Continental Race King UST Tire
When Continental introduced the black chili compound in back in 2007, it instantly became a hit with cyclists. Black chili compound is only made at the Continental factory in Korbach, Germany. Nano soot particles added to the rubber improve Continental tire's ability the grip the trail and reduce rolling resistance. We recently tested the Continental Mountain King tire, so we were eager to get our hands on a pair of Continental Race King UST Tires and prove their worth.
We mounted a pair of tires to our trusty steed (Santa Cruz Heckler) and gave them a quality field test. We installed a 2.2 tire on the front wheel and a 2.0 tire on the rear. The 2.2 tire weighed 660 grams and 2.0 tire weighed 580 grams -- not bad at all for a UST tire. Both tires measured slightly narrower than advertised. The tires are designed to work with UST and Rigida/ Negesti rims and wheels. The UST tires have 3 plies and 330 threads per inch, making them incredibly durable and less susceptible to pinch flats. And, because there's no tube, you can run them at lower pressures improving ride quality and traction all the while.
The Continental Race King UST Tires showed their true colors on hard pack trail conditions. The tires rolled extremely well on the trail and the road. You don't have to worry about the tractor tire feel of more aggressive mountain bike tires. The triangular knobs are tightly spaced across the tire with a center row of directional tread creating a smooth ride, yet provided plenty of "grab" when necessary. The UST tires were easily installed by hand on a pair of Bontrager Mustang Tubeless rims. We tested the tires in a variety of trail conditions in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. The tires were inflated to 32psi in the front and 30 psi in the rear giving the tires an ample contact patch with the ground. We found that the tire performed best on hardpack trails in both wet and dry conditions. The tire seemingly (and surprisingly) stuck to the trail over wet rock and roots. There was no need to be timid while railing through tight corners. These tires tenaciously gripped the trails, and they shed mud and dirt surprisingly well, except in extremely wet clay-rich soils.
The Continental Race King UST tires were perfect for trail riding and urban assault rides. They were built for speed, and easily lived up to their name. We were impressed with the ride quality and durability of the Race King Tires during our two-month test session. The 2.0 tires are a little narrow for rocky trail riding conditions -- easily remedied with the 2.2 version. The Race King tires are also offered in a Supersonic 26 inch tire, ProTection 26 inch tire and 29-inch tire. The Supersonic tires have 180 threads per inch making them an incredibly lightweight tire. If you are looking for a more aggressive tread pattern to ride in a wide variety of trail conditions, we suggest you also consider the Continental Mountain King or Continental Rain King Tires.