If you often find yourself scared of ploughing into trees, you might want to reconsider your tire choice, and the portfolio of the US tire brand Teravail could have what you need. We put the Teravail Kessel Ultra Durable through its paces as part of a long-term review. Can the underdog disrupt the European tire market?
Founded in 2015, Teravail are a US-based company offering eight different mountain bike tires. The Teravail Kessel on test is available as a 27.5 x 2.5″ version or a 29er, which is available in 2.4 or 2.6″ widths. Each of these gives you a choice of two different casing thicknesses and a Tan edition featuring light brown sidewalls and the lighter of the two casings.
The two different casings – Durable and Ultra Durable – both rely on a 60 TPI base with two nylon layers. The more robust Ultra Durable version relies on an additional 120 TPI layer and Apex inserts in the sidewalls. As such, it’s less likely to suffer a puncture or snakebite, which often happens when you’re running low tire pressures. The Teravail Kessel Ultra Durable tires on test weigh 1,273 g each and thus correspond to about the weight of a MAXXIS DHF DoubleDown or Schwalbe Magic Mary with the Super Gravity casing. For the rubber, Teravail leave you no choice but to go for the Grip Compound. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find exact details about the rubber hardness, but we’d say it’s on par with the MAXXIS MaxxGrip compound.
On the trail, the 2.4″ Teravail Kessel performed excellently with its Grip Compound and Ultra Durable casing. It provides plenty of traction and grip on dry hard-packed ground as well as loose loamy surfaces and mud. If you push the tire to its limit, it feels predictable and controllable as it slides out, making it easy to get back on track. As such, it’s a good all-rounder and saves you from having to swap your tires around. We ran the tire at a similar pressure as we would with a MAXXIS DoubleDown or Schwalbe Super Gravity casing, which we were able to do without risking punctures or burping through the corners on our test rides. Nevertheless, it still provides feedback from the ground as well as sufficient rebound when jumping or popping off obstacles to support an active riding style.
So far, we’ve had no flat tires on our extensive test rides on various trails and haven’t damaged our rims after slamming into roots and rocks. The excellent durability of the tire has proven itself over the last three months and it’s a good alternative to direct competitors such as the MAXXIS Minion DHF or Schwalbe Magic Mary. At the end of our test period, after putting the tire through its paces on very demanding trails, saving them no torture from hard braking, it doesn’t show any excessive wear and tear, proving to be very durable. Considering the key specs and the sturdy casing, the Teravail Kessel Ultra Durable performs excellently as a hard enduro tire.
If you dare to give the underdog in the tire business a chance, you won’t be disappointed: the tires offer lots of grip and excellent puncture protection. They’re very durable too. However, at almost € 90, you’ve got to reach deep into your pockets for the Ultra Durable version, though you can rest assured that the tires will last quite long.
- robust casing fit for enduro use
- all-round capabilities
- long service life
- hefty price
- no choice for the rubber compound
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words & Photos: Peter Walker