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The top 7 best Continental 26 inch mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best Continental 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Continental is a brand I always turn to when the occassion arises of purchasing a new set of tires. I feel they are not as popular as Schwalbe or Maxxis in the mountain bike category, but that might only be the case because the marketing of the other two brands is better, not their product offering.

From both personal experience and because of my research in the subject, I can honestly say that Continental makes some of the best 26 inch mountain bike tires money can buy. Their proprietary BlackChili compound adds great durability to their premium lineup, which has the lightest tires you’ll ever come across.

From slicks to full-blown downhill mud tires, Continental has them all. So without further ado, here’s my list of the best Continental 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Continental Speed King Racesport II

Continental Speed King Racesport II
Continental Speed King Racesport II

I don’t know how many lists this tire is on, but I can assure you it’s many. And for good reasons.

The Continental Speed King Racesport II might have one of the longest names for a tire I have ever seen, but is sure ticks a lot of boxes. And it’s no wonder my own city slicker sports a set.

There’s just no tire that comes even close to this tire in the weight department. The 2.2 inch width version tips the scales at a mere 410 grams, and that’s less than half of some of the other contenders on this list.

Besides that low weight, it has an aggressive tread pattern to take you ofroad, and will simply look damn awesome on your build.

Continental Cross King Racesport

Continental Cross King Racesport
Continental Cross King Racesport

The Continental Cross King RaceSport is a lightweight XC tire. Besides the Continental Race King RaceSport the 2.2 version is the only tire that remains below 500 grams.

With this tire you’re able to get more grip in both dry and wet conditions and veering of the path into the woods is an option with more prominent side knobs.

With the Cross King in the front and the Race King in the back it means your main focus is speed while adding some extra traction for the front tire. It’s by far the lightest 26 inch cross country tire combination available, with a 2.2 setup staying well under 1 kilogram.

Continental Race King Racesport

Continental Race King Racesport
Continental Race King Racesport

The Continental Race King RaceSport is an extremely light tire at 465 grams. It’s the best 26 inch XC tire in the rolling-resistance department.

I cannot stress enough that with respect to speed and acceleration, a light tire makes all the difference. And tires are also the most cost-effective way to reduce the overall weight of the bike.

Try reducing a couple of hundred grams of any other bike component and be ready to spend in the hundreds of dollars. Not so the case with tires.

All that speed comes at a price, because traction is at the low end of the spectrum. If you’re doing any sort of hard trail riding and you still want to take advantage of this tire, consider combining it with the Continental Cross King RaceSport. Especially in wet conditions.

This tire performs best in dry conditions because of it’s shallow tread pattern.

Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex

Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex
Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex

When riding in dry conditions you might want to choose the Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex. This premium offering is faster in than the more allround Der Baron in a numer of respects.

Although at 1100 grams, this is a light tire, it is by no means meant to be a fast-rolling trail tire. The knobbies are spaced to wide for a low rolling resistance, something that matters less when going downhill. The horizontal rows of knobs make for some phenomenal braking power. So for those who want to go down at breakneck speeds this tire has your name written all over it.

Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex

Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex
Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex

The Continental Der Baron Projekt is a very aggressive mountain bike tire. Massive blocks sufficiently spaced ensure you have both maximum grip and maximum mud clearance, making this tire a solid enduro allrounder in both wet and dry conditions.

Even in the 2.4 inch width version, this tire weighs 890, which makes this tire a great option if you want to ride all year round, but you stay away from the trail in the worst of conditions.

The BlackChili compound from Continental is known for its great durability. So if you’re also looking for a tire that’ll last you a very long time, and save on cash that way, the Der Baron Projekt is a solid choice as well.

Continental Der Baron Apex

Continental Der Baron Apex
Continental Der Baron Apex

The Continental Der Baron Apex is Continental’s most aggressive mountain bike tire. Massive blocks sufficiently spaced ensure you have both maximum grip and maximum mud clearance, making this tire a solid downhill allrounder in both wet and dry conditions.

The BlackChili compound keeps the weight at a respectable 1245 grams, which is light enough for a 2.5 inch width tire.

Although the Continental Der Baron is a great allround tire, you might opt for putting the Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex in the rear, since that tire has better braking performance than this one. The two make for a deadly downhill combo.

It’s hard to recommend Der Baron Apex above the tires from Maxxis on this list, if not for the fact that they are extremely durable. So in the long run, they will hurt your wallet less.

Continental Contact Speed

Continental Contact Speed
Continental Contact Speed

Meant for the road the Continental Contact Speed is a slick tire in the true sense of the word. A minimalistic profile will turn your bike into a city slicker.

Specifications Continental 26 inch mountain bike tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Continental Speed King Racesport II26×2.2055-559410BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Cross King Racesport26×2.2055-559495BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Race King Racesport26×2.2055-559465BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Cross King Racesport26×2.3058-559600BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Der Kaiser Project Apex26×2.4060-5591100BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Der Baron Projekt ProTection Apex26×2.4060-559890BlackBlack
Continental Der Baron Apex26×2.5062-5591245BlackBlacklinklink
Continental Contact Speed26×2.0050-559665BlackBlacklinklink