During 2012 we had the opportunity to see how the Continental X-King tires perform, having received 2 versions, the Race Sport, fitted on the front wheel, and the Protection, for the other one. Both are foldable, but that’s about the main similarity between them, as you can further find out in the review below.
The X-King comes in several versions, with the cheapest one being built in India, while the top ones having the honour of German manufacturing. This would normally set the versions poles apart, yet even the low-cost version does pretty well, showing that quality standards are respected. More about it can be read in the Stevens 8S review.
Both the Race Sport and the protection version comprise the Black Chili compound, a quality rubber that sticks to the track while offering an impressive rolling speed, two feats to which the positioning of the knobs contributes. So, full speed ahead even in corners! And to highlight the gain that the Black Chili provides, I need to mention that the lower versions with the same knob placing don’t do as well as these two, as a result of the absence of Continental’s special compound.
Race Sport stand for light weight. This is very simple to figure out as the 26 x 2.4 tire measures 571 grams. The Protection has reinforced sidewalls, thus adding an extra 80 grams compared to the other version. I would be tempted to go as far as to say that snake bites will become a thing of the past with Protection, but you have to keep in mind that circumstances play a crucial role in this equation. Personally, I didn’t encounter any such problems during the test.
One thing with which the X-Kings don’t go along with is mud. Controlling the bike becomes more difficult, making you put more effort in keeping it on track. If we add some wet leaves to the fresh mud, that the whole scenario gets even more complicated.
In conclusion, the two versions of the Continental X-King, Race Sport and Protection, are quality tires which have very good performance. Basicly, they cand be used in All-Mountain, Enduro, XCO and XCM, with according widths of course. They are also durable, as a full season of wear and tear only managed to claim the upper half of the knobs.
Weight: starting from 571 grams (26×2.4)