Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Riding the Flint ridge into West Virginia

   After awhile of waiting i was finally able to get a set of the Kenda Flintridge Pro tires in. First thought when these tires were announced was that they were going to be a fast rolling gravel tire. Coming from the Happy Medium i was a little dissuade with much smaller cornering knobs. Though the lack of corner knobs that stick out so much should help with the drag on the road. This will be my first try going tubeless for gravel grinding.
                                                                                  The Flintridge comes in at 442 per tire and is 40g less than the claimed weight. Mounting them up on the Bontrager TLR wheels i have was a breeze, took a bit of muscling it to get it on. They weren't the easiest tires to mount, nor were they the hardest tires (where i would have to use tire levers). With a cheap floor pump i was able to mount them to bead up by 40 psi (10 below the max of 50 on the sidewall).

The first ride on them, was on the single speed. So i would have to carry more speed around some downhill turns, to carry more momentum into the next up hill; in the rolling hills here in western PA. At 40-45 psi these tires felt really stiff, making for a rough ride on the larger gravel, but on the road the took up the road noise perfectly. Now being new to tubeless for gravel riding i have to get away from my habit of running tubed tires 50+ psi, so that i can get a true feeling for these tires.  These felt smooth on the road, quickly get up to speed (especially on descents). Cornering felt solid on them, though bit tough to hold a line over really rough gravel at the high pressure i was running. Once i drop the tire pressure down, it should help them feel much better over the rough stuff.    
The Flintridge Pro (left) and Happy Medium (right)
Both 35mm versions
                    Look for a longer term review after i use these for the                                                     HillyBilly Roubuix and spend more time getting used to tubeless tires.