Sizes: 2.1in / Compound: standard / Bead: Kevlar / Tread: non-directional / Weight: 720g
On the Kenda website the Knarly comes under the cross-country section but when the tyres turned up at mbr Towers the pitch on the side of the box said Dual Slalom and mud tyre.
Either way, it is pretty obvious why this tyre is called the Knarly — it has the tallest side knobs on test, has easily the most aggressive tread pattern, and at 720g, with a Kevlar bead, it is by far the heaviest tyre here.
Drag is the obvious drawback with the Knarly, but it is not actually as slow as you’d think. Nor is it as sketchy as it looks because the tall side knobs are well supported and don’t
tuck under or wash out unexpectedly on hard packed trails. You may need to be careful on wet tarmac though.
The thicker sidewalls do allow you to run lower pressures without too much risk of pinch-flatting, but unfortunately this does compound the drag issue.
Ultimately, if you’ve got a bigger-travel bike and want to ride steep, technical muddy trails then the Kenda Knarly is a good choice — just don’t take it on a woodland hack.
MBR RATING: 7/10