Continental Race King Supersonic Tire - 26in $50.00
The Continental Race King is the tire choice of two-time XC World Champion Irina Kalentieva (she scored the silver at the 2010 Worlds at Mt. Ste. Anne in Quebec on these tires, on a very soupy course).
While the tire can withstand such goop, its rolled shoulder profile and diamond-head arrow center tread pattern is primarily designed for superb power transfer while maintaining a very low profile so that it rolls exceptionally fast. Luckily, Continental also incorporates transitional knobs from the center to the shoulder of the tire, so that when you're making quick weight transfers, from cornering to straight-ahead power and back again, the tire remains stable and secure beneath you. The shoulder knobs are low-profile, like the rest of the tread. Along the outer edge the pattern is doubled, with a ramped leading edge followed by a block tread -- the ramps roll quickly, but the block bites into the dirt for better traction.
Here's the caveat about different types of mud: The tread pattern is fairly tight and if your home turf features stickier mud rather than the soupy variety (clay, perhaps?), a tire with a more open pattern, like Continental's X-King, would shed the slop more quickly. Or for a good pairing for most racing conditions, choose the X-King on the nose, for tauter steering control, and the Race King on the tail, for quicker acceleration and faster rolling.
The Continental Race King comes in a 2.2" width with a 26" diameter. The casing features 3 plies totaling 84 TPI under the tread and sidewalls. The tire bead is foldable, and it comes in black on black. Claimed weight is 650g.
Application: XC Race / Trail
Ground: Loose, Hard, Mud