8 Best MTB Tires in 2021

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Every component of a bicycle plays a critical role in the overall performance of the bike. Taking MTB tires into consideration, you cannot do without them.

Have you ever tried riding your bicycle without tires? It would have been an impossible attempt. Mountain bikes can work with various tires depending on the trail or terrain’s intensity. The best MTB tires are designed to effectively take you through tough terrain.

Have it in mind that a wrong tire fit would reduce your cycling efficiency. For this reason, it’s important to equip your mountain bike with the right tires. There are different features, like thread patterns, which would influence the performance of a tire on certain terrain.

There are also different brands like the Continental mountain bike tires. If you can successfully identify these features and their advantages, you’ll be able to fit your bicycle with a tire that suits your needs.

Best Mountain Bike Tires

We have reviewed eight of the best MTB tires in this writing. All of them have their individual advantageous features.

Looking at their various pros and cons, you should be able to find one that suits you best:

1. Kenda City Slick Mountain Tire

The Kenda City Slick Mountain Tire is a great product that shouldn’t be overlooked when searching for the best MTB tires. This is a product that reflects the good reputation of the Kenda brand.

The tire is quite durable. It won’t quickly lose air during rides. With this tire on your bicycle, you can confidently cover distances of up to a thousand miles without the tire becoming defective.

This tire comes with a bigger width, which makes it reliable on rough tracks. It’s able to provide you with a significant amount of stability as you ride over bumps and obstacles.

In addition to the tire’s wonderful width, it features beveled treads that help you navigate bends easily. The treads also give you good traction on both dry and wet paths.

Pros
  • It has a sturdy and long-lasting design
  • You can use them to ride for long distances
  • Extremely durable
  • Comes in a pair
  • Low rolling resistance
Cons
  • Doesn’t work well for road cycling

2. MICHELIN Wild Enduro Tire

Michelin is a popular brand name in the world and this Wild Enduro Tire is another one of their quality products.

You can buy it for a fair price and it offers top-notch quality and functionality. Thanks to its tough design, the tire can withstand high-intensity mountain biking. The tire also makes it easy to navigate bends and is protected from damage by a strong casing on its exterior.

The tire’s monster lugs make it usable in almost all conditions. This Michelin tire is a powerful and long-lasting model that withstands the test of time without quickly becoming defective. It’s able to endure fast cycling speeds on jagged paths.

If you’re not going to be doing aggressive mountain biking, you may settle for a less intense tire than this one. The tire has a good weight and very strong casing. The casing protects the tire from cuts and punctures. Summarily, this is a versatile and strong tire that can withstand high-intensity biking in various conditions.

Pros
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • It can withstand aggressive riding in almost all conditions
  • Has a strong protective casing
  • Designed with a lug pattern
  • Great grip
Cons
  • It comes with just a 2.4-inch width

3. Kenda K816 Aggressive MTB Bicycle Tire

Next on our list is the KENDA Bicycle Tire. This tire performs the expected functions well. Regardless of the fact that these are cheap mountain bike tires, they come with quality treads that grip firmly on both hard-packed and loose tracks.

In addition to excellent performance on dry grounds, this KENDA MTB tire works well on wet trails and sloppy terrain. Thanks to the great amount of traction it provides, you can ride with more confidence.

Versatility is another attractive feature of this unit. It’s able to nicely match various mountain bike models as a result of its 26×2.1-inch size specification.

This tire is also money-saving. It has a long-lasting rubber implementation that’s able to withstand the workload of mountain biking.

Pros
  • The tire is very durable and won’t get cut or punctured easily
  • Features a reliable set of teeth that provide good traction
  • It works on both loose and hard tracks
  • Excellent tire
Cons
  • Poor width measurement

4. Schwalbe Nobby Nic Tubeless Tires

The Schwalbe tire is a lightweight model that comes in different sizes.

Each of these varying sizes is suitable for certain conditions. For instance, the versions with smaller widths are proper for biking in muddy and wet conditions. These tires are also excellent choices on dry and loose terrain.

The Schwalbe Nobby Tubeless Tires have large square sipped blocks that are significantly spaced apart to cope in muddy conditions. This product is able to provide bikers with a huge amount of acceleration while slicing through the mud with ease.

Thanks to its large shoulder knobs, it’s conveniently able to navigate bends with a great amount of control and prediction.

Pros
  • Features the ADDIX evolution line folding bead
  • Pressure rating of 30-55psi
  • It has a weight of just 575g
  • It can support weights of up to 110kg
Cons
  • It doesn’t come as a tubeless unit

5. Maxxis Ardent EXO

The Maxxis Ardent Exo is one of the best MTB tires available today. It’s a quality product that serves its purpose well. They may not be the best for hardcore mountain biking, but they work great for more relaxed MTB routines. The tires have a lightweight design that won’t make your bike too heavy.

With this tire, navigating bends is a walk in the park. It also provides sufficient traction to help stop your bike when braking. The tire’s good traction is a result of the strong treads it features. These tire treads are long-lasting and work excellently, especially on a dry surface.

Although they function best on dry and hard-packed soil, this tire’s treads can still perform decently on loose grounds. If you would be riding your mountain bike in highly wet conditions, we don’t recommend these EXO tires.

Thanks to the tire’s EXO casing, it’s able to last longer and resist damage. The EXO casing shields the tire from sharp objects and jagged mountainous paths.

Pros
  • The tires are fast rolling so you enjoy an optimal biking experience
  • Lightweight design
  • Features a sturdy EXO casing that protects the tire from puncture
  • Available in many sizes
  • Dual compound rubber
Cons
  • The treads aren’t so great and they perform poorly in wet conditions

6. SCHWALBE Hans Dampf HS 491

Many mountain bikers have enjoyed SCHWALBE’s Hans Dampf tires. Now the HS491 remake, which has improved features of the Hans Dampf, has been made available for purchase.

This improved model has more width, bigger knobs, and a more intense tread design. However, those who are looking for cheap mountain bike tires may not want this one as it’s a pricey product.

Having this tire on your bicycle provides you with a significant amount of stopping grip for braking and improved pedaling. Favorably, the tire performs well at both the front and rear ends of your bike.

The tire is versatile and works well in many different conditions. It’s able to function properly on both hard and loose tracks. Additionally, the tire is durable and provides you with quality for a long time.

Pros
  • It has a predictable drifty feel
  • Provides you with great grip for braking
  • High volume tire
  • Made in Taiwan
  • Makes for great stability
Cons
  • It’s quite pricey

7. Vittoria Martello G2.0 Enduro Tire

This Vittoria Martello Tire is truly worth the mention. It adapts wonderfully to tough mountain biking terrain and optimizes your riding abilities.

Although this unit is quite heavy, it’s still able to provide bikers with the necessary features to conquer jagged tracks. It’s able to roll quickly and improve the ease of navigating bends.

With this tire you can safely ride at top speeds. The tire has a great grip on the floor and provides you with sufficient stopping power when braking. The Vittoria Martello performs well in front and also at the bike’s rear end.

You should know that this tire doesn’t have good traction when used on really loose grounds. In addition to that, the tire doesn’t perform well in wet conditions. Regardless of that, it’s still a sturdy and reliable product that makes it easy to navigate bends and conquer rough terrain.

Pros
  • It’s a fast-rolling tire
  • Able to excel both in front and at the rear end of the bike
  • Makes navigation of bends easier
  • Available in three sizes
  • Made of quality materials
Cons
  • It’s heavy
  • The trail casing isn’t very long-lasting

8. WTB Warden High Grip Tire

This WTB Warden is a sturdy mud tire.

It features long sharp knobs that slice through the mud like a knife through butter. The tire’s design makes it good for navigating bends and easy braking.

It can withstand the rigors of mountain biking without getting cut or punctured, thanks to its strong dual ply casing. It can also be safely used to bike down steep slopes at top speeds.

At a fair cost of purchase, this product is one of the best 26 inch mountain bike tires. It also works for 27.5-inch wheels.

Pros
  • Features long and spiky knobs that cut through mud with ease
  • It has a strong dual-ply casing that protects it from external damage
  • Comes with deep sipping knobs that help the tire adapt to MTB trails
  • It works excellently in muddy and very loose conditions
  • Weighs just 1,155g
Cons
  • None

How to Get the Best MTB Tires

If you don’t want to end up fitting your bike with the wrong mountain bicycle tires, you must be able to identify the top tires that suit your needs.

For instance, you may need the best 29 inches mountain bike tires and having the right information will help you get them.

Before making a final purchase, take these into consideration:

Profile

An important factor to consider is tire profile. There are square profile tires, round tires, and medium tires.

The square types have a flattened surface. These tires are able to move easily over muddy tracks. They also navigate bends with a good amount of grip.

When using round tires, you’ll need to put more weight on the shoulder knobs so as to drift earlier than square tires on muddy tracks.

Since you can easily feel the transition between the shoulder and center blocks, you can predict at what moment you’d need to break away.

Tread

Tires feature treads for a couple of reasons. Regardless of what brand of MTB tire you’re looking to buy, they all feature three different knobs.

These knob sets stand on different parts of the tire for effective performance. The first set of knobs is positioned down the tire’s middle.

The second set can be found on the tire’s shoulder where they are positioned to provide traction when navigating bends. The third set sits between the aforementioned sets.

To minimize rolling resistance, some MTB tires have ramped front blocks. The rear blocks have a square design that facilitates effective braking. Certain tires come with blocks that have siping. Siping is done to improve a tire’s adaptability to the track.

Tires feature different treads to fit wet and dry track situations. Those made for dry conditions have reduced middle knobs that cut down resistance along a straight path. These dry tires also feature little knobs on the side for a firm grip when rounding corners/bends.

In contrast to dry tires, the wet weather tires come with big, long, and well-spaced knobs that prevent mud from clinging to the tire. They also have a square edge design that cuts easily into the mud. With a narrow width, it’s really easy for tires to cut into mud.

Compound

Different tires have some rubber compounds that they’re made from. This compound affects the overall functioning of the tire.

When the rubber compound has a soft texture, the tire is able to provide more traction and better track adaptability.

The counter effects of having a soft rubber compound are reduced durability and increased rolling resistance. When you explore different MTB tires, you’ll discover that they all come in 40A to 70A specifications. As the number increases, so does the rubber compound’s hardness.

A lot of times MTB tires feature a dual rubber compound. There’s tougher rubber in the middle that reduces rolling resistance and softer compound knobs at the side for a firm grip when navigating bends.

Casing

Tires are usually covered in a nylon casing. The nylon is in layers and it has its own purposes and functions.

A pair of layers is found on the sidewall while three more you will find positioned under the tire’s tread. You can measure the quality of a tire’s casing in TPI.

A larger TPI value indicates that the tire has a lower resistance to rolling and smaller weight since the amount of rubber required is little. You should know that because the larger TPI values have thinner rubber, they are less durable.

Mountain bike tires that are subjected to intense riding are equipped with a pair of casing plies, which makes the tire casing stronger.

The pair of casing plies may be found in the tire’s sidewall or Kevlar reinforcement. In that case, the sidewalls are shielded from the damaging effects of jagged tracks.

Width

The width of a tire affects its overall performance. Tires with more width usually have better traction on the ground. Those with smaller widths provide reduced resistance to rolling.

Regardless of their width specifications, both narrow and wide tires are able to facilitate speed in their own way. For instance, wider tires dampen transmitted vibration and boost tire rolling.

If you still have the mentality that narrow tires roll faster than wide tires, you need to change it. Wide tires are actually able to roll pretty fast.

Rolling Resistance

The term “rolling resistance” has been used severally in this article. If you don’t know what it means, rolling resistance is simply how much energy is dissipated as your tires roll.

What this implies is that maintaining speed and cycling with reduced effort is made better when the rolling resistance is low.

Tubeless vs. Tubed Tires

There are certain differences between tubed and tubeless tires.

Each has its own pros and cons:

Tubeless Tires

If you check on most mountain bicycles today, you’ll find that they come with tubeless tires. This is because tubeless tires don’t get punctured easily and they offer more cycling speed.

Their features are very favorable when cycling on mountainous trails. However, removing these tires for a replacement can be tough.

Tubed Tires

Although tubeless tires are more popular, tubed tires still have desirable advantages.

They don’t need much maintenance and they come in a wide range of options. Replacing tubed tires is an easy process, unlike tubeless tires.

These days, rims can be used with tubeless tires. Those who make use of tubed tires can switch to tubeless tires as long as it’s compatible with their bike’s rim. A major advantage of tubeless tires is that they endure long rides without getting flat.

You should know that you can add an inner tube to your tire if it is tubeless. With that in mind, you can fit your bike rims with tubeless tires that match the rim.

Light vs. Heavy Mountain Bike Tires

Regarding tire weight, there are certain things to consider. It’s a fact that the tire’s weight would affect the overall functionality of the tire.

Lightweight tires can roll easily for cycling at top speeds. They are also easier to navigate with and bring to a halt.

Heavyweight tires have more thickness than lightweight ones. They are more durable and resistant to damage. These tires boost the wheel’s gyroscopic effect and cause the bicycle to be better balanced on and off the ground.

The bulkiest reinforced-carcass downhill tires come with features that help them function effectively at low pressures. The tires won’t come off the rim while cycling.

Conclusion

If you can lay hands on the right MTB tires for your bicycle, you’ll really enjoy your rides. These tires have various features that combine to make them feasible for use on tough rocky terrain.

The tires include designs that make them usable in wet weather conditions and dry weather conditions – although not all mountain bike tires work in both conditions.

Our attention was particularly drawn to the Kenda City Slick Mountain Tire. It’s our top pick among the rest. It’s a long-lasting tire that can withstand lengthy rides.

The tire remains in good condition even after clocking distances above 1,000 miles with it. Thanks to its beveled treads, it provides you with great traction on both dry and wet paths.

James Mattis

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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