My verdict you know, these tires are some of the best around, the’ve replaced my Kenda Nevagals, that I never thought could be beaten. The Conti’s are better protected, lighter and easier to get your hands on (here in Europe).

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Conti’s rule

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Continental tires are rapidly becoming the best option for your ride. Might have something to do with Ritchey Schley being in on the development side. Previously I’ve owned the ‘Vertical‘ tires, who are especially suited for loose soil terrain. The Mountain King is a new all-round option, and comes in several sizes and versions:

  • Mountain King
    26 x 2,0    26 x 2,2    26 x 2,4
    3 plies/ 84tpi / foldable
  • Mountain King Supersonic
    26 x 2,2    26 x 2,4
    3 plies/ 180tpi/ foldable/ Black Chili Compound
  • Mountain King Protection
    26 x 2,2    26 x 2,4
    3 plies/ 180tpi/ foldable/ Duraskin/ Black Chili Compound
  • Mountain King UST
    26 x 2,2    26 x 2,4
    3 plies/ 330tpi/ foldable/ UST
  • Mountain King 29inch
    28 x 2,2    28 x 2,4

Mountain King Protection

I choose the Mountain King Protection version, with thick sidewall protection and Black Chili Compound. They weigh about 820 grams per tire and are the same front/rear, just reverse the threads. Thankfully rather easy to mount on your wheels and look really sweet because of the ‘carbon’ look argyle print on the side.

Ride the Mountain King (Protection) >2.2 psi when the terrain is mainly rocky, like the Alps are. Last years Passportes du Soleil went on without a single puncture! Under normal circumstances you can ride with 1.8 psi. I’ve tried the Bontrager Latex anti-puncture inners, they rock, but count on an extra 400gr per tire! I’m opting to go UST, only if these’re just as good; according to their list it doesn’t come with Black Chili compound.

What makes the Mountain King so good?

  • Grip in corners (or just about anywhere)!
    Pick your pleasure: thick muck, dried out dust, roots or rocks: I just doesn’t matter. Carve like there are none: only fun here! Black Chili rules!
  • Sidewall protection
    Like I said, 90km’s in the Alpes on a day and no puncture! On downhill speed, that usually can only be said by downhill specific tires. You know, those that weight more than a kilo a pop.
  • Durability
    Mine show slight wear and tear after more then 1.000 km’s!

Anything on the downside?

  • Not suited for downhill races of bikepark visits.
    When you go for downhill races, or for a day on the downhill track, it’s likely the sidewall protection doesn’t hold the impact. That was the only (!) flat I’ve ever had.
  • UST not Black Chili?
    I would like to save some extra weight, but not if it means giving up the sweet Black Chili compound.
  • If you’re picky: resistance is somewhat high
    They’re allrounders, not xc! So expect a higher resistance on tarmac, comes with the nature of the very sticky Black Chili Compound.
  • They are oval!
    I thought it was the Bontrager inners, but I learned from other riders, that it’s the Mountain Kings that are oval. Pepare to be annoyed on asphalt!