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).


  1. Won’t trust this brand until I see someone ride real bike trails for at least a year without the sidewall letting loose and sending the rider otb. Numerous friends and acquaintances have been wrecked due to sidewalls letting go on hard compressions. Scary brand in my opinion.

  2. Yep, second one has deformed on me. Had to thrown a Rubber Queen in the bin yesterday after a couple of days in the Alps.

    No more Conti for me.

  3. Contrary to other commenters, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Continental! I’ve been running a trail king (rubberqueen) protection as a front for the past year up in BC, and put a hell of a lot of abuse on that thing, and it’s still going strong with a ton of tread left on it! Used a MKII (standard compound folding bead) as a rear tire for most of the summer, and while it rolls a little slowly, it’s also holding up decently well. Used a 2.4 x-king (bottom-of-the-barrel version) for a front for a few months as well (swapped for a Schwalbe HD for more grip and tubeless compatibility), and while it wasn’t ultra-grippy and is wearing fairly fast, it was nonetheless a good tread pattern and worked pretty darn well for XC and a bit of AM.

    That black chili rubber has really impressed me. It lasts a good long time (at least on my Trail King) and grips darn well! I am interested to try the progrip and see how those hold up! Just hope it’s not a $65 experiment though!

  4. The Black Chili is awesome! I’ve had nothing but great performance and grip. I put a Baron/Kaiser combo on my DH bike for my last trip to Whistler, and they were confidence-inspiring.

  5. I really like my Minnion and Highroller tires, but would definitely like to give the Baron/Kaiser combo a good romping. @mike: 27.5 has been a thing for awhile, or have you never heard of Kirk Pacenti?

  6. Conti tires are awful. I’ve had three Conti tires all burp and then stretch the sidewall within two rides. On two tires, the black chili compound was shredded to bits within five rides. The other tire was shot after burping and stretching the sidewall. Absolutely worthless.

  7. nothing but love for the Black Chili compound from me. didnt even know the polar opposite opinion on that even existed until now.
    however the “180tpi” thing is still false. it’s 60tpi, 3 layers (under the tread. two on sidewalls). Continental is the only tire company that adds them up like that. they call it “total tpi” or something similar.

  8. I have had mixed experiences. I could not produce any damage or excessive wear to a Rubber Queen 2.4. I did destroyed the casing on a Trail King 2.2. It ripped and threads started to show prematurely. One casing developed a tear on a GP4000S. I love them while they work but durability and cost have put me off Conti

  9. yeah i’ve never read any bad things with Continental. I’ve just always thought they were a little heavy but had good luck with mine.

    I ride mainly specialized tires that really only last a month. They’re like half priced schwalbes, ha ha!

What do you think?