Writing for the web
Tyres make a big difference to the quality of your XC ride. Choose well and you will enjoy a fast yet smooth and controlled ride – make a poor choice, and well, yea – not quite so much fun.
So, to help you get on the right track with your tyre decisions this season, I’m gonna run through Continental’s latest range of XC rubber.
The X King is a fast rolling intermediate tyre that's great for all round XC. Its mid sized lugs offer excellent grip in dry to damp conditions with the positioning of its shoulder lugs offering good cornering stability. The tread pattern is well enough spaced to shed light mud, so all in all, a great all-round UK summer XC tyre. Pretty good on the road too, if you need to ride some tarmac to get to your trailheads. Continental offers these in 2.0, 2.20 for XC and a 2.40 for more aggressive Trail and Enduro.
The Race King is a shallow tread hardpack racing tyre that can be used for general XC. It rolls incredibly fast in firm conditions whilst still offering a confidence inspiring level of grip and cornering stability. The only trouble is they don’t do mud – a bit like wearing flip-flops on ice. That said, if you like the feel of a really fast tyre over the summer months, a good choice. They come in 2.0 and 2.2 sizes.
The Mountain King is the big brother of the X King. This tyre has a more aggressive tread pattern than the X King and its pronounced shoulder studs offer great cornering control in the wet. Wide lug spacing helps with mud clearance and the tougher sidewalls help to prevent rocks cuts. Overall, it’s a tough tyre that's suited to rugged, rocky or wet conditions. It comes in a standard 2.2 for XC and 2.4 option for the more Trail and Enduro orientated.
The Mud King has spiked, well-spaced lugs on both the shoulders and the centre of the tread. This allows it to cut through the top layer of mud and grip the firmer ground laying underneath. The 1.8 width of this XC tyre also helps with mud clearance, allowing more space between frame and tyre. It's worth noting that this tyre is designed solely for racers and recreational riders that don’t mind going out when everyone else wants to stay in. There's also a 2.3 option available, designed for DH.
Continental MTB tyres are available in a number of options, ranging from the budget compound wired bead, running through to the higher performance Pure Grip and Black Chilli compounds. A ProTection sidewall option has a UST bead and the RaceSport version offers a more lightweight construction that can also be used tubeless.
Posted by DL