Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Kenda Excavator 2.35"

This Kenda Excavator 2.35" is one of the newer offerings from the Kenda family. It saw introduction in 2008, and was hailed and promoted as a moddable tire, as well as a (Kenda) Nevegal variant -but with more grip. The Kenda Nevegal didn't impress me, so I had some reservations regarding this tire - I'm happy to say that my reservations got put to shame. This is nothing like the Nevegal.

At first glance, this tire does looks like its going to create one hell of a rolling resistance. The odd placed knobs and special pattern made me think that this tire would feel sluggish and heavy. Happy to say  I wrong!
The Kenda Excavator is a true workhorse, and that's apparent from the very first ride, it digs in and works with the soil and dirt as soon as needed, and does everything it can to avoid spinning or loosing grip. Roots, rocks, just bring it on, and you'd be surprised to see that wet conditions doesn't scare this tire away - it continues to work hard. The only time I lost control was when I hit deep mud in turns - but that pretty much kills every tire, unless its mud-specific, so I feel a bit bad about even mentioning it.

The weight is acceptable for AM, not too heavy, not that light, it just sits in the middle. The Excavator has a moderate rolling resistance, its size wise generous, has a very good braking and drifting control - definitely positive assets for any AM biker. I did wash out a few times, but I always saw it coming. The drifting that's possible with this tire leaves you with a big smile. The tire holds its thread impressively long, and I don't even remember cutting it any slack. The sidewall is strong, and proved itself through dozens of sharp rockgardens.
I see this tire as an all-year performer, for the trail rider, or the all mountain biker, you can even get away with it for dry DH/FR sessions. You wont get the most out of it by riding it on hardpack, nor does it excel in deep mud for DH, but spin it on some more "normal" yet demanding soil, and it will work for you. This is a very competent AM tire.

The Excavator won the best-tire award on mtbr.com in 2009, the fact that its modifiable make it even more desirable.

Size: 2.35" DTC
Tested on: Rear
Claimed weight: 735 +- 35gram
Actual weight: 752 gram
Score: 5/6
(click to enlarge)

Check out the official modding tips for this tire:
(click to enlarge)


  1. Det lyder jo til det er et pisse godt dæk for pengene! men det ser en smule draggy ud med de store knopper. hved du hvordan det ruller ifh til et maxxis minion front i xc/fr versionen?

  2. Ja det er et meget kompetent dæk. Rullemodstanden er faktisk næsten det samme som et Minion Front i 2.35 singleply.

  3. Jamen så bliver det dem har fundet dem her http://www.actionsports.de/gb/Components/Tires/Kenda-ExCavator-MTB-Reifen-ECarter-Sign-26x235-falt::23134.html

    Men er det den samme version da der står de vejer 700 G og ikke 735 G som din test version?


  4. Ja det skulle være det samme dæk. De har måske bare rundet ned mht vægt ; )