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Item # CON000C

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  • Black Chili, 26x2.2 ($51.99)
  • Black Chili, 26x2.4 ($39.98)
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Item # CON000C

Enduro racer's delight.

There are plenty of fast-rolling mountain bike tires around, but most of them are XC-oriented semi-slicks that are quickly overwhelmed when you start pushing the pace. If you detest unnecessary drag, but your riding style requires the use of more substantial rubber, you’d be wise to consider the Continental X-King ProTection Tire. The tightly spaced knobs on the centerline minimize rolling resistance, and the tread pattern opens at the shoulders for predictable cornering. But it’s the supportive, tubeless-ready ProTection casing that has earned the X-King its devout following.

The X-King’s fast rolling reputation is owed mostly to a thoughtful tread pattern. Looking at the centerline of the tire, the knobs are closely spaced, providing a nearly uninterrupted belt of rubber, which all but eliminates drag as the wheel turns. But such tightly spaced knobs sacrifice traction when conditions are loose, which is why the lugs are spaced farther apart as they reach the shoulder. The short, broad-based knobs provide the solid footing required for aggressive cornering. The gravity-obsessed often match the X-King with a more aggressive front tire, such as the Continental Trail King, for enhanced bite when the terrain gets exceedingly steep and loose. But for those who prefer to ride within their limits, the X-King makes an excellent front tire across a broad range of dry conditions.

Many of you will have experimented with lightweight tires in the pursuit of speed, only to have been frustrated by the fragility that accompanies a featherweight tire carcass. If you’ve accepted a slight weight penalty for enhanced durability, you’ll wonder where the ProTection casing has been all your life. Essentially, Continental added an extra ply to the tire, thereby stiffening the sidewall and enhancing puncture resistance. The sidewall reinforcement is particularly important for those who prefer a tubeless setup, as it allows you to get the needed support out of the casing, without resorting to excessively high pressure, which negatively impacts traction.

The final piece of the X-King puzzle is the Black Chili rubber compound. Developed by Continental as a longer wearing alternative to the available tacky rubber compounds, Black Chili infuses the rubber with nano particles. This not only improves grip, but these particles also form a tighter bond to improve compound strength, lengthening tread life and reducing the chances that lugs will rip and tear. Compared to Continental's earlier-generation tire compound, Black Chili tires provide 20% less rolling-resistance, 30% more grip, and an improved tread life of around 5%.

The Continental X-King ProTection Tire is available in two sizes, 26x2.2, and 26x2.4, and in the color Black.

  • Black Chili compound
  • ProTection casing
  • Tubeless
  • Folding bead

Tech Specs

Compound:
Black Chili compound
Size:
26 in x 2.2 in, 26 in x 2.4 in
Type:
tubeless
Casing:
ProTection
Bead:
folding
Claimed Weight:
2.2 in 595 g, 2.4 in 660 g
Recommended Use:
all-mountain, cross-country
Manufacturer Warranty:
limited

Reviews & Community

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Amazingly fragile!

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I got these for my wife, a 63 year old 135 pound woman who bikes in northern Utah. Apparently that is too much for these tires in a 26x2.4, as she is beginning to tear knobs off after about 50 miles. The only reason I'm hanging on to them is that, on the good side, they roll with very low resistance and they hold air well, tubeless.

Meh performance and terrible durability

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these looking for a tire that I could use as a daily driver for XC style riding, with occasional racing. I expected low rolling resistance, ok traction, and ok durability. Rolling resistance seems good, but traction is disappointing even for a lighter tire, especially on the edges of the tread.

The real issue is the durability though. After only ~25 miles of riding, several tread blocks have already fallen off all the way down to the casing, and many more are partially broken. As you can see in the picture, the little nipple things are still on there, so the tire is clearly new, but a whole tread block is gone and others are not looking good. The rotation direction is correct, I ran ~45 psi in the tires, and have been riding in southern California. I weigh ~190 lb.

I will be returning these and will not be buying Continental tires again.

Meh performance and terrible durability

Solid XC tubeless tire

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This tire has low rolling resistance, and decent grip in dry conditions. True to their name they are best suited for XC riding, I have been using them on my all mountain bike but would recommend something with more aggressive tread for those who are focused more on the descent. I didn’t run into any issues mounting this tubeless (I always set the bead using a CO2) and the sidewall seems to be stiff enough to feel predictable even at sub 30 psi pressure. I bought the 26” 2.4.

Been great so far

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am a beginner just starting my MTB experience. I had a knowledgeable mechanic counsel me to put this tire on the front to help with traction and control for down hill sections. I have an older, used tire in the back that is only a 2.1 width. So having this 2.4 tire in the front was to give me that necessary control as I continue improving. So far even on wet days it has stuck nicely with great traction. My rims require me to use a tube to inflate, and that worked great.

Pretty good

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used this in the past as I rear tire. As you might expect, it has low rolling resistance. These days I opt for something with more grip. These seemed to wear pretty fast and in my experience Continentals are a bear to mount tubeless.

Ride well, but have sidewall issues.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I rode these tires for a full season and like them for the most part. The traction was excellent for the area that I ride in (northern UT). However, the side walls break down quickly and seep out liquid, so you always get back from a ride with mud caked to your wheels and crap flung all over your frame/fork. Mine bit the bullet when the sidewall got a small slit just above the bead. It took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on because the whole tire was wet and made it hard to find the issue. I would only recommend these if you found them on closeout and didn't mind replacing your tires in a month or two.

Ride well, but have sidewall issues.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I rode these tires for a full season and like them for the most part. The traction was excellent for the area that I ride in (northern UT). However, the side walls break down quickly and seep out liquid, so you always get back from a ride with mud caked to your wheels and crap flung all over your frame/fork. Mine bit the bullet when the sidewall got a small slit just above the bead. It took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on because the whole tire was wet and made it hard to find the issue. I would only recommend these if you found them on closeout and didn't mind replacing your tires in a month or two.

Excellent XC tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Long lasting and really fast . Exceptional on hard pack and loose over hard conditions short of moon dust. Best summer XC tire I have ridden. It is definitely not an all conditions AM tire. For this go to the mountain kings or trail kings.

fast rolling rubber

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Upgraded to these from an older pair of conti's, they rolled noticeably faster over hard pack rolling terrain which is what I prefer to ride. Grip was excellent also, not so solid in sandy conditions but I have yet to have a tire I've been happy with in sand. I would recommend this as a great all around tire, very good in most all conditions and has been very good against punctures.

Solid grip in all conditions

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Have ridden on these just a few times now, but am very pleased with how they handle the mud, and how fast they roll on hard surfaces. Out here in Park City, the mud is like slippery clay. These tires do pretty well in these situations -- they still slip some, but if you stay seated, you can get some good grip. I've been able to ride 6-7% muddy slippery grades with these no problem.

Love those CONTI'S

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just replaced my old set of these with a new set. If you want a pair of tires that have a tight tread pattern that will flat out fly these are a great tire.