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Kenda’s Kwick rollers are too heavy for audax and not robust enough for laden touring but the keen price and dynamo track makes them contenders for hack duties – particularly in Winter. Despite stiff wire beads, they’re an easy fit on most rims.
Recommended pressure range is the 50-85psi more commonly associated with mtb slicks, contributing to a portly and slightly ponderous ride. (Markedly so compared with the 38mm rubber on my winter fixed). That said, handling around town and when pushed hard into long descents proved dependable, the tread disperses water very efficiently, dealing with waterlogged lanes and wet manhole covers with surprising finesse.
The dynamo track is another bonus ensuring continuous lighting even when paired with more basic bottle units, and this also compensates for weaker sidewalls that feel more vulnerable than others, especially under load. The iron cap puncture protective membrane is another nice touch, albeit a poor man’s Kevlar. It offers good protection from shards of glass but is fairly easily pierced by thorns and other sharps.
Summing up: at one level I’d sooner spend a few quid more and get a sprightlier, more refined tyre, especially on an audax/winter trainer. However, minor shortcomings aside, they’re still a reliable option for hacks, hybrids and town bikes with moderate clearances.
Cheerful tyres for bikes where low cost is the main priority.
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Make and model: Kenda Kwick Roller 700x28c tyre
Size tested: 700x28c
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Kwick Roller are a series of budget tyres aimed at commu-tourers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hefty at 415g each, they incorporate a puncture preventative membrane which guards quite well against small shards of glass but is less effective against thorns and other sharps. Dynamo track and 60tpi casing are indicative of a more ponderous tyre.
Cheap but fairly cheerful, although heavier riders or those regularly laden should keep an eye on the sidewalls.
Dependable and better than I imagined but relatively uninspiring.
Should earn a good mileage but keep an eye out for flints and sidewall integrity.
Hefty-especially for a relatively narrow width.
You gets what you pays for-a reliable, if basic tyre for commuting and utility riding.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ride quality is reasonable under the circumstances and the tread copes with four season's riding quite admirably but they're very utilitarian and not what I'd pop on a frisky trainer or audax mount.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cheerful detailing and modest cost.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Weight coupled with a relatively uninspiring ride.
Did you enjoy using the product? Indifferent
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for utility/hack bikes where price is the key factor
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)