The not-so-minor details
Continental Pure Grip Tyres
Proven tread patterns.
Extremely well priced.
Compound feels quite firm, but time will tell.
Those German rubber fiends, Continental Tyres, are looking to give the Aussie mountain bike tyre market a bit of a stir with a their new line-up of Pure Grip tyres. If you you’re acquainted with the Continental range, then these tread patterns will be familiar, but perhaps the pricing won’t be.
The Pure Grip range offers up Conti’s traditionally high-quality construction and compounds but at a seriously good price. We’ve seen them going for as low as $34.99 through some Australian online retails. That’s pretty hard to ignore, when you consider that it’s easy to pay up to three times that amount for tubeless rubber.
We’ve lined up two sets of Pure Grip tyres to review; the X-King and the Mountain King, both in a 29×2.4″ size. Both of these treads are available in a narrower 2.2″ width if that’s your thing (in both 29 and 27.5″ too), but we prefer the extra volume of the larger tyre.
The X-King is a tread we’ve used many times in the past. With closely spaced, low-profile knobs, spread evenly across the tread, it’s your classic fast-rolling trail tyre. We’re hoping that the speedy tread pattern combined with the large volume 2.4″ size, run low pressures, gives us that perfect combo of pace, grip and control. For a 2.4″ tread, the weight is reasonable, at 802g on our scales.
With a more open and blocky tread pattern, the Mountain King is aimed at looser riding surfaces or generally more aggressive riding too. The spacing of the tread blocks across the centre should deliver a lot of braking and climbing bite. Its side knobs are well supported, and far more pronounced than the X-King. We weighed the Mountain King at 818g, which is pretty good for an aggressive tyre like this.
Looking at the tyres’ features, perhaps most importantly, these are a proper tubeless-ready tyre with Conti’s Revolution Tubeless Ready bead. This alone makes these tyres exceptional at this price point, tubeless rubber for under $40 is pretty much unheard of.
The casings are quite lightweight. Most Continental tyres we’ve ridden in recent years have been the super-tough ProTection versions, which have some fairly heavy duty four-ply construction. These Pure Grip treads have three-ply construction under the tread area, and two-ply in the sidewalls. The lighter casings of the Pure Grip tyres save about 70-90g over the equivalent ProTection version, but hopefully they’re still resilient. Time will tell!
Conti’s compounding technologies are some of the mot advanced in the business; their Black Chili compound has legions of devoted fans, who praise its balance durability and grip. The Pure Grip compound found on our test tyres, claim Conti, sits just below Black Chili in the performance stakes.
We’ve fitted these tyres to two very different 29ers – time to go find out if these treads can deliver premium performance at a bargain price.