Mountainbike tires explained: Everything you need to know to select the best MTB tires (2023)

If you are new to cycling, you will be awarded if you assume that all mountain bike tires are basically the same: you are the Knobby, right ... but mountain bike tires can be the size, the materials,Your durability and your buttons, the type of site and the riding style you treat you will be very different.

A properly selected mountain bike tire can make a trip more convenient and safer and give you more traction on the way.The tires they use make a big difference for their driving quality.

You need to know the following to understand how MTB tires work, the differences in construction and type and how to select the best mountain bike tire for your bike and riding style ...

What types of MTB tires are there?

Tires are generally marketed for four types of mountain bikes and riding styles:

Cross-Country / XC / Marathon: If you only take care of speed and climbing and are a bit like a weight or plan to run to run, are cross-country mountain bike tires for you. They are thinner and lighter than the other options and roles.Generally smaller, lower and/or fewer buttons, and usual front and rear tires are common.

While easier faster means, the weight saving is at the cost of protection.xc tires have less punctuality and cut protection, so that they are not the best choice for gnarled paths, although burly tires are available for Cross Country bicycles. (We will explain all layers and construction work a little further below)

Trail / All-Mountain / Enduro:For most people, if they say "mountain biking", if they rise, if they are traveling, they have Trailbikes (120-140 mm), all mountain (140-170 mm) and enduro (160-180 mm).larger, harder and more aggressive if you also move these ladder up.

Here the buttons are larger and begin to bring support binders to a higher speed and a more aggressive put more grip on the pages.

Departure / DH / gravity: If you have ever been to a bicycle park served with a lift, you know what downhill bikes look..

(Video) What To Look For When Choosing A New MTB Tyre? | Everything You Need To Know

Plus / Fat Bikes:These bicycles are designed for wider freedom of tire. Fat bicycles are usually driven in the snow (or occasionally sand as on the beaches), since their massive volume offers a great flotation in soft surfaces.

"Plus" royers are between fat and insane tires and had a short popularity with 2.8 to 3.0 ″ tires, since the additional width increased comfort and traction, but the category has largely disappeared, and most of the regular mountain bikesAnd suspension forks don't fit that far.

What size mountain bike tires do I need?

An MTB tire size is typically expressed as a wheel diameter x tire width (like 29 x 2.4).

In general, mountain bike tires are available in three diameters - 26 ", 27.5" and 29 ". There are also smaller ones for children's bikes that are between 12 and 24 inches in diameter.

The second number is the width and can range from 1.9 inches for ultra -light racing bikes (and children's bikes) to 5 inches for fat bikes.

While the 26, 26.5 or 29-inch measurement is based on your wheel size, the tire width is partially determined by how much you have between your fork or rear triangle and your tire and your personal preference.To choose from, depending on what you are looking for in a tire.

  • Cross field:1.9 "to 2.25" width
  • Trail / All-Mountain / Enduro:2.25 to 2.6 inches width
  • Downhill:2.4 " - 2.5" width
  • Plus:2.8 "-3.0" width
  • Fat bicycles:3.7 "to 5" width

Another important consideration is the agreement with your tire width with the correct edge width. We haveA complete technical articleOn which widths they work together to stay in the safe areas.

Which tires do I need - cross country, trail, enduro or downhill?

(Video) How To Pick the Best MTB Tire For You – Tire Tech 101 Presented by Maxxis | Back to Basics

Downhill is simple ... If you drive in a downhill bike park, you need DH tires. The difference between trail/enduro tires and cross -country tires is a bit subtle.

From there it is a good starting point to check the size of the tire that arrives on your bicycle and then finds what type of tire and the best match for your terrain and riding style.With 140 mm trips, this does not mean that you can enable a more aggressive "Enduro" -Re tire if it works best for you ... or vice versa.

But what functions do you need? Let's look at the tire construction ...

What materials do MTB tires come from?

The simple answer is "rubber". But it's a bit more complicated. We haveA deep dive on tire constructions hereBut here is the fast version:

GUMMI:Each brand has its own unique rubber compounds, which are excellent in different ways, and many reveal the Durometer (also known as "strength") of the rubber.And wear faster. Harder rubber (higher durometer, usually 60-72) ensures lower rolling resistance so that you can go faster, but also do not grip.

Higher tires usually get two connections, with a softer rubber on the side buttons for a better curve and firmer rubber in the middle for faster rollers and better brakes.

HOUSING:Each tire has a housing on which the rubber is applied. It is usually a woven nylon fabric. Billier tires have lower TPI housings, but most of the "performance" stores start at 60 TPI and this is a great baseline, as it is bothFlexible as a robust, aggressive tires sometimes use two 60 TPI housing stories to reduce more support and protection. The compromise is that they are less supple and can have a firm trip, although they are better ableto cope with a lower tire pressure without winding.

In lighter "racing tires", 120 TPI housings can be called up that use thinner fibers to increase the thread number. They are very flexible and help the tire to meet the terrain so that they feel fantastic, but they are expensive and expensivenot nearly as cut resistant.

Reinforcement:In addition to the housings, there are some tire reinforcements to further prevent the side wall sections, punctures and pinch of flats. Look for a Kevlar or Aramide layer under the profile (stitch protection) or on the side wall (cut resistance) or both.

(Video) Tyre Tech | Everything You Need To Know About Mountain Bike Tyres

A "apex" layer is a small foam or rubber wedge that is layered between the housings through the pearl of the tire., to prevent snakebite points when you hit a sharp edge really hard.

All of these technologies work excellently, but all add weight and costs. Knobbier, more aggressive tires pedal slowly and can really juic their energy to the climbs and apartments, so only buy as much mature as you really need.

What about MTB tire beads?

You can find that some tires in your local bicycle shop are folded down in a box packaging, while others are open in full size.

Use cheaper tires rigid wire pearls because they are easier to manufacturers and less costs. Still use a lot of downhill tires because the weight is not so important and you can break off a little less from the edge, but mostly you want to ...

Folding bead tires use Kevlar pearls that aremuchLighter. Kevlar will not stretch, so it is unlikely that it will go off the edge (never say never, but it is basically not a problem), and these are easier to assemble on modern, tubeless rims.

What do the buttons do?

These buttons on the tire - also known as lugs - manage the traction.We made a deep dive on MTB tire buttons hereBut for a short reference, the basics are:

  • Big Lugs at a wide distance helps you to roll through the muddy terrain. This is usually tapered - smaller below and upstairs - to lose the tires faster mud.
  • Ramp buttons that you see in most bicycles are in the direction in which the tire rolls to roll less resistance, and then step backwards to take care of themmoreResistance if you brake.
  • With small, short, tight cables you can roll faster and are better for harder surfaces and hiking trails without many obstacles.
  • Side chains ensure corners under control when the bike tends (and tires often have a line of transition floors between the middle and side shells for fewer corners).
  • Low-profile brings (shorter) roll faster, but do not reach obstacles or corners so well.

Is tire direction important?

Most tabs are designed so that they roll in a certain direction, namelynormallydisplayed on the tire. Make them backwards and you will give your journey resistance instead of improving your traction. And some tires, such as the Ritchey Trail series above, are in front and specific at the back.

(Video) Understanding Mountain Bike Tires | The Explainer

Can you run two different tires?

Absolutely! Many top professional racing drivers opt for more traction and a faster tire in the rear. For example, Emily Batty from Canyon MTB Racing is a fan of the Schwalbe Racing Ray Tire in front and the Racing Ralph in the rear.Racetrack created at the front offers an aggressive XC profile for an optimal steering precise with its lug design, while the racing Ralph rolls faster in the back (this combination is also a favorite from bikerumor employee.)

Should I set up tubeless tires?

Many mountain bikes and wheels are sold as tubeless compatible, although many may not be set up with tubeless tires. As the name suggests, tubeless tires do not require tubes and use adhesive tape around the inner edge of the wheel to seal the spokes.Passed in the tires and the tire usually sits with an air compressor orA bicycle pump with a "booster" chamberTo add enough air to put the tires on the edge of the wheel.

The sealant does exactly what you would accept: keeps the air sealed in your tire, even if you get a small puncture or hit an obstacle hard and pinch your tire.can do better traction, and also save the weight of the tube. However, they are more difficult if things go wrong and be messy.So if you are not a big mechanic, you may want to stick to regular tubes while building your skills.

Is there a difference between tubeless and normal MTB tires?

You canattemptIn order to transform a mountain bike tire into a tubeless setup, we would only recommend it, unless their tires and their edge are identified as "tubeless" or "tubeless".

Fortunately, almost every modern mountain bike tire (especially those to which they would upgrade) are now capable of tubulously. And most modern mountain bike wheels use tubeless rims, all of which are made to meet the size and diameter standard to meet a safeto ensure safe fit.

What do the different tire descriptions mean?

In addition to inserting tires in the categories XC, trail or downhill, brands often categorize their tires on the conditions for which the tabs are optimized. If you are looking for a tire, think of the area you normally drive and whether youPrefer comfort or speed.

  • DIRT:Quite self -explanatory, but tires that are optimized for mud usually have wider, spiky -shaped sticks, so that the mud is not built between them and ruins their traction.
  • Semi-Slick:If you are a racing driver and often in non-technical paths, you can maximize the speed with closely placed, low-profile tabs with a semi-sill.
  • LOSE:Lots of sand or small rocks that move around where you drive? Search for tires for loose ride.
  • Hardpack:Quick chopping on hard dirt or slick rock.
  • ROCKY:Some tires are designed in such a way that they are more punctuality resistance and on the sides so that they are less likely if they are in one area with a lot of sharp rock.

How much should MTB tires cost?

There is a large selection of pricing when it comes to mountain bike tires. A decent tire can be as cheap as 30 US dollars per tire, but slightly up to over 100 US dollars per tire.. $ 50 to $ 70 per tire when it comes to most drivers compared to.

MTB tire guide leader

So what type and brand should you buy? We add MTB Cross Country, Enduro and Downhill Tire buyer.The following is what now lives:

(Video) 3 steps to follow to choose the correct MTB tyres…

  • Cross-Country MTB TYRES buyer guidelines(soon)
  • Enduro/Trail MTB tire buyer manual(soon)
  • Downhill MTB TYRES buyer guidelines(soon)

What questions do you have about MTB tires? Leave them in the comments and we will answer them!

Functional image © Pirelli


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