With design input from the Athertons who’d been testing out prototypes of this tyre on their local Welsh trails it’s not really that surprising that Continental have managed to come up with something that works a treat in the brown stuff.
Whilst some of the other tyres we’ve picked like the Bontrager are verging more towards a 50/50 tyre rather than a full on mud tyre, this definitely sits more towards the extreme end of the scale. The relatively tall and widely spaced tread pattern cuts through the mud in a way that very few can match, particularly when you start to head off-camber. It’s performance in the mud is no doubt helped by the narrow 1.8″ width, but there is a part of us that would love to try out a slightly wider version. We just think it might prove to be a better all-rounder.
As it stands though this tyre is hard to beat if you’re riding natural trails that are properly muddy, but because of the narrow width, tall knobs, and not particularly soft compound you do have to keep your wits about you when you’re hitting rocks and roots. As we’ve said many times, tyres are all about compromise and you just have to decide what is most important to you. If your muddy trails are also littered with rocks and roots then you might want to look elsewhere, but if they’re only an occasional challenge then these tyres really are hard to beat.
As if the great tread pattern wasn’t enough, these tyres also rack up the respect points thanks to one of the best casings in the business. Despite weighing in at just 528g these tyres are amongst some of the most resilient trail tyres that we’ve used thanks to the ‘Protection’ casing. Also, the Black Chilli compound definitely lasts for longer than most, so although these tyres are far from cheap they will last you for ages. And, we don’t know if it’s again down to the rubber compound but these tyres roll far quicker than we thought they would. Impressive indeed.