Tire FAqs

We here at Kenda often get questions about the compatibility of Kenda tires with hookless rims.  We actually do all of our lab testing on machined, non-compressible, hookless wheels.

In the real world, there are many wheel manufacturers making hookless rims and each of them may have several hookless models.  In addition, the market is constantly evolving.  It’s impossible for us to test Kenda tires on every rim from every maker.  Actual production wheels vary from maker to maker, and they compress under inflation and spoke tension.  They actually shrink in circumference.  The amount of shrinkage depends on the materials used and the design of the rim.  Our lab test wheels comply with ETRTO and the ISO 5775-2 standard and have extremely tight tolerances.  Both ETRTO and ISO standards has a 1.0mm tolerance for the rim diameter and we have a 0.1mm tolerance for our lab test wheels to minimize test variation.

Wheel makers are in a better position to test tire/rim compatibility as most tire manufacturers are happy to ship them free tires for wheel validation testing.  When they contact us, we will send them production tires and encourage them to run both the ISO 4210-7 Wheel/Tire assembly - Overpressure test and a water burst test using built wheels for both.

We suggest checking with the wheel manufacturer for tire compatibility.  If they’ve not tested Kenda tires on their wheels, have them contact us at support@kendabicycle.zendesk.com or call 614-729-7880.



If the wheel has a maximum tire inflation pressure lower than that of the tire, the wheel inflation pressure must be followed.

Check the tires you are replacing and find the size of the tire which is typically molded or printed on the sidewall of the tire.   The format of this label can vary between the Traditional English sizing (eg. 26x2.00 or 29x2.20), the French sizing (eg. 700x28c, 650x45) or the ETRTO (eg. 28-622, 45-584).   All three of these sizing formats give the same information, diameter and width. 

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has developed a universal tire and rim sizing system that help with determining the size of tire you need.  English size (eg. 26x2.00) and French size (eg. 700x28c) tire dimensions are still used today but most bicycle tires are also marked according to ETRTO or European Tire and Rim Technical Organization (eg. 28-622)

The ISO system uses two sets of numbers to determine tire size. The first number indicates the width and the second indicates the inner bead diameter of the tire. The ETRTO size specification 28-622 would indicate a tire width of 28mm and the tire's inner diameter of 622mm. Both the ISO as well as either the English or French size will be listed on the sidewall on the hot patch or directly molded into the rubber of the tire.

While a tire's diameter needs to be an exact match to the rims on your bicycle, there is some choice on what width tires you can use.   Some like to use wider tires for more grip off-road or a more comfortable ride where others may opt for a narrower tire for more speed and efficiency on pavement.   However, it is important to make sure that your bicycles frame or brakes have clearance to ensure that the tire does not rub the bicycle during rotation and that you have a little bit of clearance on either side of the tire for dirt or debris  (we recommend around 3mm of clearance between the tire and any other parts of the bicycle).

No, tubes are sold separately from tires.  If you require new tubes with your tires, don't forget to add them to your order.

Kenda does not list the maximum load weight for our bicycle tires however all of our bicycle tires must go through load testing at our technical center using a 100kg (220lb) load during the design and testing phase of tire development.  Kenda tires must pass this test without failure before mass production and marketing for sale. 

No.  All Kenda tires are sold per tire and do not come as a pair.    If you would like to purchase a pair of tires please enter "2" in the quantity to add to the cart before checkout. 


Each Kenda tire will have a number molded into the sidewall of the tire a "K" number.  The first set of numbers indicate which tread pattern is featured on the tire.   

The Second set of numbers indicates which mold was used to produce the tire. 

After a number of tires are produced these molds can wear out or have revisions made and this number will indicate which specific mold is used to produce the tire.

Air Pressure

The minimum and maximum tire pressure will be listed in 3 different units. 

PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) - Imperial unit is mostly used throughout the USA

BAR - Metric unit is used throughout the world

KPA (Kilopascal) - Metric unit used throughout the world - 100 KPA = 1 BAR

Tire Size

Country of Origin

Direction of Rotation

Tires which have a specific rotation direction will have an arrow molded into the sidewall signifying the direction in which they are designed to rotate.

Date of Production

All Kenda tires will have a production code molded into the sidewall on the outside of the tire and it includes 8 digits.  These include the week and year the tire was produced.

All Kenda tires will have a production code molded into the sidewall on the outside of the tire and it includes 8 digits.  These include the week and year the tire was produced.  See the below graphic for reference.

"Durability" of a tire is the culmination of all the aspects of the tire including casing material, rubber compounds, under tread layers, and tread thickness / pattern.  When durability is discussed we have to also look at what kind of durability we are looking for.  Are we looking for high mileage tires for touring or adventure riding? Or are we looking for optimal puncture protection for reliable commuting?   All of these aspects of a tire need to be considered when looking for a "durable" tire. 

Let's look at this one feature at a time and keep in mind that each one of these features is comparing the performance with all things being equal. 


Durability is related to TPI in that the lower the TPI, the thicker the threads as they need to fill the same space as a higher TPI casing tire.  These thicker threads mean that they are more tear and puncture resistant than the thinner threads of the higher TPI tire and that there is more rubber required to fill the voids and cover those thicker threads, thereby creating a thicker, heavier casing which also can reduce the likelihood of punctures or sidewall tears. 

The extra puncture / tear resistance does come with with some considerations however.  The tire ends up being heavier due to the increased mass of the threads as well as more rubber to cover them.  The lower TPI casing will result in a stiffer / harsher ride.   Think about ride quality compared to bedsheets.  Higher thread count bedsheets will move more easily and feel softer whereas a lower thread count sheet will feel stiff comparatively. 

The reason the 120tpi tires are typically only offered in premium tires is that they are the most expensive to make but offer the best ride quality as they are more supple and able to conform to the terrain with less resistance. This translates into lower rolling resistance equating to more speed and better grip. 

Rubber Compounds:

When a tire is designed for a specific purpose we will use a combination of rubber compounds to produce the qualities desired for that purpose.  For instance a downhill mountain bike tire that is designed for optimal grip may feature softer, grippier rubber compounds on the side knobs to ensure those knobs will hold their grip on roots and rocks.  This softer compound however may wear at an accelerated rate compared to a harder compound used in the center tread to improve durability. 

These rubber compounds can also be extruded in different ways for different purposes such as a Single Layer compound, Dual Layer compounds or a Dual Tread Compounds.

Tread Layers:

Typically premium tires will include extra layers under the tread that will not be featured in the lower priced tires.  These under tread layers can offer increased puncture protection, tear protection, tubeless air retention, rim strike protection and more.   Each layer that is added to a tire will increase the weight and price of a given tire (all other features being equal). 

For puncture protection for example we offer some commuting tires with our KS (K-Shield) puncture protection layer.  This 3mm puncture protection layer is under the center portion of the tread to prevent common road debris from moving its way through the rubber to the inner tire / tube.  This KS layer is an intermediate puncture protection layer and we offer tires with KS+ (K-Shield Plus) which increases this layer to 5mm.  This sounds great however the tire weight can be up to 15% heavier for this protection. 


A comprehensive list of these casing constructions can be found on our help center site at the article linked below:




Tread Thickness / Pattern:

This is fairly self explanatory but the thickness of the tread will affect how deep debris would have to reach the inner tire / tube to cause a puncture as well as how much wear a tire can sustain before the grip and protection is compromised.   A race oriented road tire such as our Valkyrie for example will feature a thin and therefore lightweight tread thickness whereas a commuting style tire such as our Drumlin features much more thick tread which will improve tread wear from high mileage commuting.   This makes the Drumlin great for commuting but slow and heavy for racing. 


As you can see the TPI is only one piece of the "durability" puzzle and the other components of the tire as a whole should be considered as well when making a purchase for your specific needs.

Tire casing do stretch over time. Most of the growth occurs with the first 24 hours of initial inflation, and of course the higher the inflation pressure, the more rapid the stretch. Tire construction also plays a role; a 2-ply DH tire will not grow the same amount as a tire with a single-ply 120 tpi casing. When they are new, you can install them and leave them inflated to maximum PSI labeled on the sidewall of the tire for a few days to stretch them to max size, then air down to a reasonable pressure before riding.

Many Kenda tires are designed to rotate in a specific direction and it is important to install them in the correct orientation to ensure the best performance.   If the tire is directional there will be an indicator molded on the sidewall of the tire that shows the correct rotation orientation.   Below is an example of the direction indicator.

Many tires will also have an apparent direction due the tread designed which will often feature tread lines flowing outwards from the center in an arrow style fashion.

It is good practice to check the pressure of your tires often. Air will slowly leak through the material of the tube / tires naturally and the pressure should be checked often to ensure the pressure is sufficient to not only prevent flat tires but also to ensure proper safety and performance. 

Higher pressure, lower volume tires such as road or gravel tires may need to be checked more often than lower pressure, higher volume tires like mountain bike or fat tires. We suggest checking the tire pressure weekly if not daily for some of the narrower higher pressure tires.

The tire casing is the fabric that the rubber compound adheres to. The fabric of the casing can be made in varying thickness and threads per inch (TPI). Generally, the higher the TPI number, the more supple the tire sidewall will feel and flex. This means a more comfortable ride compared to that of a lower TPI casing. The casings can be treated and reinforced with various materials in order to achieve different degrees of puncture resistance and ride qualities.

Wax bloom is normal for bicycle tires and does not affect the tire's performance. It is found in a variety of compounds and protects the tires from ozone. It is purely cosmetic and can be removed with soap and water if desired.

Tubeless FAQs

One of the benefits of tubeless tires is that since there is no tube, you can run lower tire pressures without the worry of pinching the tube between the rim and tire. Also, when the tires are set to be tubeless, the sealant will potentially fill and seal any small punctures that would otherwise have punctured the tube, causing a flat tire.

Tire sealant is a liquid added into the tire that is required to make them air tight as well as to act as a preventative measure to seal small punctures. Usually sealant is a latex based liquid with added solids in it to fill holes and small cuts.

Kenda Tire has tubeless tires in several construction types. Each construction serves a specific purpose and has different tubeless characteristics. The list below details the various types and their tubeless attributes.

Tubeless Race (TR) – Tubeless Race is the lightest tubeless ready construction Kenda offers. It is the ideal construction for riders with separate race day wheels or the rider looking for the lightest possible tire. Given the light weight, TR tires require additional attention to maintain a quality seal and long-term air pressure.

Sidewall Casing Technology (SCT / KSCT), Gravel Casing Technology (GCT), Tubeless Road (TLR), and Advanced Trail Casing (ATC) – while protection under the tread differs on these tires, all of these casings feature similar protection across the sidewalls for tubeless optimization and protection. Mounting and tubeless set up are easier and these tires have superior air retention.

Advanced Enduro Casing (AEC) and Advanced Gravity Casing (AGC) – Tires with these tubeless ready casings have densely woven aramid on the sidewalls and under the tread surface. These are very robust tires with excellent flat protection and good air retention.

E-Mountain Casing (EMC) – Tubeless ready tires certified for the fastest e-bikes! Like some other flat protections that aid in tubeless optimization, the EMC casing 3-piece protection features coarse Nylon fibers tightly woven together across the sidewalls of the tire.

Every brand of sealant has their own strengths. Some are better suited for cold temperatures, while others have better longevity. Kenda recommends consulting sealant manufacturers or your local bike shop for recommendations based on your location and usage.

Kenda Tire recommends that users follow the manufacturers recommended amount of sealant in each tire. Under dosing could negatively influence sealant efficacy, and over dosing could negatively affect ride performance.

Because sealant is designed to clog holes, the sealant can often clog up the air valve and cause air to leak out or make it difficult to add air in. The best way is to remove the valve core with a valve core removal tool or, in a pinch, a set of small pliers can be used to unscrew it. A thin object such as a toothpick or nail can then be inserted to clear the valve out of sealant. If sealant is clogging your valves often, it is sometimes best to replace them occasionally.

Most sealant manufacturers will have their own recommendations for how long their sealant lasts and how often it should be refreshed or replaced. It can vary depending on what climate you live in and the tire you are using. A general rule of thumb is to refresh sealant when it no longer provides sealing capability, often between 3 to 6 months, or when a significant loss of sealant happens such as when the sealant flows out before fully sealing a puncture or after a burp in the tire.

Yes! All of our tubeless tires are compatible with tubes as well.  Many riders will carry a spare tube to install into their tubeless set-ups in case of the rare event where the sealant is not sufficient to plug a hole or the sealant has dried up and can no longer provide puncture protection.  Many riders also just prefer the ease and reliability of using tubes.

Have you had a tire weeping, crying or seeping at the sidewall? Don’t worry this is normal. We wish all tires were non-porous, but that is unfortunately just not the case. In fact, bike tire’s porosity is the exact reason that sealant was developed and needs to be used in tubeless ready setups. Puncture resistance is actually a bonus side effect! All sealants for tubeless set-ups contain a certain amount of a Glycol or similar additive for longevity. This can typically be seen coming through the sidewall in seemingly random wet splotches or dots of white or in even rarer cases in the form of “pin hole” bubbles. As the sealant does its job to seal the tire, air-retention increases over time. Below is a quote from one of our engineers here in Ohio.

There is effectively 2 reasons as to why this happens, it was just installed and is too new, or it has aged and the sealant is too old. For remedying the fresh setup situation, customers should ride it a few days and see if it seals up. When dealing with this micro porosity in the sidewalls, the smaller the holes, the harder it is for the sealant to seal them up. Some sealants work better than others of course.
Regarding tires that do this after an extended period of time, that is caused by the sealant breaking down. If the sealant begins to separate (come out of solution), then it’s easier for the separate parts to start coming through the tire. We’ve seen that this can even occur through the tread on some tires they were riding even. Factors like heat, humidity, and riding frequency can all effect the rate at which this can happen.”

-Joe Angeli, Kenda Engineer

Universals Standard Tubless or UST is a tubless standard developed my Mavic which features specifically shaped, square profile rim hooks which lock the UST tire bead in place creating an air tight setup without the use of sealant. 

UST rims require the use of UST compatible tires for a sealant-less setup however non UST tubeless tires can be used as long as tubeless sealant is used.   Only Kenda tires labeled UST will be UST compatible. 

Kenda tires are manufactured with a combination of both natural and synthetic rubbers and while the ratio of natural to synthetic rubber varies based on the compound used in specific model of tire, Kenda tires will always contain some natural rubber.  Because natural rubber is derived from latex, Kenda tires will always contain a varying amount of latex.

Kenda was founded in Taiwan and began producing bicycle tires way back in 1962.  Since then Kenda has  begun producing not only bicycle tires but Auto, Wheelchair, Powersport, Trailer, Lawn and Garden, and Specialty tires and has since opened several factories located throughout Asia including Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. 

Tube FAQs

Step 1: Pick the Right Tube SizeYou need to know two dimensions of the tube size, the diameter of your wheel/tire and the width of your tire. These dimensions can be found in both Standard English Sizing (example: 29x2.20) or ETRTO (example: 56-622) and can be found on the sidewall of your tire. Find the tube that has the same diameter as your tire/wheel and the tube that falls within the range of your tire. Tubes will stretch to fill the inside of the tire and therefore come in a width range (example: 29x2.00-2.40).

Step 2: Pick the Right Valve StemThere are two main valve types, Presta and Schrader, and need to be chosen based on the wheel the tire/tube is being fitted to. Presta valves are longer and skinnier than the Schrader valve and are typically metal with threads and have a valve core that you unscrew to allow air in and out. Schrader valves are the larger valve that is more recognizable to most people due to them being "car air valves". Make sure to double check the tire and tube you require before purchasing to avoid having to return/exchange for the right tube or having a malfunction up installation.

The valve nut on a presta valve is used to secure the presta valve to the rim.   While not absolutely necessary, it is helpful to secure it as it will prevent the valve from shifting from its perpendicular position against the rim which can ultimately result in possible tearing of the valve from the tube.   The nut will also help stabilize the valve when attaching a pump head to the valve during inflation.  

When installing the valve nut it is important to remember not to tighten it too much which can result in the valve separating from the tube.    It is best to only tighten the valve nut after inflating the tube and only tight enough to snug the nut down against the rim.

Tubeless valves typically will be in the presta valve form and the valve nut should be tightened enough keep the rubber seal air tight against the inside of the rim. 

No, Kenda tubes are sold individually.  If you require 2 or more tubes, make sure to add the appropriate amount to your shopping cart before checkout. 

All Kenda tubes will be marked with a stamp on the outside of the tube that includes the production date including the year, month and day the tube was produced as well as the size and country of origin.

e-bike tire FAQs

Yes! The same certifications that our E-Bike tires receive from extensive safety and durability testing not only make sure that they are ready to use on E-Bikes makes them great for use on pedal powered bicycles as well.

Like ECE, E50 is Kenda’s own certification for E-Bike tires that have been internally tested and approved for use on E-Bikes up to 50 km/h

ECE-R75 is a certification given to tires that pass stringent safety regulations governed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Due to the increased load, torque and speed of ebikes, they are classified under the ECE as mopeds in Europe which are governed at 50 km/h and must pass more stringent guidelines than standard bicycle tires.

Currently in the United States there are no specific regulations regarding tires on E-Bikes

EMC is our E-Mountain Casing. Thanks to a reinforced ply of woven fabric and an additional layer of puncture protection, Tires with our EMC construction are built to withstand the higher loads on the tire because of the heavier bike and the higher speeds and torque at the rear tire. Tires with our EMC are ECE-R75 certified and approved for usage on e-bikes up to 50 km/h.

The ECE-R75 certification requires tires with the certification to be labeled as moped because the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has categorized E-Bikes up to 50 km/h under the same regulations as mopeds.