Strengths: Grip, cornering, transition, confidence, tough, easy to install
I have the Trail King 2.4 UST on the front of my FTM. Yes, it's a VERY heavy tire but not once do I worry about it cutting, blowing or losing it. It's built like a cast iron tank and affords you the confidence to attack the trail rather than work around it. It rolls decently for it's size and the lug pattern. The transition from the middle to the edge lugs is superb. It's a seamless transfer and is under control in all situations. This tire rolls a little slow on a packed dry trail but once it's up to speed it's fine. It grips in every condition. In the wet the Black Chili grabs rocks and roots with ease and doesn't allow much of anything to throw it off track. It doesn't clog up much with mud and the slick clay doesn't bother it too much(c'mon...what tire DOESN'T get affected by it?). If it weren't so darn heavy and large I'd have it on the back end. Instead, I got a 2.4 MKII which is a little smaller(a little).
Strengths: Center traction, great wear, easy to set up as Tubless, high volume, great traction overall in anything, good cornering ability, very little tread block squirm, very predictable responses from casing and break away points. Roll decent for a big tire.
Weaknesses: A little heav, but not too heavy, more size options, the difference between the 2.4 which is giant and the 2.2, which is tiny requires something in between. Little expensive too, barely fits the rear of my Nomad C.
I have the 2.4 Rubber Queens (trail kings purchased from Europe) with Apex sidewalls tubeless ready. Rocks, roots, wet, dry, loose over hardback these are flat out great tires. We rode the The Whole Enchilada downhill in Moab twice last year and the conditions vary from wet rooty slippery rocks, to loose over hard pack, to sand stone all in one ride. These tires are incredibly grippy and predictable in all those conditions. I ran mine about 24 PSI front and 26 PSI rear on my Nomad C never burped or rolled. We have this trail called Apex and it puts tires in their graves. I have wrecked tires from four different companies on this trail. After about 500 miles I got a thorn in the casing and it was leaking. I assumed Stan's would seal it. Bad mistake with to little air pressure at Mach 5 speeds I cut the sidewalk on the rim repeatedly hitting tomahawk type rocks. User error. I tried some Hans Dampf's as replacements. The HD's puncture easier, don't wear as well, and the knobby's squirm a lot in corners with hardpack. My HD's have more wear after 250 miles than my RQ/TK's did after a full season. The HD's Corner slightly better but don't hook up as well in off camber situations and aren't nearly as predictable. The HD is a good tire but I prefer how predictable the RQ/TK is.
Honestly Bike mag just crowned it their favorite tire right after naming it their runner up to the Dampf. Those guys who are writing its the worst tire ever surely don't have the Black Chili version and I would go UST or Protection version for sure.Don't bother with the other versions of the tire. I ride AM in CO, plenty or rocks, jumps and drops as well as choppy techy high speed descents for reference.
Similar Products Used: Kenyan Nevegal, Hans Dampf, Nobby nic's, vertical Pro, specialized Eskar and Ground Control
Bike Setup: Nomad C
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2013
Strengths: Fills the rear triangle of my KOXX red sky very closely. Sticks to obstacles like a trials bike should. Lighter than a Try-All sticky lite. Excellent for the smaller riders that cannot preload a 2 ply tire as well. Lively feel on the rear of a trials bike if you don't like the dead feel of most dh tires. I run this tire between 14 - 24 psi depending on the sections features. Have had no issues with sidewalls from low pressure operation in trials.
Weaknesses: Not for the heavy basher style rider. Elephants need not apply!
Excellent trials rear tire for well skilled smooth riders
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2013
Strengths: Ride here in Eugene Oregon and the 2.2 version Trail King grabs wet roots, rocks and mud better than the Nevagal did and is lighter.
Weaknesses: Had difficulty setting up the tire tubeless since it's not tubeless specific. Ended up putting a little Stans into the tire, put a tube in and pumped it up till the bead snaped into my Stans Tubeless rims. Once the bead was set and the tire formed into position I undid the bead on one side leaving the other bead secured and was able to pull the tube and pump up the tire allowing it to seat nicely and hold air. Never had this problem with Nevagals since they're tubeless ready and was able to just pump them up easily with a floor pump. After this the tires leaked Stans in tiny bits out the side so I had to do a lot of tire shaking to work the Stans latex into the pin holes. After 3 days of checking the tires day and evenin and re-pumping and re-shaking they finally held air well and I was able to complete a long ride without any air seepage. Pain in the butt but they grab better and I wanted to shave a pound of weight off the tires. Worth the effort.
Once seated and sealed a great tire. I'm hoping they hold onto the rim ok with some 3-4 foot drops and technical riding through rocks. They do bite well and they're lighter than Nevagals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2013
Strengths: Big casing, looks like a true 2.2 noteTHIS IS A REVIEW FOR THE 2.2, lightweight, good traction, seems to roll fast. This tire has lots of volume= cushy ride. If I can, I might try and run the 2.4 on my hardtail.
Weaknesses: soft casing, but that's what happens when you weigh this little, other than that, not much. Sidewall tends to fall apart if run at really low pressure
Well, seeing as this tire was free, with almost new tread from the recycle pile at MEC, I cannot complain. I needed a tire and it was there. I got a flat on it first time out, but I always run double walled Kenda Kinetics that weigh 1000 grams, so this at 700 is a flyweight. I have experimented with many pressures, and at 160lbs, I feel the correct tire pressure to avoid any pinch flats is 20-21lbs. This might, however, not avoid rim damage from a large impact higher than 18" for true XC work, it works well. I would not free ride with this as the sidewalls deform, tread seems to grip the trails here in North Vancouver pretty well, lotsa roots and rocks and always wet. The correct pressure is the key. They have a nice amount of volume, and pair nicely with Rhyno Lites (which are anything but, and negate any weight savings) This tire is comfortable being ridden for all mountain I feel, if you are lightweight.
Strengths: Volume, grip, & wear. I'm comparing these to Nevegal 2.35 x 26, both DTC & Stick-E, which I used exclusively for 6 or 7 years prior on various bikes. I changed to Trail King 2.4 x 26 folding/conventional (not UST), front and rear on Mojo HD 160 in July, 2012. The tall sidewalls make my bike a "26.5-incher", or so, and the high volume allows me to run at least 5 psi lower than Nevegal. Cornering is waaaaaay better than Nevegal - the grip is confidence-building. I didn't expect the black chili rubber to wear so much better compared to Nevegal DTC (& therefore much, much better than Stick-E) - making the higher price of these tires about the same as Nevegals, maybe less. Can't say enough positive - riding no tubes (Stan's) on technical singletrack (granite and roots, often wet), never a snakebite, even though once or twice while running very low pressure in wet conditions over rocky terrain I have felt the rim just barely kiss the tire. The 2.4 are also significantly wider than Nevegal 2.35, which adding stability. I did originally try these tires 2.4 front/2.2 rear, however the 2.2 in the rear, while obviously lighter, has smaller knobs and lower volume, and doesn't hold in cornering and didn't have that volume which or allow me to run lower pressure, as I do with the 2.4.
Weaknesses: Weight - I'm a recovering weight weenie, so the rotational momentum climbing at low speed on technical singletrack is significantly higher & noticeable than with 2.35 Nevegal -- I'm hoping it's making me stronger even though still slower. I am though quite certain that there's less rolling resistance with Trail King compared to Nevegal.
Heavy & pricey, but worth it for the cornering & downhill stability & longer wearing rubber. I feel much more confident on these tires.
Strengths: I can't in good conscience state any strengths when the weaknesses were so great
Weaknesses: Incredibly weak tires!
Do not hook up quite as well as other tires that cost half as much.
You cannot and should not under any circumstance freeride with these tires
I bought these tires based on the reviews posted and due to the fact that I used to run Continental tires (Comp Pro's) when I did much more cross country riding and love them. Unfortunately these tires are horrendous. I normally run Nevegals and the 20 or so guys I ride with have all, at one time or another, commented on how much I slip out with these tires. The seems to hook up well on solid rock but when you get into anything other than solid rock they just don't hold well. They have much less rolling resistance than other tires I've used and they are definitely lighter. Although lighter usually means weaker! Three of my buddies have complained bitterly about how these tires warp if you push them too hard and sure enough it happened this weekend. I was running through some berms and heard my tires make what I thought was a tearing sound. I just thought it was the tire biting into the berm until the tire started banging into the frame. Brand new tire warped into uselessness with less than probably 15 miles on it! No tire should behave this way and certainly not one that costs $70+!!! To be honest I had never heard of this happening before these tires.
I would absolutely not recommend these tires if you do anything other than cross country riding. That pretty much eliminates any riding since you are not going to cross country ride with a 2.4"....
Strengths: Low rolling resistance, tire freaking grips EVERYTHING. Very predictable, big volume tire.
Weaknesses: None so far
I was running a Kenda Nevegal Stick-e 2.35 tire on the front of my stumpy evo. It was good, but then decided to try a butcher control. I was un-impressed with the butcher here in Utah for some reason. I decided I like the rounder profile tires and heard a lot of good stuff about the trail king, so I gave it a try. Unbelievable! I’ve ridden this tire on long rocky trails, raced Super D, loose over hard, gravel, tacky, and asphalt. Thus far and it grips amazingly well and very confidence inspiring.
I have it on my Stumpy evo and weigh 185 without gear. I run them with tubes and keep the front tire pressure at about 30-32. I LOVE this tire and can’t see myself putting anything else on.
Strengths: Good all-around tire.
Works very well on wet rocks and roots (Black Chili, yeah!).
Seems to wear slowly, especially given its grip on roots.
Round profile, so it's very consistent.
Set up tubeless with little hassle.
Weaknesses: Round profile, so it doesn't grab in the corners like some other tires.
Didn't fit in my frame...
Expensive, but given the wear and tear, not a bad value.
This has been a fantastic tire over the winter here in WNC. It is predictable, cushy, and somewhat light given its size. I have it set up tubeless on a Stan's Flow rim, and I haven't had any issues in 5 months. I highly recommend this tire unless you appreciate the cornering edge of a Maxxis DHF, High Roller, etc. I really like this tire, but I miss the cornering bite of a more square-profiled tire.
Rolls much faster than you'd think it would roll when you look at it
Loves low pressures
Absorbs bumps in the trails like a shock
This is a great do everything tire. If you're into winning races and are going to be on a non-technical course, this tire would not be your choice. But, in every other cross country and all mountain riding scenario when you want a tire that you can confidently tackle foreign trails or rip through trails you know, this is the tire. It even rolls okay on pavement for those that ride to the trail head. I have over 2,000 miles on my current front tire and it barely looks worn. My rear is at 1,000 miles and it looks no more than 70% worn. Very impressive tire.
Strengths: Great traction, holds well when leaned over, good durability.
Weaknesses: Not as sticky as some when things get wet, and can pack up with mud due to spacing.
I'm running the 2.2's in black chili, non-ust and love them. I've had them for a full year now, and just bought another for the rear. I ride in the northeast, with lots of tech. They roll faster than others with this amount of traction, and the weight is reasonable. They corner well and can hold a line. This is sometimes a challenge when I want to wash the back out in a corner, but that has more to do with my limited skills than the tire (which is doing what it is supposed to do). I run them tubeless with Flow's and they are holding very well. I will switch them out to a faster tire when I head for more flowy riding areas, but otherwise they are staying on.
Similar Products Used: I've riddent Ardents, Nevegals, Racing Ralphs, Captains.
Bike Setup: Turner DW 5-spot
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2012
Strengths: This tire grips really well in all conditions
Weaknesses: It is a little on the heavy side
So far I have had the chance to try these tires in snow, mud, loose rocks and gravel, hard pack, and wet rooty trails (spring in Montana). These tires grip very well, I have the 2.4 with black chili up front and a regular 2.2 on the back. This tire is very predictable and even sheds mud and snow much better than other tires that I have used. I love these tires.
Similar Products Used: Panaracer Fire XC Pro, Maxxis Ignitor, Trail Bear
Bike Setup: Cannondale Prophet
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2012
Strengths: Lean predictability, high volume, snug rim fit=tubeless with a floor pump. Quality rubber compound. Light!
Weaknesses: Depending on your rim, get ready for a wrestling match.
This tire offers an excellent balance between the comfort and predictability of a round tire (exiwolf, etc) with the confidence-inspiring big footprint of a 2.5 square DH tire. Killer traction in loam, sheds well in muck. Not the fastest rolling tire out there. For $60-70, the rubber compound/weight/volume is a good deal.
If you are racing cross-country, this may not be the fastest option. If you want a capable, predictable, light, comfy high-volume tire for trail shredding, this is your ticket to ride. Comparable to some of the high-volume lightweight Schwalbe tires out there.
Similar Products Used: 2.3" exiwolf, 2.0 captain (ew).
Bike Setup: 6" trail bike set up for a 115lb rider.
a All Mountain Rider
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2012
Strengths: Superb wet traction! Roots, rocks, and mud it does it all.
Giving credit where credit is due. I am impressed with the Trail King's. Swapped in a 2.4 on the front to replace my 2.35 60a High Roller. Unbelievable difference (at least in the wet NW). It regained cornering confidence with it's ability to stay put during hard cornering and resistance to "wash out'. It also has superb traction on wet roots and rocks. I had to purhase a 2.2 trail king to replace the High Roller on the rear as well. I had the Mountain King (new style) in hand and really wanted to try it but couldn't pass on the already proven Trail's.
had my lbs order one for the front. wanted to try the large casing for plowing ruff sections. but most of my trails is so cal hardpack loose desert conditions. the tk had a lot of loyal users so I figured I couldn't loose. anyone impressed with it for my conditions. my thought is to run it with an ... Read More »
Just got off Ardents 2.4", both got side walls slashed with in a week of each other. Good tire tho, other than the side walls. I have a DHF in front now.
Anyways I'm probably gonna order a Trail King for a rear. Yay, nay, other suggestions? Im basically looking for a fast rolling, wide, knobby ... Read More »
Has anyone else noticed that on Conti's website
[url=http://www.conti-online.com/www/bicycle_de_en/themes/mtb/AllMountain/rubber_queen_en.html]Continental Bicycle - Rubber Queen /Trail King[/url]
there's a NEW 26 x 2.4 Trail King black chili/foldable (Article # 0100729) that weighs 80 grams l ... Read More »
Was down at my LBS today, and saw a new Salsa El Mar with the Conti Trail King tires in 2.2. Holy crap did it look like a big 2.2 tire. On Continental's website, there is no listing for the tire in 2.4, but some online store's are claiming to have stock. Sorry if I missed it, but are 2.4 Trail King' ... Read More »