Continental Race King 29er Tire

3.22/5 (18 Reviews)
MSRP : $44.95

  • Store Price
    Buy Now
    Buy Now

Product Description

If you find that standing on top is more rewarding that sullenly swilling beers in the parking lot, the Continental Race King 29-inch Tire is for you. Providing a low-profile pattern that rolls fast and is able to handle just about any terrain or condition, the Race King is the perfect package...

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Magic Bronx a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2016

Strengths:    It's fast on tarmac and hardpack and that's about it. Seems to go on sale more often than other tires...

Weaknesses:    - wears out like it's a fire sale!
- scary at leaner angles.
- expensive for what it is: a sub-mediocre XC tire.
- sub-par compound; any entry-level Maxxis will put it to shame.
- weak sidewalls.

Bottom Line:   
It's surprising how bleak this tire is. It's a low resistance roller but that's about all it has going for it and not even that considering it gives zero confidence when pushed into corners. Continental have some of the poorest compounds I've ever come across: wears out like crazy all the while making even the most basic entry-level Maxxis compound feel super-tacky by comparison.
I would not recommend these tires, not even offered for free as they offer zero confidence mounted up front and provide insufficient climbing power in the rear. I guess it could work for commuting or cyclocross but MTB rubber this ain't.
There are great tires out there but this isn't even in the same zip code.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   woodsy

Duration Product Used:   almost a year

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   CSTs, Kendas, Maxxis and Conti.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rod a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2016

Strengths:    My review is for the 29 2.2 Protection. Great volume, traction, grip, and the black chili compound makes it long lasting. I use these tires for years. The sidewalls will wear out before the tread and I ride these 8 miles to the trail multiple times a week.

Weaknesses:    Hevier than other tires, but that's the tradeoff for the thicker sidewalls.

Bottom Line:   
Best tire that I've used. I run these on the front, mostly on the back, and I have no complaints. In mixed conditons it is best to put a more aggressive tire on the front. In short, buy these. About me, former cat 1 racer who's a self proclaimed tire junkie.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by RogerMty1971

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2015

Strengths:    Fast rolling, good volume

Weaknesses:    Very difficult to set up Tubeless, not a great grip

Bottom Line:   
My LBS sold me this Protection version as a Tubeless ready, and after replacing my Geax Aka TNT started leaking inmediately on the bead. It was a slow leak, so you could do a ride in the morning but in the night the tire would have about 10 psi left. In the middle of a long ride, every 3 hours you have to pump more air just to be sure I don´t damage the rim or the tire for rolling at very low pressures. My rims are WTB Frequency i19 and have worked very well before in a tubeless setup with the AKA TNT tires, they lasted until there were totally flat.

Why Continental advertise them as Tubeless Ready when they are clearly not? This is a very good question to ask them. And what is even more confusing is a lot of people could set them up tubeless we tried three times and it there was always a leak. When I change the tire to a Specialized Ground Control 29 2.1 it sealed perfectly in the first try.

The Geax AKA and Specialized Ground Control are more grippy, but the Continental RK roll faster.

In summary, this tire may be good for you if want to run it with tubes, and ride in a smooth dry hardpack because it is very fast.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by JVW

Date Reviewed: February 9, 2015

Strengths:    I just purchased the Race Kings Protection 29ers 2.2. My strengths and weaknesses are going to heavily contradict most of the reviews I've read here. I think the tire is actually slow. I just replaced my Bontrager XR1 Expert tires for these today and on my 5 mile ride from the LBS back to my home, I immediately noticed a significant speed reduction from my XR1s. Also, what I really like about these tires though, is how well built they seem to be. The protection model tires have excellent sidewalls, unlike the complaints I've read, and these tires seem to be built like a tank. I'm thinking a lot of the reviews here about the paper-thin sidewalls must be the Sport version which is not made in Germany?

Weaknesses:    I found these tires to be somewhat slower than the ones they've replaced (Bontrager XR1 Expert) The trade-off, I think I will like the stability of these tires but will miss the speed I had with the Bontragers.

Bottom Line:   
I'm going to ride on them for the next few months; if the noticeable acceleration and lack of floating bothers me too much, I will switch back to the Bontragers. I do, however, feel that these are great tires for strength and stability. I think they will most likely handle better on dirt at least as well, or even more likely, better than the Bontragers.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by William Gregory a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2014

Strengths:    The thread pattern is best suited for speed. Seems to have reduced weight compared to competition in the same price range.
I found it to be best when used on the rear wheel as it has a thread pattern that has low rolling resistance and favors fast acceleration. For anyone thinking about mounting a RK's front and back, I recommend using the 2.2 variant in the front or a different tire that provides more grip in the corners.
The RK cleans itself very good due to it's thread pattern.

Weaknesses:    I ride my 29er a few times a week, on a combination of tarmac, asphalt and dirt roads. After a couple of months of use, the thread pattern is looking more worn down than I had anticipated. I somehow expected a more durable thread compound from Continental.
Using the 2.0 on the front wheel was not the most reassuring biking experience. For this reason, I resorted to using the RK2.0 on the back only.
I feel there's tires out there in the same price range that provide more grip when cornering and also benefit from low rolling resistance and fast acceleration. For this reason, I can't give the Conti more than 2 chilis in the value dept. It's a good, proper tire, don't get me wrong, it's just not something I would recommend to anyone wanting to use it more than 5 years for commuting and weekend riding.

Bottom Line:   
My review regards the 2.0 variant of the Conti 29er tire. I bought a pair of these for about 27$ apiece, however after a brief while, I decided to only use the one on the back. The reason for this was poor grip on the front when cornering at high speeds on asphalt and tarmac, especially the wet & gritty kind. However, the one on the back did a good job following through and, because of light weight and thread pattern, was especially fast and provided low rolling resistance, a particular good combination for faster acceleration.
My rating reflects the use of the RK2.0 during summer and fall; I didn't get to see how it performs in the mud or snow.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   forest type

Duration Product Used:   5months

Price Paid:    $27.00

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Karma L3R Pro 29x2.2,
Kenda Small Block Eight 29x2.1,
26" CSTs

Bike Setup:   front: Kenda Karma
rear: Kenda SB8

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rob a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2013

Strengths:    Cont Race King RaceSport / Black Chili Compound / 180tpi:
very fast rolling, supple, mostly enough grip for XC/marathon, work very well with latex tubes

Weaknesses:    narrow gap for good working air pressure (~1.8 - 2.1 bar on 19mm Rim and ~80kg),
brittle sidewalls after ~3000km

Bottom Line:   
Used theses tires on a hardtail front and rear with latex tubes. No problems with flat tires so far but after about 4 months of use there was wear in kind of exposed fibres visible at the sidewalls. After 9 months I had to throw away the rear tire because of a ~1cm crack in the sidewall. The latex tube held up the air so far.

On pavement I am nearly as fast as with my race bike (certainly not the best tires on there!).
On trails I am faster with a grippier front tire (e.g. Schwalbe Rocket Ron)
Next time I will try fast XC tires with more durable sidewalls, maybe Maxxis Crossmark UST on Mavic UST rims.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   9 months

Price Paid:    $27.00

Purchased At:   http://www.outdoor-b

Similar Products Used:   Front: Rocket Ron
Rear: Racing Ralph

Bike Setup:   29er Hardtail

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by ron

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2013

Strengths:    Low rolling resistence. Fast xc tire.

Weaknesses:    Terrible value. I currently have <150 miles on the tires and the belts/threads are showing through on the side walls. They just don't seem worth the money they cost. A friend who also runs the tires in Cat 1 has told me of several DNF races due to flats or tears in the side walls.

Bottom Line:   
If I could go back and purchase a different tire, I would. $100 set of tires. 150 miles till belts are showing through the side walls. Equals to .66 cents per mile. Also, the miles were not in a rocky terrain area. I live in Dallas and most of the trails are clay based xc.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by JW King a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 24, 2013

Strengths:    Speed, weight.

Weaknesses:    cornering, stability.

Bottom Line:   
I ride a liteville 301, on 650b RR, and had a lot off different tires. Now on my new Niner Air 9 RDO, I tried the Race King's.
At first I thought a had a flat tire, after a few miles, the rear wheel drifted a few times, on the technical trails, and in the fast corners. I am riding them with 1.9bar, and my weight is 84 kilo's.
The second ride during our training, in a 160 corner, I put some more weight on the front wheel to sweep the back side around the corner, and the frond tire ran of the rim, so I ruined my frond wheel! I tried the X-king, good grip, but these were to heavy.
Now the guy's from the shop gave me the S-works Renegate's, and replaced my front wheel (all for free). Now I feel in control again, and I can take the corners at full speed again. I will keep these, for sure!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ischgl, Berina pas

Duration Product Used:   4 weeks

Price Paid:    $85.00

Purchased At:   Sector2Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Swalbe: Racing Ralph, Rocked Ron, Nibby Nick
Continental: X-king

Bike Setup:   Niner air 9 RDO, BOR 366Wheels, Sram XX1, brakes: Sram XX, tires: S-works Renegate, Fork: Niner carbon.
Liteville 301, DT-Swiss 240 650Bwheels, Sram XO 3X10, Tires: Swalbe Racing Ralph, Fork: Fox 120mm.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by adub1978

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2013

Strengths:    roll quickly and mount up tubeless style easily

Weaknesses:    paper thin sidewalls. less than three hours ride time and the rear was shot

Bottom Line:   
I am not a bulldog on my bike. I am a finesse rider and don't barrel over everything on the trail. I have run maxxis ikons fr and rr for over a year with one puncture that was fixable. that tire is still running strong today. on the race king I went out for my second ride and tore a big hole in the sidewall while riding up a trail with little to no obstacles/rocks/roots. stan's did not seal it and I will not be replacing it with another race king. if it is replaced under warrantee (and I hope it is) it will be a backup tire, but I will never put this on my bike unless I am in a pinch. not recommended.
I am not a burly guy either. 150 lbs and I was running 28 psi in the rr

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lotusoperandi a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2012

Strengths:    Rolls fast, rides smooth, ultra soft with high volume for rigid riders like myself, relatively lightweight, not too expensive

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Took a chance on this tire for my fully rigid Niner MCR9 with Niner carbon fork and am very happy I did. I've been running Panaracer Ramages 2.35 front and rear (and these are great tires mind you) but wanted to explore a tire in the rear with a little less rolling resistance. I'm running it tubeless on Stan's rims (355's) and the tire mounted easily with a floor pump and is holding air just fine. The thing that stands out for me is that this tire is "softer" than the Rampages. The compound seems to have a little more compliancy which is important for adding a little more plushness to my rigid ride. As far as traction goes out of the saddle climbing was not a problem at all...maybe a "little" less grip than a Rampage in the rear but the compliancy and rolling resistance more than make up for it. As far as cornering goes, in the rear I noticed no change from the Rampage. Hit 37 mph on a downhill today with some gravelly corners and didn't notice any washing.

Don't know how it will perform up front but I am tempted to try it. I REALLY like this tire so far in the rear. High volume, fast, relatively light, not ungodly expensive (ahem, schwalbe, cough cough), plush, mounts tubeless, good grip...what more can you ask for?

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Panaracer Rampages, Kenda Nevegal, Bontrager XR-4, Stan's Raven, IRC Mibro, Schwalbe Racing Ralph

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BruceBrown a Racer from Iowa

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2012

Strengths:    Need a tire that's got street and gravel cred to ride to and from the trailhead? This is it. I rank it very high right up there with "the tire" - the WTB Nanoraptor. Enough traction for dry hardpack XC riding and racing, and a good fast tread pattern to get one to and from the trailhead with ease thanks to a favorable rolling resistance. This is a very tall tire volume wise which gives good clearance for the BB and pedals.

Weaknesses:    None that I can think of, although it weighs more than some others in the 2.2 XC dry condition category.

Bottom Line:   
Great XC dry conditions tire for the Midwest, California and wherever the terrain is dry. I've put a lot of miles on these on pavement and gravel riding to and from the trailhead (trailhead is about 8 miles from my house) in the past 2 years. I see little of any tread wear to date, so I expect them to last as long as my WTB Nanoraptors - another great rolling tread that works off and on the trail.

This is a very well balanced, tall volume XC tire that is good for all around, XC racing and riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Storm Mountain

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   BikeWorld in Des Moi

Similar Products Used:   Racing Ralph 2.25, Ikon 2.2, WTB Nanoraptor, Maxxis Crossmark 2.1

Bike Setup:   Salsa Dos Niner, JET 9, Surly Karate Monkey - I run the Race Kings on all three bikes tubeless using Stans rims, Velocity Blunt rims and American Classic rims.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by figo a Racer from Finland

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2011

Strengths:    Good volume, quite a bit of grip despite the small knobs, rolls well

Weaknesses:    Heavy, sidewalls are made of toilet paper (I ripped 2 sidewalls in 2 rides on fairly smooth terrain)

Bottom Line:   
After cutting the first sidewall I assumed I must have hit a hidden (or imaginary) rock, last night I cut another tire's sidewall on pretty smooth terrain. In the past years (on a 26er) I've perhaps had 2 flats, on these tires 2 in 2 days, too much for me. As the Schwalbes roll better I'll be giving those a try, I can't imagine the sidewalls being worse..

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager 29-0

Bike Setup:   Tallboy, Lefty, AM classic wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DirtRoadie a Cross Country Rider from Durango CO

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2010

Strengths:    Light, Supple, Rolls well, Grippy

Weaknesses:    No real weaknesses if used within it's design parameters

Bottom Line:   
Excellent tire. See strengths above. It is great in the conditions I ride (dry, mostly hardpack to rocky) and for my riding (XC style, light technical - staying on the ground).
My pair is quite light (614/638g) but fairly large (fatter than a Maxxis Crossmark on the same rim). These have the rounded profile that I prefer and have a responsive lively feel with a very cushy ride. The suppleness makes them excellent for things like slow technical climbing. They are excellent on pavement and hardpack. Small changes in air pressure make a substantial difference in feel. 25ish psi seems good as a balance between cushiness and having enough lateral stability. Rear traction seems a tad better than the Crossmark and the rubber seems a little stickier (this has been my experience with most Contis), but the Crossmark seems to wear a little better. The Race Kings might not be the best for heavy duty thrashing or constantly loose and/or muddy conditions. However they handle those conditions on occasion and are holding up well.

Conclusion: I like 'em and highly recommend them as an excellent all rounder for XC and trail type riding in dry and/or packed conditions.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   White Rim

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Maxxis Crossmark

Bike Setup:   Dos Niner, retro setup

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by thomllama a Cross Country Rider from Old Lyme, CT

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2010

Strengths:    Light, Fast roll, clears mud easy

Weaknesses:    tad heavier than the Mtn King...

Bottom Line:   
I have used other low profile tires on the 29er before and have hated all of them. Even a slightly moist dew in the morning and both the SB8's and the Fast trac's treads load up and you are basically riding a sloppy slick!! sucks!! that and they all kinda sand blast my legs which is very annoying. Been really happy with Mtn Kings but they kinda squirm on the tall knobs when riding solid rock face. So I tried a Race King when I went to order a Mtn King for the rear. Figured give it a try and sell on Ebay if I didn't like it. Well it's still on the Bike.!!! the knobs are short, but more widely spaced than the other 2 tiny tread tires. Gets great traction in almost all terrains, much better than I expected actually. Seals up Tubeless just fine, never had an Issue with the tire it's self leaking (having issues with the Stem sealing after a change of rim tape but that has nothing to do with the tire)
Fit really well with Velocity's P-35 super wide rim. Did get a bit of the sand blast at first but a friend said to do a few road miles and it would lessen it up. It did, and actually went away 100%
Probably not going to stay on the bike for the winter but it's definitely my favorite 3 season tire for the rear ( don't think I'd put it on the front, like bigger knobs there though if I rode on hard pack or cliff/ridge rock more I might)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rocky Point Long Island, Bluff Point in CT

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Kenda SB8's, Specialized Fast Trac, Mt Kings, Nevegals, Kenda Klaws

Bike Setup:   Voodoo Canzo 29er - Race King Rear Mtn King Front

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by anthony.delorenzo a Weekend Warrior from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2010

Strengths:    Fast! with decent grip in most conditions. Sets up well on a tubeless conversion.

Weaknesses:    Doesn't handle muddy conditions well.

Bottom Line:   
This tire is fast! Great fast-rolling tire, I'm loving it set up tubeless with a Mountain King front. Things get interesting in muddy conditions, but otherwise a great tire. Did I mention it's fast?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Rampage, Wierwolf, Racing Ralph, Exiwolf

Bike Setup:   Singlespeed 29er hardtail, Race King rear, Mountain King front, tubeless

Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating