Kenda Tomac Series Small Block 8 tire review

My take on the popular Kenda Small Block 8



can someone tell me how tires are measured is the 1.9, 2.35 etc across the tire? or from the rim out?

mongoosejake says:

Glad to be of help!

mongoosejake says:

Tire’s width is measured from the farthest outside point on one side to the other. This would be across the tire…

metieval says:

Thank you!

chris wright says:

I see this all the time. People saying that they have no grip on looser stuff and I look and their tyres are rock solid. Just let abit out and they will be brilliant.

Christopher Lee says:

You can find the Kenda Small block 8 for only $15-20 bucks??? What website??

Divi says:

Out in the deserts of AZ we all run some form off the Small Block 8. We lower the pressure to about 26 and it grips onto every loose thing you can imagine.  Most avid riders are running tubeless out here as well, so it hold just fine.


oh thanks for replying, im thinking about getting 2.3s. do you think they will fit on my rim i have 1.9s atm

Shark D says:

Uma bosta, sem foco.

ボイ一匹オオカミ says:

i run 25 psi on mine and i can turn a 90 degree corner at about 24 kph without any sign of losing grip and they still role well because of the smaller knobs and they grip well on gravel and mud but that is my experience with them. side note i only weigh 113 lbs hence the lower psi .

mongoosejake says:

The Small Block 8 is a tire from Kendas John Tomac signature series. These are some of Kendas best tire designs.

mongoosejake says:

When I posted the video, a couple sites had sales on the tire, ranging from $16.99 to $19.99. Right now, I’m seeing them for $25-$30 on pricepoint, ebay, and others. Blueskycycling has the UST tubeless version for $33, which is a decent buy.

Watch for sales, as it always varies, but I’ve seen the SB8 for under $20 pretty often.

~zeus~ says:

Thinking of buying the cannondale trail six and it comes with this tire stock so wanted to know what’s coming. This video helped. Thanks 🙂

Bryce Artini says:

Also what’s the rim you got on the nano raptor??

Bryce Artini says:

I’ve got these on my tyax comp

mongoosejake says:

Blacktop or hardpack dirt is where this tire works best. I look at it as a good hybrid tire.

AirOwnage20 says:

Hi could someone tell me if these tires would work for me? I ride mostly concrete and an occasional trail ride with dirt, some sand, and sometimes mud. How do these tires handle dirt,sand, and mud? The dirt is somewhat packed but still kind of soft and the sand is mostly sugar sand.Btw I live in Florida if that helps.

mongoosejake says:

That depends mainly on what rim you have, but based on my past experience you should be okay, as a standard rim generally can handle a 2.0 to 2.3 without issue. The issue would be if you have a narrow rim. A narrow rim prevents a wider tire’s tread from “opening up” meaning the wide tire doesnt contact the ground properly and kind of looks like a balloon tire like on a cruiser. That stops the tire from offering good traction and handling as not as much of it actually touches the ground.

jabrick17 says:

Great vid! Just want to ask if the small block 8 can be considered a good front tire? I am thinking of giving a mix of SB8 front and kenda nevegal at the rear.. Can you share your thoughts about it? thanks

mongoosejake says:

A combo of the SB8 on the rear, and a Kenda Nevegal up front would be a great all-around setup.

My personal setup after trying many tires is to use a WTB Nano in the rear, and a WTB Moto up front. That’s what my bikes have, but tires are very terrain specific. What works in the east may not be the best out west, and vice versa.

All-around, either setup I mentioned should do the job admirably.

Jayne Hathaway says:

why does the title say Kenda Tomac

titanium1228 says:

hey what tire would you suggest i ride a 26er hardtail mountain bike for cross country.. i ride mostly on hard pavement roads, hard pavement climbs, and rocky garden climbs.. which of the low rolling resistance tire.

mongoosejake says:

Also wanted to mention the Kenda K Rad. A good dirtjump tire and normally pretty reasonably priced.

mongoosejake says:

Glad to be of help, the C’Dale Trail is a good all-around bike for hitting any trail. You’ll be well pleased. I got to test out some Cannondales last season and was well impressed with all I rode. The Jekyll is fantastic, as is the new Trigger. Cannondale has always been one of the best alloy hardtail makers around, and doesn’t look to have slowed down in my opinion.

turbotonic27 says:

FUCK, you just had to film a tire. but your camera decided, hey that grass over there looks sweet

mongoosejake says:

Another setup, one that would probably beat the Small Block8/Kross combo, especially if you decide to ride a trail once in awhile would be to put a WTB Nano in front and a WTB All-Terrain in rear.

mongoosejake says:

Do as feels best to you, as terrain varies so much from one area to another. That said, the Nevegal works fantastically as a front tire.

JRN110_ROCKS says:

ive taken these tires in the mud and they were not bad but not as good as my old very very knobbly tires on my old bike but i prefer these because its makes it more…fun because i had wheelspins and i was sliding everywhere lol so i enjoyed it alot

hokiedokie says:

Yea works great in loose dirt..desert terrain awesome…

Mr.ActionGal101 says:

thank you

mongoosejake says:

You’ve got the right two tires if you’re going with Kenda, but you have them swapped.

Always put the more aggressive tire up front for better braking and cornering traction. Use a more efficient tire on the rear to gain a little efficiency and drop some rolling resistance.

For Kenda tires, best all around setup is a Nevegal up front, and either a Small Block 8 or Slant Six in rear!

mongoosejake says:

Yes, Mongoose has a soft spot for Kenda. Not a bad thing, as Kenda makes good products.

chamoco1 says:

thanks jake running this tire on rear and noticed some spinning on climbs but roll nice want better traction on rear using nevegal 26×2.10 up front seems great. thanks for video

IVAN Rodriguez says:

Totally agree with this review.  I’ve used the SB8 for many years in desert (hard trail) with good results, the tires are fast.  However these tires are really bad on the mud or wet surfaces.

Michael T says:

Grass is in focus, not the tire.

Bryce Artini says:

Yeah if i ever get another hard tail or tyax ill get the kenda tires

Sonny Christofilis says:

Lot of people have been recommending this for my dirt jump bike. Running maxxis holy rollers as of now. Should I switch? Any better tires for the stuff? Lately been looking at intense mk2’s HELP!!!!!!

mongoosejake says:

I’ve basically said the same thing in my review that experts (including Mountain Bike Action magazine-who really likes this tire) have said. The SB8 is a fast rolling, efficient tire with limited grip in conditions other than pure hardpack. In my video, I stated that this tire works great as a rear only, or for riders on hardpack/ mixed pavement & hardpack. I’m also an aggressive rider, and my personal setup is a WTB Moto in front, paired with a WTB Nano in rear (the Nano is alot like the SB8).

88high says:

If you run tubeless you should he able to run it at a low pressure, and get better grip that way

mtb_d4n says:

i think your psi might be too high if the grip is that bad. I just tried going over some loose gravel that my ground controls slipped over, and the sb8’s gripped perfectly.


is this tire in the video 1.9 or 2.35?

mongoosejake says:

Neither, its the 2.1, but my statements apply to all the sizes 26″/27.5″/29″ diameters, and 1.9″/2.1″/2.3″ widths. The tire is a fairly fast rolling, but limited traction design. Good for pure hardpack and works well for mixed dirt and pavement useage, such as situations requiring riding on the road to get to the trails.

Łukasz Er says:

Totally overrated tires. Pretty usuless with mud and sand, great only for dry and hard soil. Kenda SB8 likes to catch unexpected rear tire slip during uphill and uncontrolled slip of the front wheel during fast corners. Recently i’ve broke my 2 ribs becouse SB8. Now changed them on schwalbe rocket ron and is much better. Ribs still hurting me :- Kenda SB8 are good only for basic, dry XC without mud, deep sand, wet roots and leafs, sharp rocks, etc.

mrzxxzer says:

I agree

mongoosejake says:

Depends on the tire you want to use. If I used one bike to ride a mix of alot of pavement, and some dirt, I might put a Kenda Small Block 8 on the front, and a Kenda Kross (also available as a rebranded/repackaged Sunlite for less $) in the rear to get a efficient setup that could still handle a little dirt.

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