The Continental Race King 26-inch Tire just may be the most-perfectly speed-optimized tire in Continental's lineup. Perhaps that's why its captivated the hearts and minds of everyone from cross country racers to endurance specialists.
Part of the secret of the Race King's success lies in its remarkable tread. The rolled shoulder profile and diamond-head arrow center tread pattern is primarily designed for superb power transfer, while also maintaining a very low profile. And as a result, it rolls exceptionally fast. Continental also incorporated transitional knobs from the center to the shoulder of the tire. This way, when you're making quick weight transfers, from cornering to straight-ahead power and back again, the tire remains stable and secure beneath you. The shoulder knobs are low-profile, like the rest of the tread. And along the outer edge, the pattern is doubled with a ramped leading edge followed by a block tread — the ramps roll quickly, but the block bites into the dirt for increased traction.
Not only do the Race King tires shed mud like nobody’s business, but they also deliver bomb-proof performance on the nastiest, longest marathon rides. Continental included its ProTection technology with these tires, so you're able to enjoy the benefit of the smooth, yet gripp'y, treads. Even better, this also creates an enhanced level of puncture protection (hence the name). Continental also added an additional layer that encircles the tire in order to guard against punctures. And unlike puncture-resistant troughs in other brands' tires, this protection reaches wall-to-wall in order to resist damage all of the way around.
Continental has been careful to ensure that the added layer doesn't harden the feel and reduce the level of dampening comfort that it naturally provides. One reason that this is possible is because Continental heavily relies on its proprietary Black Chili rubber compound to help the tire be all things to all conditions. It's succeeded in making the tires grippier, tougher, and lighter on their treads. Essentially, the Continental engineers in Germany refined their synthetic rubbers with nano-sized carbon particles that create a compound that reacts to surface objects more quickly, improving grip. These particles also form a tight bond to improve compound strength, which lengthens tread life and reduces the chances that lugs will rip and tear. Compared to Continental's earlier-generation tire compound, Black Chili tires provide around 26% less rolling-resistance and 30% more grip, all while managing to improve tread life by 5%.
The Race King Protection is tubeless-ready and Continental recommends the use of its RevoSealant to protect against the odd mini puncture.The Continental Race King 26-inch Tire is available with 2.2-inch width, and it has an ideal inflation level of between 50 and 65 PSI.