Monday, November 11, 2013 12.00pm
By James Costley-White
Kenda claim the Honey Badger Pro tyre excels everywhere but in thick mud. We set out to find out whether it was a bad-ass as its notoriously vicious namesake.
We set it up tubeless on our first attempt with just a track pump, and it blows up much larger than its 2.2in tag would suggest.
At 740g, it's heavier than fast-rolling trail rivals such as the Continental X-King and Maxxis Crossmark, but more than capable of taking some all-mountain/enduro abuse.
The HB's softer-compound side knobs and rounded profile give more grip in the corners than the look might suggest. The low-profile, widely spaced tread provides minimal braking grip however, and lever pressure that would have other tyres biting sends the Badger sliding, making loose turns an initially nerve-wracking experience.
Muddy descents are a deathgrip slide rather than a controlled ride, though that's to be expected given the shallow tread.
Once you've learned to be cautious with your braking, the low profile gives a definite speed boost, with the large volume helping to smooth out roots and soak up trail chatter – and it takes big hits and rock garden pinballing without flinching.
In this 26in size, the lack of grip in slippery conditions means we'll save it for drier use, but we've heard good things about 650B (27.5in) and 29er Honey Badgers, where the longer contact patch improves traction in the wet.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
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