The quiet has been for good reason however, as there has been a full overhaul of their manufacturing plant in Germany, essentially starting afresh. With some of the designs being so old, they were forming all sorts of odd shapes on wider rims. In addition to that, it was a bit hit and miss what the width measurement gave, with some coming in a bit on the slim side, while others being seriously wide – a 2.4″ could be as narrow as 2.2 or up to about 2.6 depending on the tread pattern. Some of the tyres also suffered with deforming and warping a bit under heavy use. Conti went back to the beginning with their range, redesigning from the carcass up, and tidying up their range. After all, who wants a super light, super thin side-walled tyre with a tread pattern suitable for an assault on the Somme?!
The Continental Trail King has been around for a long time now, formerly as the Rubber Queen. While at first glance the treat pattern is the same, there are subtle changes, giving it a more balanced arrangement. They have also binned off two options for forward/reverse rotating direction. In the picture below, the left is the old Trail King (2.4, 275) and on the right is the new Trail King (also 2.4, 275).
Inside the revised carcass is evident. The old carcass (left) shows a clear set of linear weaves that gave the perfect axis for the tyre to deform along. On the right, the new tyre has an almost scaly appearance, which should mean a thicker coating of sealant around the tyre. Fitting was pretty straightforward – the bead is tight, but once on the American Classic rims they seated first time with a track pump. Since then they’ve had a few laps of the local off piste and the superb Welsh Enduro Series race at Dyfi. Over the relatively dry, but definitely off piste terrain, as a back tyre it has hooked up well and survived the old saying “We don’t run Conti in Dyfi”. While the weather remains dry I’ll stick a second one out the front and see just how hard they can be pushed. Check back in the Autumn for a full review.
RRP – £24.99