Kenda Small Block Eight Tire Review

3.90 out of 5
By Syd Patricio    on Jul 21, 2009

Rider Questions


Q: Looking for a good gravel tire but also ride in town -Guest

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October 26, 2016
Pros: Love this tire. Great for hard pack and semi loose conditions.

Cons: Not great in mud and loose conditions

Recommendation: I'd buy again. Dual compound so it won't wear as fast if you choose to ride in the road.

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February 23, 2015
Model/Year: 2012

Pros: Fast Rolling

Cons: limited terrain

Recommendation: Good tire for someone who rides both streets and trails. It rolls well and doesn't wear to quickly. It grips well on hard pack and dry rocks, but doesn't do well in mud, sand, or wet hard surfaces.

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October 15, 2014
Pros: Fast rolling
Light weight

Cons: Only good in dry hard pack conditions.

Recommendation: Overall its a great tire. I only use it when i riding in hard pack conditions and it shines. Its fast, it corners well and climbs great. Once you roll over something loose things get interesting. But if you are using the tire for its purpose its solid.

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December 31, 2013
Model/Year: 2012, 26, 2.1

Pros: low rolling resistance

Cons: Traction is horribly weak, slips out easily when leaning on turns, slips out on aggressive climbs. May work for riders who ride dry hard pack (not even loose over hard pack) and ride road. Don't even go near mud with these they will turn into rolling mud wagon wheels they don't shed anything.

Recommendation: Give these to your grandma for her Beach Cruiser.

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December 20, 2012
Model/Year: 29x2.1

Pros: Rolls super fast, grip well on dry hard pack

Cons: This is specific tire for specific conditions

Recommendation: I like how fast these tires roll and grip on dry singletrack. Cornering is smooth. Braking and acceleration also good. But once trail gets wet, these are useless. Pack with mud in seconds and have next to no grip.
There're many other fast tires that still will provide better mud shedding and wet/loose conditions traction.

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December 16, 2012
Model/Year: Small Block Eight 2.1 UST

Pros: - Fast rolling
- Great on dry terrain
- Light
- Wear slowly

Cons: - Terrible grip in wet or muddy conditions
- Tire tread does not wick mud
- Price

Recommendation: Small Blocks are fantastic tires if you ride them in the conditions (dry and hard) that they were made for. However once you take them out of this environment and introduce gravel and water things will start going downhill quickly.
I have had a pair on my DJ and street bikes for a couple of years and they are as smooth as a baby's bottom. They roll fast and have very little resistance.

Definitely not a do-it-all tire, but as long as you use them in the conditions that they were designed for these things rip!

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December 11, 2012
Model/Year: Small Block 8

Pros: -Low rolling resistance

Cons: -Traction is only good in very specific conditions.

Recommendation: These tires suck unless you ONLY ride on super hard packed blue groove or asphalt. Once the trail gets loose or wet, these things slide all over the place. I run them on my DJ bike that only goes to the skate park and board walk.

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December 11, 2012
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December 11, 2012
Model/Year: 2011

Pros: Fast!
Good grip on dry
You can set them up tubeless

Cons: They can slip out on wet
Doesn't tolerate very low pressures

Recommendation: Great tire! Very grippy and fast rolling. The best compliment I can give this tire is that I never have to think about it.

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December 9, 2012
Pros: When the trail gives you hard pack, these tires excel. Great grip and excellent stability.

Cons: Very little grip on moist or damp trails, roots, rocks, and other loose surfaces. Even sitting on the seat doesn't transfer enough weight to keep things from spinning. May work better as a tubeless option on lower pressures to allow a greater contact patch.

Recommendation: Mine are the 2.1" version and while it can be a tubeless tire, the rear wheel is not set up that way at the moment. However, with the Slant 6 up front providing plenty of grip, the SB8 allows me to back-it-in on some corners, which has saved my butt a few times already. But, if you consistently ride loose, smooth roots, lots of well worn rocks, or other surfaces with a low coefficient of friction, you may want to look for another tire for the rear wheel. Again, using this as a tubeless tire MAY BE an option, as the lower pressures may allow better grip. I haven't tried this, yet, so I'm not tanking this tire quite yet.

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Kenda Small Block Eight 3.90 out of 5 based on 30 ratings. 30 user reviews.