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# Tire Knowledge


Find answers on MTB tire applications here

Learn more about MTB tires specific questions and how to improve your personal riding experience here. 

Conti Knowledge

What do the mountain bike tire sizes mean?

Tire size is usually written with the wheel diameter first, followed by the tire width. For example - 29 x 2.2. This refers to a 29” wheel diameter and a 2.2” tire width.

What size MTB tire should I choose?

First, you need to know which wheel size (diameter) you are using. The most common sizes are 29”, 27.5” and 26”, although some bikes, especially youth and junior sizes, may use 24”, 20” and 16”. Your tire size must match the wheel size. 

What does tire width mean? Can I choose any width of tire?

Tire width refers to the measurement across the widest part of the tyre once inflated and will vary depending on the type and purpose. Tire width will be determined by your choice of discipline, the internal rim width of the wheel and the clearance of the bicycle frame. In general, hardpack or all-round riding will tend to use a slightly narrower tire than gravity. Use the filters in the product page to search for your perfect tire option. 

What is the right air pressure for my mountain bike tires?

Several factors should be considered when inflating your mountain bike tires. The right pressure is dependent on some key variables - the weight of the rider and the terrain being ridden on. In general, the less you weigh, the less pressure is required in the tires. After riding your new tires for a while it’s easier to get a ‘feel’ for the right pressure based on how the bicycle handles. Pressure that is too low will feel bouncy or unstable, and can also risk pinching the tire against sharp edges causing punctures. Too much pressure will lack traction and will feel less comfortable. Always refer to the recommended pressure range printed on the side of the tire and never exceed the maximum. Tires are tested to perform safely within the pressures indicated on them.

Should I change the tire pressure for different riding conditions?

There is a degree of personal preference with regards to the ideal tire pressure, but if the conditions on the trails change then it is recommended to alter your tire pressure accordingly. Wet, muddy conditions normally require less pressure in order to deliver better traction. Likewise, when the trails are dry and dusty adding slightly more pressure will help tires roll faster and hold speed.

How often should I check my tire pressure?

Tire pressure is an important safety factor, so should be checked before every ride. Since the pressure in a tire is directly related to the air temperature and conditions around, all bicycle tire systems are subject to continuous fluctuation and pressure loss. Check the tyre pressure using a pump with an accurate gauge (display) when the valve is at 12 o’clock. Also, check that the tire is correctly seated within the rim by looking at the all-round tire line to see that it aligns accurately with the edge of the wheel rim. If the tire does not spin smoothly, or wobbles when the wheel is turned, this is often a sign that the tire is not fitted correctly.

What is the advantage of using sealant?

Continental Tubeless Ready tires can either be used with a tube or without and instead filling sealant in. We recommend the use of ContiRevo Sealant.
By using sealant in the event of punctures the tire does close smaller damages very immediately itself and without significant air loss.
Tubeless Ready setups are tentatively ligther since the addtional weight through the tube does not apply. 

How often should I replenish the tubeless sealant in my tires?

This will depend on usage and, to a degree, local climate. For maximum protection keep your sealant fresh by cleaning and replenishing every three months. This also provides a good opportunity to check for adverse wear and damage to the tires. Sealant that is left for long periods will stagnate in the tire. Although this won’t impact the health of the compound, it will reduce how effective the sealant is at protecting against punctures.

How do I find the right tire meeting my needs?

The first and most important thing right at the start: Nobody rides like you. Riding behaviours differ, and so do riding conditions and personal preferences. Our tire finder guides you through the process of finding your personal setup tailored to your needs. 
Generally speaking the application field (XC, Trail, Enduro, Downhill) and your bike type is a good point to start from. With a range of dimensions and widths you can narrow down the tire range to your individual setup. 

What impact do the different patterns have?

The pattern and size of the tread depends on the purpose that tire is designed for and the grip required. For soft, muddy conditions the Hydrotal features large lugs that are designed to bite into the surface and offer superior traction. Whereas the tread used on the Race King is less pronounced, favoring dry, fast trails. 
By picking the right tire pattern you can significantly optimize your personal riding experience. All Continental MTB tires are specifically designed along Mountainbike application fields, in order to support you in grip and cornering as well as speed. Continental MTB tires can be used in both front and rear as well as in an individual combinations. 

Which of Continental MTB tires are compatible for ebikes?

As a general rule Continental MTB tires with ProTection and Shieldwall technology can be used on pedelecs with a maximum speed of 25km/h. The sidewalls are specifically designed to resist against the additional forces. 
For S-pedelecs for up to 45 km/h we have SUV allrounder specialists in our range, equipped with exactly the right technologies to support you in both reliability as well as puncture protection. 

What is Continental’s new Gravity range all about?

Continental’s new MTB models probably are the most exciting tire approach you might have seen in a while. We are literally redefining mountainbiking and making it as easy as never before to find the right tyre tailored to your individual needs and preferences. We have listened carefully, tested intensely with our teams and concluded the feedback into our new Gravity range.  

What should I do with damaged tires?

For your own safety, badly damaged tires should be replaced. Check your tires for damage before and after every ride. It is not always possible to tell during a ride whether a piece of debris has damaged your tire. Check if foreign objects (stone, glass, wood) are embedded in the tyre. Sharp objects can cause damage that might not result in a puncture, but could weaken the carcass of the tyre. In general, small or superficial damage to the rubber that does not penetrate into the supporting carcass can continue to be ridden. Tires that have not been ridden for a long time or left in storage should also be checked carefully for cracks and degradation. 

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