These Kenda Super Domestique tubulars are fast rolling and they're durable too.
Kenda are best known for their mountain bike tyres but they do a whole road range as well. The Super Domestique sits in the middle of their three-model tubular line-up.
Fitting was easy enough... Well, as easy as fitting tubs ever is. I put them on some wheels unglued overnight to stretch them out and they were fine to fit the following day.
The Super Domestique is made from a blend of natural and synthetic rubber and it's a pretty hard compound compared to a lot of other tyres out there. It has stood up well to use, wearing only slowly over several months, and there are no notable nicks or cuts in the surface – certainly nothing to worry about.
I've not had any flats either. Kenda use their Iron Cloak Belt to provide protection from punctures. It's a strip of Aramid fibres that sits under the tread. It doesn't extend down the sidewalls like it does on some of Kenda's tyres so the Super Domestique is more vulnerable in that area, but it's quite rare for anything to get in there anyway (of course, it does happen sometimes) and the advantage is that it keeps the weight down.
The valve cores are removable so you can easily put some sealant inside for further puncture prevention. If you do get a flat and sealant won't do the job, the butyl tube inside can be patched relatively simply. I say 'relatively' because mending a tub is always going to be way more complicated than patching a standard inner tube.
The casing is 300 TPI (threads per inch) and the Super Domestiques provide a really good ride quality. They can handle as much as 200psi (pounds per square inch) or 13.8 bar of pressure – if you have a pump that can get that much air inside – although you'll sacrifice a whole lot of comfort at that kind of level.
I've found them plenty grippy enough for cornering hard and fast in the dry although I felt that they lacked a little traction compared to the most sure-footed tyres out there in damp, greasy conditions. They're fine on that score, but not mind blowing. That's the flipside to the extra durability.
The Super Domestiques come in a 22mm width and ours weighed 290g apiece (Kenda claim 270g +/-10g). That's reasonable for racing or all-round riding (if you do all-round riding on tubs). If you'd prefer something lighter, the top-end Volare (£79.99) comes with a latex inner tube and Kenda say it's 20g lighter.
Very good tubulars that are fast rolling and durable
road.cc test report
Make and model: Kenda Super Domestique Tubular Tyres
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Like the Volare, a classic racing and all-round tubular. The tire of choice for Kenda's professional cycling teams.
* Competition-level tubular
* A supple, hand-made 300tpi casing that features our Iron Cloak Belt (ICB) protection built under the tread
* Butyl inner tube for cost savings with a minimal weight addition"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Kenda describe their puncture prevention system like this:
"Kenda's best puncture resistant material, Iron Cloak Belt (ICB) is a lightweight layer of material applied under the tread rubber only for added puncture protection with minimal weight gain. ICB lets you rest assured that your tires are durable, but remain lightweight for the ultimate in performance."
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do the job well, proving quick and durable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The durability is the strongest suit, I'd say
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I didn't feel they were up there with the very best for grip in the wet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.