Kenda Kountach tyre review£29.99

Puncture-resistant racing clincher

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The Kountach from Kenda is a performance-focused clincher road tyre that aims to provide a complete package of low-rolling resistance, low weight, confident cornering grip and reliable puncture protection. All these qualities often don’t go hand in hand, but Kenda – a brand not well known for its road tyres – has done a good job of finding a balance, at a reasonable price.

The Kountach uses Kenda's R2C dual compound construction: a softer rubber (featuring a textured surface) is used on the sides for increased cornering traction, while a harder, smoother rubber in the centre aims to provide faster rolling, improved durability and greater cut resistance.

A small ridge between the two compounds takes some getting used to, but this proved to be a non-issue once we learned to trust the tyre. The cornering traction is confident and only on the wettest of roads did we feel the tyre’s limits: compared with the popular Continental GP4000S, the Kountach doesn’t feel quite as secure.

The dual rubber compound, dual tread pattern provides a solid balance of cornering grip and fast rolling with respectable wear life : the dual rubber compound, dual tread pattern provides a solid balance of cornering grip and fast rolling with respectable wear life
The dual rubber compound, dual tread pattern provides a solid balance of cornering grip and fast rolling with respectable wear life : the dual rubber compound, dual tread pattern provides a solid balance of cornering grip and fast rolling with respectable wear life

There is a slight ridge between the two compounds – although in practice it doesn't create any handling issues

With a 120TPI (threads per inch) casing, the ride quality is reasonably supple and further assists the smooth centre tread to create a fast-rolling tyre.

Sitting beneath the top tread is Kenda’s Iron Cloak Belt – a lightweight puncture protection layer. As with similar race tyres, this puncture protection is kept light by just protecting the treaded part and leaving the sidewall fairly vulnerable. While not exactly a definitive test, we didn’t get any punctures during our testing, even after purposely taking on a few high-speed pothole rollovers and glass-strewn commuting roads.

We tested the 700 x 23c version, which holds true to its claimed size. At 201g (193g claimed), the Kountach is at a respectable weight given the puncture resistant belt.

While secure, the bead isn’t overly tight and so installing and removing the tyre is done without hassle – this is a positive as replacing a punctured tube in a hurry is kept simple.

David Rome

Editor, Australia
Having worked full-time within the cycling industry since 2006, Dave is a former editor of BikeRadar Australia. Riding and racing mountain, road and 'cross for over a decade, Dave's passion lies in the sport's technical aspects, and his tool collection is a true sign of that.
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 89cm / 35in
  • Discipline: Mountain, road and cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Fast and flowing singletrack with the occasional air is the dream. Also happy chasing tarmac bends.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 27.5, SwiftCarbon Detritovore, Salsa Chilli Con Crosso
  • Dream Bike: Custom Independent Fabrications titanium, SRAM Etap and Enve wheels/cockpit
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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