MTB Tire Test: Continental Cross King Protection

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  • Continental Cross King Protection
Performance compared to all other MTB tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Continental Cross King Protection road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Continental Cross King replaces the X-King as Conti's most versatile mountain bike tire. Although the name has changed from X-King to Cross King, the tread pattern appears to be unchanged. Continental did change the casings which is most obvious when comparing the Protection models as they dropped the 4/240 casing that offered bead to bead protection. The Protection models now use the lighter 3/180 RaceSport casing with additional sidewall protection and tubeless-ready beads.


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Many people use the X-King/Cross King as a front tire with a Speed King or Race King on the rear. Although the Race King (read review) and Cross King look very similar and both use the same casing design and Conti's Black Chili compound, we've found a big difference in the rolling resistance tests between these tires. We're now convinced the Cross King uses a slower version of the Black Chili compound that is optimized more towards grip.


This may not necessarily be a bad thing but we feel it's good to have as much information as possible when buying tires. To learn more about the differences between the Race King and Cross King, you can compare the Protection models side by side.


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Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Continental
Model Cross King Protection
Year 2020
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
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Manufacturer part number 0101471
EAN4019238798043
TPI 3/180
Compound Black Chili
Bead Folding
ETRTO 55-622
Size Inch 29"
Width Inch 2.20
Specified Weight 640 grams
Max Pressure 58
Made In Germany
Available Sizes 26x2.20
26x2.30
27.5x2.20
27.5x2.30
29x2.20
29x2.30

Continental Cross King Protection Test Results

Continental Cross King Protection  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 640 grams
Measured Weight 615 grams
Measured Width Carcass 52 mm
Measured Width Tread 53 mm
Measured Height 52 mm
Measured Knob Height Center 2.5 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 3.7 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall 1.00 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 1.90 mm
All size measurements are taken at an air pressure of 35 psi / 2.4 bars on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube Conti MTB 29 (225 gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance
55 PSI / 3.8 Bar
22.9Watts
CRR: 0.00686
Rolling Resistance
45 PSI / 3.1 Bar
23.9 Watts
CRR: 0.00716
Rolling Resistance
35 PSI / 2.4 Bar
25.5 Watts
CRR: 0.00764
Rolling Resistance
25 PSI / 1.7 Bar
29.0 Watts
CRR: 0.00869
All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Continental Cross King Protection  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 7 Points
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 7 Points

Conclusion


  • Continental Cross King Protection
Performance compared to all other MTB tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

If you're looking for the fastest mountain bike tires, the Cross King Protection isn't the right tire for you. The Race King Protection (read review) rolls much faster as it uses a faster version of the Black Chili compound that likely offers less grip. The Race King rear / Cross King front combination still looks good to us as the rear tire takes the largest load and therefore adds the most to the total rolling resistance.


We're disappointed Continental doesn't specify what kind of Black Chili compound is used on which tires. We're convinced they use at least 2 different versions of the Black Chili compound (and possibly more) that make large differences to the characteristics of their tires.


Ad Buy Continental Cross King Protection at Amazon.com


RATING: 3 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
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