When 27.5 was first introduced, many of the tires were fairly small compared to their high volume 26″ cousins. Now, that is all changing as companies like Continental are offering fatter tires to match aggressive enduro bikes. In Continental’s case it’s their new Projekt 2.4 which started with the Der Kaiser 2.4. Now Continental is working on a Baron 2.4 to join the ranks with both tires under testing by the Athertons. The Baron is almost ready for release, details next…
Part of the new tire design is Continental’s new Apex puncture protection, well more like pinch flat protection. Instead of extending all the way up the sidewall, Apex just covers the area of the tire that is typically punctured from pinch flats. This makes for a lighter tire because there is less material overall, and also a better gripping tire since the rest of the tire’s sidewall can be made more supple.
The result is a dual ply tire in a generous 2.4″ casing that weighs in under 1000g (950g for the Kaiser, and 930g for the Baron). Both tires use Continental’s Black Chili compound with a super soft durometer for race use – especially on the Baron which is designed for wetter conditions.
The Baron has large, widely spaced tread blocks that are a bit taller than the Kaiser for grip on wet trails, rocks, and roots. Both tires are currently being tested in 27.5×2.4 with the Athertons, and according to Continental the Baron is about 95% of the way there to production.