Fast, durable and ultra-grippy, we already know the strengths of Continental’s X-King tyres – but which is set is best for you?
It’s little wonder the X-(“Cross”) King range remains such lauded gear for serious mountain bikers and cross racers – its ‘do anything’ capabilities were designed in collaboration with the Topeak-Ergo Racing team.
It’s all in the speed+grip equation. Across the range is offered a near-unmatchable combo of electric rolling speeds and ground-hugging friction – the X-King sitting somewhere between Continental’s Race King and Mountain II ranges.
We’ve a sizeable offering within the X-King range – so it’s worth getting tyre type and profile correct from the off. Here’s a quick rundown…
The only non-clincher set-up offered in our X-King range is the
X-King UST 26” folding tyre, which despite pronounced studs, rolls off smoothly and almost without a sound, while shoulder lugs offer added stability at particularly high-speed corners.
Tubeless tyres rely on the vacuum between rim and tyre – plus a bit of sealant – and they’re tough to puncture, so great for MTB on rocky terrain while allowing low operating pressure and low rolling resistance. The only potential downside is installation which isn’t immediately straightforward, and a reason so many go clincher.
Showcased in the always popular X-King ProTection 29er folding mountain bike tyres, the extra all-round puncture protection layer offered by ProTection has undoubtedly built on previous DuraSkin reliability.
Combined with a lighter, folding tyre this casing technology naturally favours those involved in multi-day racing. Along with the basic versions in 2.2″ and 2.4″ widths, the ‘made in Korbach’ ProTection model comes with the BlackChili Compound with its impressive mix of grip and roll.
RS versions are weight optimised and more suited to the XC and marathon circuit, particularly in combination with the Race or Mountain King.
As competition tyres go, the X-King RaceSport 650B/27.5” folding mountain bike tyre boast a carcass which combines light but logical construction with uncompromising top puncture protection – designed with endurance in mind. Enthusiasts say it’s all in the fine, high-grade nylon fabric, constructed with expensive rubber lining and universal bead.
Arguably the best for all-terrain, the performance version again teams folding functionality with the durable Pure Grip compound, as seen in the X-King Performance 29er folding mountain bike tyre.
Pure Grip was first used as a performance level compound but has been developed and advanced into the realms of outstanding cross-country specific racing. It’s ranked just behind BlackChilli and used in both road and mountain bike performance products. The key to the Performance versions is the extreme marriage of durability and grip.
Evans’ full X-King range can be found online.