Sorry for the delay. It's been a couple of crazy days at work. I would've edited my first post with the review but due to the delay it is no longer an option. Anyway, here goes...
These are the easiest tire I’ve ever mounted. Where the WTB Weirwolf (WW), on a Sun Singletrack, took a lever just to mount and two to remove I was able to mount the Blue Groove (BG) by hand and needed a lever only to start removal. Mounted the tires are well proportioned between width, which according to Shiggy is larger than it’s stated 2.35, and height and the profile has a nice soft radius. Maybe a couple of sidewall pics are in order. As you grab the tire it is immediately evident this isn’t your typical rubber compound as it is tacky and “Stick-E” to the touch.
Because I pinch flat frequently I started with 55 psi, and lowered it by ~2 psi ever mile or so until I got my first pinch flat at ~38 psi, not sure how accurate my gauge is on my Crank Bros pump, so I bumped it back up to 40 psi, this time with my Silca, and have yet to pinch flat including last weekend’s Gooseberry Mesa ride. Though I’m sure it will happen just as long as it’s not with any great regularity. At 40 psi I was able to feel some additional traction qualities that the Nevegal (NV) didn’t express with the higher pressures, as well as the obvious shock absorption associated with lower pressures.
Up front, I like the round profile of the BG particularly on hard pack and slickrock, where the WW has a tendency to crawl and wander when cornered with its tall, square and staggered edge. The BG however didn’t inspire the confidence the Weirwolf does in extremely loose trail conditions due mainly to it’s blocky shallower tread pattern and the lack of the aforementioned pronounced edge, so the two will find near equal time on my Spot. In the rear, the NV provided ample traction particularly on loose climbs with its aggressive tread pattern, typically hooking up where the Sturdy would break loose.
As far as the Stick-E rubber, it’s difficult to know if the additional traction is more a result of the associated coefficient of friction or the tread patter. I assume, at least for my dry trail conditions, the tread has the larger impact. The Stick-E rubber did however provide some interesting characteristics. Where other tires had a tendency to slip, spit off, and stumble on angled and off-cambered rocks, roots and whatnot the Kendas would hold a straight line and crawl up and over stuff, particularly at the lower psi. Overall I liked the characteristics of the Stick-E rubber, but will hold judgment until I can see how many miles to expect out of a set to determine if the additional benefits warrant the expense.
As far as rolling resistance, I’ve watched several threads and posts in Turner and Wheels and Tires discuss this with association to the Stick-E rubber and the aggressive tread pattern of the NV. While I found it to be perceivable on the pavement and also on smoother hard-packed sections of trail, particularly while climbing, it was diminutive enough to allow the positive attributes of both the Stick-E rubber and the NV’s tread pattern to erase any concern.
Overall the Kenda combo is a winner and, unless premature wear is an issue, will find more time on my bike than any other tire combo. Individually, the NV will stay on for the long haul, only coming off for predominately slickrock trails, with the BG resigning duty to the WW for loose trail conditions.