Kenda’s evergreen Nevegal has received a welcome upgrade to bring it right up to date. The biggest difference for riders who see Kenda and think ‘pinch puncture’ is the new SCT (Sealant Compatible Technology) carcass. Thicker walls make for a tougher, rock shrugging performance in previous Kenda-killing areas we test in, so you can ride it as hard as you’d hope for a 2.35in tyre.
The relatively shallow depth (50.5mm) means your rims potentially take more of a beating, but it’s generously broad (55.5mm) so stability is good, particularly on similarly wide rims. The higher thread count structure means it rides smoothly at all pressures despite the tougher build and shallow depth. It blows up tubeless easily on tighter rims (Stan’s, Bontrager, WTB, Mavic) though baggy fit can be a sealing issue on SRAM wheels.
The extra strength/sealing brings weight up to 790g but that’s offset on the trail by slightly shallower, more obviously sloped main tread lugs for less mechanical drag, so it doesn’t feel sluggish. A rounder profile with smaller side knobs means it rolls into and out of turns faster. The dual compound rubber is a balanced blend of centre speed and shoulder stick.
As you’d expect that means a little less grip in soggy off-piste conditions but it’s still got predictable, controllable slide that’s well suited to mixed groomed and grotty trail centre work all year round. It’s still well priced, cementing a subtle but significant change from ‘why would you?’ to ‘why would you take it off?’
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.