Continental_Cross_King_Protection_Black_Chili_Tubeless_Ready_2018

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TYRE REVIEWS: THE NEW CONTINENTAL CROSS KING BLACK CHILI PROTECTION TUBELESS READY 2018

The German brand Continental, world leading tyre manufacturer, surprises us once again with a new cover for XC and Marathon, the Cross King Black Chili Protection Tubeless Ready 2018, inspired by the mythical X King.   This new model has several differences to the previous version.     The main improvement is that the tyre is only reinforced on the side walls with 3 layers of 60 tpi as opposed to the previous version, which was reinforced from rim to rim and had 4 layers of 60 tpi. …

The German brand Continental, world leading tyre manufacturer, surprises us once again with a new cover for XC and Marathon, the Cross King Black Chili Protection Tubeless Ready 2018, inspired by the mythical X King.
 
This new model has several differences to the previous version.
 

 
The main improvement is that the tyre is only reinforced on the side walls with 3 layers of 60 tpi as opposed to the previous version, which was reinforced from rim to rim and had 4 layers of 60 tpi. This modification helps maximise grip and comfort as the tyre better adapts to the irregularities of the terrain.
 
Another significant novelty consists without a doubt of its lateral knobs, wider and with a larger surface in this version, which contribute to improving lateral grip and providing more safety during turns, descents and technical areas.
 

 
For what concerns the material compound, Black Chili was employed for this version too. This improves rolling resistance by 26%, grip by 30% and durability by 5% compared to the materials other brands use.
 
Its declared weight is 640 gr, but it weighted 650 gr on our scale, which is more similar to the declared weight of its previous version, 654 gr.
 
We carried out a 4-week long test on a Scott Scale 930, with a 100 mm Fox fork and a Sram GX 1x11v transmission. Mounted on both wheels, with 23 mm internal width the cover gave a 55 mm ball, which is exactly the ETRTO measure that the brand declared for this 29 x 2.20 version. The chosen terrains went from fast dry and rolling tracks with homogeneous surfaces and no major technical differences, to heterogeneous mountain terrains, humid and muddy, including stretches of the Andalusia Bike Race in the Sierra de Córdoba (Andalusia – Spain).
 
Once assembled, the Cross King Black Chili Protection Tubeless Ready 2018 looks round and has a homogeneous surface, with no apparent height differences in the central and lateral knobs. This aspect represents an important improvement to the X King tyre, which had a flatter look, revealing its lower lateral grip.
 
Cycling with the Cross King by Continental, is comfortable and provides a nice flow thanks to the lack of protection under the tread. The Black Chili compound makes this tyre fast on flat terrain and no technical difficulties arise. Its lateral knobs make it fast and safe when cornering.
 

 
The mix of materials provides it excellent grip on steep and broken terrain. We tried it on paths with over 20% uphill slopes, where the tyre offered incredible grip, as well as lower slopes with more technicalities, where it was able to perfectly adapt to the terrain, and from loose stone to rocky areas with wet roots, allowing to ascent at a fluid and constant pace.
 
As for downhill slopes, the tyre’s performance was near to perfect, as its material construction and the new design of its lateral knobs allowed it to never lose grip in all sorts of terrains, from dry and compact ones to shady areas with roots, wet rocks and even mud, providing us a level of confidence and security which we rarely reached with an cross-country tyre before.
 

 
Braking performance is very strong, as the tyre’s construction and design helps it better adapt to the terrain, avoiding skidding and wheel-locking.
 
In short, the new Continental Cross King Black Chili Protection Tubeless Ready 2018 is a total success of the German brand, thanks to its improved casing and knob design, which make it one of the best options for Cross Country and Marathon mountain biking available on the market. Its versatility makes it a year-round option, suited to all weather conditions, offering excellent performance in dry, mixed and wet terrain, and makes it a good rear tyre for All Mountain cycling thanks to its excellent grip and braking efficiency.
 
 
 

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