Just in: Continental’s knobbly Mountain King II and Trail King ProTection Tires

In response to reader suggestions that we step up to more aggressive tires for our BMC Trailfox test bike, we fired up the Rumor-Signal looking for some proper all-mountain knobbies.  Before long, Continental had responded and we were mounting boxfresh Mountain King II and Trail King tires on Easton’s sharp new EC70 Trail wheels.  Before hitting the dirt, we busted out the scale and calipers:  hit the jump for actual pics, weights, and widths…

The second-generation Mountain King is designed to excel in loose (New Mexico-like) and wet (not at all New Mexico-like) conditions.  Made in Germany using Conti’s Black Chili rubber compund, the tires should balance reasonable wear with good grip.  Advertised at 650g, our 2.4in ProTection samples averaged 682g.  Mounted tubeless (using Stan’s sealant) on an 20mm inside-width EC70 rim, the Mountain King II measured 2.26in across, making it one of the few “2.4s” likely to comfortably fit between the Trailfox’s seatstays.

Continental Trail King, Mountain King II

Mountain King II left, Trail King right

The Trail King (sadly, the tire’s original “Rubber Queen” moniker has been phased out) features a similar tread pattern but with more closely-spaced knobs for reduced rolling resistance.  Designed by Continental to be an all-around tire, the Trail King is also made in Germany using the same Black Chili rubber compound.  If our X-Kings are any indication, the tubeless-ready and scuff-resistant ProTection casing should hold up to desert riding better than most.  The 26×2.2in Trail King measured at 2.22in across when mounted on a second EC70.  Thanks to its near-identical size but denser tread pattern, the Trail King ProTection weighed in at 764g.

With the intention of combining a faster-rolling (and sturdier) rear tire with a grippier front, we’ve started off with a Mountain King front, Trial King rear combination.  Got experience with these tires?  Let us know how you like to roll and we’ll give it a shot.  And look for a full review come spring.

marc

www.conti-online.com

Comments

Mellowme - 12/18/12 - 9:43am

I have the mountain king 2 and it has been awesome on my honzo. Use it on my front with the XC tire in the back. Both are protection series tires.
I had the run pressure really high to avoid bottoming out while tubeless. Around 30 to 34 psi tubeless..
I must say at this pressure they felt pretty soft as if they were as low as 20 psi range. Maybe it has something with the tpi??
They work well for me and wear well

dougal - 12/18/12 - 9:44am

If your goal is to have a faster-rolling rear tire with a grippier front, I would run it the opposite way. The Trail king is much grippier and gives up a lot in rolling resistance. The opposite it true of the MK II. Has less grip but better rolling resistance. So go with the MK in the rear and the Trail king up front.

Ploutre - 12/18/12 - 10:17am

Now go out and ride! I still don’t know whether to put a Rubber Queen or MK2 on the front of my next build … But according to you, the MK2 would be better ?

And the Rubber Queen name seems to be in use in the rest of the world, Trail King being just for North America.

Mindless - 12/18/12 - 3:04pm

I would run then other way around, or better yet put 2.2 Trail King rear, and 2.4 Trail King front. I run my single speed that way, and it is very balanced. Did not like MK.

Better yet, 2.35 HansDampf (Pace rear, Trail front), but those would not fit in your puny bike.

satisFACTORYrider - 12/18/12 - 3:18pm

@mindless – love that duo. TK back and the Hans front have worked for me also. suprisingly quiet combo when i had to ride pavement sections, too.

Slow Joe Crow - 12/18/12 - 5:27pm

How about Mountain King 2.4 paired with Mountain King 2.2. Right at the end of the season I set up my bike with new Mountain King 2.4 up front for cornering grip and an old style MK 2.2 in back. The one loop around the park I got in was promising so I look forward to spring break and hitting the dry trails in Bend.

Adam - 12/18/12 - 7:06pm

Great tires, but where can you find them? I picked up two 2.2 TK Protections but one had a defective sidewall . Got that warrantied, but can’t find anybody who has these tires in stock for a replacement. I’m curious to try out a Hans Dampf, but at $82 a tire… maybe not so much.

Marc - 12/18/12 - 8:55pm

Thanks for the comments everyone- we’ll be giving most of your suggestions a go!

Adam,
Our local shop (bikeworksabq.com) had them in stock as of a week or two ago. They might be willing to ship you a set.

Slow Joe Crow,
Given the Mountain King 2.4′s 2.2in size, I’d be inclined to run it front and rear. Hey- isn’t Bend supposed to be a year-round mountain biking heaven? That’s what the realtor told me…

Mindless,
Thanks! We’ll give it a shot!

marc

JB - 12/18/12 - 9:09pm

I’m going to give the TK Protection 2.4 front/ X-King Protection 2.4 rear a go for XC/Trail riding around new england. I’m currently on a 2.35 Nevegal Front / 2.35 Slant Six rear, so I should be able to get a pretty solid comparison. I figure I’ll probably want to toss on a MK II 2.4 or another TK 2.4 rear when I hit up Highland, but hopefully the X-Kings have enough grip for the rocky, rooty, nasty stuff we have around here!

Adam - 12/18/12 - 10:09pm

JB — Heads up. I ride in Connecticut and the X-Kings were an awful decision. I warrantied the rear after 60 miles — completely shredded for no good reason. I gave the front 2.4 to a friend and she wants nothing to do with it after just a couple rides. Slips on everything… not confidence inspiring at all. On the other hand, I rode Conti Race Kings for years and they felt like velcro in comparison. TKs are great too, but definitely don’t roll as fast.

Mindless - 12/19/12 - 2:29am

Who buys Hans Dampf for $82? $45 from Germany. Arrives in about a week.

bin judgin - 12/19/12 - 9:32am

My 2.2 X king grips everywhere I need it in front range kitty litter / rock dirt.

Frank - 01/12/13 - 3:33am

I ride my heckler with a 2.4 Rubber Queen/Trail King up front and a 2.4 Mountain King 2 in the rear. The ENORMOUS volume of the RQ makes it cushy, and it’s low-pressure sweet spot (28PSI) make it mega-grippy as a front tire. As for the MK2 in the rear, that’s a fantastic tire. Has grip where I need it, and is rock-solid and hard-wearing. I really wouldnt consider swapping them around, or for another tire.

Chez - 07/24/13 - 9:40pm

Frank, is the 2.4 MK2 really more like a 2.2 in the rear? I’d like to try one of these but I don’t want it too narrow(which would mean the 2.2 is more like a 2.0). Thanks.

bantan - 09/09/13 - 9:15am

I have baron 2.3 and continental mountain king 2.2. can i use these as a combination on my Carrera Kraken. I find the bike is a lot heavier since i used the baron 2.3

Frank - 09/18/13 - 12:51am

@Chez – the 2.4 in the rear is pretty big. I run on 21mm rims (Mavic EN521), and its more than enough. Just measured: RQ 2.4 is 60mm; MKII is 57mm.

Steve - 09/20/13 - 1:05pm

I installed the Continental Mountain King Protection 29″ on front and rear in April 2013 with Stans. I have used Stans for the last 5 years with Kenda tires and have never had a flat and only had to recharge with stans 2-3 times a year. With the Mountain King’s I have to use Stans every 4 weeks or my tires go flat. Stans seep out the side walls on the Mountain King. My neighbor has the same problem with his Mountain King’s. Today I am switching back to Kenda. Kenda’s new SCT tires are awesome. Never buying Continental Tires again.

steve - 09/20/13 - 5:11pm

Worst tires ever. Running Mountain King Protection 2.2 front and read with stans. The stans seep out the sidewalls and I have to recharge them every 2-3 weeks. If you run out the tire goes flat. I had 4 flats on the trail since April 2013. Going back to my Kenda Tires. I ran stans in my kenda tires for over 5 years and never had a flat. Excited to try the new SCT tires from Kenda.

petite_patriarche - 06/06/14 - 9:10pm

Hi I am from Germany. Agreement on how hard it is to seal them – but yet, you can get every Conti to seal for at least 6 months, but you need to know what you are doing. There is a receipt from Conti on how to properly seal them. You have to wetten the tire from the inside with sealant and let it dry before mounting it. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process and seal them on the rim. Then you inflate, let the tire “plop” onto the rim, let the air out and pour sealant in, not too much, just enough to make it seal. Bang the tire sideways onto the flow, both sides, then go for a 15-20km ride. Good luck.

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