MTB Tire Test: Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3

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  • Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3
Performance compared to all other MTB tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)
Pro Members get 9-point radar charts

Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3 road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Continental Cross King probably is Continental's most versatile mountain bike tire. With its balanced tread pattern, the Cross King can handle a very large range of conditions that range from dry hardpack up to light mud conditions.


Ad Buy Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3 at Amazon.com


We already tested the 29x2.2 version of the Cross King Protection (read our review) back in 2020 and found it to be much slower than the ultra-fast Race King Protection (read our review) that supposedly uses the same "Black Chili" compound. Our conclusion back then was that Continental uses unspecified versions of the Black Chili compound that have different properties regarding grip, durability, rolling resistance, etc.


On "paper" (Continental's website), the 29x2.3 version of the Cross King is just the same tire as the 29x2.2 version. Conti's website indicates they both use the same tread pattern, 3/180 Protection casing, and "Black Chili" compound. If you've been using the 2.2 or 2.3 versions of the Cross King and are considering switching to another size, you should be aware that they are more different than you might expect.


Since our review of the 29x2.2 Cross King back in 2020, Continental added the 27.5x2.60 and 27.5x2.80 sizes which might be interesting if you like really big tires. In the 29" size, the 2.3 version is still the biggest Cross King.


Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Continental
Model Cross King Protection 29x2.3
Year 2021
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Buy At Ad Amazon.com
Manufacturer part number 0101475
EAN4019238798418
TPI 3/180
Compound Black Chili
Bead Folding
ETRTO 58-622
Size Inch 29"
Width Inch 2.30
Specified Weight 755 grams
Max Air Pressure (psi) 54
Made In Members Only
Available Sizes 26x2.20
26x2.30
27.5x2.20
27.5x2.30
27.5x2.60
27.5x2.80
29x2.20
29x2.30

Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3 Test Results

Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


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Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 755 grams
Measured Weight 745 grams
Measured Width Carcass 55 mm (un-round)
Measured Width Tread 58 mm
Measured Height 55 mm (un-round)
Measured Knob Height Center 3.2 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 5.1 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 2.2 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall Members Only
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
Members Only
Rolling Resistance
45 PSI / 3.1 Bar
Members Only
Rolling Resistance
35 PSI / 2.4 Bar
29.8 Watts
CRR: 0.00893
Rolling Resistance
25 PSI / 1.7 Bar
32.9 Watts
CRR: 0.00986
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 29x2.3  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Total Puncture Score Tread 37 Points
Total Puncture Score Sidewall Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Tread Total Tire Thickness 2.2 mm
Sidewall Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Sidewall Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Sidewall Total Tire Thickness Members Only

Conclusion


  • Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3
Performance compared to all other MTB tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Pro Members get 9-point radar charts

The 29x2.3 version of the Cross King is not only beefed up in size, but its knob height and tread thickness have also increased by quite a bit. The center knobs have increased in height from 2.5 up to 3.2 mm, the edge knobs have increased from 3.7 up to 5.1 mm in height, and the tread thickness (excluding knobs) has gone from 1.9 up to 2.2 mm.


Because of these changes in knob height and tire thickness, rolling resistance has increased by ~15% over the already quite slow rolling 29x2.2 version of the Cross King. The good part is that puncture resistance of the tread has also increased by the same ~15%.


These changes place the 2.2 and 2.3 versions of the Cross King in entirely different sections of the mountain bike tire market. If you liked one of these versions or read reviews of the Cross King you might be a bit disappointed when new tires are not what you expected. You can compare the 29x2.2 and 29x2.3 versions of the Cross King side by side on our comparison section to get a good idea of the differences.


Continental should be more open about the different versions of their Black Chili compound and also the huge changes between tires with the same name.


Ad Buy Continental Cross King Protection 29x2.3 at Amazon.com


RATING: 3.0 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
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