Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Welcome to our big mountain bike tyre test 2022. Here we present all the mountain bike tyres that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best MTB tyres for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide.

If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to when buying mountain bike tyres




Summary

  • The umbrella term “mountain bike tyre” cannot be used to define “the” classic tyre. Under this umbrella term, there are a wide variety of tyres with a wide variety of characteristics.
  • However, there is one common denominator among all these different mountain bike tyres. What they have in common is that they should be as suitable as possible for riding off the beaten track on rough terrain.
  • Mountain bike tyres are available for everyone, from beginners to professionals. Depending on where you mainly ride your bike, you should choose a wider, grippier or flatter tyre.

The Best Mountain Bike Tyres: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a mountain bike tyre

Who should consider mountain bike tyres?

If you are sporty, always looking for an adrenaline rush and like to ride your bike in nature in your free time, then you need mountain bike tyres.

Mountain bike tyres are also suitable for city dwellers who want to improve the grip of their bike.

On excursions in rough terrain, mountain bike tyres with sufficient grip and rolling resistance are the best accompaniment. (Image source: unsplash.com / Julian Hochgesang)

As soon as you want to ride not only on paved surfaces and also use your bike in bad weather, you are well served by mountain bike tyres.

Of course, buying MTB tyres makes the most sense if you already own a mountain bike. However, it is also possible to fit better-grip tyres on a city bike.

Why is it important to choose the right mountain bike tyres?

You can think of tyres in the same way that we have different shoes for different occasions and uses. You also change your shoes depending on the surface and the conditions.

In the mountains it makes less sense to walk around in flip-flops, but in the city they are fine.

In use, mountain bike tyres should withstand all kinds of influences. So it all depends on the environment in which you use your bike the most.

Depending on the area of use, it can also make sense to mount different tyres on the front and rear.

For the front wheel, cornering grip and braking traction are most important. The rear wheel carries more weight uphill, so lower rolling resistance is very important.

Are mountain bike tyres also suitable for tarred or flat terrain?

This is a very interesting question, and the answer depends on the type of mountain bike tyre. It is definitely not recommended to ride on flat or tarred roads with tyres specifically designed for donwhill or enduro riding.

On paved roads, you are glad to have a good tyre tread in wet and cold conditions to avoid getting off balance. (Image source: unsplash.com / Petar Petkovski)

These tyres have large and many lugs, which provides a lot of grip and high rolling resistance. This makes it very difficult to move forward on flat terrain.

However, there are other mountain bike tyres that have a mixture of grip and good traction. These have smaller lugs and are also less wide.

How much do mountain bike tyres cost?

There is a seemingly endless range of mountain bike tyres. With all these different tyres, there are of course products of very different quality on the market.

Depending on the material, special features and personal requirements, the prices vary from a few euros to around 100€ per tyre.

You can find offers for as little as 10€ per tyre. Of course, the price is very dependent on the quality and your demands on a product. You are certainly better off with tyres from 20€ to 30€.

Type Price range
Clincher ca. 8 – 20€
Folding tyre ca. 20-70€
Tubeless tyre ca. 30 – 100€

What alternatives are there to mountain bike tyres?

Of course, there are many other types of bicycle tyres besides mountain bike tyres. Each of these models has its advantages and disadvantages.

It all depends on your needs. In the following section, we will give you a brief overview of the different types of tyres and their characteristics.

Tyre type Description
City bike tyre Very narrow tyre with a flat tread. Has hardly any lugs. On flat terrain therefore high traction, but hardly any grip.
Road bike tyre Even narrower and even smoother. Minimum contact area means minimum friction. Thus best rolling characteristics on the road, but zero grip.
Trekking bike tyre Also narrow and smooth tread. Partially studded at the edge, for grip in bends and on light dirt roads.
Spike wheel tyre Exotic and winter tyre. Especially large studs, called spikes. With these small metal spikes you can make good progress on snow and ice. Not allowed in road traffic!

Decision: What types of mountain bike tyres are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy mountain bike tyres, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Cross Country
  • All Mountain
  • Downhill/Enduro

Depending on the use and consideration, flat or uneven trails, it can be positive or negative. Here we have compiled the most important differences for you.

What distinguishes cross country mountain bike tyres and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Crosscountry, also called CC or XC, are tyres that are mainly used for more moderate rides. Crosscountry tyres should have a light weight and low rolling resistance.

They are particularly suitable for flat trails that do not have roots, stones or large bumps.

Advantages
  • No rolling resistance
  • Low weight
  • Cost-effective
Disadvantages
  • Little grip
  • Not very suitable for off-road
  • Few and small studs

Their tread has studs. However, these are not very large, so that you do not move forward too tentatively and sluggishly on the rather flat ground.

What distinguishes all-mountain bike tyres and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

All Mountain tyres are an attempt to produce an all-rounder. However, this is practically impossible. Good traction and a lot of grip simply clash with the rolling resistance, which is too high on flat trails.

The industry is still trying to create a tyre that can be used everywhere. But since the differences between downhill, enduro and cross-country are so great, this seems to be difficult to achieve.

You certainly won’t get a tyre on the market that is optimal for every terrain. The contrast between low rolling resistance and a lot of grip is too great.

Advantages
  • Good grip
  • Middle ground of all tyres
  • Suitable for off-road
Disadvantages
  • Not a specialist for specific terrain
  • Higher weight
  • More rolling resistance

However, if you are prepared to make some sacrifices, you can definitely be satisfied with an all-mountain tyre.

What distinguishes downhill/enduro mountain bike tyres and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

With downhill and enduro bike tyres, the surface is uneven. These tyres must offer high puncture protection, great rolling resistance and a lot of grip.

Be sure to pay attention to the tyre width and the lugs. Wider tyres offer more grip and safety, and large lugs can dig into the ground and help you move forward.

Downhill at high speed you have your bike well under control thanks to the good tread of the off-road tyres. In curves, the studs stabilise you and your bike.

Advantages
  • High puncture protection
  • Lots of grip
  • Good grip
Disadvantages
  • High rolling resistance
  • More weight
  • More expensive

Because of the many impacts caused by stones or similar against the tyre, good puncture protection is also important. There are many extra thick protectors available.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate mountain bike tyres

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible mountain bike tyres.

The criteria you can use to compare the tyres with each other include:

  • Material
  • Tyre width
  • Size
  • Profile
  • Rim width
  • Traction

Material

Most bicycle tyres are made of a rubber compound. Depending on their composition, the rolling resistance of the bikes is different. Standard mountain bike tyres are reinforced with a wire mesh.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1fysgFHHIY/

Folding tyres are a further development of clincher tyres. These do without the rigid, puncture-prone wire and instead rely on a special fibre compound that makes the tyre easier to mount.

On the rear wheel, the tyre should have a fast, light rubber compound. This makes it easier to ride uphill, where the main weight is on the rear wheel.

On the front wheel, however, the rubber compound should be stickier and have better grip. This will give you grip on your descents.

Tyre width

The tyre width is also crucial for the perfect use of your mountain bike. The more moderate your tours are, the narrower the tyres can be.

The wilder, hillier and more uneven the terrain you ride, the more important it is to focus on tyres with good grip. This means that your tyres should be wider.

If you don’t want to go off-road too much and still use your bike in the city, for example, a medium-width tyre is recommended.

Size

Of course, when buying tyres, the size of the wheels, and therefore the size of the tyres, plays a role. You should know how many inches your wheels have. You can find this information on the old tyres of your bike or on the purchase receipt.

The size range for adult bikes usually varies from 26 to 29 tyres. For children, the wheel size of a 24 tyre usually fits.

Profile

Again, the different tyres offer a range of tyre treads. You should consider where you will be riding your bike the most and make your choice of tread pattern based on that.

For off-road riding, a good tread pattern with large lugs, wide tyres and plenty of grip is important. (Image source: unsplash.com / Jacqueline Martinez)

If you only ride off-road, away from paved roads, then you can safely rely on large studs. They offer you a lot of grip on uneven ground and provide a lot of rolling resistance downhill.

The flatter and smaller the studs, the better the rolling performance on flat roads. If you are riding on asphalt and flat dirt roads, you can choose a smoother tyre.

Rim width

The rims are the part of the wheel that connects the spokes to the tyre. These rims can vary in width depending on the wheel.

Therefore, it is recommended to make sure that your rims are not specifically wider or narrower before buying tyres.

In general, however, it can be said that most bikes, regardless of whether they are mountain bikes, city bikes or trekking bikes, almost always have the same rim width. This means that almost any tyre fits almost any tyre width.

Traction

The goal is to have as much traction as possible with each tyre. Of course, this depends on how the tyre is used. Traction is made up of the tyre tread, the terrain and your power.

The better the transmission of power from your legs to the tyres, the looser and faster you will be.

Traction means converting the available drive power through pedalling into propulsion and thus into acceleration.

You can always look for or ask about traction in online shops or at your local dealer. As already mentioned, the decisive factor is the terrain on which you want to use the bike.

Facts worth knowing about mountain bike tyres

How do I change my tyres?

To change your tyres successfully, you need the following tools:

  1. new tube
  2. new tyre
  3. Tyre jack set
  4. Bicycle air pump
  5. possibly a fork or ring spanner

For special tyres such as tubeless tyres, you do not need a new inner tube.

How often should I replace my mountain bike tyres?

This depends on the type of tyre and its quality. It also depends on how often the bike has been used.

With cross-country and all-mountain tyres, signs of wear can be discovered after about 1000 km if you often ride on demanding terrain.

Higher-quality, specialised tyres, on the other hand, will last off-road for well over 2000km. On moderate tours, such high-quality downhill and enduro tyres can even last up to 10,000km.

Also make sure that you check the tyre pressure and condition after a long period of non-use.

How do I repair my tyres?

It happens to every experienced biker, the well-known hole in the tyre. There are good and inexpensive home kits to repair this at home for bigger things or even to fix the worst on the road if necessary.

If your inner tube bursts or the hole in the tyre is very large, you will probably have to replace the material. If you are inexperienced, it may be a good idea to get professional help.

  1. A smaller hole, for example caused by a nail or a small stone, can easily be patched by yourself. To do this, turn your bike upside down so that it is standing on the saddle and the handlebars.
  2. Turn the tyre and look for the leak. The valve will allow any remaining air to escape from the tyre. Remove the tyre from the rim using a tyre lever.
  3. Pump the inner tube full of air and see if it or the tyre is broken. Mark the defective area and rasp it a little.
  4. Spread a thin layer of glue around the hole and let it dry overnight. Then stick the patch onto the hole and press it down.
  5. Then you can mount the tube and tyre on the bike again and fill it with air.

Image source: 123rf.com / soloway

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