Kenda presents two new tires for DH, the Hellkat and Helldiver.
They were developed in collaboration with members of the Polygon UR Race Team, including Mick and Tracey Hannah
The two tires share some features, such as the Iron Cloak Belt (the red band seen in the render below), a band inserted under the rubber to prevent punctures. KVS (Kenda Vector Shield) is a woven sheet of aramid fibers laid up across the sidewall of a tire, which offers a light-weight casing shield with 285% higher cut resistance than standard protective materials. This allows for a reduction in the casing weight by up to 200 grams when compared to traditional 2-ply downhill casings.
The Apex (the carcass layer near the bead, blue in the rendering below) is 60% longer than the average, to prevent pinchflats (or full “cuts” of the carcass).
The Hellkat has been designed with a “tread design was optimized for performance across a wide range of conditions, balancing traction, handling and rolling speed.” It features a wire bead for heavy DH riding.
For Helldiver, however, the goal was to build a fast rolling gravity tire without sacrificing sealing and braking.
Both have the Advanced Gravity Casing (AGC) carcass, which promises great resistance to pinch flatting and cuts of the casing, while keeping the weight low. They are tubeless ready. The compound is also new, an evolution of the current Race Stick-E Rubber (RSR). The RSR compound is laid on a harder rubber base to form a dual compound tread. Both tires are only 27.5 “x2.40”, the Hellkat weighs 1170 ± 59 g (steel bead) and the Helldiver 972 ± 49 g (foldable bead). All of the details are on the Kenda website.