Continental Baron 2.3 Black Chili 3ply 180tpi folding tyre.
1) Light mud, winter U.K tyre.
2) Tested in all conditions except winter / snow / ice.
3) Run on the front with an inner tube at 38spi, rider weight 71 kilos.
4) Entry level Giant MTB 26in wheels
5) Excellent. Reliable, dependable, trustworthy tyre that gives confidence.
I haven’t had a lot of experience with different tyres so I am no expert, but I will give you my opinion on this tyre.
I have been running this new Continental Baron 2.3 Black Chili 3ply 180tpi folding tyre now for 5 weeks and completed a number of different rides. Totalling 164 miles in different conditions and on multiple surfaces and on varied terrain. I use an inner tube at 38psi.
The Baron is classed as a light mud and U.K. winter tyre, but I opted for this because the last few British summers have been wet and muddy.
I put the Baron on the front and this replaced a no name standard Kenda 1.95 with a trail tread. I am running the same economy Kenda 1.95 with a trail tread on the back with inner tube at MIN 40psi.
This Baron is obviously wider, but it is also higher with more volume, and weighs in at 765grams. It appears to be accurate, measuring 2.3 inches wide at 38psi.
The first ride I did 23 miles on dry tarmac roads which included a few hills. No problems with the tyre. I was concerned when cornering on roads that the grip might not be as good due to it being a knobbly tyre rather than a slicker tyre with more contact, but it was fine. The Baron also rolled smoothly.
Looking at the stats my run was slightly faster, so I would not say it was a slow tyre, but the ride seemed much harder, and I was more exhausted.
The second ride 66.5 miles on a flat ride, with 27 miles off road on tracks and trails, then 40 miles on dry tarmac roads.
The trail started dry on rough and stony, then softer trail, then wet and puddles followed by grass, then mud, then onto dryer single track then tram line ruts and farm fields. The Baron took everything in it’s stride, but I particularly noticed a big difference in the mud. I was cautious when entering the mud because I used to slide but this Baron was sure footed. I noticed on a number of times the back Kenda tyre lost it and slid out, but the Baron was nailed down and held the bike, and so my confidence grew. Mud was cleared instantly.
The final stage of the ride was on tarmac and against a constant head wind. After some miles I was slowing and getting exhausted and it was hard work. My friend on another tyre felt the same so this could have been the head wind or the bigger Baron tyre.
The third ride 32.5 miles off road I was having fun and never doubted this tyre. Through wet, dry, firm, loose, soft, hard, up, down, slippery, and sharp stuff, it did the job.
A couple more shorter rides in the rain and again I had no complaints.
Finally a damp, dry, slimy, then wet weekend riding on technical and aggressive MTB trails, graded green, red and a black. This threw everything at this tyre with many different surfaces and terrain, from dry loose gravel, to hard rock, slippery stone, dirt, wet grass, deep mud, wet slippery roots, damp logs and damp wooden boards, through rocky streams, plus jagged grit stone drops, and it never slipped once! Numerous times my back economy Kenda tyre slide and did some huge slides, but the front Baron tyre held tight and saved me. A few friends on other tyres commented how slippery sections were but I on the Baron never noticed.
No sign of damage so far, and it is impossible so soon to tell how it is wearing.
I also tested braking on different surfaces and didn’t notice a problem, so I have every confidence in this tyre. However I didn’t get a real opportunity to test the grip when banking over to use the side tread.
So far I am liking this tyre and would highly recommend it, and give it 5 out of 5. I may well get another for the rear.
I generally just use the same tyres all year round, and this tyre suits at the moment. But if we started to get dry hot summers, I may be tempted to change for summer to a less knobbly tyre like a Bontrager XR4 TLR Expert 2.35.