This article first appeared on Bikeradar
Lighter and tougher road models
Continental's successful Attack and Force clincher tires will be joined in 2013 by a set of tubulars with similar front- and rear-specific designs, called Attack Comp and Force Comp.
Just as with the tube-type version, the new tubulars feature a 22mm width up front and a more generous 24mm out back. Continental says this provides better handling, more efficient power transfer, decreased rolling resistance and better wear.
Both tires are built with the company's outstanding Black Chili rubber compounds and are reinforced with Vectran breaker belts. Claimed weight is 500g for the matched tubular set.
On the clincher side there's a new Grand Prix GT, which offers a smoother ride with its sole 700x25mm size option. It also boasts enhanced puncture protection with three layers of bead-to-bead belting.
The original Attack and Force clinchers remain largely the same for 2013 but lose about 20g for the pair through revised tread shaping.
New MTB treads for racing
Continental also debuted a radical Speed King tire that's solely aimed for racing on hardpacked (or paved) conditions. The new semi-slick is said to produce 18 percent less rolling resistance than the already-fast Race King, while the modest shoulder knobs and (very) subtle center tread still supposedly provide reasonable grip at appropriately low air pressures.
Despite the barely-there tread, Continental product manager Christian Wurmbäck claims the Speed King will still last most riders about 1,500km. Claimed weight is just 430g in the lone 26x2.2in size.
Downhillers, on the other hand, will get the new Der Kaiser Rammstein Projekt (US$84.95) with pared-down center knobs for reduced rolling resistance but the same trapezoidal-shaped shoulder knobs as the standard Der Kaiser for tenacious and progressive cornering grip.
Additionally, two-ply construction and a new Apex sidewall reinforcement ward off flats while also lending extra casing support under high load. Claimed weight is 1,150g.
Elsewhere in the MTB sector it's mostly a story of expanded size ranges. For example, the Mountain King and X-King will now both come in a giant 29x2.4in to address the growing 29er trail bike market.
Meanwhile, the Race King will be offered in new 29x2.2in Sport, 29x2.0in RaceSport and 26x2.0in RaceSport variants.
And yes, Continental will offer 27.5in mountain bike tires, but for now only in the X-King tread and 2.2in and 2.4in widths. Both are built on the ProTection Revolution tubeless ready casing and with Black Chili rubber.
Conti debuts production of cyclocross tubulars
We've been playing with prototype Continental cyclocross tubulars for more than three seasons now but the German company is finally ready to launch production versions. They will be using their own casings (previous ones were made by Challenge) and new tread designs adapted from the Continental mountain bike range.
At least for now, the new CycloXKing (US$124.95, UK pricing TBC) will be the sole tubular offering with a 700x32mm, 180tpi casing and a fast rolling, versatile tread derived from the mountain bike X-King.
Most importantly, Continental will build the tread using its Black Chili compound. We expect it to provide similarly impressive levels of grip, speed, and durability as on other so-equipped tires. In fact, Continental specifically claims 30 percent more grip, 26 percent less rolling resistance, and five percent better wear than standard activated silica treads. Claimed weight is 390g and tires should be in stores by the end of September.
A corresponding clincher version – simply called CycloXKing – will be available in both 32mm and 35mm-wide sizes with claimed weights ranging from 320-450g. Suggested retail price is US$54.95 (UK pricing TBC).
Muddy courses will instead call for the new Mountain King CX, built with a tube-type clincher casing but a more aggressive and open tread designed to cut through the slop into the firmer ground underneath.
As with the CycloXKing, the Mountain King CX will be available only in a 32mm width. Claimed weight is 320g.