Review: Kenda Nevegal X Pro 29er Tires

The Kenda Nevegal has been a mountain bike tire mainstay for many years. However, while the traction the Nevegal offers is unquestionably superb, many have mockingly dubbed it the “Nevergo” due to its high rolling resistance.

The new Nevegal X Pro tire seeks to solve that issue, promising both fantastic traction and fast rolling speed.

Specs

The Nevegal X Pro 29er is a 120 TPI tire that features Dual Tread Compound (DTC) rubber and a folding bead.

The tire weighs in at a reported 150 grams less than the regular Nevegal 29 tire, meaning about 800 grams.

The tire tread is very similar to the normal Nevegal, but it features a much more rounded profile with reduced sidewall knobs. The more streamlined profile is obviously intended to help the tire roll better… but how did it perform in real life?

Out on the Trail

I mounted a pair of the Nevegal X Pro 29 tires up tubeless on my new Easton EC70 wheels, which I put on my Airborne Goblin. Now, the Nevegal X Pro is billed as a trail/all mountain tire, not a cross country tire, but putting more aggressive tires on my hardtail 29er was more than fine with me. I hate sacrificing traction and cornering control just to lose a few grams of rotational weight, so these tires were right at home on my rig.

The first thing I noticed out on the trail is that the Nevegal X Pro does indeed roll much faster than the standard Nevegal ever did! The rounded profile and reduced sidewall knobs really did their job here, allowing this tire to accelerate quickly and maintain momentum well.

That said, there’s very little sacrificed in the way of traction. The lugs down the middle are still very burly, and the cut-away sidewall knobs still offer plenty of hook up with the dirt.

The only place I noticed a bit of reduced traction was during aggressive cornering. However, I have these tires mounted up on my hardtail 29er… how aggressively am I really going to corner? If I was running these on a longer-travel rig, maybe I’d be more concerned.  I would personally label the new X Pro as a trail tire or a light-duty all mountain tire, so a slender reduction in cornering capability for a drastic increase in speed seems like a compromise well-worth making!

The majority of my test took place in dry, rocky, loose-over-hardpack conditions. In chunky rocks and over slickrock I got excellent traction, and despite being a rather aggressive tire, the X Pro handled quite well in loose-over-hardpack conditions.

Thanks to our winter weather, I’ve also ridden them in soft snow, packed snow, ice, and mud. They handled reasonably well in snow, and only more girth or bigger sidewall knobs would have improved handling there. Since the knobs are so tall and rather closely spaced, they packed up with mud rather quickly when the conditions turned mushy. However, traction was still respectable, and the tires cleared out well once they hit dry trail again.

Bottom Line

The Nevegal X Pro accomplishes the goals that Kenda set out for it, and it does so superbly! This new rendition of the Nevegal is lighter and rolls faster, without sacrificing much at all in the traction department. These tires have proved to be an excellent complement to my riding.

MSRP: $70

Thanks to Kenda for sending over the Nevegal X Pro tires for review.

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