Kenda Karma 29er Tire

Available At:

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

User Reviews (27)

Showing 1-10 of 27  
hobbes7869   Weekend Warrior [Jan 10, 2015]
Strength:

Climbing, wear resistance, snow, price

Weakness:

None as of yet

Bought one to try since I had shredded my previous Bontrager on a ride. Bike is a 29'er HT. Got it at close out pricing from my LBS, 16 bucks. I run the 1.90 on my rear and a 2.35 Bontrager up front. This thing can climb and hook up to the trail. I ride almost exclusively single track during Spring Summer and Fall. Even on damp surfaces this just does not break loose on a tough gnarly climb. I run 35-40 PSI and have been impressed. During the winter thus far, I have taken it out on several snow rides both single track and through parks (grass and such). Works great in snow as well, Only on the steepest climbs up a grassy hill in the snow did it finally fail and break loose. But the hill might even stop a fat bike, so won't take anything off for not climbing a steep hill in the snow. It is actually crazy how this tire works in snow. Even at MSRP it is a great deal, but if you can find it on sale at the LBS, the value is incredible.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
William Gregory   Cross Country Rider [Oct 15, 2014]
Strength:

Great tire for both cross country and urban landscapes. I have been using the 29x2.2 foldable Karma for about half a year now. Have not had a chance to use it in the snow or real rough and muddy terrain. I am using the Karma Pro as a front tire because it offers great cornering stability. It makes my 29er feel like a young bull, capable of taking on whatever I've thrown at it up until now. It takes on the more difficult slick roots and grass with ease while also maintaining proper grip.
The foldable tire is about 100g lighter than the wire bead which really makes a difference only when using the Karma in a race/competition.
The L3R Pro compound used in the middle makes it very sturdy and the wear after 6 months is minimal (if any) and superficial. The Stick-E compound on the tire sides makes for a very bearing tire, a strength that allows the rider to attacking those corners at speeds at which other tires would loose grip. A great feat for a ~30$ tire, wouldn't you say?

Weakness:

So, why not reward this tire with all 5 chillis in the overall dept.? Well, no tire is perfect (*tongue-in-cheek) and the Karma lacks a bit in the acceleration dept. To be fair, it's not a tire build (just) for speed. This is the reason I have resorted to using it on the front only. I use a lower resistance tire for the back.
That being said, I totally recommend using this tire on both front and back for rough terrain as it provides exceptional grip and bearing. It is just that I also use my bike mainly on a combination of tarmac and asphalt and require something with less rolling resistance on the back for faster acceleration and maintaining the momentum.

The Karmas came stock on my 29er and at first I didn't like them that much. The thread pattern seemed simple and crude. However, after a short while, I came to see first hand what a fantastically versatile and rugged contender this tire really is. Be careful how you mount them; they do have a rolling direction even though it is tricky to figure out.
Didn't get a chance to use them in the snow but they do a great job of gripping on wet tarmac/asphalt and on the occasional muddy trail. They clean themselves remarkably well and give a reassuring feeling especially when cornering at speed. I run them with Kenda tubes and, so far (*knocks on wood), no flats or similar misgivings.
Would recommend them to anyone looking for a versatile rugged tire on a budget that can handle both urban and xc race type environments. The Dual Thread Compound technology works as advertised and makes the tire handle most any riding situation with haste and confidence.
The wire bead variant is about 25$ locally which is a great buy for a tire that beats twice as expensive Contis and whatnot.
Get this tire! You can't possibly regret it.

Similar Products Used: Kenda Small Block 8s
Continental Race Kings
CSTs
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
bkr0067   [Jun 29, 2014]
Strength:

I RIDE EVERYTHING ROCKS ROOTS LOOSE DIRT HARD PACK AND THEY HOOK UP, WHAT TIRE DOES HOOK UP ON WET ROOTS AND SLIMY ROCKS WITH SLANT SIX ON THE FRONT I USE THEM EVERYDAY RIDING AND TO RACE ON WET OR DRY CONDITIONS THEY WORK SINGLE SPEED HARDTAIL FULL SUPENSION

Weakness:

NONE

HAVE ALWAYS RAN TUBLESS WITH STANS, NO PROBLEM SETTING UP TUBLESS . THIS IS FOR THE 1.9 KRAMA AND RUNNING IT ON THE REAR ... 180# RIDER

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
DPTGernert   Racer [May 17, 2014]
Strength:

When I first started riding MTB, I asked a good friend what he would recommend for a tire to try. Without hesitation, he told me to put these tires on my bike. I did and I've been very happy with them ever since. Riding in western PA and north central WV, I run into a variety of terrain, trail conditions, and obstacles. Riding my Karmas, I know I don't l know I have a reliable, dependable, and affordable tire that I can rely on to get me through the day. Thanks for the reccomendation JR!

Weakness:

There's a lot of rolling resistance when riding on pavement, but hey, that's why I own 4 road bikes for anyways.

Yes, there are faster, lighter, or cheaper tires on the market. But if you want a tire to cover all trail conditions at an affordable cost, consider the Karmas. I'm glad they were recommended to me three years ago.

Similar Products Used: Slant Sixes
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tigris99   [Apr 04, 2014]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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
4
Available At:
jkrispies   Cross Country Rider [Nov 03, 2012]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Specialized Fast Trak
Racing Ralphs
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
sjur   [Jul 16, 2012]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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
leoferus   Cross Country Rider [Nov 20, 2011]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Slant Six and Small Block Eight.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
stevonutria   Cross Country Rider [Jun 02, 2011]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

gets flats easy even with tuffys

Crappy tires. DO NOT BUY KENDAS.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Puzman   Weekend Warrior [Apr 29, 2011]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

None yet...

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.

Similar Products Used: Many, many tires used, though this is my first 29er tire.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 27  

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