Chilli from Germany
Made in Germany, the Continental Der Baron uses a sophisticated casing with four plies or layers under the tread, and three on the side. Its very open blocky pattern targets wet and loose conditions, but works really well in loam too.
Size wise, even labelled 2.4in, it’s skinny for a 2,4; but this does really help it cut into winter slop and summer blown out dust.
Conti’s Black Chilli rubber blend has reasonable pace considering the Baron’s so knobbly, but rolling speed is still at the slower end of the spectrum. The widely spaced, sturdy knobs really cut into snotty ground and clear mud fast, but don’t feel bobbly turning over or do anything too sketchy on rock, root or hardpack where other more open tread patterns often stumble.
At £60 it’s pricey, but has excellent performance in terms of wear life and mileage, lasting way longer than a rival tyres that are as grippy, and especially on the rear you don’t rip the edge blocks off downhilling abroad either. The tyre feels a little stiff (especially next to the newer wider tyres) and the sidewalls bounce a bit more than proper ground-huggers like Mavic and Hutchinson tyres.
Getting the Conti tyres fully airtight run tubeless is an issue we’ve consistently had, and the threads can also poke out of the sidewalls when the tyre has been stressed by hard riding. The Baron is very versatile and UK friendly, but it feels a bit like other tyres have moved on in the last year or so, while the marginally less-comfortable German hasn’t.