First Ride Report and Interview – Kenda Pinner Tire
THE ALL-NEW PINNER
DEVELOPED WITH AARON GWIN
The Pinner is Kenda’s all new dry condition gravity tire. Developed with Aaron Gwin, the Pinner was designed for World Cup tracks like Leogang and Lenzerheide and to hold its own against the toughest competitors. The Pinner shines with excellent cornering predictability and particularly high puncture protection. Available with AGC or ATC casing upon the launch, the Pinner is an excellent choice for gravity racers and trail riders alike.
HIGHLIGHTS » Excellent predictability – A consistent contact patch when the bike is leaned over creates a super predictable feel – no sudden wash-outs! » Optimized for hard pack – The tread pattern is designed to work best on hard pack, rocky/rooty and loose over hard conditions. » Best-in-class puncture protection – 40% higher puncture protection than the current market leading tire. » AGC or ATC – Available with AGC or ATC casing for the product launch. » Tubeless ready
COMPOUND This tire features a similar compound design found in other Kenda gravity tires. The Pinner uses a dual layer set up, with a firmer rubber serving as the base and supporting the knobs, and a soft compound laid on top to maximize grip. The ATC version is a dual tread construction: soft shoulder, firmer center tread.
Q & A WITH TONY YANDEK | PROJECT ENGINEER
The Pinner is the new tire in Kenda‘s gravity line-up – what were the goals for this project? TY: While our athletes really loved the Hellkat, they felt that a tire specifically made for dry hard pack tracks would yield a benefit in racing. So we got to work – we wanted a tire for hard and loose over hard conditions, with a premium on rolling resistance, ultimate cornering/braking traction and predictability.
How did you achieve them? TY: First, we look at the most important competitors. What are they doing well? And what could we improve on? Then it‘s time to design the tread pattern. In this case, we had two slightly varied patterns that we brought for the field tests. From this step onward, we benefited from Aaron Gwin‘s longtime experience in racing. We tested three times with Aaron at three different locations in Southern California to ensure we hit a myriad of conditions, and that the tire would perform as we intended it to. Aaron suggested slight alterations to the pattern in the process, which we worked in. The result is the Pinner as we have it now.
Aaron Gwin said he loved the Pinner‘s predictability. What makes the handling so predictable? TY: The predictability is mostly an attribute from the tread pattern, where we created a nice consistent contact patch throughout the lean angle. Also, Aaron‘s alteration to the tread pattern proved to increase the predictability during field evaluations; this alteration was to move the shoulder knobs more in-line with the center knobs, as opposed to being perfectly staggered.
With the Hellkat, Kenda has a great all-round gravity tire. When would you choose the Pinner over the Hellkat? TY: The Hellkat really shines in loose conditions. While the its tread pattern is made to penetrate the ground, the Pinner is made to be stable, confident and planted over hardpack, rocks and roots. The Pinner is a much quicker tire as well , so if there’s no need to penetrate the soil, you should pick up the Pinner.
We received a couple sets of Pinner tires several weeks back and mounted them on a 160mm all mountain bike and our Santa Cruz Heckler eMTB. We were treated to some prime spring conditions here in Bend, Oregon, making the Kenda Pinner tires an easy tire to love.
During our preliminary test period we sessioned downhill trails on the steep, loose and rocky trails in the Central Oregon desert and the freshly melted out test trails we’ve built in the forest above town. Both settings were easily tackled by the grippy Pinner tires.
While we’d like to reserve our official position on the tires until we’ve spent more time on them, our first impression is a good one. All three of the riders who have spent time on the Pinners like the cornering traction, braking performance and overall feel of the sidewall.
Naturally, we’re pleased with the fact that they are eMTB approved so we’re going to definitely be able to get a ton of miles on them while we wrap up our review of the Heckler. We’re still working out the rolling speed, efficiency by experimenting with tire pressure but feel that we’ll soon arrive at a happy medium between rolling speed and traction. The sidewall stiffness and bump compliance are standout features so far as is the tire’s capabilities on loose, dry terrain.
Following the success of the awesome Kenda Hellkat, it appears Kenda is on the track to restoring their legacy as a legitimate mountain bike tire brand and we look forward to riding the Pinner a lot more this spring.