With the lower rolling resistance of modern rubber compounds there is a new breed of wide profile, free-running tyres. While the best known of these is perhaps Schwalbe’s Big Apple (actually a third of an inch wider than the Kommuter), Kenda’s offering in the ‘big, brutal but fast’ world of tyres impressed us just as much as the Big Apples that we’ve tried.
They slipped on the rims nice and easy and felt smooth and fast to ride, given their large proportions (they felt right at about 60psi front and 70psi rear, though rated up to 85psi). If your commuting or touring bike needs to be able to soak up the bumps that bit more, Kommuters would certainly be worth considering if you want to go down the wide profile route. They also feature a sidewall ‘dynamo tread’.
The tyres have a relatively low 60 threads per inch; although lower TPI ratings generally mean more rolling resistance, they should also mean a tougher, harder wearing tyre as the threads used underneath the rubber are thicker. I managed over 2000km of touring on a fully loaded electric bike without a single puncture and with little visible wear to either tread or sidewalls! A ‘clean out’ inspection showed the tyre had absorbed several smallish splinters of glass but none had visibly penetrated the nylon threads underneath the rubber.
While this kind of evidence is always subjective (ill-luck invariably playing a part with getting a puncture in any tyre, no matter how tough), it’s still an impressive feat. It left me wondering who needs the extra weight and drag of more expensive Kevlar belts.