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Choosing quality mountain tires is crucial if you want to ride in a challenging environment. The best mountain bike tires will provide you with the stability and traction you need to climb, ride downhill, or explore muddy trails.
Mountain Bike Tires FAQ
Shopping for mountain bike tires is slightly different from picking out regular tires.
How Are Mountain Bike Tires Different?
Mountain bike tires are wider and sturdier than traditional tires. They feature a tread pattern designed to withstand tough conditions.
All-mountain biking tires typically feature a tread pattern and rubber compound that will enhance your grip, but you can find other products designed with speed and stability in mind such as cross-country tires.
What Should You Look At When Comparing Mountain Bike Tires?
There are a few things to consider when comparing the best mountain bike tires:
- Make sure the size and width will fit your bike. Diameter varies from 26 to 29.”
- A width of 1.9” is ideal for cross-country riding, but you will need a width of at least 2.4” for trails or downhill riding.
- Look for tires with deep channels and large lugs if you want to ride on muddy or wet trails.
- The tires will deliver more speed if the lugs are close together.
- Look for transition lugs on the sides of the tires if you want more grip when you turn.
The best tire depends on the type of trails on which you typically ride. Some tires perform better on muddy trails while others are suitable for hardpack or loose terrain. Look for a versatile tire if you like to explore new trails and always look for new challenges.
How Did We Select The Best Mountain Bike Tires?
We looked at reviews and ratings from mountain biking enthusiasts to get an idea of which brands and products consistently deliver the best performance.
We compared the design elements of different popular products to determine which tires stand out from the rest. We tried selecting different products adapted to different environments. We also looked for tires available in different sizes so you can easily find a product that fits your bike.
We took durability and value into consideration since it’s important to invest in sturdy tires for a good riding experience.
You can find quality mountain bike tires in the $30 to $50 price range. The brand, size, and rubber compound used by the manufacturer are going to impact the price. Typically, tires will cost more if a manufacturer specifically developed a new technology for the product, such as a new rubber compound.
If you are willing to spend more, you can find more durable products with high-tech features in the $60 and above price range.
Top Four Best Mountain Bike Tires
These are the tires we recommend for riding on mountain trails.
Most Popular: Maxxis Minion DHF
The Maxxis Minion DHF is extremely popular in the mountain biking community due to its reliability. It’s easy to find, performs well, and delivers an excellent value.
This tire stands out thanks to its tread design. It features deep channels to help you ride in a wet environment, and the omnidirectional lugs will help you gain speed. The tire is an excellent compromise between speed and stability thanks to the size of the lugs.
- The tread design
- Available in different sizes and casings
- Durable option
- Great mix of speed and traction
- Deep channels not needed for dry surfaces
- Large lugs can slow you down
Most specializes bike shops carry this brand, which makes this tire very easy to find. You can also order it online from REI or Amazon for about $70 per tire.
Best All-Around Value: Continental Mountain King Wire Bead Tire
The Continental Mountain King Wire Bead tire features a continuous central tread to improve your grip in the most challenging environments. The durable casting makes this tire an excellent investment.
The tire performs well on dry, loose, and wet trails. We like the mix of small central lugs and larger outside lugs designed to improve traction.
- Three sizes available
- Excellent grip
- Outstanding value
- Not for heavy mud
- Not for hardpack
The best place to order this Continental mountain bike tire from is Amazon. You will have to spend between $23 and $50 per tire depending on the size you need.
Most Versatile: Maxxis Ardent
The Maxxis Ardent is one of the most versatile mountain bike tires you will find thanks to its ramped knobs. These ramped knobs provide an excellent combination of speed while giving you more control. These knobs will make a significant difference when you brake.
There are several rim sizes and widths available. You can also choose from a single or dual compound for the tire material depending on how much grip you will need.
- Several sizes and specs available
- Great mix of speed and grip
- Suitable for any terrain
- Choosing a tire can be confusing due to all the options available
- Some sizes are expensive and hard to find
Amazon has one of the largest selections of sizes and options for this tire. Prices range from $45 to $100 depending on the model.
Best For Climbing: WTB VelociRaptor Mountain Tire
WTB offers a front and rear mountain bike tire combo with different tread patterns. The rear tire feature wide horizontal knobs to enhance your braking and control.
The front tire has some wide blocks on the sides to give you more traction and other tread elements that will improve steering.
- Specifically designed for climbing
- Can handle a wide range of terrain
- Performing and reliable
- Not many sizes available
- Designed to work as a combo but not all sellers offer front and back tires
The best place to purchase this unique mountain bike tire combo is REI. This retailer sells the front and rear tire for about $34 each.
|Best for Climbing
|Minion DHF Trail
|Continental Mountain King Wire Bead
|Loose to wet trails
|Dry to wet terrain
|Loose to wet trails
|Loose to muddy environmet
|Require Inner Tube
|Require Comp Tube
|4.8 out of 5 stars
|4.1 out of 5 stars
|4.3 out of 5 stars
|4.7 out of 5 stars
|$68 per tire
|$24 to $42 per tire
|$46 to $104 per tire
|$34 per tire
Which Mountain Bike Tire Is Best For You?
We have compared some of the best mountain bike tires available, but you might still be wondering which one is right for you. Here is what you should keep in mind about the four tires we recommend:
- The Minion DHF Trail is versatile, performing and available in a wide range of sizes but the price might be more than you are willing to spend.
- The Continental Mountain King Wire Bead tire is your best option if you are new to mountain biking and want to explore different types of trails. This tire is one of the most versatile options available.
- The Maxxis Ardent is your best bet if you are looking for value due to its durable design. It’s available in many different sizes, performs well, and popular sizes are very affordable.
- The WTB VelociRaptor is hands down the best tire for climbing, but it’s available in only one size.
We think the Minion DHF Trail tire is the best option for an experienced mountain bike rider who can justify spending more on tires. However, if you are new to mountain bike riding, you can opt for the best value available with the Maxxis Ardent or invest in a performing and versatile tire with the Continental product we recommended.