Kenda Karma 29er Tire

4.04/5 (23 Reviews)
Weight : 526 grams MSRP : $34.99


  • Store Price

Product Description

The Kenda Karma has been a longTime favorite.The Karma features small, square, low profile knobs.ThisTire can be used as either a front or rearTire in almost any condition. This version ofThe Karma features an upscale version ofThe L3R rubber blend used for performance motorcycleTires. WithThe L3R Plus you’ll enjoy longerTread life, and a lighterTire Intended Use: Mountain Weight:  29x 2.2”: 780 +/- 40g Folding Bead


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Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tigris99

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2014

Strengths:    Decent tread wear, good predictable traction (once you get right air pressure). 1.9 version good rolling resitance. 1.9 is also very light.

Weaknesses:    2.2 version is a tad heavy, slow rolling. Sidewalls a bit thin (on 1.9 version)

Bottom Line:   
I own both 1.9 and 2.2 versions. Only because I sliced sidewall on rear 1.9 so thought I would give 2.2s a try. 2.2 front is great on everything ive ridden, hell 1.9 was pretty good too. Need to get your pressures right though, takes a couple trys but very nice ride and traction. Found 1.9 rear (best rolling resistance and lightest weight) mixed with 2.2 version upfront is awesome for an all around tire. I went this route for that, because 2 areas I ride differ alot, locally well groomed hardpack with roots, few rocks etc thrown in. Then I go to STL for visit wifes family, and found trails that are much more rocky (some areas have large chunked rock fire roads to get fomr one loop to another) so something that could handle whatever I rode being a noobish rider is what I needed. And other than the thin sidewalls on 1.9 version, these tires do very well.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jkrispies a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2012

Strengths:    Can't beat the price, especially for this great of a tire.
Barely there weight.


Weaknesses:    Doesn't shine in the loose stuff, particularly when turning. Also, not the best when it comes to rolling resistance; however, if 90% of your riding is on hardpack-that-isn't-superhard and you never hit the loose stuff, then this is your tire.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great tire that verges on an "all-arounder" but not 100%. The spacing of the center nubs is just far enough apart that it rolls decently on hardpack and asphalt but doesn't quite make into my definition of having "low rolling resistance". Furthemore, when the sand gets soft, this just sloshes around, particularly because the side knobs aren't extremely aggressive. (Note: I don't generally ride in mud or on roots, so I won't speak much to those conditions other than to say that when I have encountered them, these tires didn't do great but I didn't eat it either.) After about 1200 miles the rear tire was pretty well worn (I'm on a hardtail, about 220 lbs with gear) whereas the front was still looking good enough to last through another round or two of Stan's. Only one flat encountered while running tubeless and that was my fault for letting the Stan's run dry; lot's of opportunities to slash the sidewalls on sharp rocks but the've held up perfectly well. To the credit of these Kenda's, I recently put about 50 miles on a demo bike with some Racing Ralphs, and these Kenda's performed almost exactly the same to my feel... except the Ralphs had very little rolling resistance compared to the Karmas. Given the fact that the Ralph's cost 3x the amount of the Kendas, if I were a racer I'd strongly consider running Kendas front and back for practice and conditioning, then swapping out to Ralphs on race day. Since I want something with less rolling resistance and more aggressive side knobs, I just put the good Karma on my rear and am giving a Specialized Captain a try up front. I suspect that this will be a good combo. Will review the Captain in about four months, which is when I figure my Karma will be about on it's last leg, the Stan's will need to be refreshed, and I'll be deciding whether or not to purchase another Karma for the rear, or double up on the Captains... or something else.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1200ish Miles

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Fast Trak
Racing Ralphs


Bike Setup:   Hardtail

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sjur

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2012

Strengths:    Use as front on my mostercross

Easy to set up tubeless, yup......No fiddling. Less leaking than a well know tubeless ready German manufacture @ twice the price.

Compared to many other light weight tires, the traction is good and it really doesn't wear out faster than others in that league.


Weaknesses:    As all lighter tires...wears out fast and traction could be better

Bottom Line:   
Big bang for the buck

Mine scaled from 502-512 grams
Used ~60 ml of stans with a teaspoon of micro glass balloons.
Blew right up to 5 bars (70psi) and stayed there (for testing, not riding)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by leoferus a Cross Country Rider from Wilmington, DE - USA

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2011

Strengths:    Fast rolling. Good grip on most surfaces. Good volume.

Weaknesses:    Poor traction on wet rocks, but they aren't designed for that. Not meant for use with Stans.

Bottom Line:   
I am 230 pounds and with tubes, the Karmas did not offer the traction I needed. However, once they were converted to tubeless they were glued. I dropped the pressures to 28F/32R and I'm on rails! I know that these tires are not meant for use with sealants but I had to try. I'll post again in the future if they come apart.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Snow Goose

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   Came with the bike.

Similar Products Used:   Slant Six and Small Block Eight.

Bike Setup:   2011 GT Zaskar Expert 29er: Reba RL, Formula RX brakes, DT Swiss wheels.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by stevonutria a Cross Country Rider from austin, tx, usa

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2011

Strengths:    tires roll great but i have gotten a flat all three times I have ridden on them and I use tuffy's!! The Specialized tires I had on before did not do this. I have removed these tires and I urge everyone else not to buy Kenda tires period. I just wasted my money. S.

Weaknesses:    gets flats easy even with tuffys

Bottom Line:   
Crappy tires. DO NOT BUY KENDAS.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all around

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $67.00

Purchased At:   online

Bike Setup:   Specialized m24 29er.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Puzman a Weekend Warrior from Durham, CT

Date Reviewed: April 29, 2011

Strengths:    VERY fast-rolling tire, great traction, comfy ride.

Weaknesses:    None yet...

Bottom Line:   
SUPER impressed by these tires. By way of comparison, the grip and ride comfort are on par with Maxxis High-Rollers I've used in the past, but without the feeling that you're pedaling through wet cement. These tires roll VERY fast, shed mud easily (shallow tread), and have phenomenal grip.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   came stock on bike

Similar Products Used:   Many, many tires used, though this is my first 29er tire.

Bike Setup:   GT Zaskar 29er

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob Walker a Racer from Tustin, CA

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2011

Strengths:    Using on the rear only (1.90) with a Bontrager Jones XR 2.25 up front. Fast rolling, grippy in the corners, excellent climbing and braking capabilities. Conditions here are hard pack, loose over hardpack,loose rock and sandy areas. Steep climbs and fast descents, I like to ride hard and fast. Tire has handled everything great so far. Had no problem setting up tubeless on Stans Crest rims with Stans sealant. Beaded up and sealed right up, no air or sealant leakage after 4 hard rides.

Weaknesses:    None yet, haven't tried up front yet, will probably go with the higher volume 2.2 when I do.

Bottom Line:   
So far, so good. Have friends running Racing Ralphs, but just couldn't justify the cost. This appears to be a comparable tire at a much lower cost. Have seen some reviewers say they had trouble setting up tubeless. It is critical that you set them up right the first time. Bead up tire to rim with compressed air and inject sealant through the stem. Hold tire with both hands, rotate and shake tire hard to get sealant into beads. Lay on plastic bucket on one side for 1/2 hour and flip and lay on other side for 1/2 hour. If you do this it should seal up the sidewalls and bead and you should have no problems.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Chutes at Santiago Oaks

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Sea Otter

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Captain 1.9, Specialized S-Works LK 1.9

Bike Setup:   Jet 9, All XO, Reba, Crest wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cheesehead a Cross Country Rider from newbury park, california

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2010

Strengths:    grip, cornering, and speed

Weaknesses:    having to pump air in before every ride. but no big deal, it's just part of checking the bike over before i ride.

Bottom Line:   
I am surprised about these tires so far. I am 185/190lbs give or take. I ride hard, I don't pick lines and the tires do very wel. I have them set up tubeless, and pump them up around 28psi front, and rear, and they corner great, climb really fast. I like them as much as my Racing Ralphs, but alot less.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   dry ones

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   race event

Similar Products Used:   a bunch of other tires

Bike Setup:   jabber SS flows rims 1.9 front, and rear

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ebart a Racer from Michigan

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2010

Strengths:    Light, corners well in sand, fast on all hard stuff.

Weaknesses:    Hard to go tubeless with. Took me a couple tries to keep air on Stan's Crest wheels. I believe it is due to the very porous side walls.

Bottom Line:   
I was skeptical to take this out onto the trail, especially since I had a hard time getting it to take air on a tubeless setup. Michigan is sand, tree roots and hard pack with leaves in the fall. It did surprisingly well. I put it on the front with a small block eight in the rear and rode it on a very hilly course with lots of sand and off camber single track. I had no problems with slipping in corners, loosing air or lose of traction. Rode extremely fast on the hard pack dirt. Only drawback was very porous sidewalls that had a hard time taking air. Does not inspire confidence in the tire on race day.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $38.00

Purchased At:   Freewheeler

Similar Products Used:   Small block eights. Michelin XC AT, Hutchinson Python Air light

Bike Setup:   2010 Jade "THIS" 29

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by RochesterMTB a Weekend Warrior from Rochester, NY USA

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2010

Strengths:    Light weight, fast rolling

Weaknesses:    Poor traction, wears fast, sketchy tubless set-up, thin sidewalls

Bottom Line:   
For racing on dry hardpack these tires will do fine. If you ride any loose stuff or have steep climbs with rocks and roots you are going to hate these tires. If the rocks & roots are wet at all, you might as well get off and walk.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one without climbs!

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Came with bike

Similar Products Used:   Nevegul

Bike Setup:   2010 GT Sensor 9r, getto tubeless

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fire-dog a Cross Country Rider from New Hampshire

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2010

Strengths:    All conditions Grip, never clogged with mud, low rolling resistance

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
While initially skeptical, with use I could not fault these tires, they always exceeded my expectations. They rolled better on the road than I expected. They never let go on the trail, they never clogged with mud. I ran them at about 25-30 psi. I never had a puncture either. I'm considering putting them on my new bike as it came with Kenda small 8's.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All of Them

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Came with Bike

Similar Products Used:   Kenda small 8's

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dragon 1x9 rigid.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dion a Cross Country Rider from San Jose, Ca.

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2010

Strengths:    Light weight

Weaknesses:    Poor traction, wears fast, sketchy tubless set-up

Bottom Line:   
I've had these tires for about 6 months and were purchased for the initial build of my bike. I bought them because I want to save as much weight as possible, but I've come to realize that weight savings may need to be traded off for some durability.

For the terrain I ride in (mostly dry and rocky) these did not last very long. Granted, I ride about 5-10 miles on pavement to-and-from the trails, so that may have something to do with it. They do not work well in the loose dust, but found no problem with them in the damp forest.

I converted them to tubeless and I just don't trust the sidewalls (they sound like fingers rubbing over a balloon when I drag them on rocks).

These may be okay for a lightweight race bike for certain conditions and a certain rider weight. But for me - I'm going to sacrifice some weight savings and go with a beefier tire.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Teresa County Park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Nevegals

Bike Setup:   On-One Inbred 29'er SS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 1W1085 a Weekend Warrior from Cornelius, NC

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2010

Strengths:    Sticks in turns very well and it's fast

Weaknesses:    not sure, if any

Bottom Line:   
I rode this tire this weekend at White Water with 28lbs front & 30 lbs back, and the bike flew and stuck whenever needed. They never showed any signs of washing or rolling at all, no slippage climbing steep twisty turns. Yesterday I rode LNSP trails and dropped the front pressure 2 lbs since it was wetter conditions - again, never a slip, wash or roll even at high speeds or on wet roots/rocks. Can't help but wonder how the DTC would be (presumably even better??

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Nat'l White Water Center - Charlotte

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   BSG LKN

Similar Products Used:   Nevegals, Panaracer XC Fire Pro

Bike Setup:   Giant XTC 29/2 stock - same tires F&B

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by drjboggs a Cross Country Rider from Hickory, NC, USA

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2009

Strengths:    Grippy, light and smooth rolling

Weaknesses:    Possibly durability.

Bottom Line:   
This is a good tire for me. Lighter weight on a 29er goes a long way, and these tires have more bite than you would think.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   21 Jump Street

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Hawley

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Jones

Bike Setup:   Jet 9, XO, Reba race.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Steve a Cross Country Rider from Oceanside CA. USA

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2008

Strengths:    light rolls fast on the right terrain.

Weaknesses:    pinch flat when riding @35psi,riding 40 now. thin side wall does not hook up well on the rear of a SS, front washes out in sand wash

Bottom Line:   
I wasted my money. taking them off after only three rides I think this would be a great commuter tire or race tire on a manicured track but not in the real world of riding.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Sir niner with mavic 29er wheels and the rest of the bike parts to be able to ride

Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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