Continental Mountain King ProTection 2.3in tyre review£60.00

A mixed-trail tyre with a retro vibe

BikeRadar score4/5

Continental has overhauled the construction of its MTB tyre range to improve ride quality and previously poor tubeless set-up and sealing.

While most tread patterns stay the same, the Mountain King gets a retro-looking lug arrangement for the mixed trail usage Conti is targeting.

While it still carries the ProTection name, the new carcass is noticeably suppler. It’s a reassuringly but not restrictively tight fit on most tubeless rims and will catch and inflate without sealant just using a fat trail pump and a bit of welly. 

It’s a reassuringly but not restrictively tight fit on most tubeless rims

Ride quality is excellent too, and the casing softens progressively as you reduce pressure with no sudden crumple point, so even when I did puncture it stayed safe and controlled until I could stop.

Weight is comparable to Maxxis EXO and Schwalbe EVO tyres (my 2.3in 29er version was 740g), and puncture-proofing/general toughness seems on par too.

Conti’s single-compound Black Chili rubber mix compares well with Maxxis’s dual-compound and Schwalbe’s ADDIX SpeedGrip rubber in terms of adhesion and speed, and while the alternating diagonal low-block tread grumbles a bit on the road, it’s fast enough in the rough. The tread is predictable under braking and relatively speedy cornering, too.

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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