It’s a bumper year for Continental with several new tyres being launched, with some big changes to its XC line-up as well as something for mud-lovers. We took a snifter at what’s new while at Continental distributor Madison’s annual trade show earlier this week.
First up Conti showed us the new Mud King. It was developed with the Athertons who wanted a proper spike mud tyre downhill tyre for those occasions when nothing else would do – until this tyre was developed there was no suitable choice for Gee, Dan and Rachel to race, but now there is.
It comes in just a 2.3in size with Black Chili compound and weighs 1100g with a folding bead. The tyre also gets a double-layer base, something also found on the Kaiser and Baron tyres, with additional Apex reinforcing – beefed up sidewalls to increase stability and reduce the chance of punctures.
From this tyre Continental developed the Mud King 1.8 ProTection for XC riders. Sharing the same tread pattern but scaled down to a XC friendly size and weight (just 700g).
Hopefully winter is behind us now and there (shouldn’t) be much need for mud tyres, so we can get excited about Continental’s new X-King and Mountain King instead. Worth mentioning is the new RaceSport technology (replacing the Supersonic tech) Conti’s solution for those riders (mostly racers probably) who want the low weight of a regular non-UST tyre but want to be able to run tubeless with sealant. Weight savings are impressive; the X-King 2.2 RaceSport weighs 460g compared to 780g for the UST version.
The Mountain King is all-new, gone is the Endless Edge technology to be replaced with actual side knobs and lugs along the central section. The company reckons this is a good all-round tyre for use on a plethora of trails, as the “new tread pattern interlocks well with any surface” it tell us. There’s five versions of the Mountain King to choose from, including what we think is the pick of the lot: the 2.2 RaceSport which weighs just 500g but is tubeless ready.
It’s got race written all over it. Well, not quite, but we think the new X-King is the ideal tyre for anything from XC racing through to enduro events, particularly during the summer when the trails are mostly dry but you still want a tyre that will hook up in softer conditions. Also available in a raft of versions to suit everybody.
We’ll be testing some of these tyres soon, watch the Bikemagic homepage for our first ride reports. More info at www.conti-tyres.co.uk