I use my single speed 29er Bianchi SOK for everything. Steep climbs, sandy trails, pine forests, rocky trails, and commuting. The Conti X-King Pro Tection tires have been a great all around choice. Fat enough to float in all but the softest, sturdy enough to bounce off the mossy granite along the trails. Nice smooth ride on pavement. corners well and sidewalls have stood up to sharp granite edges. I run at the higher pressures...I'm 6' 3 and 235. Climbing wet granitemoss covered trails the tires have been predictable. Running lower pressures in sand gives enough flotation to keep up the momentum.
Dislikes? It would be nice if a bit less expensive, but not at the cost of quality...
I'm a 6' 3 225 lb aggressive racer. Tge 29x2.4 perform as advertised and with more confidence then the 29x2.2 because of my size. The one negitive I have, here in So. Utah with the sharp shale and lava rock, the knobies tear off exposing the inside cord. Continental has been super and exchange out my damaged tires, but after having 3 tires damaged, I don't ride them here anymore.
I previously reviewed my X-Kings as somewhat random regarding ability to setup tubeless. Got to give Continental credit. They sent me a new tire and some sealant after I told them that one tire could be setup tubeless and one could not (even after trying multiple days, new tape, valve, etc.)
One tire setup tubeless well. spent multiple days trying to get other tire to work. Never did. Have abandoned $XXX investment in tires. Tryin Schwalbe. Hope this works. $XXX investment.
I took these to my lbs as I knew how hard they were to set up tubeless. They worked on them for two days! After they finally got them set up tubeless the front tire would go flat in a day if it was sitting and now wont hold air for more than a couple of hours! I experienced the same thing to a lessor extent on mountain kings I had. I stocked up on these tires when they were on sale and now have no choice but to use them. What a pain, I will not buy these again!
Having owned many Conti tires in the past, I am familiar with most of their offerings.
I had 26 x 2.2 and 26 x 2.4 versions of this tire in the past. The 26 x 2.4 version of this tire had a very large volume casing. This 29 x 2.4 is far, far from that. I'd say this tire has the volume of a 2.2, on a good day. I am running it on a HT and I really needed more volume on the back as I have dented a rim on that bike already. Traction is OK and predictable for a tire of this style but the volume is very disappointing.
As opposed to lying about weight, it seems Conti prefers to lie about tire size (hey we all get it). I just wish they would fess up, make a true 2.4 fatty and just accept that weenies won't buy it.
I have now purchased the Conti X-King 29er in both 2.2 and 2.4 widths. The 2.4 mounted on my Bontrager Duster rim is the same width as a 2.2 Maxxis Ikon so the width seems to run a little small. I didn't weigh them but I can tell they are slightly heavier than the Ikons.
The tire itself seems to offer a little more protection than the Maxxis Ikon that has sidewall protection. The tire seems thicker and is less flexible than the Ikon. I had to run both these tires with a tube for a little while before they could be mounted tubelessly. Once on they sealed up very well.
Recently I rode some very rocky, off camber terrain and ripped some of the knobs partially off the tire. I even developed a small cut in the tread but the sealant sealed it without issue. I am a 240 lb. rider who rides rather aggressively so I'm not your typical rider. Chances are good that most riders will have no issues with these tires. They were also running about $15 cheaper per tire than the comparable Ikons when I bought them so I feel they are a good value.
I don't usually purchase tires quite this pricey but I gotta tell ya, the proof is in the pudding. There are not a lot of options for the off road 29er out there but I did my home work and the Continental X-King ProTection 29 Inch MTB Tire seemed to be the right choice. I installed them and aired them up... I immediately noticed a much smoother ride and after putting on about a hundred miles on them and the molding tips still intact (mostly), I am happy with the ride, durability and puncture resistance. When these wear out or I get another bike, I will be buying more of these!
I use this as my front tire on my 2012 Trek Rumblefish 29er. The tire hooks up well and seems to perform well in the rocks without issue. I could not get it to mount tubelessly right out of the box but after using it for a couple weeks with a tube then the bead seated.
This tire does not have the volume or bulge of a Maxxis Ikon of the same size but the knobs are spaced farther apart so it likely handles the loose stuff just as well.
I put them on a Karate Monkey. They roll pretty fast on and off road. Stiff sidewalls allow me to run 20 psi in the front and 25 psi in the back on 45mm Velocity Duallys. I have to take some stars off for the tread not being centered. I hope that's the only quality issue with these tires, but I won't know until I've put a few more miles on them.
I have really enjoyed using these tires. They're light, run tubeless fine and have great control! Very fast and predictable!
This is a great tire!
They are very fast and the ProTection feature makes these as tuff as nails. The tire is grippy but nothing like my set of Mountain Kings in wet/muddy conditions. I actually went with these because I wanted a faster tire with the same toughness as the Mountain Kings and I think Continental hit the nail on the head. Despite not being the best IN the mud they do SHED mud nicely which is great - after all - you want to be able to get going again quickly after nailing that big sink hole -)
I will get another set of these once they wear out! I predominantly ride in Northeastern MA (The Fells/Willowdale/Georgetown/H. Parker etc) and I have to admit that I am happy with the X-Kings!
I threw these on my bike just a week or so before a three day adventure on the Kokopelli Trail. I knew the Small Block Eights were not going to cut it and decided to give these a try. I have not yet converted to tubeless so I ended up running these with tubes. These tires covered the varied terrain without any issues. They provided traction, durability, as well as some confidence in the more technical sections while a seemingly fast roller in the more wide open terrain. After 20 years of using almost exclusively tires by Ritchey I may have finally found a worthy alternative.
Overall I am happy with this tire. I am running one front and back on my RIP9. It is not sized correctly. On my 28mm rims it measures 2.1cm from casing to casing. That is okay tire width is not everything. I typically run Rampages on this bike but I needed a bit easier rolling for an upcoming ride where I will spend more time on hard pack and some pavement getting from trial head to trail head. This tire rolls really nice. It is fast and seem lighter then its actual measured weight at 650g and 655g. It was a bit tight to mount on my sunringle charger (stan's type) rims but was not impractical to do trial side. It sealed right up with some sealant and was air tight by the end of the day. The side walls are hefty and should give no issues with rocks, other hits and should accommodate running lower pressures just fine. The only thing I am not that happy with is that the tire is not straight. you can actually watch a pronounced wobble in the tire. At first I thought I bent my rim getting it on but the rim is perfectly true but the tire is not. The rear tire is even more pronounced the the front. Doesn't seem to affect the performance but still doesn't make me feel great knowing they are like that. Even trying to reseat the bead hoping it would slide into better place didn't help. the bead is fully engaged. The puncture protection works. I ride on grass areas that are full of thorny bushes and the tire (with sealant in it anyway has not let any air out. I don't see the wet spot typical of the sealant coming out to seal the tire ether so I am not sure it was actually punctured at all.
The grip is good. It holds a good line int he turns. It is not a great all mountain tire but that is not the intended target I don't think. It rolls nice and has not broke free to send me down yet. It grabs rocks and roots fine hard pack it is a dream come true for fast rolling. On pavement there is no hum at all. After about 50-60 miles it still has the little molding nubs on all the way around so I expect the tire to hold up for a while.
I used a pair of these for almost 2,800 miles on the Great Divide. They lasted the entire ride and I had no punctures (set up tubeless). I think the ProTection did a great job avoiding sidewall tears. They're a good compromise between the Mountain King and Race King. They rolled fine on the pavement sections and worked well everywhere else, mud, sand, gravel, rocks. Be warned they are difficult to set up tubeless, even with a compressor. I had to install a tube for a few rides before the beads would seat up tubeless.
I really like this tire for my XC bike, rolls fast and provides great traction. And the protection version is alot more durable than the standard X-KING well worth the extra money. Not to mention one of my favorite things about these tires is they are German made.