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Kenda Small Block Eight Tire

4.14/5 (124 Reviews)
MSRP : $24.98

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Product Description

The Small Block Eight DTC 2.1 is an excellent hard pack XC race tire 8 Nevegal shaped but smaller knobs across the tire for better 'bite'. DTC - Dual Tread Compound offers cornering grip with faster center line acceleration. One of the fastest rolling tires in the Kenda Premium line.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (124 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JS

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2015

Strengths:    Fast
Very fast
Terrain Variety
To soon to tell about durability but I did run over some cactus without flatting.

Weaknesses:    Doesn't have the tough look you might like a mtb tire to have.

Bottom Line:   
I have been very surprised by this tire to say the least. I bought two virtually unused 2.1 SB8's off Craigslist a couple months ago for $5 and they have been sitting in my shed unused until a few days ago because I figured their performance would be as marginal as they look.

Finally, after reading some mixed reviews I reluctantly decided to give one a try as a rear tire. Wow! Have I been surprised. I expected a speed increase in the hardpack over the very aggressive rear tire I have been using, and the speed increase was instantly huge in all terrain. What really surprised me is that the traction is just as good if not better than my aggressive tire in a wide variety of terrains. Including hardpack, loose/sand over hardpack, sand up to and inch deep, rock gardens, and slick rock, among others. I have even encountered some mud and melting snow, neither of which slowed me down more that they would have my more aggressive tire. The only place I noticed a slight decrease in performance was descending a steep cobble type rock garden. The tire locked up easily and did little to reduce speed in the golf ball to baseball sized rocks, but those type of conditions are rare enough that I don't care. Not only has my speed dramatically increased and traction remained, but my bike handling was instantly improved with this tire as well. It is easier to transition from side to side with this tire than a tire with large knobs. Changing directions and lean angles is much quicker and less cumbersome. I haven't tried the SB8 on the front yet, but one of these days I probably will. Though I am still a bit hesitant to give up the aggressive tire on the front end.

Awesome tire, I will buy again, at least for a rear. I have to wonder how it is that some reviewers are unsatisfied with the grip of the tire, and I wonder if it is mainly the front end that they are having a hard time with. Maybe they are running the pressure to high. I have been running mine just a bit under 30 PSI, and still have plenty of speed and don't feel I am even close to pinch flatting.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Colorado Front Range trails

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Blitztorm a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2014

Strengths:    Only good on Hardpack as a REAR tyre.

Weaknesses:    Fragile, and anything else beside the strengths

Bottom Line:   
I did some reading and then decided to get it for my rear wheel replacement of Maxxis Ignitor (which come with my bike), set it up and went to a local trail. I could only say it is good on hardpack and okay with small loose rocks... super slippery in wet. i am 180, 75kg, bike is 2013 custom built Focus Raven.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Ian a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2014

Strengths:    Straight Lines, Hard Packed, Durability

Weaknesses:    Anything not listed in strengths

Bottom Line:   
If you have to commute to a trailhead on the regular these are fantastic. Rolling resistance is nill on the tarmac and they're a x-country riders dream on hard packed soil.

Unfortunately less than optimal conditions mean it's time for a tyre swap. They're not designed to deal with loose condition and clog immediately with whatever you've thrown at them. Sand and other dry loose conditions drag these down quickly.

The final tidbit I found with this particular tyre was the bead comes a bit loose around the rims under heavy breaking and often slips just slightly pulling tubes and tape with them. Resulted in a lot of presto valves getting clipped, but 3 years later I won't shed any tears on a $52 tyre.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Upper Don

Duration Product Used:   3 years

Price Paid:    $52.00

Purchased At:   Sporting Life

Similar Products Used:   Michelin XCR Dry
Maxxis High Roller
Specialized "The Captain"
Kenda Nevegal

Bike Setup:   '04 RMB Vertex
'02 Stumpjumper FSR

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Xmessenger a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2014

Strengths:    These are great tires lying for what they were made for: mild XC race course in dry conditions, cycling paths, hard surfaces such as rock. In these conditions they have a great balance of low rolling resistance, lightweight and grip.

Weaknesses:    Loose conditions, mud and weak sidewalls. Definitely better as a rear tire than front due to lack of serious side knobs and round profile.

Bottom Line:   
If you are a Xc racer on typical groomed courses these are great. They are also perfect for the commuter on both Road and bike paths for the same reasons as the racer, they are easy to maintain speed and grip well in ideal conditions. They could be a great trail tire for the summer as a rear tire as they due grip well so long as the surface isn't mobile itself.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   South Ridge/Daves line at the "Dump"

Duration Product Used:   Several months

Purchased At:   BD

Similar Products Used:   I've used all kinds of tires including slicks like Gatorskins, Tom slicks, City Slickers and treads like Smoke and Dart to old Specialised Ground Control to Maxxis beaver, Schwalbe Rocket Ron and Continental Mountain King2.

Bike Setup:   Motobecane fly ti 29er.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2014

Strengths:    Very reasonable price for what you get
quick-rolling on hardpacked earth & pavement

Weaknesses:    Poor mud/snow clearance, strictly a fair-weather tire

Bottom Line:   
Great hardpack tire, especially for your typical midwestern singletrack. Fast-rolling on hard dirt surfaces, and doesn't handle too bad in loamy/sandy mixed surfaces either. Decent on pavement, very little vibration but a good amount of noise.

Handles about as well as you might expect in sand and downed leaves (poorly).

However, the short and closely packed tread pattern that make these tires good on the hard stuff makes for a tire that turns into ball bearings in the mud and snow, where frequent washouts occur if mounted on the front wheel as these tires do not shed mud or snow well. Reccomend a tire with a more aggressive tread in front paired with a SB8 on the rear.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Holly Mtn Bike Area - West Loop

Duration Product Used:   250 miles

Bike Setup:   hardtail 29er

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by olineman a Racer

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2013

Strengths:    Very fast tires, seem to be durable

Weaknesses:    Like many of the other reviews here state if it is anything other than hard solid ground you will have a lot of slippage.

Bottom Line:   
These came stock on the last bike that I bought and I have a couple of dozen solid rides on them. I am an aggressive rider that has become used to cornering hard and climbing without the rear wheel slipping out from under me. These tires have started to change that. If you are used to sticky tires these will shake your confidence. I like the speed but cant live with the lack of grip.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cameron Park

Duration Product Used:   8 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Similar Products Used:   Panaracer Fire XC Pros, Kenda Nevegal

Bike Setup:   Motobecane Fly Team 29 Ti

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by GaryM a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2013

Strengths:    I am a 215 lb. recreational XC rider. The 2.1 tire works well in the dry hard pack and also as a commuter on the rear. The jury is still out on the front tire performance. The performance in the wet is unknown. Works well with the Notubes conversion on Mavic rims. Seems to wear well on the rear. These are fast tires, noticeably faster than Panaracer Fire XCs they replaced.

Weaknesses:    A bit pricey.

Bottom Line:   
For dry hard pack and commuting they are thumbs up, at least on the rear.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Panaracer Fire XC. Bulldogs.

Bike Setup:   2004 Giant NRS.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by CoBo a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2013

Strengths:    Fast rolling!!!! durable and usually can find it at a great price.

Weaknesses:    Limited application: It is a rear tire only and best suited for dry condiitons.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great rear tire for dry conditions or racing. I have used this tire for the last three years and when it is paired with a Kenda Nevegal up front it is a great combination. The tire does have its limits and I will remove it when I am doing runs at the ski resort or conditions require more traction. If you need more speed and condition are dry and fast it is a rear tire.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   LBS & Online

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by mingo loco a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2013

Strengths:    Very low resistance, a good option if you want to use your mtb to commute in cities or avoid the shame of having slicks in a great mtb.

Weaknesses:    Grip on rear is a problem in anything different than dry hard soil
Grip on front : do not use it unless you drive on tar or dry clean tracks

Bottom Line:   
I got this tire in my new 29er and would never pay $58 for it...
I am shocked to see the overall rating for this tire as 4.19... it gave me good bruises and frustrated climbs during summer in Australia... I can't see me using it during winter over roots.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by DoubleJ a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2012

Strengths:    I have read and heard good things about these tires a bike shop in Denver recommened that I use them for the trail I frequent.That being said I would never use this on the front. Seams to be ok in the rear but not great.

Weaknesses:    This is the absoulte worst front tire I have used. The small blocks continually slide out. These tires caused me to crash going downhill where I have been riding for 5 years without any issues. I continue to feel the front sliding out every time I ride and will be replacing these tire in the next week.

Bottom Line:   

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Falcon trail.

Purchased At:   Price Point

Similar Products Used:   kenda navagal, maxis, cheepy tires.

Bike Setup:   Sette Pro

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Franzis a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2012

Strengths:    Good grip on a wide variety of surfaces. Smooth rolling

Weaknesses:    Front sidewall is soft, keep the pressure high. Poor in sand, but who rides a lot of snad anyway/ Cautious conrnering if you are a bigger/heavier rider. 200lbs

Bottom Line:   
Bought these as an an all-rounder tire. I use them to commute on path, and trail ride. They are very efficient rolling tires and grip remarkabley well considering the knob size. A tad pricey retail but if you want one tire that can do a lot they are not a bad option. For serious, and dedicated off-road use I would at least switch the front tire back to my Tioga Factory 2.3.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   one year

Price Paid:    $43.00

Purchased At:   Jensen online

Bike Setup:   Hard tail Kona kula

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rich a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2012

Strengths:    Not as terrible as I feared

Weaknesses:    If you are in anything besides hardpack, you will experience some slippage

Bottom Line:   
Very light tire, runs fast. But in the trails around my place you gotta have a little more grip!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Cormac a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2012

Strengths:    Excellent grip on hard pack, low rolling resistance.

Weaknesses:    Terrible in mud and even worse in sand

Bottom Line:   
I can't comment on weight since I have nothing to compare this too. They came with my bike, so not sure on the value thing. But for what they do they do well! Still I'd imagine you could pick up a better tire for the price point.

That said, 99% of the single track near me is hard pack and these tires allow you to corner as if on rails. They do just as well laid into a corner as they do standing upright going down the trail. You can lay it over pretty far before breaking loose. Fast rolling and quiet. Even on asphalt.

Other than dry and hard dirt...they are no good. They don't shed mud at all. Rather they hang on to it and what you end up with is essentially a racing slick. So as you ride further in muddy conditions they just get worse. If your careful you'll be fine riding this way unless it's the soft sloppy mud, then you'll be all over the place. As for sand they act like they have a mind of their own. You have a plan for making it through a sandy area, they have other plans.

Climbing is just fine. Like I say if it's dry and packed you'll fly uphill. Careful on technical stuff both up, down and flat, the rear tends to spin out on roots especially wet roots. From what I can tell they do fine on rocks.

All things considered they are a good tire. I could see buying these tires again once they wear out. But I'm gonna look for something a little more suited to all around conditions first. If I find nothing I'll pick up a pair of these again.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rum Village

Purchased At:   Spin Zone

Bike Setup:   Cannondale Trail SL4 29er SS

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

Date Reviewed: May 8, 2012

Strengths:    Great tire for XC or every day trail (dirt) use... enough nub to get a grip in wet/muddy spots, but not so much that you have to fight the tire if you have pavement transitions here and there.

Weaknesses:    It's a great tire, but kind of expensive for what it is... the price point should probably be closer to 40 dollars.

Bottom Line:   
Great tire for everyday use, but at a steep price. It has plenty of grab in wet grass, mud, loose gravel or other things you might encounter on your commute, but not so much that it will fight you too hard on pavement. It seems (so far) to not be wearing out too fast either.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Three Sisters

Price Paid:    $52.00

Purchased At:   Incline Mountain Spo

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Slant Six

Bike Setup:   Diamondback Mission 1 frame, fox rp32 rear, I forget what mavic wheels I have. :(

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Biggups a Downhiller from NYC

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2012

Strengths:    Large casing gives great balance, good tread profile for cornering and wall rides, rolls very fast and quiet, smooth predictable grip from the sticky outer treads. Excellent rear tire for racing, or blazing the streets or dirt jumps.

Weaknesses:    rough loose terrain or loose rocks is too much for these little treads. not for dh riding or tech rock decents. Wet conditions capable but not great, specially sketchy in the wet roots. Using it for a front tire in those conditions is dangerous but you can get away with it in rear with nevgal up front.

Bottom Line:   
These are very versatile tires that grip in tons of different conditions. I originally purchased one for a rear tire on a slopestyle bike. After seeing the increase in speed and how good it is for dirt jumping I purchased another couple. Sometimes I put them on my all mountain bike and do xc. They have been tested in every condition from sand to snow. When the snow is hardpack/ice these are surprisingly good tires. In the dirt the can do it all but you have to know their limits. Can't hang the bike sideways thru rocks or anything but they soo light just jump over them. Durability was good considering the massive beatdown I put on them and still have alot of life left. Even when most the middle tread is gone now you have a semi slick rocket tire. Of corse they great in hardpack dirt and jump parks etc. The fact that soo many xc riders using them confirms how fast they are. The roadies get nervous when they see me pull up with the small blocks on. Then go blast some dirt jumps because the low profile tread gives you the ultimate boost of the lip.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   upstate

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   us open

Similar Products Used:   Tabletops, holy rollers, high roller, minion, nevgal, k rads, h factor

Bike Setup:   I used the small blocks on slopestyle setups and all mountain. Seen them used on hardtails recently and even 20" peeps like them.

Reviews 1 - 15 (124 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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

Maxxis Holy Roller, Schwalbe Table Top, Kenda Small Block Eight

Hi, I can't decide which tire to choose from these three. So, I've been thinking what is the most important for me on these tires and I decided it's the rolling resistance. Can anyone with a experience of riding all three of these tell me which one has the lowest rolling resistance. It would be ev ... Read More »

Kenda small block eight tires

will these tires not do good in wet conditions??I mean im not going to ride in the rain or anything.I ride alot early in the morns so the dew you know will have the ground somewhat wet so will these be ok??Thanks!!:thumbsup:Read More »

Kenda Small Block Eight Reviews

Anyone riding/ridden these ? On my new bike. Very dry up here in Maine this June. [IMG]http://cdn.mos.bikeradar.com/images/bikes-and-gear/bikes/mountain/1243350426335-12xz284zp6qe9-500-90-500-70.jpg[/IMG]Read More »

Fast rolling high volume tire comparable to Small Block Eight

So I recently got hooked up with a Small Block Eight 2.35 and a Maxxis Advantage 2.4 to try out. I am really loving this combo but I'm so happy with the small block eight in the rear that I'm thinking I'd like to try something similar up front. I'm a little leary of putting an SB8 on the front bec ... Read More »

k-rad vs small block eight

I ride 70% road 30% hardpack trails. I'm trying to buy and all rounder and keep the weight down. I like the K-rad 2.1 better, I think it will do betteron the kurbs / stairs etc and I think it will do well on the trails too, just wondering if I want all that weight? Anyone ridden similar with them? D ... Read More »

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