Continental Mountain King Kevlar Bead 29er Tire: The Continental Mountain King is an all-around tire available in a 2.2 or 2.4" width. The 2.4 width is recommended for Trail and All Mountain bikes. The 2.2 is best fitted to an XC bike...
Strengths: Works well in loose stuff, wide spaced knobbies shed mud, grips well in ideal conditions.
Weaknesses: squirrely, need to inflate well over 35psi to have it feel acceptable, paper thin sidewalls, wet performannce
Got this tire on a super deal at my LBS and I'm running it on the rear on a Flow rim with a notubes kit. Here in Westchester county, NY we've got a lot of rocks and roots. 3 miles into my first run with these I burped the tire while running at ~25psi. Thankfully I had my air tank and sealant still in the truck so I was able to get back into the woods. Filled it to 35psi and the vagueness on the hard pack disappeared, but being 225lbs (fully loaded) on a HT made the ride a bit harsh. It also felt like the tire lost some of its wet performance, especially on dew covered roots and boulders.
During this initial ride, I unfortunately destroyed the tire with a 1/2" slash on the sidewall from what I thought was a simple pinch flat but turned out to be a tear that Stan's goo couldnt fix.
I'm going to call my LBS when they open today and see what my options are, if any. I think I'll go with the Maxxis Ignitor next.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Purgatory, Maxxis Ardent, Kenda Klaw, Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Bike Setup: Niner A9, XTR, Stans ztr, etc
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2012
Strengths: Hard Pack slick trails, very durable.
Weaknesses: Slightly heavy, and slow. I directly compare these tires to Maxxis Ardent 2.5's which have worse slick trail grip but roll noticeably better, and have much more volume.
For the bigger riders, these tires are EXTREMELY slow.
Early in the year when trails are damp, and late in the year when leaves, and pine needles can cause super slick conditions these tires really shine. They pierce through and absolutely bite, creating a feeling of confidence unparalleled. That being said they are not a do anything tire. The knobs are slightly unsteady on slickrock or granite(maybe better with a lighter rider but I am a clyde), and the biggest drawback of these tires are there speed... they are SLOW.
Strengths: Holds the trail very well. One of the better 29er tires I've ridden for New England trails. A very good all-arounder; handles wet, dry, muddy, rooty, rocky, trails very well. Strong and well built.
Weaknesses: 2.35 is probably like a 2.2. Heavy. Rolling resistance is not the best (maybe due to knobs being a bit farther apart than other tires). It's not the fastest tire on smoother singletrack - it tends to excel at the nasty stuff.
Overall I really like em. I think they are a great tire for New England singletrack. A true AM 29er tire.
a All Mountain Rider
from Beaver County, PA
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2012
Strengths: mud shedding design (so good i added a fender!!!)
good sidewall strength
long lasting tread
Weaknesses: Wee bit heavy (860G for 2.4 folding)
slick on wet roots
Need to pump over 80 lbs of air in them to get them to pop onto rims.
I have used the Continental Mountain King (in the 2.4 as well as the 2.2 width) on 2 different 29er bikes that I use for different trails and have found them to be a favorable tire in just about all conditions.
As most riders, I dont have a tire sponsor so I don't have the money to have different tires for every season,weather condition and type of dirt or trail so I was looking for a tire that would be good for all conditions. An "all season tire" you could say.
I ride a few days a week in the summer at an average of 8-12 miles on singletrack per ride and these tires seem to last forever. I have gotten at least 2 seasons out of them.
The mountain king 29 seem to grip well on almost everything. I found that they corner well in dry dirt, mud and soggy leaves. (they corner HORRIBLY on pavement cornering at high speeds! I found out the hard way at the punk bike enduro....)
They shed mud well due to their wide spaced knob design although the wide spaced knobs seem to slip alot on slick roots (i do not know of many tires that don't). They plow through mud with ease and I never have to stop to clean them off... A few bunny hops and they are clean.
They stick well to turns and inspire confidence which helps me ride to my full potential and are great climbing tires as long as you get the right air pressure.
Getting the tire pressure right can be tricky as I run tubes in these. It seems to me that about 30-35 lbs is good for my 215 lb frame, any less and im pinch flatting and any more and I have less traction than I like. You can easily dial it in through trial and error for your weight and riding ability.
All in all, I like these even know they are a little heavy but I think that comes with a good strong sidewall... and at +/- 45.00, for a tire that will last 2 seasons, you cant beat it.
I am ready for a new set of tires and Continental is replacing this tire with the Mountain King II so look for my next review at the end of this season...
Continental says that they are improving the MK and if this is true, in my opinion, it will be tough to find a better all around tire.
Bike Setup: fisher 29er with nice wide rhythm comp wheels.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hudson Valley
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2011
Strengths: Strong Sidewalls, good company
Weaknesses: Wet conditions, weak thin knobs tear off pretty quickly
In wet conditions with loose debris and mud, wet leaves, rocks and rooty, this tire doesn't impress.
My #1 complaint is: Not enough knobs!!
The "widely spaced lugs," are too few and are too weak.
This may be a decent front tire, but don't put it on the back it will dissappoint.
I ride what I guess you would call very technical cross country, loose messy rooty and rocky east coast conditions that seem to always be pretty wet...... Not hardpack.
Bike Setup: two wheels, handlebars, etc....STEEL HARDTAIL
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2011
Strengths: Tons of grip in wet slimy and muddy conditions. Dual compound rubber,
I traded the weight for the sheer grippy ride-over-everything-iness and have not looked back. I have the 2.4's and ride about 25 psi. I set these up ghetto tubeless with Stans and have only developed a slow leak on the back after two years. I would not recommend these for racing or weight saving.
Similar Products Used: Kenda Karma, Kenda small block 8's
Bike Setup: Mounted these ghetto tubeless on Easton XC rims, riding a Kona King Kahuna
a Cross Country Rider
from Milford, Indiana. U.S.
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2011
Strengths: (2.2 version) Light, somewhat fast rolling, tollerable climbing grip on the rear.
Weaknesses: Super tiny, more like a 1.9 maybe even less. Not at all confidence inspiring for the front, Impossible to get the right PSI without it being to hard or rimming out all the time.
Super small, no cushion whatsoever, grip on the front is terrible, while on the rear it is just O.K. I have played with the PSI alot, and i cant find a happy medium, one snakebite in the first 5 miles of riding, i blame it on to low of psi, but it shouldnt do that anyway. If i add enough PSI to keep i from rimming it feels like a rock. Only reccomend for XC riding on smooth hardpack course, with no sand or mud.
Bike Setup: 2 wheels and some parts. 2.4 Mountain kings front and rear.
a Weekend Warrior
from Chantilly Va USA
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2011
Strengths: Very grippy, Strong sidewalls, used for about 1 year and absolutely no blowouts.
Weaknesses: Bad for Stans. It took several stans fill to plug sidewalls. has alot of tiny holes. Weight. The 2.4 looks like 2.2!
Despite of failures using it as tubeless. It still a very good tire. Good on climbs, mud, rocks and logs. I have never felt scared or going to slip. I must have hit tons of schrubs and sharp rocks and the sidewall holds up very well. Hasnt had any blowouts or side cuts. I recomend it!
Strengths: Great grip, very confident inspiring, good round profile, tough in the rock gardens, and puts up with abuse.
Weaknesses: Wears REALLY fast on rocky terrain.
I REALLY like these tires, and since they came stock on my bike I was surprised at how well they performed. Very solid feeling and provided lots of traction for how little knobbies are on them. The rubber compound is very soft, however, and this proved to be a bummer for the rear tire. I've only had the bike for a little over 3 months, and the middle knobs are all torn/worn down bald. The side knobs are still intact, but the middle of the tire is a slick(!). On the front, the tire looks great however, and I'll continue to run it as it feels good and handles well.
I think for forest paths, wet/muddy conditions these would do great, but just not for the rocky and rough conditions I ride in. This is almost more of a bike path tire and not a try cross country or all mountain tire. I'd recommend it as a front, but not a rear tire.
Strengths: lightweight, not too expensive, good tread design, has the word 'king' on it. Good rear tire for XC riding in general.
Weaknesses: Width, definitely not 2.2, closer to 2.0 of contact at best. Not the best in wet conditions. Not a great font tire for me. Tried to set up two as tubeless with UST rims + Stans. Would not recommend. Would not hold air after over 300 miles of riding now. Have added Stans again, rotated, shaken, ridden, everything i can. Sidewalls have thousands of micro-holes that may never seal. Others have had better luck, just not sure the QC is up to tubeless standards. Okay tire but would not risk it on tubeless or maybe try caffe latex or some other sealant...
I tried to use this tire outside of its intentions. Is a nice, light, tire but not enough to trust tubeless. If it was UST i would not hesitate to return it but it does not claim to be run that way. Tread pattern is nice, would be good in moist or tacky conditions but slips out in Dry and Wet conditions; kind of a moderate weather tire. I think there are better options out there. Other people have had good luck with the sealing issues but 2 friends have still run into the same tread consensus as i have. Not as wide as printed.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Captain (UST), Nevegal 'Tomac' (not UST)
Bike Setup: Red with chili peppers on it.
a Weekend Warrior
from west chester pa
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2010
Strengths: Grip seems very good on tacky and rocky terrain. Only 1 short ride so far. Bead locks on to stans rims easily with an air compressor.
Weaknesses: Way freakin smaller than advertised!!!!
Beware ! The 2.2 is 1.8 across the casing and a hair less than 2 across the widest point of the knobs mounted on a stans 355 rim. I knew I wouldn't like this but I was eager to ride my new 9er. Not nearly enough volume on the rocky terrain I ride. I have to sell these and get the 2.4's.