At Sea Otter, Continental showed off the der Kaiser 27.5×2.4 with their new Apex casing for enduro tires. They also showed off der Baron, a new tread that’s still not quite in production even though they’ve been race testing it for quite some time under the Athertons.
The news for Eurobike was the addition of the Trail King 2.4 and that both the 2.2 and 2.4 sizes of that model get the new Apex casing and Freeride Black Chili compound. The Freeride Black Chili compound is softer and grippier than the XC compound, but firmer than the DH version.
The Apex casing is a shortened internal layer on the bottom of the sidewalls that makes the tires about 200g lighter than their DH equivalents. They’re also more supple, but maintain the pinch flat protection. Click through for visuals…
Der Baron is still listed as 26×2.3 and 26×2.5 tires on Conti’s website, but the 27.5″ model will be part of their Projekt 2.4 series.
Their DH casings have internal layering that runs from the bead up to about where the tread blocks start, above the letters. The Apex casing shortens that to about where the bottom of the grey “Projekt 2.4” letters start. The goal was to maintain pinch protection but make the rest of the sidewall more reactive to the terrain so it’d feel better in non-downhill use.
At Sea Otter last year (2013), Continental debuted their PureGrip rubber compound on the road bike tires. The new compound used some of their higher end Black Chili technology, but was being made outside of their German factory. To get the Black Chili moniker, they need to be made in house. But, Conti’s European rep said the PureGrip rubber is very, very good and that they still own the Chinese factory where these are made so the quality is high, too. After all, they’re still running 180tpi casings.
Pricing wasn’t immediately available, but look for them to come in substantially cheaper than the premium German made versions. It’ll be offered on the Race King, X-King, Mountain King and Trail King (the four closest tires in the pic).