Continental Rubber Queen Review

Pro Reviews

The tread design and the sticky Black Chili compound make the tires grab like Velcro on rocky terrain, and this also aids in braking. Tractor pulling power! The only place they don’t do as well as expected to be on long slick rock sections, where their brethren the Mountain Kings are champions. The lugs have some deeps sipes in them, which helps in wet conditions and aids greatly in traction and braking.

Siping 101
Siping is a process of cutting thin slits across a rubber surface to improve traction in wet or icy conditions. Siping was invented and patented in 1923 by John F. Sipe. The story told on various websites is that, in the 1920s, Sipe worked in a slaughterhouse and grew tired of slipping on the wet floors. He found that cutting slits in the tread on the bottoms of his shoes provided better traction than the uncut tread. Sipes are fairly ubiquitous on winter, all season and all terrain vehicle tires.

The girth and weight of these big tires do have a drawback, they are requiring more work while climbing, and they only have decent rolling resistance. The APEX sidewalls gives a lot of strength and stability to the front end when steering through difficult terrain, plus it keeps the rear planted firmly to the tarmac. On occasion though, you get a sideways ricochet off rocks, roots and debris. The sidewalls are very beefy, and I never had any cuts nor abrasion issues. I did seem to pinch flat every couple of weeks, and would have a flat tire after I completed my ride, so at least the pinch caused a slow leak. Due to the large size the tires do steer slower, but they roll well enough that you can bring the tire around as needed.

On occasion the tires would wash out while doing hard cornering in looser terrain, and they preferred to be tilted up taller in corners, more like how you ride a Superbike on a race track. If you happen to get the tire in the proper groove they carved very sweetly, but you really had to roll them over deeply. I can’t recall a tire that carved as nicely as they do when they are in the sweet spot.

The tires hooked up well while pedaling and climbing in gravel and loose conditions, and they floated over sand quite nicely. Even though they weren’t the best rolling tire around, they did perform fine on hardpack. They did well in mud due to the widely spaced tread pattern, and the lugs helped you power your way through the slop, and they seemed to clean fast. Although they did decently in the snow, they were a little more slippery than normal on ice.

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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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