Continental Trail King Tires Review and Renew…

27 05 2013
Fresh rubber...

Fresh rubber…

I love my Continental Trail King tires. I’ve used my first pair for over a year and had zero flats, burps or other issues. Just great traction and reliable performance.

So when I started to uncharacteristically spin my tire on steeper looser climbs I checked my rear tire and it was worn badly. Time for new rubber.

The new tires say Rubber Queen on them because that’s what Trail Kings are called in Europe. Different name, but same tire. I bought the UST version again. They are heavy, but I love the traction and how great they are to setup tubeless. I chose the 2.4″ size a second time because I love how the large diameter tire rolls over roots and rocks. Skinny tires aren’t faster if you get hung up in every tech section.

I’ve heard some good things about the Schwalbe Hans Damf tire, but I figure why mess with success?

I really can’t say one bad thing about these tires. I hope Continental makes a 650B version when I get a new mountain bike.

She's hefty...

She’s hefty…

I kept the old front tire as a spare...

I kept the old front tire as a spare…

The rear was toast...

The rear was toast…

The Stans sealant in the tires had dried up...

The Stans sealant in the tires had dried up…

Letting the tires seal...

Letting the tires seal…

I used CO2 to seat the tires...

I used CO2 to seat the tires…

My Nomad waiting for the new rubber...

My Nomad waiting for the new rubber…

No more slipping on climbs...

No more slipping on climbs…

Ready to ride...

Ready to ride…

Time to shred the new tires for another year...

Time to shred the new tires for another year…





Velocity P35 Rims & Continental Trail King Tires Redux…

11 02 2013
Purple power...

Purple power…

I love the Velocity P35 rim and Continental Trail King 2.4″ tire combo. I was especially impressed how well the larger diameter tire rolled over chunky terrain and how precise the steering was with the wide tire and wide rim. For me there is no going back to “normal” MTB tires and rims. My next MTB will be a 650B rig with wide P35 rims and wide rubber. I suspect that will be the even better than my current setup.

Sharon's Nomad with my wheels...

Sharon’s Nomad with my P35 wheels…

Sharon listens to my gear babbling and smiles like she’s really listening, but I’m pretty sure it all comes across as “..blah blah blah tire blah blah blah bike blah blah blah traction…” However, just before I left for Baja I was so amped about how well my P35/Trail Kings were working vs. the “normal” rims/rubber combo she decided to try my wheels out on her Nomad while I was gone.

Old and new P35 wheels...

Old and new P35 wheels…

She went on her usual Dirt Girls rides with my wheels/tires. I didn’t really hear too much feedback on how it all worked for her, but as I was heading north I mentioned I’d need to swap my wheels back onto my bike and she’d be back on her old wheels. I was met with heavy resistance!!! Apparently she noticed the improved performance and didn’t want to go back to a “normal” setup again. I didn’t blame her, but I wanted my wheels back!

Rubber Queen 2.4" tires & Velocity P35 rims...

Rubber Queen 2.4″ tires & Velocity P35 rims…

So we compromised on the idea of getting her old wheels rebuilt with Velocity P35 rims and buying her some 2.4″ Trail King tires. In a hostage situation like this it is always best to give them what they want if you can. 😉

Sharon with her new bike bling...

Sharon with her new bike bling…

Since I was in the US at the time we were able to order rims straight from Velocity. That meant less hassles, cheaper cost and better colour selection. Getting Velocity rims in Canada can be a chore! I’ve got to say the anodized purple rims she got look super sweet – much nicer than my painted red P35s. Next time I need P35s I’ll be getting some of the anodized ones – they look better and the finish is more robust.

Pretty slick...

Pretty slick…

We got the rims swapped locally at Oak Bay Bikes and reused the old spokes. We grabbed a Stan’s Freeride Tubeless kit from the Russ Hayes Bike Shop. The tubeless setup would have been pretty straight forward like it was for my P35’s, but I didn’t read the instructions and relied on my faulty memory. Missing 1 small, but key step I struggled for a couple beers until I went back and read the instructions. After that it wasn’t very hard to get everything to seal and hold air. I would note we’ve always used the UST version of the Trail Kings. I’m not sure that’s necessary for a good tubeless setup, but it probably helps.

Rubber Queen aka Trail King tread detail...

Rubber Queen aka Trail King tread detail…

You’ll notice her tires are labelled Rubber Queen rather than Trail King. They are the same tire. For some reason in Europe they are called Rubber Queen and in North America they are called Trail King – perhaps the European name sounded to fetishistic for our prudish tastes?? 😉

Just enough clearance in the fork and frame...

Just enough clearance in the fork and frame…

All in all Sharon is stoked to have the new wheels/tires. She likes the way they look and the way they perform.

Sharon's Nomad ready to roll...

Sharon’s Nomad ready to roll…

BTW – Velocity P35 rims may now be called Blunt 35 rims. I’m not 100% on the name change, but that’s what I have heard and Sharon’s rims came labelled Blunt 35. It’s also possible it’s a Velocity USA vs. Velocity OZ thing and both model names may be in play.





Making Continental Tires…

31 07 2012

Photo: Matt Wragg

If you are interested in how they make Continental tires jump over to Pinkbike and read a nice article by Matt Wragg.





Continental Ultra Race

13 04 2009
At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

So I scored a Continental Ultra Race tire in 23mm x 700c to replace the trashed Ultermo.  It’s about 50% of the cost.  Given that I have fenders, racks and lights on my bike I probably won’t notice any performance loss – time will tell I guess.  Hopefully this one will last more than a week!





Winter Tire Test – Pink Bike

30 11 2008
Pink Bike

photo: Pink Bike

Pink Bike did a winter tire test back in 2005 that may be of interest to any winter bike warriors out there.  Most of the tires in the test remain unchanged so the results should still be valid.