I have decided to step out on try something away from my normal. It was a hard decision but after a little research on tyre weights, rolling resistance and durability I am about to compete in the new XCO season with Continental tyres. On the rear I am now using the Continental Race King protection and the front I have gone for the more aggressive X King.
After purchase I compare the advertising weights of each which were exact at 645g for the Race King and 691g respectively.
I always race tubeless and the install was a little difficult but installing tyres on my particular Roval rims has always been a little bit of a challenge. All I can say is always carry tyre levers. They sealed up extremely well with some Stans sealant so I was ready to roll. I did notice a little leakage through the sidewall but I have seen this quite often with which the sealant seals this.
I was nervous at first as I am ways wary of the bead seat and low pressures so I went for a practice lap at the Kinross Forrest NSW with higher pressures. I was very reasonably happy with the grip as the terrain was sandy in places, marble gravel on a climb and sharp rocks in other places. I never had a problem initially as they seemed to hook up and handle everything I threw at them other than a slide on a fast sandy corner. They seemed to spin up easy and roll well even though this is find hard to compare. They are considered with low rolling resistance when tested by bicyclerollingresistance.com. When race day came a long I had lowered the pressures again and this worked really well. Off the start the tyre dug in and gave me a great start. The bike seemed to be cornering well. I did have one 2 wheel drift into a sandy corner but I put this down to me pushing way too hard. In a local race a week later I did also race these tyres in sandy and loose conditions with quite a few slides but most other racers had the same issues on their tyre brands.
I never had a chance to try in mud but of which I don’t suspect they will perform that we’ll as the tread is quite shallow.
I would consider these a high performance all round tyre but still wonder if they are the best for sandy conditions.
– Mark Brockwell – Masters MTBer