Editor’s Note: Podcast listeners will recognize Uncle Dudley from episode #11 of the RidingGravel.com’s Riding Gravel Radio Ranch. We arranged to get his impressions of the new Kenda Flintridge Pro tires, which are named for the Flint Hills region of Kansas, the place where Uncle Dudley calls home.
Kenda Flintridge Pro: Getting Rolling- by Uncle Dudley
Lately there have been a lot of tires aimed specifically at gravel roads. So many in fact, it’s hard to choose which ones to try. When I heard Kenda’s gravel specific tire was available, and sealant compliant, it was a no brainer for me. In the past, I’ve ridden Kenda’s Happy Medium’s and Small Block Eights. They were fast and pretty tough, but were not sealant compliant and would degrade after a few less than a 1000 miles, running tubeless with Stan’s sealant.
Ahh, the smell of fresh rubber! The Kenda website shows the tires will be available in two sizes, 700×35 and 700×40. My test tires are the 700×40 version with DTC and KSCT. They’re rated for dry pavement, hard pack dry terrain and rough rocky terrain. They feature sidewall to sidewall protection. The stated weight is 515 grams, give or take 26grams. These came in at 477gm and 480gm.
Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get these puppies mounted up. I mounted them tubeless on a set of Bontrager RXL rims, using Bontrager TLR sealant. The Flintridge’s sidewalls are pretty stiff and it made setting them up tubeless super easy. They sat over night before I could ride on them. Overnight air loss was minimal but acceptable. They measure right at 40mm wide on the Bontrager rims. The tire profile appears only slightly rounded across the face.
Riding the pavement on the way to the gravel, these things were almost silent. They excelled and rolled with ease on the hard pack. I was running them at 40p.s.i. They felt fantastic until I hit some fast bumpy descents. The fast descents were a bit brutal. I attributed this to the stiffer sidewalls and the tire pressure I was running. Aside from the rough first ride, they performed well. They are fast rolling. They gripped well and inspired confidence. I will adjust the tire pressure for ride number two. I’m really looking forward to running the Flintridge Pro’s at Land Run 100. (Editor’s Note: He did and we will give you Uncle Dudley’s impressions on racing these tires there in our next update.)
Note: The Kenda Flintridge Pro tires were purchased for personal use by Uncle Dudley. He, nor RidingGravel.com were paid nor bribed for this review.