Continental Der Kaiser Projekt tyre review

Super grippy but very wooden

BikeRadar score2/5

The Der Kaiser Projekt’s issues started when we tried to inflate it. While all other brands’ tyres seated effortlessly on our DT Swiss test wheels, the Kaiser’s bead fitted very loosely, resulting in a tricky installation. This often left us resorting to an Airshot tubeless inflator. Worse, when aggressively cutting the rear wheel into a gravel bank at 25psi, it popped off the rim completely. This was the only tyre on test to do this.

MTB winter tyre mega test
  • Weight: 1,109g
  • Width: 2.19in
  • Height: 2.16in

This could have been a freak incident, but it seems that the bead fits too loosely on the rim for reliable tubeless running. We could have gone up in pressures to prevent this, but even at 23/25psi, Continental’s six-ply casing feels distinctly wooden and harsh over bumpy ground.

We back-to-back tested over a mat of roots against Schwalbe’s Magic Mary, which has a similarly hefty carcass, and that felt far more compliant. The Conty’s overly stiff casing made our fresh fork feel six months overdue a service.

Happily, it does grip really well. The BlackChili compound, while not the softest around, sticks to wet rocks tenaciously. The aggressive yet well-rounded tread pattern offers superb, predictable cornering grip in all but the claggiest mud, and braking grip on steep, loose ground is genuinely exceptional.

On the other hand, it came dead last in our rolling resistance test and we can’t forgive that wooden yet floppy casing.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Seb Stott

Technical Writer, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Age: 24
  • Height: 192cm/6'3"
  • Weight: 85Kg/187 lbs
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 107cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top