Kenda Small Block Eight Tire

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Small Block Eight

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.

User Reviews (127)

Showing 1-10 of 127  
Sean   All Mountain Rider [Apr 14, 2016]
Strength:

Super fast and pretty grippy on hardpack

Weakness:

completely awful in muddy conditions

Came with a Giant I bought.
Very fast on hardpack and tarmac and corners well in dry firm conditions.
In mud it is worse than nothing it does not shed mud well at all and I had so much mud (clayish riverbottom style mud) collect on my front wheel it actually locked it up.
Would be perfect for anyone who ride hardpack.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Ob1Hoagie   All Mountain Rider [Feb 15, 2016]
Strength:

I ONLY use this as a rear tire. This is the BEST rear tire I've ever used for desert riding and I've used a ton of other tires. This tire grips amazingly well on loose over hardback. IF Kenda would wake up and make this tire in a tubeless 29'er size with a 2.4 width they wouldn't be able to produce enough of them to meet the demand !

Weakness:

Don't use as a front tire.
Don't use in anything wet.

Kenda... PLEASE make a 29'er tubeless tire with at least a 2.4 width !!!

Similar Products Used: Too many to mention...
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
rodrigo   Cross Country Rider [Feb 06, 2016]
Strength:

Ultrafast, incredible grip in hardpack, best tire ever

Weakness:

no good for mud

This tire came by default with my Giant and i was reluctant to use because the small knobs. I thought it to be weak and gripless but how far from truth i was. At first i used 1.75 wide for easy terrain, it made me unbeatable at climbing, it is extremely fast with tons of grip but it tends to be snake bited if you go hard (the 1,7 wide). Then i went to 2,1 and 2,35 Incredible at cornering (any tire wide), the small knobs bring a lot of grip and i feel i did not lose speed at climbing and going downhill i can trust it because there are no boundary break points at edges so it will be there when you need it are turning hard. This tyre is light, fast, trustable and tons of grip but not overly. If you are going hard just go wider 2,35. The best tyre i´ve tried so far. Who cares if it doesnt last so long, its cheap. Now i just smile when i see guys with those big knobs tires. I ride for about 40 Km training as fast as i can, hardpack, twisty, fireroads, challenging tracks. Forgot to say SB8 is no good in muddy terrain.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
JS   [Feb 15, 2015]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Blitztorm   Cross Country Rider [Dec 10, 2014]
Strength:

Only good on Hardpack as a REAR tyre.

Weakness:

Fragile, and anything else beside the strengths

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
Available At:
Ian   Cross Country Rider [Jul 26, 2014]
Strength:

Straight Lines, Hard Packed, Durability

Weakness:

Anything not listed in strengths

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.

Similar Products Used: Michelin XCR Dry
Maxxis High Roller
Specialized "The Captain"
Kenda Nevegal
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Xmessenger   Weekend Warrior [Mar 22, 2014]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

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.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Greg   Cross Country Rider [Jan 03, 2014]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
olineman   Racer [Jul 25, 2013]
Strength:

Very fast tires, seem to be durable

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Panaracer Fire XC Pros, Kenda Nevegal
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
GaryM   Cross Country Rider [May 01, 2013]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

A bit pricey.

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

Similar Products Used: Panaracer Fire XC. Bulldogs.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
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