2011 Continental Tyres

Sep 25, 2010
by Alasdair MacLennan  
We'll be featuring Continental a fair bit over the next few months with some feature length reviews as we’ve had some of their tyres on long term test.

For now here is a preview of some of their newer tyres.
Der Kaiser.  This is one of the super soft compound downhill tyres that's been around for a little while now and is finally beginning to find its way onto the bikes of more and more riders.  Aimed at the drier trails the Kaiser features stiff six-ply sidewalls and a constant band of edge knobs to hold you steady in the turns.  Claimed weight is 1200g and they don't come in far off this at 1268g on our scales.  We've been running these all season on trails throughout Europe and will be covering them in more detail soon, but it's safe to say that their increasing popularity is deserved.  It's worth pointing out that these are the 'full fat, top of the tree' versions which are definitely pricey.  But alongside this model Continental also had another line of tyres using a more traditional rubber compound to bring the cost more in line with the likes of Maxxis.
Der Kaiser. This is one of the super soft compound downhill tyres that's been around for a little while now and is finally beginning to find its way onto the bikes of more and more riders. Aimed at the drier trails the Kaiser features stiff six-ply sidewalls and a constant band of edge knobs to hold you steady in the turns. Claimed weight is 1200g and they don't come in far off this at 1268g on our scales. We've been running these all season on trails throughout Europe and will be covering them in more detail soon, but it's safe to say that their increasing popularity is deserved. It's worth pointing out that these are the 'full fat, top of the tree' versions which are definitely pricey. But alongside this model Continental also had another line of tyres using a more traditional rubber compound to bring the cost more in line with the likes of Maxxis.

Der Baron.  We've been racing on these too this season under the old name of Rain King and have been impressed.  The change has come about for the simple reason that the new Mud King is waiting in the wings for a mid-winter release. And will be the true mud tyre, this being more suitable for damp and greasy, yet still relatively solid ground.  Using a Black Chili compound these stick to wet roots and rocks like a leach.  More on the rubber in a moment.  Both the Der Kaiser and Der Baron are 2.5
Der Baron. We've been racing on these too this season under the old name of Rain King and have been impressed. The change has come about for the simple reason that the new Mud King is waiting in the wings for a mid-winter release. And will be the true mud tyre, this being more suitable for damp and greasy, yet still relatively solid ground. Using a Black Chili compound these stick to wet roots and rocks like a leach. More on the rubber in a moment. Both the Der Kaiser and Der Baron are 2.5" tyres with new, lighter 2.3" width tyres are coming in at 850g (claimed) and should be good for all mountain use.

Black Chili.  Like many other manufacturers, this is a name given to their best rubber.  Usually these are considered to be race only, especially in downhill guise, thanks to their soft nature that means they can last just a few races.  There are some exceptions, and it appears that Black Chili is one of them.  Despite being possibly the softest of the lot which would ordinarily lead you to expect the greatest wear levels, the opposite appears to be true.  On the Kaiser and Baron, the rubber is super soft and sticky, as well as being very slow to rebound when you twist it in your fingers.  This means that it doesn't fight against the trail features, helping keep you tracking straight and true.  It's also tough, and could be described as structurally solid rubber - it resists tearing well and it is this resistance to abrasion and tearing that seems to keep them lasting so much longer than expected.  It's worth noting that Black Chili is more than one compound, instead being tailored to the intended use of the tyre, but with the same idea of balancing wear with maximum grip.  We'll be sure to provide further information and findings in the full review.  All Black Chili tyres are also sold as being handmade in the Korbach Continental factory in Germany.
Black Chili. Like many other manufacturers, this is a name given to their best rubber. Usually these are considered to be race only, especially in downhill guise, thanks to their soft nature that means they can last just a few races. There are some exceptions, and it appears that Black Chili is one of them. Despite being possibly the softest of the lot which would ordinarily lead you to expect the greatest wear levels, the opposite appears to be true. On the Kaiser and Baron, the rubber is super soft and sticky, as well as being very slow to rebound when you twist it in your fingers. This means that it doesn't fight against the trail features, helping keep you tracking straight and true. It's also tough, and could be described as structurally solid rubber - it resists tearing well and it is this resistance to abrasion and tearing that seems to keep them lasting so much longer than expected. It's worth noting that Black Chili is more than one compound, instead being tailored to the intended use of the tyre, but with the same idea of balancing wear with maximum grip. We'll be sure to provide further information and findings in the full review. All Black Chili tyres are also sold as being handmade in the Korbach Continental factory in Germany.

The Rubber Queen.  Not as soft as the downhill specific tyres, these are aimed at the long travel, all mountain and trail market and look as though they would be great in the soft winter conditions of the UK and other parts of the world.  We've just opened a box of these, so expect a report on them to come this winter.  Available in both 2.2
The Rubber Queen. Not as soft as the downhill specific tyres, these are aimed at the long travel, all mountain and trail market and look as though they would be great in the soft winter conditions of the UK and other parts of the world. We've just opened a box of these, so expect a report on them to come this winter. Available in both 2.2" and 2.4" sizes, UST is an option as are several casings depending on the type of riding you're doing. Weight varies from 650g for the lightest 2.2" up to 1050g for some of the bigger 2.4" options.

This Mountain King features more blocks than the Rubber Queen and should be good on the harder packed trails as well as being faster rolling.  Available in 2.4
This Mountain King features more blocks than the Rubber Queen and should be good on the harder packed trails as well as being faster rolling. Available in 2.4", the two casings of most interest are the UST option (880grams) and the one called Protection (650grams).

X-King.  Pretty much as light as a hard and aggressive rider will want to go with a trail tyre in terms of tread (or lack of it).  These are, like the Mountain King, a 2.4
X-King. Pretty much as light as a hard and aggressive rider will want to go with a trail tyre in terms of tread (or lack of it). These are, like the Mountain King, a 2.4" tyre with a greater priority on rolling resistance. The large casing though should still ride the rocks and rough trails well - the ideal rear tyre for a trail center? Perhaps. A UK Expert and Continental team rider was really raving about how good this tyre is when paired with a Mountain King on the front for this sort of riding. Black Chili compound and protection casing should help prevent punctures and keep the grip up despite the minimalist design.



99 Comments

  • 15 1
 Have had good expierences with these tyres for some trails an alternative to maxxis...
  • 57 22
 Maxxis for life.
  • 6 8
 yeh thats exactly what i was gonna say :L
  • 11 5
 maxxis Big Grin
  • 36 1
 I like Maxxis a ton, but I love these. Don't knock em' before you try em.
  • 6 1
 true
  • 3 2
 Maxxis at no. 1 for me too, but i must say i tried Rubber Queen and am very happy with it (2.2 - regular rubber); it absorbs rocks and roots better than any other tyre out there. Grip is less than Maxxis' 60a compound, rolls prety fast, size is bigger than 2.2, more like 2.25, can't be mounted ghetto tubelles - walls are to thin and spray sealant like crazy, although i pumped the tyre easily with a floor pump. Price is ridiculous - almost twice as a comparable Maxxis (High Roller 2.35 singleply) - didn't pay full price for mine.
  • 10 1
 the black chilli compound der baron's are absolutely amazing!
i ran them last winter, now onto second winter with the same pair, front is showing ZERO signs of wear (plus grip is truly unbelievable, enables lines that NO maxxis tyre will hold) and the rear with VERY minimal wear (to the point of same amount of wear in 6 months that a 42a HR takes in a day)

im only using maxxis because i have couple in stock before i got these conti's, and i wont be buying any maxxis again, and will be getting the conti spike tyre once its out as no doubt what so ever that it will blow wetscream out of the water.

every one who says they are maxxis for ever, try out a black chilli tyre, and you will be eating your words.
  • 2 1
 Maxxis now have some real competition. I can't understand why Continental haven't been reaally big yet, cus' their tires are superb! Der Baron have the rolling resistance and predictability of Minions in the dry and the grip of Swampthings on wet roots, and wear rate like no other!
  • 9 1
 to the bxxer-rider: try persuading the Athertons lol
  • 2 1
 they have been running conti when its not wetscream weather, or a race where they are too worried about rolling resistance. (which im surprised they did not use mountian king)

you will not find a natural or synthetic rubber that performs as well as black chilli.

oh and staikeinthahood, its an insult to compare conti to maxxis, as they are so much better (just a little on the pricey side, but with wear like it has, i reckon you will end up spending less)
  • 1 1
 it's like haro made a dh bike more expensive than turner Wink - money doesn't fall from the skies here, will wait till the price drops and the athertons ride them all season on all races - not just the national ones - before i get them
  • 1 0
 I was always a Maxxis guy as the price comparing to quality is really great. Speaking of trail/XC segment now. Schwalbies have toilet paper thin walls, wear like 40a maxxis. All Contis had stupid thread, cornering/braking/acc was crap. But I must say that recently my HRollers start to really pixx me off too... just put it on an uphill on a wet root/stone and there you go: the fight is over, push-up lad... no drive-ability at all. So might go for these new contis of yu guys say the wear is so slow!
  • 1 0
 wait to find a deal, i got my pair for 55posted the pair, brand new!

rachel ran them at leogang ( www.pinkbike.com/photo/5368668 )

but im sure conti will start to make more of a presence on the scene as their tyres are second to nun.
  • 3 1
 I have used the continental kaisers for a full year of racing and I'm very disappointed in there performance. They supposedly wear slowly ,but the tread breaks off in huge chunks?? And they don't tack up well on the trail at all, There constantly drifting when you don't want them too. Plus they flatted on me during 2 race runs!!!I had to run DH tubes in them because they were flatting so much.And on top of it all they rolled slow!Maybe its because I ride everyday or because a lot of the race courses were really rough, But I don't suggest you drop your favorite tires and use these.The only positive I could think of was that they were better then my old Michelin tires lol.
  • 1 0
 or if it's too much you can get a budget conti, pay same as for maxxis and get a mediocre grip that is lost sudenly on a tyre that wears out fast

i pay 19€ per maxxis hr - beat that
  • 1 2
 schwaleb all the way
  • 2 2
 OMG! Schwalbe is thin as toilet paper and wears out in a weekend of riding!
  • 2 0
 did Rachel not eat it hard at Leogang?? Not a great argument there
  • 4 3
 these could be the maxxis killers.
  • 2 1
 dude..for rachel to eat hard, it means she was at least twice as fast as u will ever be..so yeah..i guess the contis would work u just fine...
  • 1 0
 I tried them so did many friends of mine. They Do have awesoe grip BUT you get flats all the time. In 2 weeks Portes Du Soleil we had 15 flats with Contis and only 4 with Maxxis running both with the same pressure... I will never ride them again... Maxxis FTW
  • 1 0
 not a great argument from you pepperoni either...

Pro's ride this product (bike/tyre/fork/brake or whatever) and they crashed and failed so it should be fine for you mere mortals going not so fast. BUY IT! Can't see any company using that slogan in the near future
  • 2 0
 ahhh i must say i also prefer maxxis, and so to the athertons apparently.
  • 4 0
 "Usually these are considered to be race only"

Conti have their own race only tire.. called 'supersonic' yep, due to their nature are a 1 race tire and should only be used as such - unless you have deep pockets Wink

Black Chilli is a polymer modified rubber compound designed to give the tire increased deformation over objects whilst increasing durability over their regular rubber compound.
These tires last much longer than 1 race!

Der Kaiser and Rain King black chilli tires are higher in traction to the fan boy maxxis tires, do have a slightly higher rolling resistance, but outlast maxxis a little!
Der Kaiser and Rain king will keep gripping onto anything in almost any condition and their superb cornering traction is the biggest aid for improving for my riding

The 2.3 Baron tire *should* see a tire with similar physical carcass dimensions to the Maxxis Highroller but be grippier, last longer and be just as fast. Maybe we'll see the Athertons running these on race day?

/2c
  • 1 0
 Ehh.. I have had my Race King Supersonic's on my dirt bike the whole summer. They still have the little "hair" on them (sorry, i don't know what they're called in english).

So that Supersonic is "race only" are totally bullshit.
  • 3 0
 Put a ST High Roller over the same wet roots on a steep track and it is like riding on ice compared to a Kaiser. Shame they roll so slow and puncture more.
I remember changing the rear in Whistler from a Kaiser to a HR ST due to punctures, all of a sudden all the dusty rocks were slippery on the rear!
Race King Supersonics for the XC bike also.
Ali - They make the rubber queen in Black Chilli also, so just as soft.
They make everything from the road tires (where black chilli came from) to the Kaisers in Black chilli if you buy the correct tyre.

Stay away from anything that is not black chilli from Continental, they suck when anything is even slightly damp.
  • 2 0
 Good to see that Conti left stupid clueless knob design like in diesels and former Mountain kings. Rode the previous Mkings and they were even worse than Fat Alberts from before 2009. As long as it was dry hardpack they were "acceptable", but as soon as I hit some gravel or wet soil things were getting totaly out of control. The sidewalls were toilet paper!

Rubber Queens might be me choice for the winter mhm as maxxis seems to have nothing for winterish trail riding in 2.2 with wet rocks and roots...
  • 1 0
 My god - the Mountain Kings were terrible. It looked like someone barfed geometric designs and decided to call it a tire.
  • 1 0
 buahaha Big Grin yea I would never put it better. Though it was the diesels that had the most ridiculous thread pattern in the world. a thread with no function...

a deconstructive attempt to redefine the meaning of a modern tyre. Reject all functions: braking, accelerating, cornering. Channel users focus to tyres primal role: rolling. sounds arty ay? price indicates designerish touch too...
  • 3 0
 Amazing tyres!!!!!......shame about the price though. Naturally most people are gonna buy Maxxis or Schwalbe as they give the best bang per buck.
  • 3 0
 i fully support this statement...^
the prices of mtb shit is getting out of control
  • 2 0
 continental tyres all the way, ran various maxxis on varying bikes for years, swapped over last year and have to say id never go back, plus the sidewall graphics are soooo much tidier and less tacky than the maxxis.
  • 1 0
 I have the older Mountain King 2.2 and 2.4 Black Chili tires on my Nomad C, and I can say that they're great for loose, dry rocky trails and sandy hardpack alike. Plus they're the lightest 2.2 and 2.4 tires that are on the market.
  • 1 0
 Hmmmm surprised no ones mentioned Kenda's tyre options, i find i get the best feedback from them too... the maxxis Highrollers feel too narrow, and as said before, the schwalbes wear out too quick...however..there still a cracking tyre...
  • 2 0
 kenda nevagrips? lol
  • 1 0
 At the risk of sounding like a tard. Are these front or rear spacific? Is one better then the other for F-R? They look great but does the price really outweigh the positives where Maxxis are cheaper and set the standard of performance. IDK.
  • 1 0
 Der Kaisers are definitely nice on hard-packed, loose DG dirt. Grips really well over rocks. One thing I couldn't get over was how slow and balloony they were (they are equivalent to Minion 2.7 tires in a 2.5). Granted, Minions do run slightly narrower than advertised, but that's just something I've gotten used to.

Minion Super Tacky tires are comparable with less heft and roll much faster as well as having better wear. I would have kept the DKs for their slightly lighter weight but the tradeoff was slower tires that wear out quickly.
  • 1 0
 the tire is bigger, bud if you measure the thread, it's the same. More tirevolume, more grip.
  • 1 0
 they say Kaisers are a dry tire. they were f*cked after a week in Whistler last year. also had 2 berm slideouts on them too, where the back wheel just snapped from traction. I used high rollers this year and no problems after 8 days of riding and they were still in good condition. maxxis all the way.
  • 1 0
 www.bike-mailorder.de/shop/images/product_images/info_images/13627_0.jpg

Cant wait when they change der kaisers pattern like that!

(Gee and Rachel have already raced in few WC with em this year!)
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5180227
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5368668
  • 1 0
 Conti have been doing loads of R&D with the Atherton's this year. There are a few races where they have used Maxxis. This was due to Proto tyres not being made often enough. There is a spike that will be released very soon, keep you eyes peeled on www.conti-tyres.co.uk .
There will be some Kaisers and Der Baron's released soon at a similar RRP to Maxxis.
  • 1 0
 I've been using Kaiser and Rain King nearly for 2 years now, they have seen several races, and various weather conditions. I am very satisfied with them. I can not judge how they compare to Maxxis, but I found them to be at least on par with Swork Chunders for example. They have a bit worse rolling resistance, bur grip more and are more versatile. I personally like the Rain King more than the Kaiser.
If you don't want to buy 4 types of rubber for the different circumstances (ground and weather conditions), I would encourage anybody to try these Contis.
Will definitely buy Rubber Queens for my small bike soon.
  • 1 0
 I have been a Kenda guy since I started riding. Tried Maxxis, didnt like them, probably should give them another go though.
A couple months ago, right before a trip to Silverstar (super smooth and fast if you have never been), I was grabbing my bike at the shop. Wanting to lighten up my rotating weight a bit I decided to give their trail tire a go, the Diesel, on my big bike. At 800g a tire, I lost around 2lbs on my complete bike! At a hill as smooth as Silverstar they were freaking amazing!!! You know it was a good trip when the rear is slightly chewed in the center due to sliding, and the front is more worn on the edges!
If their $30.00 trail tire is as good as it is, I cant wait to try their DH specific rubber.
  • 1 0
 I see there are only two options for the conti tires,
a. APEX + Black Chilli
b. APEX only

I assume the Black Chilli should be in the line with Supertacky from Maxxi, and therefore they wont last much, is that right?
The APEX only, are a bit harder but therefore will last longer suffering in the grip department perhaps a bit?

Does anyone have extensive hands on experience with conti tires that could answer this? thanks!
  • 2 0
 Could you please ask Jacob to skip the artsy depth of field shots and give us a shot that actually showed the entire tire and tread pattern in context?
  • 1 0
 Rode a pair of those Kaisers and they dont feel anything like maxxis. Seemed to push alot in corners compared to Minions.
Good to see there are other options but Maxxis is still #1.
  • 2 0
 I think with the long term test of these rubbers, you will find they are quality. I have no regrets going with my black chili.
  • 1 0
 Hey Mike and Tyler, I volunteer to review! Specifically - Rubber Queen, i'd take a stab at der baron too. not x-king, kinda looks like the swamp thing...
  • 3 0
 love continental tyres - very good gear!
  • 1 0
 yeah I guess u cant say anything bad about does tires until u try them but I am going to stick with my pair of Maxxis Minion... Maxxis.com FTW!
  • 1 0
 There are also quite a few high profiled riders trying Conti's out that are on tyre deals with other manufacturers. See if you can spot who they are!!
  • 3 0
 NOM NOM NOM! I WANT!
  • 1 0
 i changed from minions to kaisers this week, they corner much better buuutt roll very badly
  • 1 0
 didn't get on with the rain kings when i had them. cut down specialized storms or highroller, minion mix works best for me
  • 2 0
 I love my Continental race kings!
  • 2 0
 Rubber Queen 2.4 is my current favorite...HUGE tire for its claimed size.
  • 1 0
 My first paid upgrade is Trail King 2.2 just last month or so. I love them so far!!!

Here in Canada did Trail King replaced the name of Rubber Queen??
How old is your Rubber Monolith?
  • 1 0
 My RQ is about a month old. I think the name did change, but the rubber queen is still available.
  • 1 0
 Rubber Queen is the euro name Conti changed it because the American market weren't buying it... i guess they weren't secure in their sexuality.
  • 1 0
 Apparently some American religous groups complained about the name 'Rubber Queen'. Dumbfuckistan!
  • 1 0
 6 ply wall...is that really necessary?
  • 2 0
 less pinch flatting!
  • 1 0
 they are really thin plys, but never felt such a strong sidewall (includes intense 4ply!), also you will never pinch tubes using these 6ply, and thorns stand no chance.
  • 1 0
 Gazzaloddi's are 6-Ply.
  • 1 0
 I've never pinched or punctured with dual ply!
  • 2 0
 ive been though well over 50 tubes in 3 years from pinches being so bad you cant fix them, (including, bike, rim, tyre and tube changes) nothing ever stops them, other then conti rainkings.
  • 1 0
 get yourself a stans no tubes set up.
  • 1 0
 2 weeks morzine and 16 flat tyres whith rain kings
  • 1 0
 2 weeks in morzine on der kaisers running 25 psi and no flats at all. your doing something wrong. the sidewalls on these tyres are amazing. i rode home from my local trails with a flat tire and didnt realise! definately worth the extra couple of quid, and the tread lasts so much longer than maxxis. the compound rolls well, moulds well and rebounds nicely, no shitty folding over at low pressure like maxxis either!
  • 1 0
 And I had three months on my Rain Kings at my local trails. No flats.
  • 1 0
 1 year rubberqueen 2.4 on the DH bike. Like them alot! Lasts longer then maxxis supertacky
  • 1 0
 nice tires, love it...but i prefer maxxis Razz
  • 3 1
 MAXXIS!!
  • 1 0
 My Kaiser is the absolute boy...
  • 1 0
 I think geax makes some good tires to
  • 1 0
 I'm just gald there are more tire options
  • 1 0
 dont buy air king...or as i call them puncture kings
  • 1 0
 I guess anything could be better then the old Kenda Kinetics .
  • 1 0
 those suck so bad. I thought it was me, but no it was the kinetics...
  • 1 0
 I had them on my 02 Sasquatch and the back tire was almost bald in less then 6 months.
  • 1 0
 this looks like maxxis high roller
  • 1 0
 I Like MAXXIS MaxLite 310 Racing Tire Big Grin
  • 1 0
 To be honest...I think Schwalbe are the way forward!
  • 1 0
 Maxxis for ever !!
  • 1 1
 they look like copys of the maxxis high rollers
  • 1 0
 I got my contis for free
  • 3 3
 maxxis no continental Frown
  • 1 1
 maxxis minion
  • 1 1
 maxxis better
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