24" Tire comparison: Kenda vs. Duro

In this tire comparison we compared the Duro 24 x 3 leopard and the Kenda Kinetics 24 x 2.6. Each tire was mounted on identical Nimbus 24 Munis, and both tires were inflated to 21 psi. I chose 21 psi based on previous riding with the Duro, and the same pressure felt good with the Kenda as well. My son and I were the riders. We both have been riding about 18 months, but he is considerably more skilled. I weigh about 185, and he is about 95lbs. He prefers a higher tire pressure, but was OK with 21 psi.

The trials were pretty mild by “YouTube Muni video” standards. A fair amount of rocks and roots, and some hills, but no extreme drops or anything like that. Conditions were dry.

As for the comparison:

  1. Appearance: The Duro is a strikingly larger tire when mounted. The width is not so noticeable, but the difference in the height of the sidewall is readily apparent. The Duro has a much beefier construction as well. When I mounted the Kenda, I threw the stock Duro in a large pile of worn out off road motorcycle tires I am preparing to take to the recycler. When I went back to get it, I had to look for a moment to find it. With the stiff side wall it does not look all that different from a motorcycle tire. No one would ever mistake the Kenda tire for a motorcycle tire.
  2. Price: The Kenda was silly cheap at $9.87 (Niagra cycle). The Duro is shockingly expensive at $55 (Unicycle.com). $55 is getting into motorcycle tire territory!
  3. Speed: Probably the biggest difference between the tires was one that I did not even expect—speed! This was readily apparent with the two unis on the trail. When riding the Kenda, you really had to spin to keep up with the Duro equipped bike. In contrast, it was very easy for me to keep up with my son (who is faster) when I was on the Duro equipped uni. Rolling the unis together reveals about a ¼ rotation difference per 9 crank revolutions. That does not sound like much, but it is noticeable when riding with someone else.
  4. Obstacles: Neither one of us felt that either tire made any significant difference in the likelihood of successfully negotiating an obstacle. They feel a little different when riding over things (Duro has more cushion, and more inertia), but not enough to make a difference in UPDs.
  5. Inertia: It takes a little time to get used to the inertia differences when switching. The Kenda equipped uni is more responsive to input, but also more “skittish”. I wonder if more advanced riders might prefer the responsiveness of the Kenda…
  6. Soft terrain: Probably due to the extra width and less aggressive knobs, the Duro is easier to ride over soft terrain like grassy areas or trails heavily laden with pine needles/leaves.
  7. Pavement: Our riding area has some pavement connecters. Both tires felt equally poor on pavement.
  8. Lower pressures: Neither one of us like how either tire felt with lower pressures. They both seemed to respond the same.

The Bottom Line: Overall we both felt that the Duro was a slightly better choice for a more enjoyable Muni experience. Is it $45 better? I guess that will be up to you. Personally I will buy another Duro when mine wears out. I hope they continue to be available in the 24” size!