Take one glance at the Continental Race King UST's tread pattern and you'll see that this tire's goal, first and foremost, is to roll fast. It comes as no surprise that Irina Kalentieva--riding for Topeak/Ergon--took the first Race King prototype to a spot on the podium at the 2007 UCI World Championships. Continental designed the Race King UST to excel in a wide variety of terrain, though this tire's short knobs will grip hard packed soils like glue. Unlike some other race tires, this King's low-profile tread pattern is mated to a large volume 330tpi casing--which will conform to even the most subtle trail irregularities--for fast-rolling, sure-footed handling. The closely spaced center knobs will roll quickly and efficiently while the closely spaced side knobs provide fantastic cornering traction, in addition to generous sidewall protection. The Continental Race King UST tire is available in two sizes: 26 x 2.0 and 26 x 2.2in, which weigh in at a very reasonable 575g and 650g respectively. The UST version of the Race King is tubeless compatible with any UST rim, and can be used with most tubeless-ready rims and their corresponding sealing strip.Tubeless 101: The Why and the How Explained.
I am reviewing this as an xc tire. Compared to Ignitores, Aspens, Nevegals, small block eights.
I run the tires at 26 psi front and rear, body weigh 220.
Trails are hard, rocky, rooty, and sandy.
All in all very nice tire. The only time it will really let you down is in the mud, who wants to ride in the mud anyways? They seem to have good climbing traction, and solid cornering grip. They roll very fast, and are nice and wide. The side walls are very stiff, I have never gotten that oh no the tire is coming off the rim feeling. ( you know, that one). They have worn very well over the 500 or so miles of single track I have on them. Combined with stans I believe they are basically flat proof. As far as setup, I do not think it gets any easier. You could actually run these tires without sealant, the bead hooks well.They are very easy to set up. I have re mounted them several times, it has never taken more than 15 minutes.
SO, if you don't play in the slop you will probably like them
a Cross Country Rider
from Broken Hill, Australia
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2011
Strengths: Very easy to mount with Stans. Very fast tyre with good sidewall resistance.
Weaknesses: None so far.
Great rear tyre for XC racing or just weekend riding having fun. The tyre is very easy to mount with Stans. Mine mounted first go and sealled immediately (lucky?). The tyre is holding up really well to rocky, sandy and prickly country and shows little sign of wear. I'm averaging about 100km a week. Havn't ridden in the wet yet but I'm not expecting it to be a great wet weather tyre as it wasn't built for that purpose. Combined with an X King 2.4 up front and this is a great handling fast combo.
Bike Setup: Giant Trance with new 10 speed dynasystem.
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2011
Strengths: Rolls fast and grips surprisingly well. Very (too?) solid sidewalls
Weaknesses: A little slippery when leaned in a steep angle in muddy turns.
I have found this is a great, reliable tire for racing and traning on almost all kind of courses. It´s been ridden on sharp rocks and in deep mud and still performs great. I am 82kg and ride these at 28psi, the sidewalls are solid enough. They roll faster than any tire I´ve tried, generally works fine in wet conditions, but are a little slippery when leaning over in muddy turns. On courses with no rocks, you may want to go for a lighter tire (it´s 680g per tire in 26 X 2.2 UST), but I prefer the extra safety of (hopefully) no flats. I had to give up mounting them myself (on crossmax SLR) and had to let the shop do it. Mine are filled with Stan´s and hold air really well. I´ve had trouble fitting Continental tires on Crossmax rims before (Twister supersonic). I would gladly recommend these tires if you´re not that interested in the lightest setup but rather would like a tire that gets you to the finish line (or back home) without any problems.
Similar Products Used: Rocket Ron UST (2010), Racing Ralph (2009), Michelin XCR Mud, Twister supersonic,
Bike Setup: Cannondale Scalpel Team Edt 2010 with Truativ Noir WC rizer bar (64 cm), Truativ Noir seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from Longmont, CO
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2011
Strengths: Lightweight, fast feeling on climbs. Great traction on dry trails.
Weaknesses: THE RACE KING "PROTECTION" VERSION IS NOT THE SAME AS THE UST VERSION. I was told that the RK Protection was the same the UST by my LBS, but this is not so. Other reviewers that had trouble setting RK's up as tubeless probably had the Protection version. The sidewalls oozed Stans for hours, and the tire did not hold air. Once I did some research and found out that the Protections were not the UST version I put a tube in it and I will hope for the best.
A nice lightweight, grippy, fast rolling tire but it is a bit risky and difficult to set the Protection version up as tubeless. Be sure to get the UST version if you want tubeless. With a tube this tire is still light and very fast (I only used it on the back wheel). Time will tell if the "protection" works. I hope so!
Similar Products Used: Kenda Nevegal and Small Block 8 UST, Various Bontrager UST
Bike Setup: Tomac Sliver hard tail. Kenda Small Block 8 on the front wheel.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cape Town
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2010
Strengths: High volume, low rolling resistance and grip in a variety of conditions. Wear properties are brilliant. The knobs don't wear round but maintain their sharp edge profile
Weaknesses: I have experienced delamination of the tread layer from the casing caasing a bulge in the tyre tread. On a second ture I experienced a snakebite just above the bead and a holes straight through the tread from a sharp rock. Not durable enough as a general purpose XC tyre
Great looking high volume tyre with very good grip amd wear but let down by weak casing and possibly manufacturing defects or reaction to sealant causing delamination. Big money for a tyre where teh casing can't outlast its tread.
Similar Products Used: Maxxis X mark and Larsen UST
Bike Setup: 100mm marathon bike with Fox suspension and full XT
a Cross Country Rider
from Sherman Oaks, Ca
Date Reviewed: May 26, 2010
Strengths: Light weight for UST Tire. Very low rolling resistance. Fast tires.
Weaknesses: Very little rear wheel traction when climbing. Medium front wheel traction when taking corners. Weak sidewalls. Had one for 4 rides and had a nice cut on the sidewall. I'm running 30psi f/r.
Having ridden UST wheels for the last 5+ years, first on my Titus Switchblade, and now on my Ibis Mojo SL, I can say, these tires do not have any grip for fast climbing. I would constantly slip on rocks, sand, dirt, or anything slightly lose under the tires. The front tire also does not grip very well, compared to other tires I've used.
However, if you are riding hardpack dirt, w/ minimal hills, or a very clean xc course, these tires may work very well for you. These are fast tires, w/ low rolling resistance, however, my riding style, and the trails I frequent, are a mix of XC/Trail, and some light AM riding. On technical trails, this tire was aweful, on hard packed, smooth fire roads, or very smooth single track, these tires flew. So for my type of riding, these tires were not the answer. I'm now using a WTB Wolverine 2.2 TCS, and I must say, It grips like glue on any condition trail I've currently ridden. Weight is a bit heavier, but, I would rather move forward, than slip and waste energy on those long, steep climbs. I've used a Continental MT King UST 2.4 on my Titus and it has been the perfect front tire, I may switch out my front tire after I wear the Race Kings out a bit more.
Similar Products Used: Kenda UST, WTB Wolverine TCS, WTB Weirwolf UST, Continental Mt. King 2.4 UST, Continental Race King 2.2 UST
Bike Setup: Ibis Mojo SL, DT EXC 150 15TA fork, DT Swiss XM 1550 Tricon wheels both w/ TA, Fox RPL Shock, Thomson Masterpiece seat post, Syntace F109 Stem, CC IS110 headset, Rotor 3D double crank w/ Titanium axle, Egg Beater 2ti w/ Titanium axle, Selle SMP Full Carbon Seat, Formula R1 Brakes, XTR: front derailleur/rear cassette/chain/BB, WTB Wolverine TCS 2.2 rear tire, Continental Race King UST 2.2 front tire, specialties TA front chainrings, Easton Monkey lite SL bars, ESI Grips.
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2010
Strengths: Large volume and UST combination allow for low tire pressure (I run at 30psi front, 35psi rear). The rubber compound gets great traction, even in deep mud. Extremely low rolling resistance despite the traction level attainable by controlling your air pressure (higher for hardpack, lower for loose and wet).
Weaknesses: I would love if the low profile tread pattern extended further along the side walls of the tire to allow for a steeper lean angle.
I raced last weekend in Grafenwohr, Germany (US Armend Forces Series) with these tires. The weather was very wet with terrain varying from loamy singletrack to deep grass, mud, and moss. these tires felt good form start to finish. I am quite the tire nut and always feel the need to attempt to improve my riding, and changing tires has been sort of a habit of mine. These Continental Race Kings will remain on my bike throughout the racing seasion regardless of the weather or terrain! Buy these tires, I recommend UST, even if you need to Stans up your no-UST wheels. They will not let you down!
Similar Products Used: Everything from Micheline (race'r & grip'r 2.25 UST) to Schwalbe.
Bike Setup: Titus Moto LIte with a years worth of build.
from surprise, az, USA
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2010
Strengths: Very lightweight for a 29 UST
Weaknesses: Very weak/flimsy, almost impossible to get it to bead.
Overall these tires are pathetic. Im only giving them a 2 in overall because of these couple of positive attributes; They are lightweight and have great traction for their low profile tread pattern, but none of that matters when you cant get them to bead even with as much as 120 psi coming out of the compressor and they puncture/tear so easily. Had them less than a couple months and have ripped through the sidewall of the rear tire on a groomed race track. I wouldnt dare take these out on just a basic mountain trail, they are way to fragile. Going to try the Pythons next...
Bike Setup: Fisher Paragon 29er, XTR/XT, Fox 100 RL, Bontrager series 6000 wheels.
a Cross Country Rider
from adelaide, south australia
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2010
Strengths: rolls fast, handles well
Weaknesses: poorly constructed
put the tire on, took ages to bead, much harder then most UST and harder then most non UST i have run as tubeless.
tire kept dropping pressure overnight before i even got it on the trails, tire went flat while riding a couple of times.
finally got it to stop losing P before a 6hr race, raced, but started to drop P during the race.
kept dropping P while sitting on my rack once i got it back home.
wasted a lot of sealant on it, finally worked out that there was actually holes half way up the sidewall because the tire was so poorly constructed, and not like 1, but several on both sides!!! as if they hadn't finished the tire properly and left the wire/mess finish
finally got them plugged up with stans but they just reopened again because of their position
basically the most rubbish tire i have ever bought and for a whopping 120$ AUD RRP
a Cross Country Rider
from Chino Hills, CA
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2009
Strengths: FAST, LIGHT, GOOD TRACTION ON CLIMBS, BETTER THAN EXPECTED CORNERING ABILITY, GOOD CONTROL WHILE BRAKING ON THE DOWNHILLS.
Weaknesses: NONE YET.
I SET UP THIS TIRES W/ MY MAVIC CROSSMAX SL WHEELSET WITH STANS SEALANT. NO BURPS. HOLDS AIR WELL. AFTER I SET UP THESE TIRES (WHICH ARE SIZE 26 X 2.0) THEY MEASURED BETWEEN 1.90 TO 1.95 INCHES WIDE. BUT AFTER 1 MONTH OF USE, THEY STRETCHED OUT TO 2.0 INCHES WIDE. I'VE RESEARCHED MANY REVIEWS OF CONTINENTAL MTB TIRES, THEY ARE KNOWN TO MEASURE SMALLER THAN THE ADVERTISED WIDTH DURING INITAL USE, BUT AFTER BREAKING THEM IN THEY WILL STRETCH OUT OVERTIME TO THE INTENDED WIDTH.
THESE TIRES ARE AWESOME. I LIKE THEM BETTER THAN MAXXIS CROSSMARK UST AND SPECIALIZED FAST TRAK TUBELESS TIRES BECAUSE THEY ROLL FAST, GOOD CORNERING ABILITY, THEY PERFORM WELL OVER HARDPACK OUT HERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRAILS, AND BETTER THAN EXPECTED ON LOOSE GRAVEL, ROCKS, SAND. THEY ALSO WORK WELL AND RIDE SMOOTH ON PAVEMENT. THEY PROVIDE GOOD TRACTION ON STEEP CLIMBS AND GOOD CONTROL ON THE DOWNHILLS WHILE BRAKING. HAVEN'T RIDDEN THEM OVER MUD BECAUSE IT DOESNT RAIN MUCH IN SOCAL. I WILL MOST LIKELY BUY AND USE THESE TIRES AGAIN WHEN MY CURRENT PAIR WEAR DOWN. OVERALL, GOOD XC AND TRIAL TIRE.
Similar Products Used: MAXXIS CROSSMARK UST, SPECIALIZED FAST TRAK TUBELESS, KENDA SMALL BLOCK 8.
Bike Setup: TITUS X ALUMINUM, MAVIC CROSSMAX SL WHEELSET, AVID ELIXIR DISC BRAKES, CRANK BROTHERS PEDALS, KING HEADSET, ROCK SHOX SID 100mm TEAM FORK, THOMSON SEATPOST, FSA CARBON RISER BAR, FSA 115 STEM, XT SHIFTERS, XT REAR DERAILLEUR, SRAM FRONT DERAILLEUR, CONTINENTAL RACE KING TIRES 26 X 2.0
from Columbia, SC, USA
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2009
Strengths: Very fast and very predictable. The tire sheds muds well too. This tire excells on loose over hard pack but is suprisingly good on wet trails.
Weaknesses: None come to mind.
These tires hold pressure very well and seal perfectly with the Stans setup...no flats, no burps. They climb great, are light weight, corner very well (FAST) and give slowly and smoothly if and when they do slide...VERY predictable. I have raced these XC three times and have done a number of training rides and the tires are showing little to no wear. Side walls seem to be very adequate.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Fast Trak and Fast Trak SLK.
Bike Setup: 2009 S-Works Epic with American Classic wheel set. SRAM X.0 shifters and read D. XTR front D. Avid Ultimate disc brakes. Running the tires tubless with Stans rim tape and sealant.
from Richmond, VA
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2009
Strengths: Light. Fast. Tacky. Very good at low PSI. Great tread pattern.
Weaknesses: Not the best thing in the mud, but they seem to clean easily.
The UST versions of these tires are the greatest thing I've hung on my bike other than my King hubs.
I used to run about 35psi on my old tubeless tires, and took these out at 35 on the first run, and was pleased, but not much so. I let 5 out of the front and 3 out on the rear, and was completely amazed.
The bike feels like it's glued to the dirt. They climb well, corner exceptionally well, and are very predictable. They give good feedback (they don't just washout suddenly, they'll drift, but oh so smoothly) and I have a heck of a time getting these things to break loose in turns. They roll fast. I have found the single best tire ever, and I'm probably not switching to anything else.
Just purchased a set of them to mount on my Niner Air 9 and have had no luck getting them to seat on the rim. I'm mounting them to a set of Pure XCR rims with Stans rims strips. Never had any other issues with any other tire. Heck my Ground Controls pumped up witha floor pump. I ended up pulling the ... Read More »
I'm looking for a fast rolling rear tire w/ tough sidewalls.
I currently have a Hans Dampf 2.35 mounted on a Stans Flow rim. Love it, but the knobs are almost gone after a year of rocks and roots.
I was wondering how the Continental Race King 2.2 UST would compare in:
- width (is C ... Read More »
[B]For racers [/B]do you think I would be fine running non UST with Stans on my race wheels that have been converted over to tubeless? Not sure if I should go non UST version or use the UST for extra protection. What are your thoughts and experience?Read More »
[B]For racers[/B] do you think I would be fine running non UST with Stans on my race wheels that have been converted over to tubeless? Not sure if I should go non UST version or use the UST for extra protection. What are your thoughts and experience?Read More »
Anyone out there have a Continental Race King 2.2 UST that they can throw a set of calipers on to measure the casing width? I've seen some varying measurements from the non-UST variants, and I'm wondering if the 2.2 UST is as large (tall/high volume) of a tire.
I'm looking for a fas ... Read More »