Conti Mountain King II and X-King Protection 29er 2.2 tire review
Continental Mountain King II 2.2 and X-King 2.2 with Protection 29er Tire Review | Mountain Bike Review
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To sum up my conclusions I did find the Mountain King to be a proficient all-rounder with superior traction and predictable cornering performance therefore matching Contiís description as an all-conditions all-rounder. On the other hand I found the X-King to be average in wet conditions; ie not terribly grippy when moisture was present. It was relegated to rear tire duty where its fast rolling capability was appreciated. Braking performance as a front tire in aggressive terrain is average at best.
How does the Mountain King II compare to the Trail King?
LeeL, Great review! If you have experience with the Trail King 2.2, how does the Mountain King II compare? Thanks!
Spectre. I have the Rubber Queen aka Trail King (why are we in Noram so prudish?) in downhill tire size in size 26 so its kind of comparing apples to oranges as its such a big tire. The Mountain King is faster rolling but also a superb descending tire. Mind you its not hard to be faster rolling than Rubber Queen
Originally Posted by Spectre
Thanks, any reason to prefer one over the other for mainly XC riding?
I tend to view the x-king as an aggressive xc race tire. Some guys are running the 2.4 in 26" for enduro in the dry. I had a couple of the new mountain king 2.2 protections in 26", but was not thrilled with their performance. I'd like to try them in 29" though.
I'm running RQ 2.2 front and 2.2 MK II rear on my enduro .... which I feel is the best combo for traction and control. X King is great for speedy XC riding, although I like it high vol very much.. like additional suspension.
I run the 26x2.2 X-King Protection on the rear of my XC hardtail and kind of agree on the "aggressive XC race tire" comment. It seems to fair very well as an all around rear tire given it's pretty flat profile and low rolling resistance. I really love it up to now but it's been extremely dry this summer so it has limited use in mud or wet conditions.
Originally Posted by thorkild
If I was running Contis in a more aggressive setup (say a longer travel bike with beefier wheels and tires) I'd pretty much do what Locksley is doing and run RQ/Trail King F and MK II rear. I'd pick the X-King only if I was pretty sure it'd be for not very difficult trails
I think the specialized Ground Control would work better as a rear tire than the X King.
Also low rolling resistance, but more wet grip.
I think a lot of tires would work better! But I thought it would be rude to mention that in the review. I like the Ground Control in 26 a lot
Originally Posted by beanbag
That's not rude. That's helpful.
"Rude" is a cavalier word. What I meant is that I don't want to get into comparisons in the article but don't mind and welcome questions and comments in forums or the article comments. Your observation was a good one
Thanks for the review! I've used the Mountain King II and X-King on my bike and your experiences are fairly similar to mine, though I think I may have a more negative opinion of the X-King. After using the tires for a few months my feelings on the X-King went from "not bad" to indifferent and finally "why the heck did I buy these things?" I'd say my main problem is I just can't find a use for these tires, I can't think of any trails I've ridden in the past 10 years where I'd choose the X-King over the Trail King, Mountain King II, or Race King. With the other tires I can easily think of trails where one is a clear pick over the others.
To me the X-King is like a Race King with more cornering grip and better performance in the wet, but its smaller size means it won't smooth out trails as nicely as the Race King and it also tends to get bounced off line and sucked into ruts easier. Climbing traction isn't any better than the Race King unless it's wet and braking is nothing to write home about.
Mountain King II? Love it. Surprisingly fast for a tire with so much traction, it's a tire that makes me ride faster & more aggressively until I either scare myself silly or end up with a dopey grin on my face. I can corner as hard as I dare and brake as late as I want, and as long as I can keep the pedals turning it'll get me up a climb. It gives me the confidence to attack the trails hard knowing that the tires will bail me out when I screw up.
Hey remember about a year and a half ago when the x king was first starting to come out and everybody was so hyped about it and thought it was so awesome?
I've got the Racesport MK2 in 26 x 2.4 and 29 x 2.2 on the front of some bikes. In comparison , the Ro Ro 26 x 2.4 and 29 x 2.25 are much wider and have more grip in loose to moderate terrain. The MKII is bettter and more predictable on hard pack and at speed.I think it's average on wet roots and rocks but better than the X king.In loose conditions I prefer the MK1 in 2.4" and MK2 in 2.2". I agree with the review, it has better grip than the narrow width suggests. Not a Hans Dampf though. I suspect the MK2 2.2 is too small to be of much use in 26". 29er only for me.Considering they are the same size and casing, they are heavy in comparison to the x king.
I have the x-king racesport in 26 x 2.4 and 29 x 2.2. My fave fast rear tyre in both. The 26 x 2.4 is tall[ 2.4 volume with 2.3 width] so it gives 650B type speed over rough terrain. Both will step out if your on the edges under braking and climbing wet roots.
Wouldn't use it on the front at all.
Spez ground control is a copy and comparable to the No Ni. Both are much slower than the x king. The xking is more xc and a good upgrade if you want a fast tire with more traction than an ikon or a Ra Ra.
Last edited by gvs_nz; 08-01-2012 at 11:56 PM.