Continental Race King Supersonic 2.2in tyre review£34.99

Pricey performance rubber

BikeRadar score4/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

Bagging World Championship wins since its first appearance, Continental¹s lightest and fastest tyre really is a Race King. It needs TLC on the trail, though.

Continental¹s outstanding Black Chili compound has reset performance benchmarks on both Tarmac and trail. Its super-supple blend creates a small block tread that moulds superbly to the trail for huge amounts of soft compound-style grip. Microparticle inclusions mean it still rolls as fast and lasts as well as Conti¹s old hard compounds, though.

The multiple triangle tread is spaced just wide enough to clear fast without slowing down and it works well enough in loose rock or woodsy conditions to use it on the front or rear without too much worry. The crazy-light Supersonic carcass means it accelerates fast, giving you an advantage every time you exit a corner or change pace on a climb.

Unsurprisingly the superlight construction makes it vulnerable to punctures, though, and unfortunately the tougher Protection version uses a less grippy conventional compound. Weight is 488g.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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