Product: Continental Vertical Protection 2.3

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I reviewed a set of Continental’s Vertical tyres for Wideopen issue 10 and after a heap of abuse on my hardtail at trails centres up and down the country I came away pretty happy. They’re great value for money, light, grippy and roll nice n’ fast. My only comment really was that they suffered a bit if you didn’t keep the pressure up. For the £15 price tag though they’re awesome. A great value and great performing all mountain tyre for trails centres, single track and all round hacking.

As an added bonus, Conti have introduced a ltd editon ‘PROtection’ model of the Vertical which features their secret grippy ‘Black Chilli’ rubber compound and beefed up side walls. The idea seems to be that they’re offering a higher performance version for people that like the Vertical but want a little bit more out of it. There’s only 1000 pairs of these available in the UK so if you’re one of those people you better be quick!


Whilst they’re not sporting quite as impressive a price tag as the basic Vertical, the PROtections claim to offer “26% lower rolling resistance, 30% higher grip, and even 5% longer mileage” which sounds pretty impressive. They’ll also offer a bit more puncture protection thanks to the beefed up ‘Duraskin’ sidewalls.

If you want to get geeky and learn all about Black Chilli you can hit up the Conti site here. Basically the tyre is coated in teeny tiny soot particles that gives it a soft texture and allows it to mould around anything it touches.  They also reckon that the bonds between the particles are particularly strong which increases their durability.  Anyway, this is just a first look and I’m yet to give them a spin, we’ll have an update on how they’re actually rolling in Wideopen issue 11. I’m hoping the added Black Chilli ‘upgrade’ is going to justify the added spend but we’ll see…

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Check out for more info.

RRP: £44.95
available in 26 x 2.3 only
recommended 50 psi/max 65 psi
750 grams each

Here’s the mind boggling science behind Black Chilli rubber:


Here’s our review of the basic Vertical from Wideopen issue 10 (click to go big): issue 10 conti tyres