Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review- Kenda Kaliente

This season I put in several thousand miles on the road, and most of them were on the Kenda Kaliente tires pictured above. I wore out three Sram chains but rode only one set of Kalientes, and all without a single flat tire.

The Kaliente is a pretty standard 700 x 23c clincher tire that was the top of the Kenda road line until the recent introduction of the C2C, Konstrictor and Kaliente Pro. It features a puncture resistant belt under the tread and a remarkable sub 200 gram weight. They're also remarkably inexpensive and can be found online for as little as $30 each.

The Obama stimulus package meant that there was a lot of road construction this summer and many of my long rides were on long stretches of gravel and broken pavement. Almost all of these sections were in fairly remote areas where a sliced tread or torn sidewall would have been catastrophic, and the Kalientes handled these conditions with aplomb.

There is one downside of a lightweight, high mileage, cost-effective tire and that is slight compromise in ride quality. Many of the online reviews I've read about the Kaliente echo that sentiment. It's not unduly harsh, but it is noticeably less smooth rolling on pavement than a Konstrictor or one of the Michelin Axial Series.

But to compare the Kaliente to a much more expensive performance clincher is unfair especially when the more supple Axial would have most likely punctured on the aforementioned broken pavement. In my mind the Kaliente is best described as a raceable training tire that is comfortable absorbing thousands of training miles but also ducking into an occasional group ride or practice crit. Its resistance to wear also makes it a great tire for switching back-and-forth from indoor miles on rollers or a trainer and riding outside.

When you consider its price to performance ratio it's really an incredible option as it punches far above its weight and is competitive with training tires costing much more. The pair I purchased in March are still in service as dedicated indoor tires as shown above.

For more information check out www.kendausa.com.


  1. After running those same tires on the rollers all winter I also used them for my first few outdoor rides this spring. With the roads still covered with grit and gravel the well worn Kalientes still performed well, and 300 new outdoor miles later still no flats.

  2. I haven't tried the Kaliente Pro yet, but will because I bought the Konstrictor and they are very good tires. As of today I put 3,400 miles on a pair and just got my first flat 3 weeks ago. The rubber is very durable, the tires only have one cut, and they still look like they will go for at least another 1,000 miles. They handle very well on dry, and had no issues on wet roads either. So when the Konstrictors wear out I definitely be buying the new Kaliente Pro.

  3. Thanks, Froze. The Konstricor is a pretty good tire, and all of my riding in France this spring was on a set of them. It's very similar to the C2C without the basket weave treatment on the sidewalls, and the compound is a little softer and grippier than the Kaliente. I too am considering a set of the Kaliente Pros, and have been waiting for my Kalientes to wear out before I do that. I'm still waiting.