20 March 2012 - 7:11Worth the Wait?
I’m not talking about my return to blog posting, of course that’s worth the wait….
No, I’m talking about new tires. Continental ones specifically. We never got the tires we were promised from Continental last year, despite them teasing us with new tread patterns and rubber compounds. To let you know just how late these tires are, the preseason order I placed in February 2011 is beginning to trickle in.
The first tire to arrive is the much anticipated X-King (“cross” King). I say “X” King, because it sounds like X-Wing, which is just plain cool.
The X-King comes in a 2.2 and a 2.4, and is designed to be a fast roller with widely spaced knobs giving more sure footedness in loose conditions. The weight is a little on the portly side, the 2.4 pictured above coming in a 780g. If it is anything like the Race King tires, they will still roll fast, and you wont necessarily feel the weight. Fingers crossed there. They have a nice round profile, much like Race Kings and they certainly seem like a quality tire. I mounted one up to the front of my A9C to get a little more cush from my current rigid fork set up. Sometime soon, I will re-install a squishy fork, at which point I’ll mount another on the back wheel for maximum plushness.
Sizing is a bit off, which seems to be the trend these days in 29er tires. Although, these 2.4s are bigger than the WTB 2.5s that I got in, even though they measure out at a hair under a 2.2. I measured the casing at 54mm at 33psi. I’m hoping that they grow a little after the first couple of rides. Mandy is checking out the 2.2s, so I’m sure she’ll provide her initial impressions soon.
All in all, I will have to say I greet this new series of tires from Conti with optimism. I was never a fan of the MTN King, I found the casings to be too pliable for the hard knobs that adorned them, but I was really impressed with the Race King. I’m still waiting for a new and hopefully greatly improved MTN King, and there is also a Trail King which has my ears perked up. I’m hoping we see them soon.