Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: Continental Mountain King II Racesport

The Continental Mountain King has been out for quite a few years. A few years ago it got a complete makeover; the Mountain King II was born. Gone where those awkward placed knobs, and a more aggressive sidewall pattern was implemented.

I have been hearing alot of positive hands-on statements about this tire, and I even got more than a few direct encouragements to test this tire - the red line was; the Black Chili compound is above the rest. Black Chili is a german-produced tire compound, that's said to improve grip, but also decrease rolling resistance - it sounds a bit contradicting to me, but I have been trying to be open minded about it.

I have been using this tire for 5 months now, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised; the tire has a good bite, corners predictably, braking is consistent as well. Its not a tire without some rolling resistance, but its okay. Ive been running this tire in soft and loose conditions, both dry and wet, and this is actually a decent performing tire, I have a hard time putting my finger on a single bad thing for these conditions - well besides the slight-above-medium rolling resistance

 Mountain King II has given me a single snakebite during my test time, contrary the Schwalbe Nobby Nic, that just kept the snakebites coming (and yes, Im using the same pressure, and riding the same trails). The carcass seems to be putting up with the heat as well. But for very rocky conditions it would probably be a wise thing to go with the "Protection" version of this tire, boasting a thicker sidewall. The size I have been testing is a 2.2", and is just that, not bigger, not smaller (take note Maxxis).Overall a great performing tire for the Trail and AM rider, who wants a lightweight tire, and doesnt ride trails with needle-sharp rocks. Definitely recommended.

Size: 2.2"
Tested on: Rear
Claimed weight: 550 gram
Actual weight: 531 gram
Score: 5/6

The Black-Chili compound is not the holy grail of grip, but it IS really good.
 (click to enlarge)


  1. Finally! Was waiting for this review. :)

    I'm using the MK-II UST version (2.4 front, 2.2 rear), running tubeless with Stan's and mounted on a Crest rim. The tires have been through some rough (sharp-ish rocks) and muddy terrain. Been running them for since May 2012.

    My eval is that on hard surfaces (concrete, hardpack trail), it is sloooooow. But put it on loose rocky terrain, and it shines. Mud traction is ok, and the knobs on the edge (dunno how it's called) give good grip on cornering and on trails that's off-camber.

    Am happy with the tires, although the UST ones are heavy (680 grams IIRC). Nice to see you've got good results. :) - tomas, from the philippines

  2. Sorry, I got the weights wrong. I meant 860 grams for the MK II UST 2.4, 800+ grams for the UST 2.2.

  3. Nice, glad they work out for you as well. Im definitely keeping them on.

  4. Hi buddy
    I love my mk2 but got the protection line.
    The x king protection was to unstable for AM. Felt like I was floating side ways. Too thin walls for me liking. I am used to Ardents so no mk does not rolle as well but they grip way better.
    Mk 2.4 up front Ardents in the back when fall is coming the ardent is replaced with mk 2.4 too.

  5. I havent been on the x-king yet, but my overall impression from users is that its not nearly as good as MK2, so you are definately not the first to stress that out. Thanks : )

  6. I ride a 29er hardtail here on Vancouver Island. The terrain really varies with loose rocky double track/fireroads to single track thats hardpack but with roots and many rock features that may have moss etc and its often wet. I'm happy with the maxxis Beaver rear but felt nervous in tight switchbacks and fast loose corners with what I'd thought would be great, a Schwalbe Rocket Ron in 2.25. I read up and wanted something light but more aggressive and this looked perfect. Huge difference! Ya, theres more resistance riding to the trail but finally I can throw my bike into those tiht switchbacks that used to have me carefully negotiating. I ride with a guy who is faster than I and we went down this one trail thats fast but full of switchbacks and steep sections, anyways, he was shocked at the difference in speed as I made it down right after him when normaly it took awhile. Very happy so far. I'm useing the non protection racesport 2.4" version and love it.

  7. Yeah, it really is a great tire, sounds like you agree : )