Continental Mountain King 2.4": Update

Conti mud testing

After thrashing these tires in cactus and rock infested West Texas I have brought them home to some good ol’ Mid Western dirt. I think a bit of backround information may help you understand this report a bit better, so bear with me.

Here in Iowa, we have black dirt. That means a lot more than just the color, which is truly a dark, dark color. It means sticky when wet. Real sticky! Especially river silted black dirt, which is a fine hourglass sand type of dirt that when wet, sticks to everything like glue. It’s why John Deere invented the mould board plow, but that’s a whole ‘nuther story…..

We usually end up on this dirt when dry, for obvious reasons, and it drys out to a pavement like hardness. However, coming out of winter, we are in the wet season and the trails are pretty sensitive now. I chose a river bottom trail that commonly floods over, so riding on it when it is wet isn’t the major no-no that it is on other of our trails. This is when I test to find which tires deal with mud the best, because if they can shed this silted black dirt, then they can deal with about any kind of mud.

So far my “champion” is the Michelin XC AT, which gathered Top Ten 29″er Product status for 2007 for this quality. I went out to see how the Continental Mountain King would stack up against the old favorite. I will say that the Michelin is a 2.00″ tire versus this 2.3″er. Usually a wider tire doesn’t fare as well in the mud, so keeping that in mind, let’s see what I found out.

The trail was just recovering from a spring flood- perfect! There were dry parts where I could build up speed and the Mountain King showed great trail gripping abilities here. I had the pressures at about 33 rear/30 front for this test. Going into the mud, the Mountain Kings got a little filled up, but not totally. There still were knobs sticking out to use after the mud was passed through.

Mountain King in the mud

I hit up another muddy stretch, but this time it was just a little too much for the Mountain Kings to deal with. They “balled up”, as we like to say here. That basically means that the tire is impacted with mud and is collecting more, like a snow ball rolling down a mountain side. This isn’t bad, it is typical here. The Mountain King held off for longer than a lot of tires in this type of dirt/mud. I’d give it an above average grade for muddy situations.

After this section, I bailed off into some higher ground that was all dry. The Mountain Kings sloughed off the mud build up fairly quickly. This is a good sign as far as I’m concerned. It tells me that if I get into a muddy situation I can count on the tire clearing out the tread fairly quickly for the rest of my ride. Some tires will not do this very well. I give the Mountain King an excellent rating for mud clearing abilities. (Just make sure you have some eye protection on!)

In further updates, I will be testing the Mountain Kings on some other varied terrain types, so look for that.

The Tubeless Question: I always ask about any tires we get being used tubeless. I did the same with these Continentals. The answer I got was this:

Regarding whether we condone the use of sealant, our stance is actually very straightforward. Since we do not offer our own Conti-branded product we cannot market or speak to the use and validity of such products. However we certainly can say that many have and do use them, and with excellent results. Therefore as a consumer option, it is the choice of the end-user. Additionally we have no stipulations under our warranty concerning the use of sealants

So, that was a bit unique amongst the responses I have gotten. I will say also that I am using these Mountain Kings tubeless on Stan’s Flow rims with Stan’s sealant. So far throughout the test, there have been no negative results from doing so. Your mileage may vary though…….

Stay tuned for more Continental tire news soon…………….


No Responses to “Continental Mountain King 2.4": Update”

  1. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Seeing as they were tested in West Tejas I have to ask one question.

    How well do they roll over backwards rednecks?

    I’m looking to do a lot of that this season.

    Thanks! 🙂

  2. Vandal Says:

    I just converted these tires with Stan’s goop on ZTR Arch rims with the wide yellow sticky tape and Stan’s valve stem.
    Absolutely zero problems were encountered. I used two mostly-full scoops of liquid in each tire. Once I spread the tire beads out to the edge of the rim and aired it up, the tire quickly sealed up as the beads snapped into place. I didn’t even need to use soapy water on the bead.
    I did all the recommended shaking and gyrating to spread the liquid around and any air leaks quickly sealed up. The spot that took longest to stop seeping air was right at the rim’s weld joint. There’s a bit of weld line that protrudes from the inner face of the bead hook and it interrupts the hook/bead interface a bit, but the Stan’s seals it easily.
    After getting the tire pressure up, I did all the shaking again to ensure the whole thing was coated.
    I’ve seen other tires actually weep Stan’s goop through every little pore in the sidewall and look like they’d been misted with milk on the outside. Nothing like that happened here.
    Total time to do this was about one hour. I put 40 psi in each tire and I’ll check them again tomorrow to see how well they hold the air.
    All indications are that these tires are successful tubeless conversions.

  3. Vandal Says:

    Update: Success! The tires are holding air perfectly. Big thumbs up.

  4. condor Says:

    This is great news seeing as how I tried to run a pair of the conti vapors on flow rims a while back and they simply popped right off the rim on the first trail ride (fortunately after the technical downhill !). I swore off contis after that, but it looks like I may have reason to consider them again.
    Sidenote: I have, surprisingly, seen little discussion about the differences between the stan’s ztr rims and the stan’s rubber rim strips used on conventional rims. My conclusion, having experimented extensively and talking with the people at notubes, has been that the rim strips are only reliable with wire bead or tubeless ready 29er tires. The ztr rims , on the other hand, seem to work well with many of the folding beaded tube-type tires as well. My advice: call the guys at notubes and ask which tires seem to be working well when run tubeless. My current favorite is the bontrager dry-x tubeless ready. Awesome all-around tire! My other advice: don’t bother with the rim strips; build up a set of wheels with the arch or flow rims and have no worries.

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