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Kenda Cortez L3R Pro Tire

4.11/5 (9 Reviews)

Product Description

The Cortez Feature Kenda's new L3R Pro compound that increases tread life, reduces rolling resistance and improves grip. The low profile knobs let this tire roll ultra fast in dry conditions. The lightweight casing keeps this high volume tire at a respectable weight. 700g

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Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Roger Palmer a Cross Country Rider from Tampa, Florida USA

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2007

Strengths:    Very Fast rolling for a big tire, big air volume, more like a 2.5, soft riding, predictable in sand, good one speed rear tire. Great hard pack tire.

Weaknesses:    Slows fast in deep sand, square up right knobs bleed off momentum in deep soft stuff, kills float. Tends to pack up with mud, like other square knob tires, in the tire center area and not release.

Bottom Line:   
I built this ride for SAND. The cortez rolls up to speed FAST, predictable on a mix of surfaces, and runs very soft on sharp hits. In this drought, it is a pure sugar sand world. Corners very well when leaned in dry sandy single track with a berm. The side knobs do the job, ok in sand over hard, but slows and loses mo very VERY fast when the bike is up right in the DEEP sand box stuff. Does not fish tail badly, but float is offset by the friction, tire shape, and the way it paddles sand in the center section. The smaller lighter, Conti vertical floats and tracks like a bullet at speed in the sugar. but rolls MUCH slower on everything else than the Cortez. The Cortez rolls faster than a 2.4 moto. Fast BIG tire for a big hit one speed rear, on any dry surface except the real deep stuff. Evil for sticky mud or limerock. I find the Cortez to be surprisingly fast with great carry on a hard trail. A little like a more burly Crossmark. Mud its dangerous.

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Favorite Trail:   Morris Bridge, Trout Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $24.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   Crow, Panaracer razor 2.3 motoraptor 2.4, conti vertical, Weirwolf race 2.4, WTB weirwolf 2.55 LT 29er, Maxis crossmark 29er, others.

Bike Setup:   One speed sand bike, 69er, Yakusa Aniki freeride frame, voodoo zombie 29er fork, WTB dual duty 29er rim up front, hayes, 36-17 with Pauls tensioner, pure dry season sand bike beater with WTB LT 2.55 29er on front, Kenda Cortez and many others tried on rear, running Stans, 30lbs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rocko a Cross Country Rider from Wisconsin

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2006

Strengths:    Large volume casing
Decent weight
Great grip on dry hardpack

Weaknesses:    No traction in sand or wet soil

Bottom Line:   
For its intended purpose, dry hardpack, this tire rocks. It rolls well and grips unbelievably in turns. I'm running a 2.4 Cortez in front, and I'm taking corners faster than I previously realized I could. This tire has been a real confidence builder on dry days at the local singletrack.

The relatively large-volume casing also allows me to run a lower psi and soften up my ride, so my rigid fork doesn't beat me up too hard. A big tire up front is nice. Not having to pay a huge weight penalty is great (my Cortez weighs in at 692 grams).

Unfortunately, this is not the tire for someone looking for an all-arounder. In the sand it washes out almost instantly. And when the trails get a little wet, watch out---gentle turns cause the Cortez to react like it's on glare ice. The treads really pack up. But that's not what this tire is designed for anyway.

I can't give it 5 chile because it won't hold it's own at all through brief sections of sand and is impossible to even attempt to turn in damp soil.

But I will give it 4 Chiles, because it performs excellently in its intended conditions. Another great tire from Kenda.

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Favorite Trail:   Lowes Creek Co Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $22.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Blue Groove, Klaw, Intense System 3

Bike Setup:   Gunnar Ruffian singlespeed with rigid Vicious fork, Stans ZTR 355 rims, Paul WORD and FHub hubs

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Earthpig from SW Idaho

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2006

Strengths:    Low rolling resistance
Good "pure hardpack" traction
Decent wear
Light weight

Weaknesses:    Non-directional tread
Gap between center knobs and outside knobs = instability
Too round of a profile
Poor high speed cornering performance in most conditions
Poor traction for out of the saddle climbing

Bottom Line:   
This is a review for the 2.4 Cortez in the DTC compound. The Cortez is a very "condition-specific" tire that works great on a single soil condition (hardpack) and pretty poorly elsewhere. I bought these tires in hopes of finding a good all-rounder for use on everything from sand to soft and rocky (but dry) to loose over hardpack to straight hardpack. I found them to be fantastic hardpack/slickrock tires and pretty sub-par for other trail conditions. Very lightweight for a 2.4 tire and very fast rolling. They were great for the hardpack in/around Fruita. That said, I do 95% of my riding in SW Idaho, mostly Boise, McCall and surrounding areas, where the primary soil conditions range from decomposed granite to loose over hardpack to some softer loamier dirt around McCall. The tire has too round of a profile to effectively bite hard in corners in loose over hardpack, and the knobs are too short for good loose dirt traction. Plus, there is a very wide gap between the center knobs and the outside knobs, where the tire will grip, then lose traction, and then maybe grip again as you lean the bike into a turn. Very off-putting feeling. The non-directional tread gave a very vague steering response as a front tire, and as a rear tire the short knobbies would not grip a thing on loose over hardpack if you tried to stand up and climb. I considered keeping these tires for the occasional trip to Fruita and Moab, but the MutanoRaptor has more grip and rolls faster for those conditions. Bottom line - get the Cortez if you ride exclusively on dry hardpack. Otherwise, get something else.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   Mtn High Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   2.4 MutanoRaptor, 2.3 Vertical Pro, 2.35 Blue Groove, 2.35 Nevegal, 2.25 Trailbear, 2.4 Big Betty, 2.4 Fire FR, 2.3 Weirwolf

Bike Setup:   '04 Ventana X-5, 6" rockers, '04 Zoke Z1 FR, DT 5.1d rims on Hope Pro II hubs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rod Munch a Cross Country Rider from Santa Rosa, Ca

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2006

Strengths:    Amazing grip for its speed & weight. Knobs are small but not weak-kneed like the overly-siped Mibro, a tire in the same class. (I ride NorCal rocks and hardpack- the Mibro may fare better in loamy dirt... but what tire doesn't)

Weaknesses:    Doesn't have the ultimate grip of the Blue Groove. Small knobs may wear quickly - I'll find out

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 2.2 DTC Cortez. I'm always looking for a fast, tractable XC tire and am very happy with the Cortez. I rarely find much "magic" in MTB tires- if you want a faster rolling tire, you have to give up traction, and vice versa. But the Cortez gives me a worry free level of grip while rolling very fast- I'm still smiling from this evening's ride. Kenda is on a major roll- the Nevegal gets all the hype but I'm a Blue Groove and Cortez fan. Thanks Tomes!

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Favorite Trail:   Lawndale

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $38.00

Purchased At:   Universal Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Blue Groove Stick-E 2.1, IRC Mibro & Mythos, Hutchinson Scorpion & Python, truckload of others in the past 18 years

Bike Setup:   Hammerhead 100X w/Fox F100RLC & Float ProPedal, XTR/XT, Magura Martas & Pro XC wheelset, Fizik Gobi.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Nat a Cross Country Rider from san rafael, ca

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2005

Strengths:    fairly light for a 2.4, rolls fast, works well for intended purpose (dry conditions). No visible tread wear in 4 months of use.

Weaknesses:    not a year-round tire, but it's not supposed to be. not cheap.

Bottom Line:   
this tire works well in a variety of conditions--rocky/loose/hardpack--provided that the trail is dry. Predictable steering and traction up and down. The cortez has a very round tread profile compared to other tires I've had and lacks the cornering bite of some other tires with more aggressive side knobs in loamy, soft dirt. I wanted a large volume, fast rolling tire for summer and I'm happy with these--not blown away--but content.

I should mention that during a spring trip to oregon where the trails were soft and wet, I thought I'd see just how bad these tires would handle. Not only did they not work very well, they were downright dangerous. They packed-up with mud instantly, and essentially became slicks. After a harrowing 10 mile descent in wet conditions, I felt lucky to be alive and changed tires that night.

So, when kenda says "dry conditions," they mean it.
Bottom line is they work for their intended purpose, just don't try to use 'em year-round unless you live in the desert.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   $45/ea.

Similar Products Used:   wtb motoraptor 2.4, tioga dh 2.3, irc mythos,

Bike Setup:   ventana el salt/pike 5.5 inches front/rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tony a Cross Country Rider from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2005

Strengths:    * Low rolling resistance
* Very predictable
* Light for a wide tire
* Relatively durable

Weaknesses:    * Not a Freeride Tire
* Sketchy in the wet
* Pinch flats when in the rear with <40 PSI

Bottom Line:   
I like these tires for XC on fireroads and sandy hardpack. Very good tire for the faster trails in Colorado Front Range (Heil Ranch, Pine Valley Ranch, etc.)

Not good for truly hardcore stuff since the L3R compound is fast rebounding and it bounces around a little too much in rockgardens (Carnage Canyon / Coney Flats Road).

This is an easy tire to live with unless you ride wet roots and rocks. In those cases I prefer a truly sticky tire like the Nevegal or Blue Groove StickE.

I prefer this tire to the WTB MutanoRaptor for similar terrain. It rolls about as well but is better in mixed gravel/sand.

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   * Geax Sturdy 2.25
* WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4

Bike Setup:   Titus Switchblade 5.7"
Rock Shox Pike 5.5"
40psi for aggro XC
50psi for marathon XC style riding

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by goldrush a Cross Country Rider from Lewisville, Tx

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2005

Strengths:    Nice and wide, floats well over rocks and roots. Rolls fast. Not heavy for a tire this size

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
Love the feel of these over rocks and roots. Because of the big volume of the tire I run lower tire pressure, the cushy ride feels good to the old bones. They hook up well in the loose sandstone areas we have around this area as well as the loamy soil of the deep woods. I've also get good wear from the Kendas, I used to get only one season on the Fire XC Pros....... but hey they were cheap.

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Favorite Trail:   Johnson Branch

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Hammerhead Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Panaracer Fire XC Pros, IRC Mythos XC, Specialized Roll X Pro

Bike Setup:   04 Stumpjumper Expert Disc, Velocity VCX rims on WTB Lazerdisc hubs, XT cassette, Eggbeater pedals, Stans tubeless system

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rocker1 a Cross Country Rider from Ventura, CA

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2004

Strengths:    Rolls fast for a big tire, good grip, predictable handling. Big volume allows me to run low pressure without pinch flats.

Weaknesses:    Not as controllable in really deep soft sand or ash as I thought it would be.

Bottom Line:   
Works well in hardpack/rocky conditions. Ok in sand/loose stuff but not exceptional. Gives warning then breaks loose predictably. It will recover if I do my part. If not I have time to hit the ejection button. Large size lets me lock out the fork for most rocky climbs while the tire does the cushoning. Can't do this as much with a smaller tire. Not as grippy as a 2.1 nevegal I tried in the front but it's a harder (longer wearing) material and not the sticky-E. Overall it does what it's supposed to do.

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Favorite Trail:   dirty ones

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $22.00

Purchased At:   bike show

Similar Products Used:   mythos (scary), nevegals, continental explorers.

Bike Setup:   1 frame, 1 handlebar, 2 wheels.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Theodore Jump a Cross Country Rider from Austin, TX

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2004

Strengths:    Excellent air volume, light for the size ( really closer to 600g ), solid all-around no-surprise performance, good treadwear

Weaknesses:    Nasty clay-type mud will pack up; Tire is WIIIIDE - wider than a MotoRaptor 2.4 by a few mm so be warned.

Bottom Line:   
Solid all around tire with an excellent balance of weight, traction, flotation, and rock handling capability.

I was initially skeptical about long term treadwear, but I've gotten more than 1200 miles of riding and haven't lost a knob. I've nearly worn the tires into semi-slicks, but no problems.

Tires have done surprisingly well in all conditions from Jan 1 thru July 1, rain, dry, rock, hardpack, loam, pavement, etc.

Very good general purpose tire. Good for XC and FR applications.

I paid $50 for the pair, which is excellent.

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Favorite Trail:   City Park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Hammerhead Bikes

Similar Products Used:   WTB MutanoRaptor 2.4, MotoRaptor 2.4, 2.1, Geax Sturdy 2.25, Conti Survival 2.3, more than I remember

Bike Setup:   Titus QuasiMoto, Mavic F219 32h rims, more metal, rubber, and carbon bits.

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

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