Kenda Excavator 2.35 DTC Folding Bead Tire Review

Review by Chad Oliver

Kenda Excavator 2.35”

What does Kenda say about the Excavator?


Kenda Excavator 2.35 Mountain Bike TireThe Excavator is part of Kenda’s signature series. Eric Carter, who holds 10 NORBA National titles and 2 World Cup Championships, the most recent of which are the 2004 UCI World Cup 4 Cross Championship and the 2005 and 2006 NORBA Men’s Pro 4 Cross National Championships, is the brain behind the Excavator tread pattern. EC built upon his vast product development experience to construct a tire that is adaptable to riders of all skill levels. Each knob has been carefully crafted by Eric to achieve a specific purpose. Cornering bite, straight line speed and predictability were among the important factors taken into account by EC when designing the Excavator. You don’t have to be blasting a berm at 30 mph in France to appreciate what this tire can do. Cross country racers, freeriders and downhillers rejoice. EC has delivered you a tire that you all can use.

  • Downhill (DH) wire bead versions with Stick-E Compound and 2-Ply construction
  • Cross Country (XC) folding bead sizes with Dual Tread Compound (DTC) for longer tread life and single ply construction for lighter weight
  • Fast rolling tire with cross paddle design
  • Front or rear use

Chad Oliver’s Review of the Excavator 2.35

Kenda Excavator 2.35 Mountain Bike TireKenda’s Excavator to me looks like a Nevegal tread pattern made out of Legos. It has a similar knob configuration of double-wide center knobs, a single knob mid-tread and aggressive side tread lugs. The individual treads take on a blockier look. Center knobs have defined edges, mid-tread knobs have a square hole in the middle and the outer lugs have the same square hole as well as a defined “ [ “ shape on their inside perimeter creating an abundance of edges. Also noticeable compared to other Kenda tires such as the Telonix and Nevegal, the Excavator’s knobs seem to be stiffer and less flexy.

So far, I have used the Excavator as a front tire, complementing a Nevegal or a Telonix in the rear. I find it to be a very solid front tire suitable for a wide range of terrain. It seems to roll faster/have less rolling resistance due to the broader center tread and knob stiffness. The tire rails quite well having all those edges with stiff knobs backing them up. Spacing is generous between the knobs really allowing them to bite down. Broader center knobs can potentially affect gripping performance in steep terrain which is mitigated by yet another ‘ [ ‘ shaped braking edge.

Chad Oliver - Kenda Excavator 2.35Overall, I’d consider the Excavator a stiffer, edgier tire for railing hard, fast turns and keeping some good momentum rolling. I have enjoyed it on the front wheel and like its edging power a bit more than that of the Nevegal’s. Soon I will throw it on the back wheel and see how it does. Another solid tire offering from Kenda.

The Good:
  • Edges galore
  • Stiff knobs like to dig in and not mush-over
The Bad:
  • NA

Where can I buy the Kenda Excavator?


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