The Continental Race King is the tire choice of two-time XC World Champion Irina Kalentieva (she scored the silver at the 2010 Worlds at Mt. Ste. Anne in Quebec on these tires, on a very soupy course). While the tire can withstand such goop, its rolled shoulder profile and diamond-head arrow center tread pattern is primarily designed for superb power transfer while maintaining a very low profile so that it rolls exceptionally fast. Luckily, Continental also incorporates transitional knobs from the center to the shoulder of the tire, so that when you're making quick weight transfers, from cornering to straight-ahead power and back again, the tire remains stable and secure beneath you. The shoulder knobs are low-profile, like the rest of the tread. Along the outer edge the pattern is doubled, with a ramped leading edge followed by a block tread -- the ramps roll quickly, but the block bites into the dirt for better traction.Here's the caveat about different types of mud: The tread pattern is fairly tight and if your home turf features stickier mud rather than the soupy variety (clay, perhaps?), a tire with a more open pattern, like Continental's X-King, would shed the slop more quickly. Or for a good pairing for most racing conditions, choose the X-King on the nose, for tauter steering control, and the Race King on the tail, for quicker acceleration and faster rolling. The Continental Race King comes in a 2.2" width with a 26" diameter. The casing features 3 plies totaling 84 TPI under the tread and sidewalls. The tire bead is foldable, and it comes in black on black. Claimed weight is 650g. Application: XC Race / TrailGround: Loose, Hard, Mud
Strengths: High rolling, good control on sand, root, solid ground.
Weaknesses: bad control on wet ground, rocks, sidewall has less protect,
I have ridden on RK RS 29*2.2 a half of season, in summer it was cool tire, amazing control on solid ground, roots!
But when autumn has came I start lose control on wet ground.
Two times I teared a sidewall on rock.
So I decide to use this tires only on dry weather and without rocks.
For the wet weather I use tire with better hard pack.
Strengths: Excellent grip, soft ride, corners well. high volume. quiet and very fast on pavement.
Weaknesses: Mine came in heavier than specified at 457g and 454g, heavier than the 430g specified (2.0 size).
Narrower than claimed, measured 1 7/8" wide @ 35 PSI.
Superb grip, supple ride quality, quiet.
Only 4 stars because heavier and narrower than stated by Continental, should labelled 1.9
Three months and no flats yet although I'm using these 90% on paved surfaces, no knobs have fallen off despite heavy braking unlike some users have experienced on here.
If you use your bike to get around town and ride the occiasonal hard packed trail these are a very good choice grip is outstanding and the low knob height means squirm is virtually absent.
For dedicated XC riding and racing there are plenty of other reviews here.
Strengths: Great climbing grip on hardpack
Fast, incredibly scary fast
Weaknesses: Next to useless on mud or loose dirt
Fragile, keep the heck away from rocks
Cornering can be interesting
This is an all out race tire for relatively smooth hardpack conditions and should be treated as such. It rolls like a slick on hard surfaces and zips up to speed as soon as you put the power down. On hardpack & paved surfaces it's almost unbeatable, it sticks like glue and will grip on the climbs as long as you can keep the cranks turning. I expected it spin out on tree roots but it stuck to those as well.
Downsides? As soon as you hit mud or anything but the thinnest coating of loose dirt, the tire will slide out and dump you on your face, on those surfaces you'll have to ride it as if it's a slick. The Supersonic casing is fragile, it should be treated as a race only tire and not an everyday tire. You'll also have to re-adjust your cornering technique, I've found that a foot down moto-style works best for high speed turns while at lower speeds it helps to weight the tires hard to get it through the turn. If you try to casually lean it through a turn on anything other than paved roads or super solid hardpack, it tends to let go and slide out.
a All Mountain Rider
from Chihuahua, Mexico
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2012
Strengths: Fast rolling... that is pretty much it
Weaknesses: It doesnt sit properly in the rim (while tubeless), beads dont hold air no matter what presure you pump in it
The most frustrating tire I have ever owned....
If the rest of the continental line up is like this I wont try them anymore...
Similar Products Used: Schwalbe tires, WTB TCS tires
Bike Setup: GT Force 3
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2012
Strengths: Fast rolling and great climbing for a rear tire only!
Weaknesses: Rear tire only none, as a front tire everything except when riding on concrete
Bought a set of these over a year ago. After the 1st ride and eating dirt 3 times at the turns, I took them off and put them on my dog running bike. But after buying a new wheelset and setting up ghetto tubeless, to which my Bontrager XR3 would not set, I panned around the garage and seen the conti's. Not wanting to fork out the $$ for yet another tire, I decided to give the Conti another try as a rear only. Note; it set perfectly the 1st time ghetto using 1" gorilla tape and a stans tubeless stem. I have two rides with it on the rear and a Bontrager XR4 up front and must say that I am very pleased with the setup.
Bottomlline: as a rear tire only, perfect, as a front, never ever again.
Another note; my Bontrager XR4 aired up ghetto 1st time also. No issues yet.
from Fort Lauderdale
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2011
Strengths: Super fast, straight line speed and ease of acceleration are great
Weaknesses: Whether dry or wet cornering on these things is a nightmare, i have them front and back and the whole bike just looses it on anything loose but then never gets it back, I can handle a little slip but if you put these tires to the edge theres no getting them back.
I cant stand these tires, I've lost it too many times doing what i do on my home trails, I'm having to slow down my ride because the tires cant hold me in the corners.
Bike Setup: Rocky Mountain Element team, complete XTR components, Fox RL,
XTR hubs and wheels
from Windsor, Ontario
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2011
Strengths: Incredible grip on dry hardpack to (slightly) moist singletrack. Grips wet rock and roots very well. Very fast rolling and very light.
Weaknesses: Zero grip in mud. Thorn resistance of a gum wrapper
Continental's premium "dry" condition race tire. This tire is exceptionally fast on dry hardpack, rock, roots, paved, and moist-but-tacky loam.
The knobs are low and the tire has a "round" profile, minimizing the amount of tire in contact with the ground at any one time. It rolls very, very fast - on paved or hard sections it is almost like a road tire - and it is super-lightweight so it accelerates very quickly.
The secret to the grip is the sticky "Black Chilli" compound rather than the mechanical interlock of the tire knobs. This means that the tire responds well to load: taking a corner at a slow to medium speed may result in sliding, but really load the tire up and corner hard and it will grip. This takes a little getting used to, but once you realize that the tire wants to be worked hard, you can carry a lot more speed than you thought possible.
The tire has two weaknesses:
The first is that it is utterly unsuitable for mud. The low-profile knobs load up immediately and there are no large side lugs to assist when the going gets sloppy. As little as a quarter-inch of mud can cause these tires to instantly break loose. Moist forest loam is fine, but get into mud and you are going for a ride.
The other is the paper-thin Supersonic carcass. Fine for regular use (and actually surprisingly resilient) the carcass offers zero thorn resistance. If your riding area is full of thorns, this tire is not for you.
Note that Continental's size rating is out to lunch. While listed as a 2.0, this tire measures 1.8"
If the aim is going fast, and the conditions match what the tire is designed for, this is an amazing tire.
Similar Products Used: Conti MKs, Schwalbe RoRo, Panaracer Razer MX
Bike Setup: Light weight 26" hardtail. Tires run with tubes at about 28 psi front, and 35 psi rear.
from OC, CA, US
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2011
(29", 2.2) Terrible product. These tires are only useful for straight line, seated climbing. You want to get out of the saddle for some added power? Forget it! They slip if you don't position yourself just right to balance things out. You want to hit a corner on a fire road with any kind of speed? Think again! The rounded profile and low profile side knobs make un-banked cornering a joke.
While those are bad characteristics for a tire to have, the worst is the flimsy - and I do mean flimsy - sidewall. Contrary to problems others have had, I didn't have a problem setting them up tubeless and have never really had major problems with them holding air but where I have a MAJOR problem is with the fact that the sidewall is so week that, once it breaks in, it rolls over every time you dive into a turn making it nothing short of dangerous as you're constantly risking having the tire completely separate from the rim in all moderate or above cornering situations.
Bottom line, don't bother with these things; you'll seriously regret spending your money on garbage!
a Cross Country Rider
from Warne, NC, US
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011
Strengths: Light weight, Big Volume, Easy to mount
Weaknesses: Sloppy mud but what tire doesn't have this as a weakness. Doesn't have great braking power.
I've only put maybe 50 miles on this tire so far but I was so impressed I wanted to review it already. When you first mount this tire you will want to send it back because it is so narrow. The first ride of only 12 miles it grew 1/8in now after only 50 it’s almost the claimed width. Today was the first real test on a pretty technical trail in north Georgia. Most of this trail was loose over hardpack, leaves, roots, rocks, a little mud. The Race King ate it all up. It wasn't great in the mud but no light weight XC tire really is. I had to do a little standing and it barely spun at all on the leafy hill climbs. The big casing low pressure seemed to do well in the roots too. The only thing I wish were a little better is its tendency to let loose during hard braking. I would be nervous to run this as a front tire from the lack of side knobs but for a rear it's awesome. I've been running the Mountain King 2.4 in the front for a while and now with the Race King 2.2 in the rear I'm super happy. I run this tire at 32psi with light weight tubes and I weight close to 200lbs.
Bike Setup: Jamis Dragon Pro Conti Race King 2.2 on rear and Mountain King 2.4 front both tubed.
a Cross Country Rider
from Burgos, España
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2010
Strengths: The price, nobody want this tire so you can find cheap. Fas tire in hard surfaces.
Buena rodadora, muy duradera.
Weaknesses: In wet conditions it is the worst tire ever made. In gravel is very bad. Don´t take corners properly.
No agarran nada en condiciones de mojado, con un poco de agua o rocio de la mañana se convierten en muy peligrosas no traccionando nada. No tiene tacos laterales y no agarra bien en curva. No recomendada para rueda delantera, quizas como trasera pueda servir ya que no es mala rodadora.
This tires are good for people who don´t race. They are fast in good paths but have problems in wet conditions and gravel.
Buena eleccion para gente que va de paseo con la bici o no exige nada a unas cubiertas mas que una buena duracion, ese es el punto fuerte, la duracion. Ademas es buena rodadora, cosa que sirve de poco si no agarra en curva con terreno suelto o humedo.
Similar Products Used: Kenda, Schwalbe, michelin, tioga, maxxis, duro, Huchinson.
Bike Setup: Exclusive genesis full XT
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2010
Strengths: Looks good when new in box.
Weaknesses: Sidewall Completely Exposed. Slip/slide over any lare rock and the sidewall is ripped and cause of a flat. Knobs are falling off. One tire has about 60 knobs gone.
I am only 160Lb not racer, not aggressive rider, not downhiller. Yet, this tire is a disaster. Any large rock ripps sidewalls, knobbies are falling off. This tire is the worst tire I had in 10 years of riding.
Similar Products Used: Kendas, Hutchinson, Bontrager, Specialized all never had so many knobbies falling off!
Bike Setup: 3 different MTB'S
a Cross Country Rider
from Tuchola, Poland
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2010
Strengths: RK 2.2 SS, light, durable, fast rolling, low rolling resistance, comfortable. I have 9500km on mine and still use them I think that they sould last at least for 12000km.
Better than Racing Ralph, way better than Hutchinson Python.
Light! 480g for 2.2 is a nice weight. Roll faster than 2.0 Pythons!
Weaknesses: Price, not very good in wet and slippery conditions (mud).
This is a tire for dry conditions but I use it all year so I ride in wet and even snow. If you are secure then they are ok!
Recommended for dry conditions and for riders who like comfort. Fast on roads, fast in forest and fields. Good for sandy trails. Made my HT as comfortable as full ;-)