Five-time overall UCI World Cup Downhill champion, Aaron Gwin, is known to be very particular when it comes to the product he runs on his race bike. Just as his titles go to show, he’s out to win, and that’s exactly what he’s hoping these new Pinner tyres from Kenda will help him do.
Whether we’ll get to see him in action between the tapes in 2020 is a different story, though. Racing or not, you can now treat yourself to some Gwin approved rubber.
Kenda Pinner Pro details
First and foremost, you need to know that the new Pinner is designed for dry conditions, and Kenda says it was inspired by tracks including Leogang in Austria and Lenzerheide in Switzerland, which both have their fair share of high-speed hardpack sections topped with loose dirt and gravel.
For those familiar with the wide variety of different rubber available from popular brands, it shouldn’t take too long to spot how similar the Pinner Pro tread pattern is to some of the big hitters out there.
For us, the Pinner Pro looks like the lovechild of a Maxxis Minion DHF and Specialized Butcher, which is certainly no bad thing.
While the rectangular central tread blocks look similar if a little more closely spaced than the DHF’s, the shoulder tread does look very much like that of the Butcher, though both the central and shoulder treads feature different siping (the small cuts in the tops of the tread blocks to better tune the dynamics of the tyre).
Kenda claims these hardpack specialists offer a consistent patch when the bike is leant over, which, in theory, should mean you’ve got a nice, predictable drift, as opposed to a tyre that will grip then suddenly lose traction and break away quickly, causing you to crash.
Kenda Pinner Pro compound
As it stands, Kenda is only offering the Pinner Pro in either its AGC (Advanced Gravity Casing) or ATC (Advanced Trail Casing) casings, but we expect to see them being offered in their AEC (Advanced Enduro Casing) soon enough. That means rubber compounds vary too.
The full-on, downhill-inspired Pinner Pro AGC uses a dual-layer rubber compound. That means Kenda has used a firmer base rubber in a bid to better support the tyre knobs before covering it with a softer, tackier rubber compound for the best possible traction possible.
When it comes to the trail-focused Pinner Pros, Kenda opted to use a dual compound (not dual layer). That means while the central tread is made from a firmer rubber to reduce rolling resistance, the shoulder tread is constructed from softer rubber to aid cornering traction.
Kenda claims that the new Pinner Pro in the AGC casing has 16 per cent less rolling resistance than its HellKat AGC tyre.
Kenda Pinner Pro construction
As already mentioned, Kenda is currently offering the Pinner Pro in two casing options.
The AGC casing, designed to stand up to the rigours of downhill racing, is the heavier of the two (our 29 x 2.4in sample weighs in at 1,290g) and features a strip of Kenda Vector Shield (KVS) – a lightweight woven aramid material, which is incorporated underneath the tyre tread.
There’s also a 20mm apex along the bead, which Kenda claims helps prevent pinch flats and burping.
The ATC offering is lighter (we don’t have a sample to weigh, but Kenda claims it’s 997g in the 29 x 2.4in sizing) and uses a layer of Kenda’s SCT (Sidewall Casing Technology), which is said to better resist cuts and abrasions to the sidewalls.
Then there’s the K-Armor belt under the tread. Kenda claims K-Armor allows it to use a tighter weave and less rubber, resulting in a lighter tyre that’ll still conform and mould to the trail, but is tough enough to resist punctures.
Kenda Pinner Pro sizing and pricing
The Pinner Pro is available in a single 2.4in width but in two sizes: either 650b or 29in.
- Pinner Pro ATC 29in x 2.4in: £60/€57.90
- Pinner Pro AGC 29in x 2.4in: £60/€59.90
- Pinner Pro ATC 650b x 2.4in: £60/€57.90
- Pinner Pro AGC 650b x 2.4in: £60/€59.90
We’ll have a full review once we’re allowed to get out testing in the not too distant future.