Review: Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 Black Chili tyres

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I’d heard a lot about the Continental Rubber Queen tyres and how great they were in the ‘Black Chili’ compound, and with a name that proves the Germans do have a sense of humour, I had to try them out… Tyres, as much as any part of a bike, can be personal preference and Maxxis High Rollers have always had a special place in many downhillers, and indeed trail riders hearts, but personally I never liked them… I always read they ‘break away’ predictably, but “breaking away” wasn’t what I was looking for. I’ve also run WTB tyres and have mixed it up with Specialized, Bontrager, Maxxis and even Nokian tyres at different times, and on different bikes. So, here I am and looking forward to something new. Enter the Rubber Queen…

Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 Black Chili tyres

Words: Andrew Revitt | Photos: Julia Revitt

On what is regarded as a trail/enduro tyre, is 2.4″ too big a tyre? Quite possibly, but with a summer in the Alps, I wanted all the oomph I could get without going full on DH! Were they any good? Read the review below!

Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 Black Chili tyres

Having used ‘sticky’ compound WTB’s in the past I decided that the Black Chili versions were the right ones for me and at £50 a tyre, aren’t the cheapest on the market, but that being said, they do look like a lot of rubber for the money. Featuring an APEX-reinforced sidewall, which is designed to protect against pinch punctures and helping to stabilise the tyre under load and when pushing hard into corners – so in theory predictable cornering… The tyre is also available in a smaller and perhaps more UK friendly 2.2 size – UST versions are available too for all you tubeless fans.

Available Versions & Specifications:

Tyre ETRTO Dimension Colour Weight Rec. inflation, psi Max. inflation, psi
Rubber Queen 2.4 60-559 26 x 2.4 black foldable 870 45 58
Rubber Queen 2.4 60-559 26 x 2.4 black 1050 45 58
Rubber Queen 2.4 60-559 26 x 2.4 black foldable 950 45 58
Rubber Queen 2.4 UST 60-559 26 x 2.4 black foldable 1110 45 58

The weight is reasonable for a ‘freeride’ style tyre, and bearing in mind the recommended usage, I didn’t have any issues with rolling resistance on a wide variety of trails and even some tarmac, which less face facts, we do have to ride on quite a few occasions to get to the good stuff. Fitting the Rubber Queens onto DT Swiss rims on the other hand was a real bear… Other rims were fine and even though I got them on there in the end, I wouldn’t want to be out in the rain and mud fixing a puncture with these tyres on a DT Swiss rim.

The recommended pressures are way higher than anything I ever tried, running as low as 1.7bar (25psi) front and 1.9bar (28psi) rear, but I had no punctures and no punctures on some of the roughest trails the French/Swiss Alps have to offer as well! I ran 32/36psi when out on longer trail rides but never went any higher.

The Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 Black Chili tyres in action

On the Trail.

While on the Rubber Queens, I rode a good mixture of alpine terrain, ranging from bike park style trails and a variety of downhill tracks with plenty of rocky and rooty singletrack and good share of up and down too. In the park and on track, I had no issues with the level of grip in the dry allowing me to push as hard as I liked and to the limits of a 150mm travel bike without any problems. Cornering on these tyres was stable and I certainly felt I could go way harder than the bike or my limits, but the confidence the Rubber Queens instill, only helped me to go faster and further.

On techy trails with rocks and roots, which make up most of Chamonix trails I ride, I had as much grip as I’ve ever needed for the majority of the time. Climbing steep sections over roots was better than on any other tyre I’ve tried and descending was equally as good! My go-to ride includes a very tight, but not steep descent between trees and over sharp edged ‘head size’ rocks and roots, and the tyres performed faultlessly. The only thing I encountered was the 2.4 size could jam in between rocks being so damn fat and sticky, but momentum was the way around this and as always, technique will prevail – finding sufficient grip going up or down was very dependant on the pressure and finding the right setting was key to grip.

So what about wet conditions? I didn’t ride that much in the wet with these and thankfully Chamonix’s summer wasn’t like the UK’s… Grip over the rocks and roots in the wet was less impressive and some slippage was expected and experienced, although it wasn’t scary or out of control, it never the less detracted from the ride on tyres, which on the whole have impressed me. General trails were fine and grip was pretty much the same as in the dry and although I didn’t get to ride much heavy mud, these aren’t mud tyres!

Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 Black Chili tyres

Conclusion.

In the UK, the 2.4 option, especially on the rear, is just too much for most trails and going for the 2.2 option, and in the standard compound, would be more suitable unless you ride somewhere super techy and demanding. Overall, I would buy this tyre again for alpine riding and on pretty much any bike over 140mm of travel. I could see these working fine on a DH bike in the dry, even though Continental have a range of DH specific tyres, these are that good. At the end of the day, what separates the Rubber Queens from the competition is the compound and it certainly gives you ‘that’ edge, and unless you are in it for the miles and miles alone, I would recommend the Black Chili options every time. Solid, if expensive tyres for your aggressive trail adventures – hit the logo below for more. Happy trails, Andrew.

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