Weight: We weighed each tire on a verified-accurate Feedback Sports scale. The weights we
report are an average of the two test tires we were
given for each model. We have to stress that the
actual weight of any model tire can vary up to 15
percent. That’s because manufacturing tolerances
of tires cannot be controlled as closely as those of
products made from other materials. Rubber is
tricky. That’s why we have always suggested
bringing a scale to the shop when you purchase
your tires and tubes.
Traction: This represents a combination of cornering and braking traction performance. While
this is a subjective rating, we have lots of experience on a lot of different tires. We tested each tire
on a mix of hardpack, loose-over-hardpack and
chundery, rocky conditions.
Rolling resistance: ;;;;;
Ease of installation: ;;;
While the XR2 looks like a minimalist design,
it proves its mettle in the corners with remarkable bite, especially on the hardpack terrain we
typically test on. These tires are the only ones
that were true to their claimed size, which we
have to respect. The XR2 is a high-volume tire
that provides a smooth ride with fast-rolling
manners and a better-than-average bite when
Rolling resistance: This is how fast the tire feels. This
can be attributed to a mix of knob resistance and weight.
While the scale never lies, the ride performance can make
a tire feel faster than it should be.
Size/volume: This is a combination of the measured
width of the tire and the observed volume. Since there’s
little consistency in claimed widths, we measured every
tire’s casing width without the knobs and at the widest
knob width to eliminate any confusion.
Ease of installation: Each tire was mounted with both
a floor pump and compressor on a single pair of Syncros
XR.1 wheels. We awarded the best marks to tires that
were easy to install on the rims and those that seated
quickly and easily. Again, this can vary greatly due to
Price: Hyper-expensive tires always ride great, but the
tires that left enough in the bankroll for a post-ride burrito
run earned extra credit.
Rolling resistance: ;;
Ease of installation: ;;;
The Mountain King is a versatile tire with a
unique feel. The profile is extremely round, giving it a predictable transition from center knobs
to cornering knobs. The large casing also gives
the tire plenty of air volume, which improves
ride quality. The weight is kept in check with
the protection sidewalls, which have proven
durable for the long haul in our previous tests.
Our only gripe with the Mountain King is the
rolling resistance, but that’s only compared to
other tires in this test. In this group, the King is
slower-feeling, but the great traction and high
air volume make up for it.