If you were a young boy in the 80’s chances are you had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on your wall. Taken from an Italian slang, a sort of adult version of ‘Gee Whiz’, Kenda is now borrowing the term, with the Kenda ‘K’ of course, for its latest road tire, the Kountach. As you would expect this is the pinnacle of their tire technology. At 200 grams (+/-10) it’s lighter than the Kaliente Pro but still features Iron Cloak Belt protection directly under the tread. The dual rubber compound is firmer and smooth at the center for straight line performance, while softer, subtly textured shoulders for handling once leaned over. A 120 TPI casing gives the tire a supple feel, while not breaking the bank. The many color options are a nice touch.
While riding on flat roads these tires were some of the fastest tires we've ridden, while also making good on the promise of a supple feel. The center compound did deliver low percieved rolling resistance at all tested PSI's. The wear was also favorable, getting over two thousand miles out of the rear before needing a change. Kenda's unique Iron Cloak Flat protection also lived up to the hype, no flats or cuts for the duration of the testing to report. Coming in at just a hair over 200-grams these tires are plenty light to be used for racing.
Our only concern with the Kenda Kountach came with high speed, technical descending. The transition from the smooth center compound to the textured shoulders takes some getting used to as it changes the tires feel when fully leaned over. We experimented with a couple different PSI's to see if that was the cause, but had the same results. The reason is most likely the aggressive profile of the tire, which helps you flick the bike into a corner, but does require a transition period if you are used to a more progressive profile.
All in all with the speed of the center compound, combined with the long wear and great flat protection, these tires will do the trick for most cyclists looking for a durable, light weight set of tires to train on and even campaign on race day. Just give your self a descent or two before you truly red-line the throttle.
Tested tire: 700x23 Recommended PSI up to 125psi - tested at 120 and 110
Weight: 200g per tire
Features: dual compound, smooth center with slightly textured outer compound for added cornering traction. Also the Iron Cloak Flat protection system from Kenda.
Price: $60 www.kendatire.com