Fast, predictable and durable
Continental Trail King looks familiar, but shoulder blocks are reshaped and jut out at a better angle as a result of a more rounded inflated shape.
Continental has made significant changes to its latest tyres with tweaked tread patterns, and a brand new 4-ply casing and construction. Beads are now more uniform for better tubeless sealing and redesigned sidewalls more supple, to address the older, 6-ply, tyres feeling a little wooden on rough ground.
Gone is Conti’s ‘Mohican’ tread, whereby the blocks used to sit on top of bulging sidewalls, at least on wider rims more common nowadays. Both ends inflated first time and stayed up fine (which hasn’t always been our previous experience), but the new bead is a struggle to fit with bare hands, which might make a trailside repair more difficult.
The Black Chilli formula has tons of grip and friction on slippy edges and rocks, and considering it feels relatively soft, rolling speed is fast. We’ve always experienced excellent wear life with this compound (Continental claims it’s more dense than other sticky rubber blends) and tyres wear out in a very uniform way, rather than peeling or shredding layers or knobs.
Predictable and smooth whether on trail centre gravel, wet roots or rocks, the Trail King tracks the ground well and transmits noticeably less vibration and bounce than older models. The casing seems tough too, but the relatively small edge blocks mean it won’t hold on forever in deep moist loam or greasy dirt, so it isn’t the most versatile year-round UK option for more aggro riders. It’s also at very top end in terms of price, albeit this is balanced by the longer lifespan. Overall Continental’s new construction technology works great and we can’t wait to get hold of some of the knobblier models.