• Sidewalls are a touch thin
• No 29er version available
• Good traction
• Impressive tread design
• Surprisingly fast
Kenda makes a lot of tires, covering
automobiles to bicycles, with countless
hours in research and design. Tires like the
Nevegal and Small Block Eights developed
cult followings among riders and are still
seen on the trail. Kenda has been hard at
work developing new treads for the modern
trail rider, like the Hellkat. We put these
aggressive all-mountain tires to the test on
our local trails to see how rowdy they
Tech info: The Hellkat is a burly
all-mountain tread with a very aggressive
profile. Kenda uses tall, sturdy shoulder
knobs for more bite in corners and stability
at high speeds. These shoulder knobs are
generously spaced to shed mud in wet
conditions and have modest
sipes for added traction.
Down the center are
series of treads to allow for more speed but
also control and grip.
Kenda offers the Hellkat in a wire or
folding bead depending on just how rowdy
riders want to get. The Pro series that we
tested uses a folding bead and Kenda’s
RSR dual-layer compound that allows for
more grip and increases the tread life.
These tires are tubeless-ready and only
come in a 27.5-inch diameter for now.
Retail price is set at $75 per tire.
On the trail: The Hellkat is a surprisingly light tire considering that it leans towards
more technical riding. Our test tires came
in at 852 grams per tire for the 2.4-inch
width. We mounted the Hellkats on the
front and rear to get an idea for how they
KENDA HELLKAT PRO
handled. Some riders may want to pair
these with the Helldiver in the rear for a
little extra speed. We seated the tires with
ease on a pair of WTB Ci31 rims.
Once on the trail we found that the
Hellkats offered plenty of traction, even
on our loose hardpack terrain. With front
pressures ranging from 23–27 psi, we
didn’t feel that the tires were squirrely or
unpredictable at high speeds. These tires
shined in the corners, with the stout shoulder knobs offering us endless amounts of
traction in tight corners and switchbacks.
On the rear, the Hellkat offered consistent
braking performance and grabbed the
trail effortlessly when climbing up steep
or loose terrain. Our test riders were
impressed at just how quickly these tires
rolled given the amount of tread they had.
One of our only concerns is the sidewall
thickness. Given that these are considered
an all-mountain tire, we would expect
them to be a touch thicker. For now, Kenda
doesn’t offer the Hellkat in a 29er version,
but hopefully they will come around for
the big-wheeled rippers out there.
The Hellkats are a solid option
for all-mountain riders looking
for an aggressive tread that
still rolls quickly.;❏