conditions.
It looks very similar to the Continental Race King RaceSport with its arrowhead like tread pattern, making it ideal for cross country and dirt jumping.
Joe Mackey | Contributor – August 2, 2021
The Boosters are one of the faster tires I’ve used on a gravel bike. While these are some of the best all-around gravel tires I’ve ridden, they did show some feathering on the knobs pretty early on. A large part of this is due to the softer compound, which I would take over less traction any day. All that to say, if you’re shopping for the highest mileage tire possible, this probably won’t be the best option. Overall the Booster Pro is a solid all-rounder with confident traction and support that I would run on just about any style of gravel.
Kenda Hellkat Pro
The only 26 inch option left in Kenda’s lineup for all-round trail, enduro, and downhill purposes.
Unlike other brands like Maxxis, Schwalbe, and Continental, Kenda seems to be moving away from 26 inch tires for their premium lineup. Although an understandable move it’s still a shame. It means that for downhill you’ll have to settle for the Kenda Hellkat over the Kenda Pinner.
Nonetheless the Kenda Hellkat is an impressive offering which propels the brand back among its peers. The Maxxis DHFs and Schwalbe Magic Marys have been at the top of downhill lists for a very long time now, so it’s good to see Kenda taking a shot with this tire that has excellent traction and durability characteristics.
Drew Rohde | Editor in Chief – September 15, 2017
The Hellkats rode very well and changed our mind about Kenda’s mountain bike program. From dry, hard pack terrain to loamy PNW trails, the Hellkats continue to impress. Highlights include: braking performance, rolling speed, longevity and traction. We felt confident pushing our bikes hard into corners as the predictable traction kept us focused on the line ahead. We didn’t find much slimy mud this summer, but imagine the somewhat shorter knob height may not be the best option for wetter conditions. Some riders noticed a little bit of squirm in berms when pressures approached 20-PSI, but for those who ran a bit more air, this was not an issue. At roughly 160-175lbs, our testers found the tires performed best between 24.5 and 28.5-PSI and have quickly become one of our favorites on the trail. If you’re looking for a fast rolling tire that offers impressive traction in drier conditions and has a respectable lifespan, the Hellkats should definitely be on your list.
A good companion for on the road, the Kenda Kranium is a great allround alternative if you mean to take your 26 inch bike in the city rather than in the woods.
The 2.1 inch width fits any mountain bike frame, and the tread pattern is fast-rolling enough for both dry and wet conditions.
Kenda Kwick Drumlin
The Kenda Kwick Drumlin is a tire designed for the long haul. Its ride-anywhere tread pattern is designed to be used on every type of surface. And the deep channeling structure means it’ll inspire confidence under wet circumstances as well.
It’s a heavy tire for the rider who doesn’t want to worry about flats, rather than to cross the finish line first. The tire comes in the standard K-Shield and K-Shield Plus version, with the latter adding a significant amount of extra puncture protection atop a tire already well equipped to be long lasting.
The Kenda Kwick Drumlin is a perfect tire for standard road use and for commuting purposes. If you want to be able to use your bike all year long without worries, this is the tire for you.
Kenda Regolith Pro
The Kenda Regolith Pro is similar to Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic, and as such can be used in combination with the Booster Pro as a front tire.
It’s a very solid allround option, if you want to move your bike into the direction of becoming more sure footed on the trail.
Also coming in a 2.40 inch version it means you can have a low tire pressure, grippy combo to get you through the corners. And you have to worry less when the conditions become more wet and muddy.
Matt Miller | Managing editor – October 4, 2019
I didn’t suffer any punctures or tears of any kind with the Regolith, and the wear life looks great. The photos of the front tire in this article were taken after BCBR, with probably close to 300 miles of riding, if not more. I didn’t run the rear for as long, but the wear life seems similar.
Although the Regolith is billed as a quiver-killing tire that can handle multiple disciplines, I wouldn’t use it for everything. It feels like an aggressive trail tire, and one that can be run as a front in an aggressive-XC race, or as a rear in an enduro. It is however durable, capable, and a great all-around trail tire.
Specifications Kenda 26 inch mountain bike tires
Kenda Booster Pro
Kenda Booster Pro
Kenda Regolith Pro
Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website.