Continental Race King Supersonic Tire

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Race King Supersonic

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

User Reviews (34)

Showing 1-10 of 34  
Mario   Cross Country Rider [Mar 28, 2014]
Strength:

Super fast rolling. Fastest I have driven yet

Weakness:

You just ride the tire of the rim when you corner fast. Had them for one month, did 2 races and both the tires are broken now at the side just by cornering fast on dry sand.

It's a shame they have this huge negative point otherwise I would ride them all the time unless it's really wet. I have the 26 inch 2.2

Similar Products Used: Schwalbe RR, FF
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Ryan   [Jun 04, 2013]
Strength:

First let me address that this tire isn't good when used on both wheels. I use the 2.2 in the back and a 2.4 Continental MountainKing in the front and it has been the best tire combination for singletrack mountain biking. The race king is a super fast rolling tire that provides great grip in the rear for climbing and traction.

Weakness:

The tire tread could wrap around the tire a bit more i think.

Use this tire on the rear and do yourself a favor and throw a 2.4 MountainKing on the front. You wont be sorry.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Viktor   Cross Country Rider [Feb 21, 2013]
Strength:

High rolling, good control on sand, root, solid ground.

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
excalibur1200   [Jul 06, 2012]
Strength:

Excellent grip, soft ride, corners well. high volume. quiet and very fast on pavement.

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
aerius   Cross Country Rider [May 26, 2012]
Strength:

Great climbing grip on hardpack
Fast, incredibly scary fast

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
cesalec   All Mountain Rider [Apr 03, 2012]
Strength:

Fast rolling... that is pretty much it

Weakness:

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
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
BMC FS   Weekend Warrior [Mar 23, 2012]
Strength:

Fast rolling and great climbing for a rear tire only!

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
sczuplak   Racer [Sep 17, 2011]
Strength:

Super fast, straight line speed and ease of acceleration are great

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
antifreund   Cross Country Rider [Jul 04, 2011]
Strength:

fast, light, wear slowly

Weakness:

none so far

Great tire if you can find it on sale

Similar Products Used: relatively expensive
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
RecceDG   Racer [May 29, 2011]
Strength:

Incredible grip on dry hardpack to (slightly) moist singletrack. Grips wet rock and roots very well. Very fast rolling and very light.

Weakness:

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: Various other XC race tires
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 34  
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