Tough, adapts well to mixed trail conditions, rolls faster than you’d imagine and has class-leading tread life
The Der Baron’s open tread leans towards wet and loose conditions, but also works really well in dust and loam. The widely spaced, sturdy blocks, really cut into snotty ground and the tread clears slop and mud quickly. Using Conti’s Black Chilli rubber compound, the Der Baron never behaves unpredictably on rock, root or hardpack.
At £60, it’s expensive but the cost is offset in terms of wear life and mileage — it lasts way longer than a 3C Maxxis or Trailstar Schwalbe tyre, and the edge blocks don’t rip off as easily if you take them downhilling in the Alps. Grip levels are close to the best tyres around.
Conti’s casing uses four plies under the tread and three on the sidewall, and puncture resistance is excellent. Getting it fully airtight doesn’t always work first time, though, and the threads can poke out of the casing, especially when the tyre has been stressed by hard riding (often while the tread still has a lot of life left).
Overall, the Der Baron is tough, adapts well to mixed trail conditions, rolls faster than you’d imagine and has class-leading tread life that helps justify the high initial cost.