Ran the protection 26 tubeless and in the rear of a hardtail. The tire rolled well and provided great grip. Only problem is that most of the trails I ride are hardpack with loose rocks. After 10 rides, many of the knobs have ripped off exposing the carcass. Also rubber has gashes all over it. Continental advertises this tire as their XC harpack tire but it did not hold up well. I think this tire would perform much better in softer earth as the rubber is very soft and sticky. Since then, I've put a Maxxis Crossmark in the rear and it has held up much better.
I ride daily and get a lot of miles out of these tires. Punctures are rare. Would give 5 stars but I have had a few knobs come off (can see the cords underneath) when riding on steep rocky trails. I run them at 40-45 psi so that may be a factor.
Bought a pair of these last fall for my enduro bike. First tire failed within 20 miles after I sucked a baby-head into my back wheel going downhill. While it was a bad break for the rear wheel, I was shocked to discover that the tire casing had stretched somehow so the tire was permanently warped. I reported the problem to tires direct and notified Continental about what appeared to be a manufacturers defect. Didn't expect tires direct to do anything since it was a catastrophic hit, but never got a response from Continental about the defect.
Fast forward to spring. After the first ride of the season I notice that several lugs had torn off of the tire from a short, flat sage burner. And not just part of the lug. The missing lugs look like they were picked off like a scab on your knee to reveal the tire casing beneath. Literally, brand new nubbins on some lugs and total separation of the tread and casing elsewhere. Again I reported the problem to tires direct and the manufacturer. Manufacturer never responded about their defective product. I sent photos and also asked tires direct to at least give me credit for one of the two defective tires. No response. I've had great experiences with tires direct but this wasn't one of them. As for Continental, their warranty and customer service is essentially non-existent. I'll never buy another one of their products again. I paid over $XXX for the pair and might as well have just flushed the money down the toilet.
Thanks for your comment. We typically respond to emails within a few hours, so please feel free to contact us at [email protected] for further assistance. This is the first we have heard of rubber quality issues on Continental's mountain bike tires, so we would be interested to find out more information as well.
These are very safe tires for all kinds of terrains. They are great for trails, but don't roll easy enough on asphalt. If you don't go off-road or off city pavements these may not be the right tires for you. However if you emphasize safety, flats free rides, the X-King ProTection tires are a clear choice.
convertered 26 tubes to these tubeless. [tough] to get seated, had to remove valve core with home compressor to seat. once seated, I ordered same for 29er. these tires are awesome. great balance of speed and control on road to hardpack to loose gravel trails in phoenix area. minimal wear so far (200 miles stil have thingies on tread), hold air, and look cool too.
Tires roll quickly but not for rocky conditions. First ride multiple knobs tore off. Second ride 2 pinch flats in a row. Side knobs not very aggressive and sizing is much smaller than stated 2.4, more like 2.1. I really wanted to like this tire but it may be going in the trash
Rode this tire through the beginning of the year training and riding in a couple endurance MTB events including Bailey Hundo. Generally, I think this is a fast/smooth rolling tire. It has performed excellent on dry hardpack, well on loose gravel/scree and respectably on sand or mud. It provides good traction on technical climbs. I always paired this tire with a Mountain King up front and it is outclassed in cornering traction by that tire.
This is not the most durable tire however. I'm finding that the knobs are often undercut after a few hundred miles and have sheered knobs completely on some rides.
Got about 500mi on these now and they are still one of my favorite tires. My old Fat Alberts were shedding the knobs off at this point and these Continentals look like new despite pounding them through the rock gardens at full speed. Casings still spin true and even with several small cuts and pulled out thorns not a drop of Stans sealant has leaked out. The small weight penalty for the Protection layer is worth it and is much tougher than I thought it would be. The tires weighed in at 610 and 620g which is pretty light for a tire that measures 2.396 on a 19mm internal rim. Traction is great in everything but loose gravel because of the small to medium knob size. Rolling resistance is low to medium with my Speed Kings and Racing Ralphs rolling slightly faster. All in all a great multi purpose trail tire.
I have ran all the Continentals except the downhill ones and these are my favorite. Large volume, light weight, puncture resistant and great traction in everything except loose gravel. Small lugs Fully sealed with Stans after a few min. They are very tough for a cross country tire and yet have the girth of an all mountain tire like my Fat Alberts but don't shed the lugs off like the Alberts did.
The tire of choice for our family. My two kids are Cat 1 very fast racers and I spend all the time I can chasing them.
This tire is our favorite mix of grip, rolling resistance, and weight. We run them tubeless with no problems at nice and low pressures.
On our hardtails the X-King in front with a Race King in back is the perfect combo. For the full sus we run X-kings front and rear.
Our local trails are either very rocky or loamy forest dirt. The Protection sidewalls just don't tear like so many of the other tires we have used in the past but they are still supple in the dirt.
We tried the race sport model but found the effort to get it to run tubeless not worth it. The sidewalls are very porous.
Purchased the 2.4's. Bead seated on both wheels dry, first try using compressor.
Running 1.5 oz's of Stans sealant. Took them out on a rainy, muddy NW day, on tight trails with plenty of slippery stumps and they were impressive. Rolled well, and stuck to everything. No leaks. Very quick delivery.
An excellent rear tire for hardtails. My front tire is the Race King 2.0 UST. Conti seems to be phasing out the UST in favor of the Protection series sealant. In practice sealant is always used with tubeless tires anyway. The construction looks and feels the same as the UST tire, so the designation of Protection may be more marketing more than any real difference in the tire.
Fills the gap between when the Race King is not grippy enough on the rear, but the Trail King and MT King are slower, more wiggly, and rough riding. This is exactly the rear tire I need for most conditions in the steeply hilly and varied terrain and surfaces of the SF Bay Area. If you ride your MTB on the street too, this is the right choice versus the Trail or MT king.
Had a Race King on the rear before and am making the change but Race King was slippery on slightly loose or wet surfaces and useless on steep sandy and loose stuff. This tire grabs the looseness at the top of places like Kennedy Trail where the Race King on the rear would slide a bit.
Note this weighs 611 grams, not the 570g that the specs list. The Race King 2.0 UST I took off weighed 630g.
Mostly a road bike guy but enjoy mountain biking too. Chose Continental because they make excellent road tires and didnt have any other criteria to make my purchase. After purchase a friend suggested I try tubeless so I did (didnt know X-King not considered tubeless or that was such thing) took multiple rides to get them to properly seal. Great traction, hold well in the loose stuff both climbing & braking. Overall a very good tire, roll fast on pavement for those times when you are connecting from one trail to another and pavement gets in the way.