Friday, December 14, 2012

Continental Race King

With the likes of Jongeward and English having used these or a combination including these tyre I was keen to see what was so good about Conti Race Kings.

These sweet looking German made tyres looked the goods still packaged, the set I had were the full UST versions and weighed in at a comfortable 700g each.

The setup included a Tubeless rim front wheel and a standard rear rim converted to tubeless. Setup was easy and they both inflated with out the use of sealant, the UST sidewalls and bead sealed tight with no air leakage.

So I popped the bead and added a cup of sealant, which should seal any future punctures.

I had been keen to fit some fatter tyres after running various sizes from 1.9 to 2.1s but fitted to the rims the Race Kings they looked and measured slightly smaller than their 2.2” size. This was probably helped by the very round profile of the tyre.

The low profile tread pattern remains at a consistent height across the profile of the tyre. Both these characteristics, the low tread and round profile, should lead to a fairly fast rolling tyre.

Time to ride! Initially it took a little while to wear through the manufactured wax-like finish on the tyre but once they started to grip I found the tyres were predicable and gripped well in just about every condition.

From hard-packed dust-bowls to soft loam soil the tread is tightly enough packed to offer fast rolling through the middle and open enough through the remainder to find grip in a wide range of conditions.

Testing on the road the Race Kings surprised me by rolling quietly, comparable to my semi slick commuting tyres.

Having used the soft compound Conti tyres of old and wore through a new set during a solo 24 effort. I was happy to find the UST Race Kings, while unfortunately don’t feature the BlackChilli compound, still offer sufficient traction while not wearing through fast.

The front tyre has lost grip when pushed on a few occasions and this is probably why many riders match a Race King tyre on the rear with a more aggressive X-King or similar on the front. But overall I’ve found the Race Kings to be a very good performer for a UST 2.2, reliable through a variety of conditions. 

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