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  1. #1
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    Continental Baron 2.3 Review

    I haven't seen too many reviews on these, so I thought I would give my thoughts to the community. Bottom Line: This is the best performing winter conditions tire for the PNW that I have come across yet.

    Setup: I got this tire from my brother in law for Christmas to go on my Ibis Mojo HD. I'm currently using a Mountain King II Protection 2.2 in the rear, but have used many others in the past. I mounted the tire w/ stans on my Easton Havocs (new style UST rims) with an air compressor. Being a continental and not being designed for tubeless, the tire was a typical pain to seat and seal up. But they are holding air very well now and I run them from about 25 psi to 32 psi.

    Trail Conditions: Anyone that lives on the wet side of the mountains in the PNW knows that our winter conditions are generally very wet and greasy. We don't get much in the way of deep peanut buttery mud that would benefit from a narrow mud specific tire. Its more that we have lots of wet leaves and an inch of greasy mud on top of good hard pack and slippery roots.

    Impressions: I have been on the lookout for an ideal winter tire for quite a while. I thought these looked interesting when I read the review of them on bikeradar. Well, in person, I can say that this is exactly what I was looking for for trail riding from November to March when I have the most problems with my minions. The grip on these things is truly amazing and I have not had them slip once on a number of fast tight twisty descents. In fact, the tire is so much grippier than the MKII that I need to find something better for the rear because the disparity between the two tires is too great. They also never pack up with mud at all even when it is at its stickiest. The only real downside so far is that they are quite slow on hardpack/pavement. Not nevegal slow, but noticeable nonetheless. But, that's the price you pay for so much confidence in the conditions where they shine.

    Bottom Line: If you ride in wet greasy wintery conditions, but don't have a lot of deep mud, I would highly recommend this as a front tire. It's the best that I have tried among Nevegals, Minions, High Rollers, Mountain Kings (I and II), WeirWolfs, Purgatory, Trail Kings, etc.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review. I have wondered about these.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  3. #3
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    Any info regarding actual size and weight? Photos, etc.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shapirus View Post
    Any info regarding actual size and weight? Photos, etc.
    Don't have a scale or calipers. Comparing sizes, I would say they are pretty comparable to other 2.3s. They're slightly smaller than my 2.4 Mutanos and 2.5 minion--actually pretty close to a 2.2 Trail King. They do have a wider tread compared to the casing than other Conti tires that I have used.

  5. #5
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    thorkild - any thoughts on a good rear match to the Baron?

  6. #6
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    I have been riding the Baron front for the last 6 months and in the last 2 I adopted it on the back too. I love them!
    I ride in the UK usually in wet rocky terrain (with a little lit of mud too), weight 225lbs all geared up and use 30psi f and 35psi r. I use them on a Titus El Guapo and am very happy with their performance. They are tough and very grippy going uphill or dh. Not exactly the best rolling resistance but I don't mind as I am not in a hurry to get to the top.
    Would certainly recommend them as general winter tyres!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by seleniak View Post
    thorkild - any thoughts on a good rear match to the Baron?
    Still working on one. Trail king is not a bad choice. I definitely would not recommend the mountain king II (good tire, just doesn't pair well for wet). I'm interested in the 2.3 spec ground control, and maybe a muddy Mary, but I haven't tried either yet. Maybe another baron would work nice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    I definitely would not recommend the mountain king II (good tire, just doesn't pair well for wet).
    what's bad about it in the wet?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    I haven't seen too many reviews on these, so I thought I would give my thoughts to the community. Bottom Line: This is the best performing winter conditions tire for the PNW that I have come across yet.

    Setup: I got this tire from my brother in law for Christmas to go on my Ibis Mojo HD. I'm currently using a Mountain King II Protection 2.2 in the rear, but have used many others in the past. I mounted the tire w/ stans on my Easton Havocs (new style UST rims) with an air compressor. Being a continental and not being designed for tubeless, the tire was a typical pain to seat and seal up. But they are holding air very well now and I run them from about 25 psi to 32 psi.

    Trail Conditions: Anyone that lives on the wet side of the mountains in the PNW knows that our winter conditions are generally very wet and greasy. We don't get much in the way of deep peanut buttery mud that would benefit from a narrow mud specific tire. Its more that we have lots of wet leaves and an inch of greasy mud on top of good hard pack and slippery roots.

    Impressions: I have been on the lookout for an ideal winter tire for quite a while. I thought these looked interesting when I read the review of them on bikeradar. Well, in person, I can say that this is exactly what I was looking for for trail riding from November to March when I have the most problems with my minions. The grip on these things is truly amazing and I have not had them slip once on a number of fast tight twisty descents. In fact, the tire is so much grippier than the MKII that I need to find something better for the rear because the disparity between the two tires is too great. They also never pack up with mud at all even when it is at its stickiest. The only real downside so far is that they are quite slow on hardpack/pavement. Not nevegal slow, but noticeable nonetheless. But, that's the price you pay for so much confidence in the conditions where they shine.

    Bottom Line: If you ride in wet greasy wintery conditions, but don't have a lot of deep mud, I would highly recommend this as a front tire. It's the best that I have tried among Nevegals, Minions, High Rollers, Mountain Kings (I and II), WeirWolfs, Purgatory, Trail Kings, etc.
    Is that the "cheap" version of 2.3 Der baron you're using? wire version?
    ok I'm doing some pretty dirty freeriding and DH, and I'm running all my tires in tubeless.

    Can you confirm that this 2.3 Baron has strong sidewalls and casing to fit these as rear ghetto tubeless tire?

    thanks for the review

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehrhard View Post
    Is that the "cheap" version of 2.3 Der baron you're using? wire version?
    ok I'm doing some pretty dirty freeriding and DH, and I'm running all my tires in tubeless.

    Can you confirm that this 2.3 Baron has strong sidewalls and casing to fit these as rear ghetto tubeless tire?

    thanks for the review
    It is the single ply, lightweight version of Der Baron. Mine are folding, black chili and so far I like them for fall riding in Norway. Would be normal Conti hassle to set up tubeless, but I haven't tried mine yet (running 2,35 Ice Spiker Pros for the moment )

  11. #11
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    This is the lighter version of the Der Baron and unfortunately is not any cheaper. As for hssp I am also using the Black Chili foldable version and I paid 45 ($68). I am using it ghetto on a Mavic 521 and so far so good, but I will keep it only on the rear wheel for a while till I trust it enough to use it on the front too. It is a very porous carcass and it took me 3 days to seal it, quite hard work.

    The tyre is not light weight for AM (850g) and in spite of being very robust with a solid feel, it should not be as robust as the heavier DH version Der Baron (1200g).

    Continental Bicycle -Baron 2.3

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shapirus View Post
    what's bad about it in the wet?
    It's actually a pretty good wet conditions tire. It just doesn't pair with the baron well at all due to a significant disparity in grip. The baron has a tremendous amount of wet/loose cornering grip, while th mkII is average. So, when you really push the baron up front, you tend to lose the mk in the rear. I want something grippier in the rear to match the baron. MkII would be fine paired with a more similar tire.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    It's actually a pretty good wet conditions tire. It just doesn't pair with the baron well at all due to a significant disparity in grip. The baron has a tremendous amount of wet/loose cornering grip, while th mkII is average. So, when you really push the baron up front, you tend to lose the mk in the rear. I want something grippier in the rear to match the baron. MkII would be fine paired with a more similar tire.
    Then probably RQ, 2.2 or 2.4, whatever you prefer, may be just what you need (in case you're in search for one ).

  14. #14
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    Just tuning into this thread as I'm interested in picking up a pair of 2.3s for DH in wet weather. The wire bead versions are rather cheap at about $20. Are those the tires that you're using, and do you think they'd hold up?

  15. #15
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    Just got a baron 2.3 for the front and a trail king 2.2 for the rear. I can't wait to try them out tomorrow!

  16. #16
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    I just received a pair of black chili Barons yesterday after waiting ages for them to come back in stock.

    Have not riden them yet, but initial thoughts mixed:

    They seem very small for a 2.3". Noticably smaller than the 2.25" Nobby Nics I was replacing.
    Carcass width measurement on an XM719 was 53.6mm for the NN and only 51.1mm for the Baron.
    Are the NN's big for a 2.25"? Or are the conti's small?!

    The sidewalls are much more solid looking than the NN's, but then you'd expect this given the extra weight. I dont know what conti are on about with the Apex elastomer sidewall however, I cant feel any difference!

    I only fitted with with tubes for now so cant comment on tubeless, however the tires were very easy to fit with no tools.

    I hope they live up to their reputation of being a good wet/loose condition trail tire however (especially here in the UK), looking at the tread it certainly looks like they should be.

  17. #17
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    I had one on the front for almost two months in summer and i was impressed. For a 2.3 is very small but the tyre or the black chili is awesome, i was afraid of a bad choice because is a winter tyre but it stick like glue to every kind of terrain (rocky, loose, etc). Much better and confident than a 2.35 high roller. Not cheap anyway.

    Currently running trail king (rubber queen) with black chili 2.2 (another awesome tyre) and as soon as the rain start i'll put back that f*cker again on the front and see how it handle the wet/mud.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_manuel View Post
    I had one on the front for almost two months in summer and i was impressed. For a 2.3 is very small but the tyre or the black chili is awesome, i was afraid of a bad choice because is a winter tyre but it stick like glue to every kind of terrain (rocky, loose, etc). Much better and confident than a 2.35 high roller. Not cheap anyway.

    Currently running trail king (rubber queen) with black chili 2.2 (another awesome tyre) and as soon as the rain start i'll put back that f*cker again on the front and see how it handle the wet/mud.
    How did the Baron end up handling the rain/mud as a front tire? Besides the width issue, I'm highly considering having this as my standard winter tire, instead of Hans Dampf. Considering going with a UST tire and UST rim system, to keep things simple, but still be able to run low pressure without flats.

  19. #19
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    Has anyone bought the cheap wire bead one yet?

    What is the compound like?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heretic Skeptic View Post
    How did the Baron end up handling the rain/mud as a front tire? Besides the width issue, I'm highly considering having this as my standard winter tire, instead of Hans Dampf. Considering going with a UST tire and UST rim system, to keep things simple, but still be able to run low pressure without flats.
    Sorry for late answer, well the baron is still on my mojo hd, as front tyre.

    Many tires were used in the past months and the baron was my wildcard every time that the others tyres fail, including a high roller 2.35 exc and two trail queens (the folding cheaper ones, good grip but sidewall are like paper). The winter was very soft so even i've try to ride it in bad conditions but the good mother nature only give me like 5 rides with mud and snow, and the tyre was awesome, even in the worst mud in a pretty steep downhill it keeps tracking and throwing mud, allowing me to pass were other riders just can't pass, of course some times is something about skills but in similar bikes with friends you can see where a tyre could make a difference.

    Now i'm looking to purchase another baron for the rear tyre and run a series of local enduro races here (is spring and in the summer the trails gets very loose) but this very same tyre was purchased in summer and i was very surprised how it performs on rocky loose trails.

    I don't remember exactly which version i have but is not the UST (even i'm using as tubeless) and that is what surprise me, because the trail kings were much more softer and i cracked two of them; i think even the cheaper baron has more glue or reinforced sidewalls due to it's nature as an enduro or freeride tyre.

    Update: Reading my old post i see that my baron is a 2.3 black chili, folding (non-ust).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_manuel View Post
    Sorry for late answer, well the baron is still on my mojo hd, as front tyre.

    Many tires were used in the past months and the baron was my wildcard every time that the others tyres fail, including a high roller 2.35 exc and two trail queens (the folding cheaper ones, good grip but sidewall are like paper). The winter was very soft so even i've try to ride it in bad conditions but the good mother nature only give me like 5 rides with mud and snow, and the tyre was awesome, even in the worst mud in a pretty steep downhill it keeps tracking and throwing mud, allowing me to pass were other riders just can't pass, of course some times is something about skills but in similar bikes with friends you can see where a tyre could make a difference.

    Now i'm looking to purchase another baron for the rear tyre and run a series of local enduro races here (is spring and in the summer the trails gets very loose) but this very same tyre was purchased in summer and i was very surprised how it performs on rocky loose trails.

    I don't remember exactly which version i have but is not the UST (even i'm using as tubeless) and that is what surprise me, because the trail kings were much more softer and i cracked two of them; i think even the cheaper baron has more glue or reinforced sidewalls due to it's nature as an enduro or freeride tyre.

    Update: Reading my old post i see that my baron is a 2.3 black chili, folding (non-ust).
    Thanks for the update! How was the Baron as far as mounting it tubeless? I know you said you didn't go UST, but I am now considering running tubeless with sealant, but am concerned about reports of Contis being difficult to mount tubeless.

    I'm still considering running a Hans Dampf up front, and Baron in in back, but am looking for more Baron feedback first.

  22. #22
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    No problem with the baron or the trail king, just try to mount the tire with the quantity enough to seal it, then you can add more sealant trough the valve.

    Baron in the back is a good choice, now that the trails are getting dry i'm looking to put the baron in the back and install a 2.4 high roller 2 in the front.

  23. #23
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    Running Conti Baron 2.3 Black Chili's Tubeless..

    Hi, I've been running the 2.3 Baron's with black chill tubeless front and back in Devon goo (mud on flint, etc..) for a year and a bit now with very pleasing results.. I find them extremely trustworthy/confidence inspiring in greasy horror as the reviewer states.. I agree with the consensus that the sidewalls are v'porous and the main issue (if there is any with the system) is getting Stan's fluid (or any liquid) to bathe that part of the tyre sufficiently, there is also the issue of the sealant bonding to the 'Black Chili" material and/or the mould residue/film on the new tyre.. to avoid the achingly arduous run-in process (which has worked after great effort) I've been painting a thin layer of Plasti Dip (with a thinner layer of Plasti Dip primer) on the inside of the sidewall only (down to the bead) and it's been holding pressure a treat and sealing the bead against the rim (Stans Arch's) better also.. Might seem like a lot of effort but these beasts go up better and down more aggressively than any tyres I've had previously (WBT WeirWolf 2.3's and the discontinued Conti Vertical Pro UST's most recently).. Thx for your time,

  24. #24
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    Further views on this?

    A quick google and they are now VERY cheap here in the UK - is that right? The right tyre? I'm talking 15 when the original bikeradar review said 49.00.

    Which one should I go for? Its too replace my beloved Swampthing on the rear and will be used almost exclusively on rocks.

  25. #25
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    Are you sure it's the black chilli model you are looking at for 15? The non chilli ones are often cheap, but rarely the BC ones.

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