Kenda Alluvium Pro Tires: At The Finish

Kenda Alluvium Pro Tires: At The Finish – by Grannygear

The last time I was writing about the Kenda Alluvium Pros I was musing about the ride quality. I was thinking they were a bit on the stiff side, ride quality wise. More on that later.

A bicycle leaning up against a brown highway information sign in a forested setting

But now that I had them back on the Lynskey, and now that I was riding them on my own bike and not on a test rig, I put quite a few more miles on them and have come to some conclusions that I think will stick and stay. 

First of all, I came to really trust the tire’s handling on hard and dry dirt. I never came to feel like I was on the limit with the tires traction wise. At speed on dusty and sun-baked roads, the Alluvium Pros hooked up and tracked really well. Really well. Sand did not seem to bother them much. They had plumped up to over 42mms wide and that was on 21mm rims, so that was a nice footprint. Climbing out of the saddle, even on clay roads with sand on top, they did a good job of hooking up and driving forward. 

Close up of the Kenda Alluvium Pro on a bike in a rural setting

I still was not blown away by the speed they offered but I cannot say they were slow. No, it was just not fast ‘feeling’, for what that is worth. I never could quite figure out what that was about, but I suspect that the stiff casing was dulling things down a bit. 

And that brings me to one of the two biggest negatives for the tire that I experienced. That stiff casing haunted me. I really had to get the tire pressure just right. When I got them to ride really well off road it was low enough to be draggy on the pavement. When I had it zooming along on the road, it was a bit harsh in the dirt. It was a fine line, much finer than I am used to with the other tires I use. 30psi seemed to be about right as a compromise, but still…

Secondly, that stiff casing also seems to make them a bit crotchety, less willing to take a ‘set’ tubeless and on one pair of wheels, even with a 100 psi, full tank-type shop compressor, AND with the valve core out, I almost gave up getting them to catch. I think it was a combo of well dimpled rim tape (at the spoke holes) and the tire resisting ‘puffing up’ and expanding into the rim walls. Dunno. But they vexed me.

At The Finish: Now then. Let’s put some perspective to this because I did like the Alluvium Pros quite a bit. Who would I recommend this tire to? Well, how about a bigger and heavier rider? They would not have to run 45 psi just to keep the rims off the rocks. Or how about a loaded bike such as a bikepacking rig? Or maybe a bike that is ridden 100% off road and in harsh conditions; sharp rocks, etc. There the ability to run lower pressures and remain durable would be a plus. Running these on a 25mm rim at 25psi could be good fun.

A bicycle leaning against a boulder in a rural setting

But I really would like to try these with a good sprinkling of ‘pixie dust’ on them. A dust that would allow the tire to give me a more compliant ride across all conditions. And, if it shaved a bit of weight in the process, even better.

I have never torn a gravel tire’s sidewall. But I have a friend who is always killing tires that way. He tends to ride more MTB type trails then I do, and he pushes things a bit more than I. He probably would do very well with the Kenda Alluvium Pros. I might even give them to him to see how they do.

I’ll give you a comparison, a contrast to the Kendas. I am now riding the new WTB Vulpines in that 36mm size. Now they are also a durable casing type of tire (WTB’s SG2) and they are also much smaller in size, but I have been quite surprised at how much ‘brighter’ they shine on the rides I have done. They are crazy fast feeling on the pavement (they are also a good deal lighter). But the ride quality, even with the reduced air volume (36mm vs 42mm), and at comparable pressure levels, is somehow better on the Vulpines. WTB seems to have been able to keep some liveliness in a tire with an (advertised) tough casing. 

And if they can do it…etc.

For more on the Kenda Alluvium Pro tires see their website here: https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-eu/find-a-tire/bicycle/cyclocross-gravel/alluvium/

Note: The Kenda Alluvium Pro tires were sent to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We are not being bribed, nor paid, for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.

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Author: Grannygear

Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.

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3 thoughts on “Kenda Alluvium Pro Tires: At The Finish

  1. If I am reading this right Grannygear this seems like a mixed review of this tire. Coming from PA. I am still looking for a tire that will work well in sand for some future rides/races in 2022.. From the feedback I am getting most people are saying that a file tread will work better than knobbies. Do you ride in sand and could this tire work well in that or would you suggest a different/better tire for sand?

    Many thanks for any info
    Zman

    1. Larry…The best tire I have sampled in sand has been the WTB Resolute. It just seems to float through and steer well. But I have used fewer tires than Guitar Ted has. He might have a fav tire. Not sure if he gets much sand like I do

      gg

  2. I bought the 35mm Alluvium Pro during the pandemic when I couldn’t find any other tires for those mixed paved/maintained gravel road rides. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked for me; fairly quick on the road, but they also handled everything I threw at them off-road, including the occasional mountain-bikey stuff. To me they seem pretty supple, but I am a heavier rider. The tires also hold up really well. I have never flatted and it’s really hard to wear these things out.

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