Continental Rubber Queen Review

Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

I have been bashing away on a set of the Continental Rubber Queen 2.4′s for around 4 months now, and I must say this is “Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy”. These are big suckers, that is just a blast to use, and they love to haul ass through the meanest territory you can throw at them. Yes, with these babies size does count!

UPDATE: Continental renamed the tire Trail King instead of Rubber Queen

The Rubber Queen is a new tire for Continental, and it joins their other existing Downhill, Freeride and All Mountain tires the Der Kaiser and the Rain King. The Rubber Queens come in a 2.2 x 26 inch and 2.4 x 26 inch size in both a normal and UST version. The normal version is made with the proprietary Black Chili compound and have the Apex sidewall treatment, and all versions are handmade in Korbach Germany (the Mothership).

Casing
The Rubber Queens casing is comprised of nylon fabric, which has an extremely high tensile strength, and can withstand the abuse the real world tosses at it. The normal version is constructed of three plies of 60 tpi (3/180) bias cut material that make up the casing under the tread and two plies compose the sidewalls, while the UST version uses three plies of 110 tpi (3/330). Tpi is the number of threads per inch, a finer fabric is more flexible and puncture resistant while a coarser fabric is more rigid and cut resistant.

APEX Design
The proprietary APEX sidewall treatment puts additional material above the tire bead to help protect, stiffen and stabilize the sidewall for better control and cornering. The stiffened sidewalls can take more abuse and allow you to bash the tire around with abandon. It is supposed to help reduce pinch flats, but I got plenty of them anyway, so minus 1 for that attribute.

Black Chili
The Black Chili compound is a new tread mixture, which blends newly developed synthetic rubbers with proven natural rubber. They contain ‘nano’ (10 nanometer) sized rubber particles that have surface properties optimized for use in bicycle tires. These smaller particles enable the tire tread to deform around surface objects more quickly, improving grip. They also form a tighter bond with each other, thus improving compound strength for improved tread life, and fewer chances for lugs to rip, and tear. The way in which these particles interact with each other also lowers rolling resistance.

Out on the streets for a living
Pictures only begun
Your day is sorrow and madness
Got you under their thumb

Whoo, black chili, yeah
Whoo, black chili

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Mile High Mark says:

    These are some of the tallest tires I’ve come across. I’m running the 2.2″ UST version, and had to switch to a 2.1″ Nevegal in the back because the Queenie only cleared my Trek’s chainstay bridge by a hair.

  • Reformed Roadie says:

    Umm…what non-studded tires work on ice? How can you really harp on that as a negative?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Yes, studded tires are what you want if you are running around on lots of icy conditions. I have run plenty of tires in the Colorado winter, where patches of ice between snow are very common, and you need to be careful with any non studded tire, since they are not going to the best in those conditions. All of those tires I have ridden have offered at least some traction, the Rubber Queens were just useless, and slipped around, the Conti Mtn Kings did admirably on ice (an attribute for them). My job as a reviewer is to identity both positive and negative aspects and characteristics of a tire, and this was a very glaring issue with this tire while riding this winter.

  • RF says:

    who gave you the MSRP for the tires??? why is it that the price of the RQ 2.4 UST at competitive is more than $100++/tire here in the states, while in UK it’s only close to $60???

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Prices were given to me by US Brand Manager for Continental, I will cross check with him again.

  • RF says:

    so prices were updated. heard really nothing but good and rave reviews. but i still won’t buy the tires here though. why is the price almost doubled compare to UK for the RQ 2.4 UST? at least the US Brand Manager can answer you.

  • Oni says:

    have to say, was totally stoked to buy these tires, but as far as actual performance I’m not as excited. Need more time on them, but have noticed they are very dependent on PSI. Have also noticed that they are a straight line tire, once you start leaning over, things can get interesting (again, PSI dependent).

    Wear seems good for a sticky tire. Have a ride that involves a long road climb on the front and a 30 MPH road descent on the back. Still have the little hairs on them.

    A riding buddy had it on the back for one ride and then switched back to the Mountain King.

    Cost on these tires is $ as well.

    Oni

  • Grant says:

    I’ve got both the 2.4″ and 2.2″ UST versions. The 2.2″ UST tyre is made in Taiwan and does not use the Black Chilli compound. When mounted i couldn’t pick any real weight resistance difference. They are both very similar in size. I agree that the 2.2″ corners a little better than the 2.4″ version, but neither of them corner as well as a 2.5″ UST Maxxis Minion DHF. The lower weight is worth the trade off though. The 2.4″ have a smoother feel when riding. I think the tread pattern negates the need for the Black Chilli compound when running these tyres on the rear. Both seem to have plenty of traction. It’s usually a little sandy with plenty or rocks where i ride and it has been wet while running these tyres. So far they are definitely better than the 2.25″ Nobby Nics i had previously and more confidence inspiring than 2.35″ Maxxis Ignitors.

  • Dylan B says:

    Will these tires clear the rear end of a 2009 SX Trail?

    Thanks

    Dylan

  • Anonymous says:

    The 2.2 will fit, and most likely the 2.4, knowing Specialized geometry it should be fine

  • Dylan B says:

    Thanks!

  • Bam says:

    Will these tires clear the rear end of a 2010 Ellsworth Epiphany SST (Medium)?

  • Cesar says:

    I read everywhere that the Blackchilli compound is not only grippy but also long lasting. In my experience with the Der Kaiser, this seems to be a big lie. 7 rides and already falling apart.

    How was the duration of your set?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    They were stickier and offered more grip, but I am not sure if it extended the tread life? I haven’t used the Der Kaiser, so I can’t comment on that. Regardless, any tire shouldn’t give durability issue after that many rides, Black Chili or not.

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