Product Review -
Telonix 26x2.60 Hans Rey's
Signature Series Kenda Tire
We at Dieselbikes from time to time
receive products to test from bicycle industry representatives. We then
submit our opinion regarding the product’s quality and performance
characteristics. Other times, we go out and purchase products to perform our
own unbiased review and report our findings to the community.
Well, the latter is the case with this
product review. A fellow club member has been using this model tire for
almost 8 months and told me it is one of the best tires he’s ever purchased.
So with that said, I decided to go out and purchase two of these 26x2.60
Telonix tires and try them out myself.
Off the Shelf
The Telonix tire I purchased is the
wire bead version with 2-ply sidewall construction and Kenda’s "STICK-E"
compound (P/N 212377). It can be used as either a front or back tire, has a
specific rotational direction, and is available in a smaller 26x2.40 size
wire bead or 26x2.40 & 2.20 folding bead versions.
Grabbing the tire right off the shelf
you notice its aggressive thread pattern and physical weight, around 1508
grams [3.32lbs]. There is a ton of rubber on this tire and Kenda gives a
varying weight ratio of +/-85 grams. I know many riders that are concerned
with the physical weight of bicycle components, but I personally do not care
as long as the product performs to the manufacturer’s claims.
The tire’s thread is one of the most
aggressive patterns I have seen on a mountain bike tire. Large pronounced
center knobs broken down into two staggered positions that reach out towards
the mid-point of the tire’s crown. The side knobs are also pronounced with a
square "H" type shape that is also in a staggered pattern. Right off the bat
this is not going to be a fast rolling tire, rather the claim to fame for
this tire is its insane traction on varying trail conditions and terrain.
The Manufacture’s Claim
Kenda claims the following, as quoted
from their website: "…Given the scope of this race and the varying terrain
Hans rides, a versatile tire is needed. One that can go uphill just as fast
as downhill. The Telonix is just that. Taller and longer center knobs
provide uphill grip and soft gradual ramp at the front provides downhill
speed. The “H” shaped side knobs not only provide aggressive cornering bite,
but also pay homage to the man himself. Its an all-round tire that works for
all styles of riding, depending on the size of the tire and its compound it
can be used for XC, Downhill, Freeride and Trials and everything in
On the Bike
I installed only one of these tires on
the front of my hardtail Goatbike since I believe grip on the front tire is
more important than the back. Plus, it will give me a decent comparison to
my 24x3.0 Gazzaloddi. I must state that I do not run a conventional mountain
bike rim that you would find on most bikes. I run a mountain unicycle rim
that is 47mm [1.85in] wide rather than the typical 26 – 32mm [1 – 1.25in]
wide mountain bike rims. The wider rim allows the tire’s side wall to stand
more vertically providing less of a developed radius, which helps in certain
aspects of trail riding…but that is a different story.
I expected the tire to be difficult to
get on the rim, since most wire bead tires are, but it slipped on the rim
(dry) with minimal effort compared to other tires (Michelin, Intense &
Arrow) I have used of similar size. I inflated the tire to 18psi which is
typical for my riding style and possible to run without flats due to the
wide rim. With the tire inflated on the bike, the aggressive look over
shadowed my 3.0 Gazzaloddi tire. I was ready to hit the trails.
First Impressions & Test Ride
My first ride on this tire was June 16
in Lynn Woods [Lynn, MA] and just by luck, it was a rainy day. This was the
perfect opportunity to see how this tire grips on wet slimy rocks and roots.
Well, it did exactly what the manufacture claimed. By the end of my 2 hour
ride, the tire had exceeded my expectations.
I started the ride slow and purposely
rode over off-chamber roots and slimy rocks to gain a feel for the tire’s
capabilities; there was no front wheel slippage. I was impressed since many
new tires need at least a few rides to break in.
Next I decided to slowly crawl down an
off-chamber rock descent a few bike lengths long. Normally, descending
slowly with the front tire not perpendicular to the rock places a large load
on the tire’s side wall causing the thread pattern to twist and fold,
especially with such low air pressure. This move typically reduces the tires
ability to grab the rock and causes slippage. Well, the Telonix held to this
wet & slimy rock as if it was glued to it. I was again surprised and stepped
it up by performing the same move, but with several stops on the rock. Again
the Telonix held! There was a small amount of wheel slippage which is
excepted since I locked the front brake to stop the bike on this off-chamber
descent, but the tire held…and I am no light rider [200+lbs].
With the first ride out of the way, I
decided to put these tires to a real test and take them downhilling at
Sunday River, ME and Highland Mountain, NH. First was Sunday River. I rode
my hardtail Goatbike with just the front tire in test. All I can say is that
Sunday River’s trails are an ideal place to see if your mountain bike tires
have traction control. The day we rode, the trails were wet, muddy and some
had water running down them. I bombed down trails such as Grease Monkey,
Crater and Black Fly with speed putting this Telonix tire to the test. Where
ever I pointed the tire to go, the Telonix drove the bike with the quickest
response time of any front tire I’ve owned. The tire never made me lose
confidence or cause me to hesitate in a turn regardless of the technical
Next it was off to Highland Mountain
where I changed up bikes running a full-suspension with more standardized
28mm wide mountain bike rims. This time I ran the Telonix tires in both the
front and rear pressurizing them to 28psi since I wanted to avoid
pinch-flats with the narrower rims. It was a little more difficult to get
the tires onto these narrow rims, but once on, they looked like motor-cross
tires with an aggressive pronounced crown. The combination of the narrower
rim and big tire result in a large side-wall radius that, I feared, could
reduce traction and cause the tire to fold during aggressive turns.
Well, typical of New England this
year, it rained heavy the night before and the trails were soaked. I started
out with a warm up run on Cat Scratch Fever to gain a feeling for the tire’s
performance on narrow rims. I had the same performance expectations riding
these tires here at Highland as Sunday River. Once again, no matter where I
pointed the bike, the front tire remained glued to the trail driving the
This was my first time running a
Telonix on the back wheel, and I will say it was a level above the
Gazzaloddi tires I typically run on my rear wheel. The rear tire gripped
just as well as the front, negotiating with ease trails such as Shillelash
and Maiden Voyage, both packed with lose rocks, large exposed roots, and
tight turns with steep dives. With each run my confidence in these tires
grew to the point that I wanted to make them break loose from the trail just
to see how they reacted.
I did force the tires to lose traction
multiple times, but the reaction time for them to hook-up was extremely
quick. As the bike would drift, the Telonix's regained traction and the bike
would snap underneath me causing my body to move over the bike more than
anticipated. In short, it was a work-out making these tires lose traction,
and pointless to even consider worrying about them losing traction while
Many tire reviews do not cover the
subject of braking ability as a topic, but braking is just as important as
forward traction. In this category, the Telonix performed just as well in my
opinion. I have been riding a number of tires that provide excellent forward
traction, but don’t hang on when you begin to break. I run 8" rotors on both
of my bikes and usually need to feather the rear break even with my Gazzis.
Well, whenever I applied the brakes, the Telonix felt as if they were still
digging into the trail. Tire thread design, spacing and knob flex are just a
few factors that play a role in the tire’s ability to maintain a decreasing
rotation as your braking force increases. The manufacturer was able to
maintain an even balance for these tires and that is probably why it was so
hard for me to make the tire break loose.
All done with my gravity testing, I
figured I’d give these tires a try on some nice rolling single-track and see
how they faired for uphill climbs with my full suspension bike. Since I was
running the larger 26x2.60 tire with sticky compound, I knew the rolling
resistance would be "at best" fair. I journeyed out for a 2+ hour trek and
did find the tire’s rolling resistance to be high, but compared to others
tires such as the Minion DHF 42 or 60 (Maxxis) and DH FRO Lite (Intense),
the Telonix rolls only slightly better.
Climbing up loose rocky and rooted
(dry or wet) terrain was where I really noticed the Telonix's ability. It
was like having a tank thread on the back of the bike. No matter what the
terrain was or the climbing angle, this tire remained hooked into the
ground. As long my legs were able to push the pedals down, the tire dug into
want ever it contacted. Having extremely high confidence in the Telonix's
traction control, I pedaled up rock faces on which I know other rear tires
I’ve used have failed. The Telonix, however, remained glued to the rock
allowing me to transfer my pedal torque to the trail.
In my opinion, the tire performed
quite well in an XC application even though it was way overkill. I believe
the smaller 26x2.20 or 26x2.40 folding bead would be ideal. The rolling
resistance would still be higher relative to other specific XC tires, but I
feel the traction control offered by the Telonix would be worth the extra
pedaling for most mountain bikers.
The 26x2.60 Telonix is a great
all-around tire that can be used for a number of riding applications. It
provides suburb grip on a variety of terrain and maintains excellent crown
edge traction for off-chamber climbs and descents. The tire effectively
applies the pedaling torque to the trail and is flexible enough conform to
trail obstacles with out significant loss of traction.
With its excellent traction control,
the Telonix also provides hands-down superb breaking power. Once again,
breaking power is uniformed across the tire’s crown with a slight decrease
as you approach the edge, but out-performs tires from other manufacturers
with similar claims.
Kenda's claims for the Telonix are
right on. I do not have a down-side to report for this tire. Yes rolling
resistance is high and this 26x2.60 is heavy, but compared to other similar
model tires I have used, this one is two steps above.
This tire would be ideal for mountain
bikers who do aggressive trail riding and downhilling for fun. I would not
consider this to be an ideal tire for racing (nor does Kenda) or for long
distance XC rides, but if you’re looking for a tire that has outstanding
traction, the Telonix is one tire you should consider.
Review & Posted By: Frank