Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB buying advice

Kenda Nevegal, or something else?

XTC2009XTC2009 Posts: 115
edited July 2009 in MTB buying advice
In September my best mate and I are going to the final round of the Merida MTB Marathon Series at Ruthin in Wales, and we've decided that as we are entering as a team we want to run the same tyres. He has a GT Agressor 1.0 with stock Tioga Factory XC's fitted, and I have a Giant XTC SX running the stock Kenda Blue Groove/Nevegal front/rear combination. I've only recently switched back to the old Kenda tyres as an experiment - last year I ran a couple of rounds of the Merida on Conti Vapors, which we're okay but a bit slow rolling and a bit dicey on anything remotely polished and wet - I wanted to see why my mates GT was so much faster than my bike, and it turns out that it's the Vapors that were holding me back because going back to my old, weathered and worn Kenda's was a revelation! They were faster and grippier straight away even though they're heavier than the Vapors, and gave me a lot of confidence back that I didn't realise I'd lost around Cannock Chase.

Both my old Kenda's and my mates Tioga's are wire bead, so we're looking for folding now to shed a bit of weight. I used to run Panaracer Fire XC Pro's on my old bike, and they were good. I've got some new folding Kenda Nevegal Tomac tyres (£23.99) for us both with the dual compound and side wall protection from my local bike shop, because I know they'll be good and as they were the last ones there so I thought I'd snap them up. But they didn't have Blue Groove in the same size so I've got Nevegal's all round. I don't know how they will roll front and rear, but I'm playing it safe here and sticking to something I know.

Is there something else that is better? We were both looking at Maxxis Advantage as there was an offer on the web for two for £30, both that finished before we had the money to get them. What would they have been like? Maxxis High Roller's were another possibility. And then there were the Schwalbe Nobby Nics which were tempting but expensive. We both considered Racing Ralphs because we rode some test bikes with those tyres on and loved them, but after last year's wet and muddy hell on the marathons that I did do I don't think they'd be a great choice.

Basically, to save me going out and buying a set of each of these tyres to test, what is the general feeling from the wider community? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Wobbly Cyclist


  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    I personally don't find much of a difference between a Blue Groove/Nevegal combo and a High Roller/Advantage. Not tried a Nevegal on the front but lots of people run one so I imagine it will be fine. At the last Merida (Llanwyrtd Wells) I ran a Blue Groove/Advantage combo and it worked great (OK a little draggy on the road sections but hooked up well on the soft earth/mud). In hindsight (and if I could have been bothered to swap tyres) I'd have run something narrower (at least on the rear) as it was all either road, hard pack or mud with virtually no rocky/rooty sections.

    Ofc if the next one is nice and dry I'd use something else (Small Block 8 or Aspen maybe).
  • DazzzaDazzza Posts: 2,364
    Noby nics are a very good tyre, similar to fire xc's but more all round grip especially when it gets muddy although it's not a mud tyre it does surprisingly well.

    You can get the nic's as a pair for £53 on ebay btw. ;)

    Or here.

    What about a rocket ron, rolls fast like a racing ralph but with more grip.
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
    Giant Anthem X
  • The SpidermanThe Spiderman Posts: 5,625
    I have an XTC SX and went from the standard Blue Groove/Nevegal combo to Nobby Nics.

    I found that I gained a noticeable amount of speed,rolling resistance was in a different league,and the bike was noticeably more agile,and easier to accelerate,mainly because I`d saved the best part of 1lb in rotating mass over the originals.The surpising for me was that whilst the Nobby Nics come up smaller,they seemed to be very supple and not much less grippy.
    I sometimes use,a Racing Ralph on the back,but the NN isn`t that much slower and gives me a bit more confidence when the ground is soft so the Ralph is reserved for dry use only.
    Only drawback is that the Nobby Nics do sacrifice some durability at the expense of their light weight,and they wouldn`t be my first choice if you were riding on rocky ground,but other than that they have been brilliant.
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Nevegals are great all rounders, they can do anything bar snow and really bad mud, and they do it well, not to mention being reasonably tough. But, they're neither light or fast tyres... High Rollers are very similiar, I don't find them as grippy but then they're slightly faster, for the non-sticky variants. None are race tyres! Just good honest trail tyres, for people who don't want to have 3 or 4 sets of tyres in the garage each for one particular type of dirt or phase of the moon. If deciding between High Rollers and Nevegals, just choose the one you think is prettier :)

    If those are the OEM spec Factory XCs, anything will seem light!

    2 Nevegals works fine btw, I think the front Blue Groove does work better on some surfaces- especially roots- but it's not the end of the world.
    Uncompromising extremist
Sign In or Register to comment.