Tested – Conti Tyres Der Baron Projekt 2.4 review

Looking for a great tyre for aggro winter mountain biking?

We’ve hooked MTBStrengthFactory’s Ben up with a pair of Conti Tyres‘ Black Chilli Der Baron Projekt 2.4″ – knobbly, aggressive enduro tyres for loose, muddy conditions.

  • Intermediate tread pattern enduro tyre.
  • Developed with GT Factory Racing
  • Black Chilli Compound
  • ProTection Apex Casing
  • 27.5 x 2.4 and 985g
  • £59.95
  • Available Nov 2015

Continental Der Baron Black Chilli

Take it away, Ben:

Designed for use in intermediate, loose and wet conditions, and with a tough side wall, the Conti tyres‘ Der Baron Projekt should be well suited to UK riding and racing.

The central tread is well spaced out, with ramped forward edges for reduced rolling resistance and a sharp, angled back edge for braking performance. The side knobs are aggressive and the overall profile of the tyre is quite round, offering a gradual transition from being upright to lent over in a corner.

Continental’s well established Black Chilli compound is a special blend of synthetic and natural rubber compounds that should offer a good blend of outright grip, balanced against reducing rolling resistance and increasing durability. The other main feature is the ProTection Apex casing that stiffens the tyre wall, reducing puncture risk, preventing roll in the corners and allowing low pressures to be used over varying terrain.

The question is, do all these fancy features and brand names actually add up to a decent tyre out on the trails?

Continental Tyres Der Baron Black Chilli with well spaced ramped nobs

These tyres have been used on some pretty varied terrain. They have spent a week on dry, dusty and rocky trails with Ride Ibiza. They have been railed around the sandy, slippy Surrey Hills as well as the Mendips and some muddy, wet Bristol local spots. As it is such a burly, grippy tyre, it was only tested on the front wheel. I chose to run a faster rolling tyre on the back.

“The compound really stuck to the rocky outcrops and slabs that littered the trails out there”

Der Baron Projekt was pretty straight forward to set up tubeless. It felt immediately stable at low pressures of 20-25 psi, thanks mostly to the sturdy side walls. Initial impressions were good on the hard-packed,  loose Ibizan trails where it was first ridden. The compound really stuck to the rocky outcrops and slabs that littered the trails out there, and the side knobs did a good job of getting through the gravel and stones to find grip on the hard earth beneath. I had a slight issue on the third day of riding when I tore a knob (snigger snigger…) on a particularly rocky trail. The hole wouldn’t seal and I was forced to fit a tube. Whilst it was a very rocky trail, I was a bit disappointed that a 1 kg tyre with plenty of sealant wouldn’t reseal.

“It moulds to the ground, smoothing things out and finding grip where other tyres slide out.”

Wet, rooty, loose trails are what this tyre was designed for. In this environment it was simply brilliant. Up until now it seems like the Magic Mary, and more recently the Shorty have had the majority of the ‘aggressive trail‘ riding market tied up with their blend of wet grip and versatility. Well now I think you can add Der Baron Projekt to that list. It cuts through the mud well, offering predictable steering and stable braking. It clears really well when things get sticky, thanks to the spaced out tread pattern, and at lower pressures it moulds to the ground, smoothing things out and finding grip where other tyres slide out. Its stability helps to inspire confidence and is well matched with a lower profile rear tyre for some over-steer riding action on natural trails.

MTB Strength Factory mountain biking with Ride Ibiza
The Der Baron is designed but wet conditions – but Ben made sure to give it a shot on some loose, dusty trails too. Cheers Ride Ibiza!

The Word

I had some slight issues but despite that, these tyres are up there with the best for UK trail riding and enduro racing, especially in wet or loose conditions. They have been developed and tested by some of the fastest enduro racers in the world and it really shows with the quality ride that they offer the committed rider. 

Want to see how Conti Tyres are made? Check out our factory tour story here.

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